Posted by: chloecivin | December 16, 2011

Alice and High Fashion

Annie Leibovitz’s portrayal of Alice in Wonderland with high fashion is breathtaking. Here are the some of the images captured during the shoot. Enjoy!


Responses

  1. While I am a big fan of Annie Leibovitz and agree with you, these photos are stunning, viewing them makes me think of the continued idealized “whiteness” that has prevailed in beauty culture from the Victorian era to modern day. When examining Victorian portraits in class, there is a common practice of portraying people, but especially women, with extremely pale skin. While this could be a way to symbolize wealth and class, suggesting having no need to work outside, it also quickly became linked with beauty. We have even learned that the original Alice portrayed in the story illustrations, looks quite different from the darker featured real life Alice who was the inspiration for the story. This shift in representation is problematic, because it presents a specific and unvaried beauty ideal. Whiteness was also associated with “purity” which was considered a high compliment in the Victorian era, and we know that women during this time went through quite dangerous lengths to whiten their skin in cosmetic experimentation. Even today this Eurocentric standard of beauty remains. This lack of representation or misrepresentation, as in the illustrations of Alice, is also found throughout the modern fashion and beauty industries. A recent report of New York’s Fashion Week showed hired models were 82.7% white, 9% Asian, 6% Black, and 2% Latinx. Photoshopping and whitewashing also frequently occurs, with many non-white models and celebrities speaking out about noticing their skin being lightened in advertisements. So while I agree that these photos are beautifully done and creative, it is interesting to consider what beauty standards from the Victorian era such as the portrayal of Alice, have continued into modern culture and the issues they may create.


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