Irina Lazareanu and Freja Beha Erichsen in Elle, May 2008

Elle. May 2008

I spent much of my two years in the Costume Studies MA at NYU flipping through 80 years of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, so I can tell you with absolute certainty that the big fashion mags don’t give queers even a cursory glance.  Sure, an occasional nod for bringing trucker hats and boy’s suits for girls to The Fashion Community, but that’s about it.

That is what makes this image so astonishing.  Two women.  Hot queer women.  In a fashion spread.  Kissing. And enjoying it.

Bravo to Elle, it’s about f$%*ing time.  Now let’s get some articles on queer fashion.  Perhaps they should take a cue from DapperQ.

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Chanel, Fall 2009-2010

Fall 2009/10 season

Fall 2009/10 season

The way the woman on the left is grasping the lapel of the woman on the right seems intimate, to me. Their faces are too close together for them to be friends. I think they have been together for a long while.

This is scanned from a recent issue of New York Magazine.

Missoni Fall 2008-09

Lesbian imagery in fashion photography is one of my pet loves, so I was thrilled with Missoni’s Fall 2008-09 ad campaign.

Missoni Fall 2008-09, Elle Magazine

Elle doesn’t use the word “lesbian” in their blurb (page 292, I forget which issue), but it’s pretty clear what the source material and Missoni were doing. According to Elle, Missoni was referencing the 1970 movie The Conformist.

I haven’t seen the movie, but from this still it looks like a humdinger.

The Conformist, 1970

Incidentally, Threads Magazine has an article recently featured on how to make the wrap in Missoni’s ad. See issue April/May 2009 page 78, entitled “Envelop Yourself,” by Fred Bloebaum. I can’t find it online yet, sadly.

Versace, 1981

Long before lesbian imagery was accepted in pop culture, fashion photographers published in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar got away with publishing suggestive photographs of women together. Who was the photographer who denied that there was any lesbian implication, he just wanted to be able to photograph two dresses at the same time?

This image is from a March 1981 Versace advertising campaign.  I got it from a New York Times video slideshow on Richard Avedon.   The International Center of Photography in Manhattan will have an exhibit of Avedon’s work on display from May 15-Sept 6, 2009.

Photographed by Richard Avedon

Photographed by Richard Avedon