ELLE Italia: Pastel Puppet

Posted on April 03, 2012

Kittens, here’s your end-of-the-day pretty.

Well. The clothes are pretty, anyway. The concept, we can’t quite sign off on. Those Italian fashion editors just love pushing buttons, don’t they?

Just look at the pretty clothes.


Editorial titled “Pastel Puppet” for the April 2012 issue of ELLE Italia featuring model Alexa Yudina wearing looks from the Louis Vuiton Spring 2012 collection, photographed by Giovanni Squatriti and styled by Cori Armenta. Hair: Gabriele Trezzi. Makeup: Adalberto Pezzaioli.


Louis Vuitton Spring 2012 Collection


[Photo Credit: Giovanni Squatriti for elle.it via designescene.net, elle.com]

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  • Judy_J

    The clothes are pretty. But the heavy black marionette “strings” are creeping me out.

  • serenitynow02

    Oy. This is as bad as clowns.

    Pretty clothes, though.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3JSTXMWWVZN2QNP2UEKJMTWD7U Isabel

      I think it’s better than the clowns.

      • luciaphile

        Marginally. This stuff creeps me out. I flash back to the Twilight Zone episode with the woman who was being chased by department store mannequins because it turns out she is one…shudder

  • leah besson

    wheres the mad men style posts?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

      It’s only Tuesday. If you must complain, at least be reasonable and complain when it’s the end of the week. 

  • MilaXX

    I’d rather just look at the LV Spring collection on the models

    • out for a walk

      yeah not loving this anyway – don’t mind the puppet concept but the “strings” are so sloppy – but especially when EVERY single thing is Louis Vuitton. that’s not an editorial, that’s a special advertising section.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      Agreed.  Those shoes are amazing!

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Well, that really creeps me out.  The plastic sheen to the model’s face, the dead expression and the puppetry bondage.  The theme, for me, overwhelms the clothes.  Thumbs down.

    • Judy_J

      I’m with you.  It’s disturbing.

    • littlemac8

      The bondage theme paired with the dehumanizing puppet theme sets women’s lib back I don’t know how far.  UGH! Frank Rich had an interesting article in the NYT about women’s sexual confusion in the bedroom even as they make salary and job gains. 

      • formerlyAnon

        I can’t take this one photo shoot that seriously.  (The effect on women’s employment – especially on the employment of non-professional women – of the recent, and continuing, economic “downturn,” on the other hand . . . ) But thanks for the reference to the article. I’ll look it up, I can always stand to learn something.

      • drdirection

        The past couple of years have been a complete assault on everything woman.  It’s disgusting.

        • http://twitter.com/Neomeris Meredith M

          I’d say “millennia”–and more than two–but it does seem the fashion industry has been stepping up the misogyny in recent decades. This is more of the same. When will our clothes be made and portrayed by people who actually like women–like, living, breathing, self-animated, recently fed women?

      • understateddiva

         I’m very curious about the Frank Rich article but can’t find it anywhere!  All I could find was a recent op-ed in NY mag about the GOP and women.  Do you by any chance have a link? 

        • littlemac8

          Sorry, my bad…it is an article by Frank RICH in the New York Times on 3/31/12 called “The Bleaker Sex”

          • Rrroza

            Fascinating article and sadly true I think. And Elizabeth Fuller’s comment following it is excellent. Here’s the link http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/opinion/sunday/bruni-the-bleaker-sex.html

          • formerlyAnon

            Thanks! I was also unable to find the Frank Rich article but thought I just hadn’t hit the right combination of search terms.

          • formerlyAnon

            Thanks! I was also unable to find the Frank Rich article but thought I just hadn’t hit the right combination of search terms.

          • understateddiva

             Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/Lola99959 Veronika Kaufmann

    it’s theatuh dahling. 

  • Sara__B

    The model’s face does look as if it’s carved from wood, and it’s easy to see the Vuiton fashions. (Italy, and especially Sicily, have a long history of marionette operas. I’m wondering what the significance of the tiara is…)

  • Synnamin

    while I love doll and puppet imagery, I’m befuddled as to why they left the safety-pins in the straps. that’s what Photoshop’s for, people!

    • Rebecca Zmarzly

       I couldn’t even look at the clothes. I was obsessed with seeing if the safety pins and frayed edge of the bondage ribbon showed up in each picture.

    • littlemac8

      I think the safety pins are supposed to soften the bondage imagery!  It’s not really bondage if you can free yourself with your teeth!

      • Fordzo

        OMG!  This is what I’m going to tell my boyfriend.  “But, darling, it’s not bondage if you can free yourself with your teeth.  Now, just relax…”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

      Haha, apparently we think alike. 

  • http://twitter.com/LianaBrooks Liana Brooks

     Buy our clothes because your are a puppet controlled by the whims of your fashion masters?
    Buy our clothes because you have no independent thoughts of your own?
    Buy our clothes and validate old men’s views that women should be as repressed as they were half a century ago?
    Buy our clothes and you too can look like an anorexic puppet with no free will of her own?

    I’m terrified of the model’s mannikin makeup, and I’m not sure what the message is here. I feel vaguely insulted and demeaned by the whole idea. Overall, it’s not selling me on the pretty clothes or the idea that I like the designer. 

    • Rrroza

      Agree on your last point. But I tend to think these weird fashion spreads don’t have a message. It’s all about the visual. I don’t think they care if others read anything into it.

      However, in my experience it does seem to be true that Italy as a whole is still very old-fashioned in their views of women’s roles. Years and years of Berlusconi did nothing to help.

    • Rrroza

      Agree on your last point. But I tend to think these weird fashion spreads don’t have a message. It’s all about the visual. I don’t think they care if others read anything into it.

      However, in my experience it does seem to be true that Italy as a whole is still very old-fashioned in their views of women’s roles. Years and years of Berlusconi did nothing to help.

  • rose88

    Is it just me, or are these fashion editorials getting creepier by the moment?

  • Vaniljekjeks

    Yes, nice clothes, but the model is creepy.  Almost as creepy as the clowns in the post from a few days ago (which I haven’t quite forgiven you for yet). 

  • plinkiedoodle

    Beautiful clothes.  Stupid concept.  

  • Little_Olive

    Ahh, the ANTM “smize as a puppet” challenge. Not sure Tyra would’ve approved the dead eyes (I think they’re dead on, no pun intended).

    • Fordzo

      All I could hear in my head was Tyra saying “broken down doll” over and over.

  • prettybigkitty


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=668425491 Daniela ‘Dani’ Weiss-Bronstein

    Creepy as it may be, it’s so well done. The makeup/production on the model’s face is great, and I can’t figure out how she got her legs to akimbo like that in some shots.

  • marilyn

    The clothes are boring, and not even the psycho presentation can save them.  They are what I call “Tricia Nixon” clothes.   

    • formerlyAnon

      Ha! I wonder how many people who worked on this editorial have a mental picture of the Nixon daughters?

      • luciaphile

        Or of Pat Nixon? 

  • http://www.djplaw.com/ Tadiana

    I just want to get hold of the Italian (?) men (?) who came up with this idea and shake some sense into them for coming up with this demeaning concept.  Kind of like how I want to magically turn all Muslim extremist men into women so they can see how it feels to be treated like dirt.

  • texashistorian

    A church marm in bondage. I wonder if that really sells clothes? Hm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    Lovely clothes and great job on making the model actually look porcelain.  Had they done more delicate marionette strings, it would have been a different batch of photos.  The black strips are just distracting. 

  • formerlyAnon

    Those are some odd proportions in those suits. Blocky and over sized, though the skinniness of the model might be exaggerating the effect.

    It’s not the puppet ‘strings’ that bother me, it’s the dead look to the eyes & face.

  • JasmineAM

    “We should definitely hire a gorgeous model, but have her give us her best blank/dead face!”

  • Lilithcat

    If this is ELLE Italia, why is the text all in English?

    • Fordzo

      I wondered the same thing.

  • CatherineRhodes

    The concept is really dumb, but at least you can see the clothes. Sometimes the art directors get so carried away with the theme on these shoots that the gimmick obscures the clothes. I love these ladylike looks in small doses. Maybe a mint green jacket with white oversized buttons and a white lace collar worn with jeans. Moderation, otherwise it’s Barbie zone. 

  • portlandmermaid

    I like the black skirt with the white floral cutouts, but the rest are kind of hiddy. They’re the worst of the 60’s, prim and bland.

  • http://blue-again.myopenid.com/ blue

    Extremely creepy! The puppet “strings” and the dead-eye looked. Ick. But, I couldn’t look away. Visually compelling.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VHX7AHEX4V5JIOGT576B5IZO7M Suzy

    Am I the only one who thought they were referring to Kate Middleton. I just thought the tiara and the puppet
    strings…i dunno that just what I got upon first glance.

    • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

      I thought more of Queen Elizabeth, but it works for both, really.

  • SewingSiren

    I love eyelet embroidery. And would happily be restrained for the privilege of wearing one of those skirts.

    • http://booksandotherstuff.blogspot.com/ Books and Other Stuff

       How comfortable would it be to sit with these eyelets for a long time?

      I saw some eyelet shorts at a GAP window display. Very pretty but the thread looked super thick.

  • Lisa

    I think the clothes are lovely, but the creepy puppet thing made it hard to focus on the pretty.

  • PeaceBang

    LOATHE the Willy Wonka-proportioned eyelet. As for the dead, starving fashion puppet, sod off, Elle.

  • joything

    I would pretty much feel chained up in some way, if I wore these clothes.

    Yes, they’re pretty. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/judyshoaf Judy Shoaf

    I like this editorial. The model is a good mime. I can forgive a puppet for being too thin more easily than a woman. Most of the clothes are evocative of the 60s when these pictures would have been a radical consciousness-raising presentation of fashion/femininity. I prefer this to the vampirish Keira K series. You can see the clothes and you know exactly what you are being sold.

  • hughman

    I can see Wayland and Madame wearing all of these clothes! 

  • Sophie Collier

    Huh, it’s like they couldn’t come up with any creative idea for these clothes, so they just said “Fuck it,” (in Italian, obvs) “lets just put some black ribbon around the models’ arms and call it a day.”  Not the most original or inspired shoot.

  • http://twitter.com/carelessriver Cassie (C.M.W.)

    Way too Uncanny Valley for me to see the clothes.

  • http://smalltownbigwardrobe.wordpress.com Catherine

    Forget bitch face: that model is giving dead face. And it is SCARING ME.

  • crash1212

    Wow. That is one weird concept. I wonder what that pitch meeting sounded like….clothes are pretty, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

    I just find it half-assed. I see safety-pins, for crissake. Couldn’t have photoshopped THOSE out? Meh. 

    • AthenaJ

      I think the safety pins might have been on purpose… though they and the big black ribbons are still a dumb idea.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        You’re probably right. It still reads as “half-assed” in my eyes, though. 

  • poggi

    The text seems entirely incongruous with the weird vibe — ” our lovely doll gets all dressed up all dressed up in ladylike pastels. A sweet take on chic.”. It’s like when the news anchor is reporting on a skateboarding pig and the ticker is recounting the number of casualties in some terrible accident. However I do really like the black and white pieces.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Often in the high concept shoots the clothes are so obscured you can barely see them. This, on the other hand, is such a non-concept that even though the clothes are front and center I can hardly see them because I’m so distracted by those big black straps. It looks like someone said, “Damn! These pictures aren’t working. What can we do?” To which someone else said, “Er, uh. . . maybe we could take these luggage straps [or curtain ties or whatever they are] and do something with them?”  Etc. In Italian, of course.

  • judybrowni

    Is the model supposed to be attractive?

  • Bozhi

    Except for the furry suit, I love all the clothes.  I really do not like the concept of this editorial.  It does not look forward, it looks lame.

  • demidaemon

    This reminds me on ANTM photo shoot, in a marginally bad way.

  • TieDye64

    Yes, pretty clothes. Not a lot else to say.

  • Artis Diggins

    and…Kate Middleton by Elle IT 

  • DCSheehan

    Puppets are evil but the posing certainly shows off those gorgeous clothes. Stunning stuff. This is enough pretty for a whole week.

  • http://twitter.com/zombuki Brigitte Coovert

    Fat ribbons with safety pins? Sloppy. Did someone not go shopping for this advertorial?

  • In_Stitches

    Ugh, I just hate the collection.  Those daisy cut outs are straight up juvenile and, when coupled with those sexless 50’s silhouettes, well, it’s not fun enough for the girls and it’s not beautiful enough for the women.

    I suppose I ‘get’ the theme of the shoot, but it doesn’t work completely for me.  Where’s the fun?  The beauty?  I suppose there’s a point, but it’s not particularly an uplifting one. 

  • Fordzo

    Where is her left leg in the second photo?

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    Creepy!  But that model pulls off the inanimate object look very, very well. She looks like she’s made of wood in some of them, including her eyes.

  • guest2visits

    The oversize pan-collars are almost as disturbing as the lifeless puppets. When covered-up by a jacket; the looks are transformed.
    Take those collars away.

  • juliamargaret

    This crap is supposed to be a “sweet take on chic”?

    “Women are dolls with no power of their own, but they sure look pretty!”

    WHY, Elle Italia, WHY?!?

  • AthenaJ

    Those black straps look like restraints – not puppet strings. If they had been white and delicate it would have made a difference, though part of me is still wigged out by the concept in general. Most of the clothes are hiddy, except maybe for the all white piece and the black piece (though I thought this photoshoot was supposed to be all about pastels??)

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Honestly, despite the beauty of the clothes, I would not have bought them because I wouldn’t wanna look like what the model represents.

    So, basically, complete concept failure on Elle Italia’s part.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

    Huh, weird.  Why is the copy written in English?  I just assumed it would be in Italian.

  • Aurumgirl

    Consider for a moment that it might not be a demeaning concept editorial, but rather a protest filled one.  Since when are stylists hired to do an editorial that features 100% clothing, accessories, and styling dictated directly from the clothing manufacturer?  Each outfit is displayed by Louis Vuitton Inc. practically exactly the way it was shown on the runway–no deviation or creativity or objectivity allowed in this editorial.  It’s as if they hired a creative team and strung them up like puppets to do exactly as they were told by the “sponsor”.  If you were on this team, wouldn’t you wonder why you were hired at all?   

    For me, this would explain everything. 

  • Aurumgirl

    Also, the clothes bore me.  And the shoes and bags do,

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AJ237ND3GAHDQJZ4TLCO4WLRA Emily

    Pretty clothes and a good idea, but badly executed. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_F73LIJ3SJGI5AJQMXMWXCKILHI Pamela

    I thought there was going to be pretty.  This does not fulfill that promise.

  • http://twitter.com/ladonnazc LaDonna Carpenter

    This looks like one Tyra Banks’ cheesy concept shoots on America’s Next Top Model.

  • ccm800

    the makeup is EXQUISITE

  • quiltrx

    LOVE the clothes.  All eyelets and retro, so pretty.

    I’m not sure about the ‘strings’, but kudos to the makeup artist for making her face look like porcelain!

  • boweryboy

    I like that I can see the clothing and its detail to it’s best advantage.  The puppet thing doesn’t bother me.