I wanted to share with you Vogue Italia’s September 2011 cover shoot with Stella Tennant and photographed by Steven Meisel. The front cover featured an unsettling image of Tennant, styled by Karl Templer, with a face full of piercings and a waist resembling the size of a neck.
The shoot was inspired by the story of Ethel Granger, the woman with the smallest waist in recorded history, coming in at 13 inches ! Granger manged to remodel the shape of her body with the help and encouragement of husband, William Granger. William was not a fan of the shapeless 1930’s style dresses and believed all women should have a “wasp waist”. He encouraged Ethel to pierce her ears, wear vertiginous high heels and to keep her corset on day and night. He was inspired by a magazine called London Life, which spanned from the 1920s to the early 1940s. The magazine featured fetishes of the time such as corsets, long hair, tattooists, wrestling and many more.
Ethel’s aim to please her husband seems a bit extreme. I love to dress up and feel feminine and I do appreciate my boyfriend’s opinion on what I am wearing (even when I sometimes don’t like his opinion) however he won’t be getting me to wear a corset anytime soon!
Vogue Italia’s choice of inspiration highlights the extreme influence fashion can have on society. People seem willing to remodel theirs or others bodies in an attempt to reach an aesthetic ideal.
Let me know your thoughts.
Ciao for now x
Here is a behind the shoot video for your enjoyment 🙂