Vogue UK: High Plains Drifter

Posted on May 01, 2012

Here’s your pretty for the day. No, wait. Here’s your crazy for the day. But it’s kind of pretty, right? Bright colors? Dramatic backdrop? Monkeys? Let’s call it crazy-pretty and leave it at that. Light some scented candles, chant, and give your eyes a little visual massaging, darlings. Also, earrings as big as hemorrhoid pillows.

Vogue UK May 2012
Editorial: “High Plains Drifter”
Photographer: Mario Testino
Stylist: Lucinda Chambers
Model: Carmen Kass


[Photo Credit: Mario Testino for vogue.co.uk via thefashionspot.com]

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  • schadenfreudelicious

    honestly, this spread looks like the online card site JibJab where you superimpose your face onto wacky bodies and watch yourself dance around….

    • kimmeister

      The 2nd picture especially, right?  There’s no way a head could be sitting on that body at that angle.

      • schadenfreudelicious

        totally, i keep expecting her to do that marionette thing with her mouth….

    • Judy_S

       Yes, everything except maybe her eyes appears to be a computer graphic.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      OMG, you’re right!  Exactly like that! 

  • hughman

    “Do I love them? I love them if they’re LaCroix, sweetie darling.”

    • http://twitter.com/ILikeShiny Cindi Williams

      That’s my fave Ab Fab line ever! :)

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    Anna Wintour goes to Burning Man.

    • http://twitter.com/bredalot Bridget Smith

      WAY too many clothes for Burning Man.

  • miagain

    oh hell… I thought those hideous armadillo shoes had died, shriveled up and blown away…

  • l3icest3r

    What in the name of Cost Plus/World Market is all this business?  O_o

  • Frank_821

    OMG the photoshopping is awful and beyond blatant. What was the point in even bothering with a live model? They should have just gotten a mannequin. ugh

    • Corsetmaker

      There’s nothing wrong with photoshop as another creative tool in the process. Make-up, lighting, lens filters etc all manipulate reality. Photoshop is just another step.
      When the use of it deserves criticism is when it’s hidden and deceitful. Obvious is fine.

      • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

        I agree with that – this is almost Brechtian (I am SO SORRY for that bit of pretentiousness) using photoshop to enhance the models distancing from the audience and alienation from the environment.

        I love the super-saturated colours.

      • Frank_821

        I have nothing against photoshop per se. It’s a powerful tool that can add to the creative process. I get what they were after with the images but outside of the first image, I still find this ugly and overdone. I’ve seen this saturation effect done greatly in photo-art. It can be dazzling and unique from just a painting or a photo. But in this, to me, the overall effect also negates any contribution by the model. They could have saved money by not hiring one and just created a face

        I think I should say also that I find a lot of photoshopping over done

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

     Looks like they’re on a strap going over the top of their heads, actually, rather than earrings, thank blob! Plus, I can NOT tell if this is a guy or a gal, even with the torturous totem pole shoes!

    • kimmeister

      I just imagined myself thanking a blob, and now I can’t stop giggling.

    • Louise Bryan

      I agree.  Nobody’s ears are that high.  I’m pretty sure I can see the headband in one of the pictures, but there’s so much busy-ness, it’s hard to tell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ailsa-Martin/644946901 Ailsa Martin

    I thought this was fugly and offensive and hated it when I saw it in the magazine. Faceless “ethnic” man in a turban? YUCK.

    • understateddiva

      Soooo sick of the ever-present Vogue man-props.  Takes all the joy out of what is otherwise an aesthetically interesting spread.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Adams/1143985903 Sarah Adams

      Yeah – it’s just generically “ethnic,” as in “tribal people are so ethnic and colorful. I love ethnic prints, don’t you?” Gag. And the model is kind of generically brown with a generic arab-ish looking turban wearer in the background.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ailsa-Martin/644946901 Ailsa Martin

        She’s not even brown, it’s Carmen Kass. Just another rich white lady dressing up in imaginary Africana and LITERALLY using Stereotypic Ethnic Man as a sofa. Le sigh.

  • http://www.celestiae.net Isy

    I can’t even… see… the clothing in this spread. What?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMU2QQUTAUEPU23MUTZBQ5W2PI Peter

    I don’t know what the enormous gold thing is that she’s holding halfway through the set (fourth from the bottom), but I want it for my living room.

    • http://twitter.com/mirrormirrorxx Paola Thomas

      Just Google ‘gold Moroccan pouf’

    • adnama79

      I was like, “Why is she holding a poof?”  If it weren’t in every Better Homes & Gardens spread lately, maybe it’d look cool, but instead it looks like she’s just randomly holding furniture…

  • Christina Brennan

    Not loving the modeling in this shoot.  Very stonefaced and boring.

  • http://twitter.com/RBinTexas RBinTexas

    My heart actually skipped a beat: I thought those were gauges!

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      nah–they’re just weird circly things someone tied to a string on her head.

  • http://twitter.com/bredalot Bridget Smith

    I would like to live in that background.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/76MOACGITT5AHEG24N6E7RZWDA Kay

    Out of all that I loved the gold pouf.  It’s on my someday to do list.

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

    It’s loud and yet still boring. Fascinating.

    • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

      That sums it up.

  • Sara__B

    My daughter and her friends used to throw on everything in the dress-up box and end up looking a lot like this. They were five, and the clothes were old costumes and thrift store/yard sale items, but the results were much the same. (Except they were having fun and it showed.)

    • adnama79

       That’s what my sister and I did!  We had costume jewelry and scarves and wrap skirts and adult-size sequin tube tops that fit us like dresses…  so fun.  All from garage sales and old-lady relatives.  :)

  • NCDFan

    horribly unfeminine, garish, ridiculous
    There are some interesting pieces but the combinations here just look ugly.

  • Carol Ostrowski

    I’m scared.

  • http://www.joannao.blogspot.com JoannaOC

    you can get that gold Moroccan pouf at Jonathan Adler stores/web site.

  • fallen_ikon

    “I am Queen of the Monkeys. Do not question my wisdom in looking like the 80s vomited on me after eating several zoo animals.”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UGFSSAYFPNER5HPV4GGZA3PMMQ Christiane

      OMG, we both had similar thoughts on what this looked like.

  • Rand Ortega

    What the hell are these editors smoking?
    Seriously, I adore Karmen Cass, she’s the quintessential jet set Michael Kors visage & I didn’t even recognize her. Is that a good thing? What’s the objective/theme here? Peyote/Opium/Crack is a good fashion enhancer?

  • Saskia Beranek

    There is something extremely post-modern Frida Kahlo about these. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

      Girl, get out of my mind! The monkeys, the iron bed, the desert sky, and especially the next to last pic w/the mod living room set of tv, space chair, the workout bike, juxtaposed with the desert/moonscape? So Frida…

  • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

    I think the term is ‘hemorroid donut pillows.’  You’re welcome.

  • http://twitter.com/junethomas June Thomas

    The first thing these images bring to mind is Raja’s cameo in the Absolut ad that ran during Drag Race!

  • SpcilK

    Was I given an hallucinogenic.  I thought Yo Gaba Gaba or some Amine was going to pop out of my computer. Trippy!

  • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

    Sorting out what is desirable, and at least wearable in this editorial, is next to impossible. WAY too much of everything.  They are giving Vogue Italia a run for their money in the Crazy Olympics

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720742723 Sarah Winningham

    Why wont Guinan turn around and show us her face? Is it because it would rip the fabric of the Space-Time Continuum?

    • http://twitter.com/kimbalala Kim Kantarakis

      i’m not embarassed to admit i know what the hell you’re talking about….and it made me snort! tng all the way!

      • Lattis

        That’ll teach me – I should always READ the comments before commenting! See Guinan comment below.
        But, like you, the first thing I saw when I looked at that picture was Guinan. :)

  • Lexie

    I thought I sort of understood the premise of this, until I saw the stationary bike in the background of the second to last shot. 

    • Kayceed

      That made me laugh out loud, for real.

  • PastryGoddess

    its very Ulan Bator meets Kansas.  I like the clothes and the styling, but not in that background.  I like the background, but not with those clothes.

  • Jessi03

    Ooo, fun!  I like a lot of those pieces individually. 

  • marilyn

    I hope no one intends to sell those earrings.  Yikes!

    The clothes are just a bunch of rags thrown together.  Very colorful rags, but there is no visible design.    My husband made me watch Flash Gordon last night.  These pictures are giving me a flashback.  Yikes again!

  • http://profiles.google.com/withano Loren S

    The model kind of reminds me of a lady Zac Efron.

  • granddelusion

    Lets call it pretty-crazy.

  • gdougs

    This gave me a headache.

  • http://eclectictsunami.blogspot.com/ Cassie

    I love Carmen Kass, but man, she is not serving it here at all. (Isn’t she retired?) These looks are pretty insane, it’s true, but she could work them better, I think. 

  • muzan-e

    #4 reminds me distinctly of some characters I’ve written for post-apocalyptic desert dystopia settings: I’m ravished by that thousand-mile stare and the conflict between bright fabric and wasteland. And in fact – I had to come back to this one a few times, just to be sure of how I felt about what my eyes were seeing – 

    And honestly, I’m really loving the styling, the brights, the well-measured clash of everything with everything else. *g*   Although whoever photoshopped the giant moons into those closer shots? take that guy out back and kick him ’til he screams, he’s turned the whole thing into Mars Adventure! camp.

  • DeTrop

    Nice to see Carmen Kass.  She was one of the best runway models ever imnsho.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    it all looks like a giorgio di sant’angelo shoot done not w/ veruschka nor for diana vreeland but w/ a very average model & designed by someone doing more crystal meth than lsd.

    meaning: usually i like these more but this one somehow really misses its mark.

  • unbornfawn

    This particular crazy pretty is working for me. Maybe it is because all the clutter is in the outfits, not the backgrounds. 

  • formerlyAnon

    My, my, what a lot of . . . stuff . . . in pretty colors . . . um, yeah . . . to look at.

  • Lina_bee

    What the HELL?  The only thing interesting about this is that the model is the most androgynous female model I’ve seen in a Vogue spread in maybe ever. Which is FINE, and an interesting choice, but apart from that, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE?  Alien moonscape?  Because the “high plains” are covered in grass and agricultural combines, yo. There is none of this miles of barren photoshopped dirt.

  • MilaXX

    Well it’s um…., BRIGHT? 

  • RedRaven617

    It didn’t even look like a real fashion shoot. In many of the shots it looks like that Japanese cartooning style. Aname? Forgive me if I got it wrong. The first photo looks like the model’s hands and face were superimposed over a photo of someone not as close up. Very weird.

  • SewingSiren

    Fashion Burn.

  • ccm800

    what terrible photoshopping! And are they being paid by brands used per? Ridiculous. 

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    I have met Clint Eastwood and you, Madam, are no Clint Eastwood.

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    Ugh.  This cacophony of colors and shapes and layers just…..well….it just irritates me!

  • Michelle Cunningham

    This has ANTM photo shoot written all over it… tacky and awful.  I have to go take some Benadryl, this is giving my hives.

  • quiltrx

    The most interesting thing in this editorial is what the generic back-turned man (maybe it’s Waldo?) is wearing.

  • http://phantomminuet.blogspot.com/ MinAgain

    The shoes.  Dear God, the shoes.  **shudder**

  • Susan Crawford

    I’m  thinking Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, Zandra Rhodes and Veruschka. Rich hippie, Penelope Tree. Irving Penn and Hiro. China Machado. And I’m totally nostalgic for the whole era – super editorial with so many references that my memory bank is overdrawn!

  • annrr

    For one of my favorite movies of all time I want more. I hate her face in every pic. Clint has one of the most iconic faces ever.

  • Stubenville

    It looks like a rebellious teen swiped her mom’s gold card and maxed it out at the mall buying random loud colored junk… which she then threw on in the dark. “Look at me! I’m so daring!” she thinks. 


  • YayaGurl

    My  7 year old, who believes you should look in the mirror and add three things, really loved this, which kind of helped me start to enjoy it.  Except the very thought of those tire swings made my earlobes hurt.

  • Miss_Magpie

    Having done loads of drugs in the desert I get it. (Not the clothes I would have gone for, but it is not without aesthetic merit.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=847525391 Barbara Lee Woodruff

    The monkeys are seriously creeping me out. Other than that, I kind of dig it. The model has a kind of Lisbeth Salander (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) vibe working. I can see the character there. Definitely crazy-pretty.

  • PeaceBang

    The green skirt and the gold flower skirt are beautiful. The rest is 1980’s technicolor vomit. The thought of what some of these concepts/pieces/garments/whatevertheHELLtheyare will look like after they’ve been translated for the retail market is just harrowing. And it’s all going to be inflicted on us soon, isn’t it? I greatly fear the green lizard leggings already. And please-I-can’t- even with those earrings.

  • Beth Gardner

    Man, that made me laugh. Monty Python meets David Bowie.

  • Judy_J

    Damned if I know what’s going on here.

    • formerlyAnon

      But I kind of like looking at it. Just can’t analyze or synthesize.

    • momato

      I think this may have something to do with the way Mongolian women of the plains dress for ceremony.  The bright colors (except for the green outfit), the hangy things on the head, the heavy fabric, some of the striped patterns.  These all say Timeless Mongolian Woman to me.  The rest, who knows?

  • Lattis

    3rd Picture?

    huh. I don’t remember the Star Trek Next Generation episode that starred Rik Ocasek and Guinan. And I thought I remembered all of them.

  • Corsetmaker

    I kind of like this in an early 80s flashback sort of way. I really like the 5th picture down (the one with the broom in the background). There’s a punky vibe about it that appeals. However I’m not going to attempt to analyse – that way lies madness!

  • RzYoung

    Nothing looks real in this shoot, they may as well have paid an illustrator to make some nice little paintings of the clothes for all it’s worth.

  • jjfg

    Kinda funky – I like it.  Character from Mad Max finds the last clothing store in Australia and takes everything that was left… Although I kept wondering since when were there high plains in the UK?  Never mind.  Bright and crazy.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dorothymichael Dorothy & Michael n/a

    Every single one of these pictures could give me a migraine if I stared at it too long.

  • Aurumgirl

    Okay.  When I was younger my friends and I would pack up supplies for making martinis and head on up to my parents’ cottage for the weekend.  We’d start mixing drinks and by the time the gin ran out and the vermouth was being mixed with lemons, I’d start rummaging through the closets to find the cast off 70’s outfits my mom stored up there and we’d all start piling on the ensembles.  Then we’d go through the sheds looking for overalls, parkas, boots and gardening tools we could use as accessories.  I distinctly remember the misuse of a snow mobile helmet.  Once we were each “decked out” to match our stupors, we’d all go for a walk through through town.

    That is what this spread looks like.        

  • P M

    Does it make me very immature if my favorite part is / are the monkeys?

    (Could someone please correct my grammar in the sentence above?)

    • http://twitter.com/ennisamy Amy Ennis

      My favorite part is the monkeys. Or: The monkeys are my favorite part. Sorry, English teacher. In the first sentence “part” is the subject. In the second sentence “monkeys.” So, yours would be my favorite part is. 

  • HK4Seven

    Now that you mentioned earrings, all I can see are earrings!  Which get more and more ridiculous with each picture.  Then I realized they aren’t earrings, they’re bracelets looped around her head.  Seriously I can’t see anything else.  Well, apart from the blatant and scary photoshop job.

  • StillGary

    Jerell! Is that you?

  • silvertreese

    Everything else aside…could someone explain the random exercise bike?  Although, to be fair there also seems to be a random salon hair dryer and a broom.  Hm.

  • http://twitter.com/Merneith Merneith

    Yeahhhhhh. No.

  • bluefish

    There’s garish and then there’s this.

  • butter nut

    the model only has one face, but it works here.  me likey.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25500124 Eric Jacobs

    I think Raja should have been the model for this editorial.  She would have KILLED IT.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    Really?  Please don’t say that we have to dress in neon colors again. Please.  Next I swear to god it will be those fucking Hammer Pants.  

  • http://twitter.com/TheSpankyBlog McSpanky

    Go ask Alice/ When she’s ten feet ta-all…

  • http://www.facebook.com/izzzyy Dixie Murphy Ross

    I think I just had a seizure. 

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    The entire spread is just too visually busy for my brain.  Plus, can that model sit and stand up STRAIGHT, fer cryin out loud?  I hate that hunched over shoulders pose.  Done to death.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UGFSSAYFPNER5HPV4GGZA3PMMQ Christiane

    It’s like the ’80s threw up on an acid trip.

  • bitterk

    looks like my Vogue collages from the 80s when i would carefully cut out and paste all my favorite pieces on cardboard with the hope of going on a shopping spree at benetton and vivienne westwoods boutiques.

  • bellafigura1

    She definitely earned her money on this shoot.  She looks like everything hurts her, including her surroundings.

  • LilyPad

    A perfect example of too much photoshop ruining a beautiful editorial. It’s just too distracting. Love the clothes and styling, though.

  • lucasuk82

    It takes a lot of creativity to take that ubiquitous Gucci fringe dress out of a flapper/Roaring 20’s style successfully. 

  • guest2visits

    Looks like m. poppins just back from her multi resort tour. No bags were checked.

  • TieDye64

    Just say “no” to the “earrings as big as hemorrhoid pillows”. hahaa. This is all just too trippy.

  • adnama79

    Is that a REAL SNAKE crawling up her arm in the last photo????

    I’m good with busy photos, but I would think the snake should be the drama/focus?!

  • kathryn_dc

    Am I supposed to want to purchase any of these items?