We LOVE the idea behind this editorial, where artist Franceso Vezzoli restaged classic paintings of famous courtesans with Nicki Minaj, wearing today’s couture. But we’re a bit confused by two things:
Nicki Minaj featured in W magazine transformed by Francesco Vezzoli. Director of photography: Pasquale Abbattista. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Terrence Davidson at I.A.T. Management. Makeup by Aaron de Mey for Lancôme at Art Partner. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.
We don’t know what the hell that thing is supposed to be on the cover, and we don’t understand why she’s giving the same crazy, wild-eyed look in every picture.
Still, they’re gorgeous, and Vezzoli draws some interesting parallels between the modern pop star and the powerful courtesans of history.
Nicki Minaj as Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquise de Montespan
Dior Haute Couture’s silk embroidered ensemble. Saint Vintage brass and vintage Czech glass bead necklace (in hair); David Yurman 18k yellow gold and pearl necklace.
“In her performances, Minaj makes very explicit and challenging use of her beauty and her body, so I thought of comparing her to some of the most famous courtesans in history: the Marquise de Montespan, Comtesse du Barry, Madame de Pompadour, and Madame Rimsky-Korsakov. My idea was to reproduce four iconic portraits of some of the most fascinating females of the past in a series starring an American pop-culture role model. We tried to re-create those original portraits using similar furniture, props, and clothing, à la Visconti. Luckily enough, the result came out as surreal as it could be, just as I wished.”
Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquise de Montespan by Elle Louis-Ferdinand.
Nicki Minaj as Marie Jeanne Bécu, comtesse du Barry
Dior Haute Couture’s silk chiffon embroidered dress. Mastoloni 18k white gold, cultured pearl, and diamond bracelets; vintage Manolo Blahnik shoes.
Marie Jeanne Bécu, comtesse du Barry by Francois-Hubert Drouais.
Nicki Minaj as Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour
Western Costume Company’s lace and silk brocade dress. Mastoloni 18k white gold, cultured pearl, and diamond bracelets.
“I wanted to play with the public image of a female hip-hop star. During my entire career, I have always been fascinated by powerful women in history. I have spent a lot of time researching the ways they were represented in art and how their images were used to mold the public imagination—and to convey aesthetic and philosophical ideas about beauty and sexual desire. My main interest has been to link the historical artistic approach to female representation to contemporary icons of the media era.“
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour by François Boucher.
Nicki Minaj as Madame Barbe de Rimsky-Korsakov.
Vera Wang’s garza and French tulle ballgown.
Madame Barbe de Rimsky-Korsakov by Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
[Photo Credit: wmagazine.com, wikipedia.org]