Vogue UK: Paper Plates

Posted on May 29, 2012

Darlings, here’s your pretty for the day, a summer Olympics-themed spread from Vogue UK. Now, we’re aware that an editorial depicting models faux-competing in Olympic events while wearing designer gowns sounds like something Patsy Stone would pitch in the middle of a coke binge, but you know? It really works. The minimalist backgrounds and shapes – as well as the gorgeous clothes – combine to make something slightly surreal and visually arresting. Fantasy Olympics.


Vogue UK June 2012 Issue
Editorial: “Paper Plates”
Photographer: Tim Gutt
Model: Lara Mullen
Stylist: Charlotte Pilcher
Set Designer: Shona Heath

Versus Spring 2012 Collection

Christopher Kane Spring 2012 Collection

Givenchy Spring 2012 Collection

Nicole Farhi Spring 2012 Collection

Alexandre Vauthier Spring 2012 Couture Collection

Lanvin Spring 2012 Collection

Antonio Berardi Spring 2012 Collection



[Photo Credit: Tim Gutt, vogue.com, style.com]

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016141160 Jennifer Sowell Glover


  • PeaceBang

    Horrid clothes.

  • Rei Carter

    Oh! I loves this. It’s so pretty! I really like the fencing pictures. 

    • Jill_3

      I agree! I think this is GOR-JUS.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

    I want those jeans. 

  • joe_tey83

    They really make the Annie Leibovitz Olympics photos for Vogue look really stupid in comparison.

    • Stuck_on_Mute

      how one can screw up a pic of Ryan Lochte is beyond me -that spread left a lot to be desired of.

      I enjoyed this one tremendously, especially the archer shot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ginny-Ellsworth/534496198 Ginny Ellsworth

      You know although she was the photographer, Annie Leibovitz wasn’t actually the art director on the shoot. 

  • hughman

    “I see gorgeous thin little models, sweetie. Like The Shrimp, The Twigs. I see movement. Skin. And legs, lots of legs thrown higher than Amanda De Cadenet’s at the party after the BAFTAs.”

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

      I bow to you.

    • TieDye64

      My hero.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OLSER5H3A6FPBAZOEIQIOBHAYM Elizabeth Rust

    I love the photo spread, but I found that I didn’t notice the clothing at all, just the spectacular paper-craft settings – not sure if that’s the effect they were going for! Still, it’s a beautiful layout. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/63SNCISX6GBJ6NNZXVPQBQB34Y Decline

    It’s like the Capitol’s HungerOlympic Games

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Cleary/1201575213 Patrick Cleary

    That archery photo is something meant to be framed and hung on a wall. The rest are various levels of success, but overall, it’s not as effective as I thought it would be.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    The poses are outstanding, and the editorial as a whole is really cohesive. A few shots are a bit busy for me, but on the whole this is a great one. I especially love the diving and archer shots.

    • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

      Yes – those blue flats are gorgeous!

  • Lina_bee

    Gorgeous set design!  The clothes were well-chosen, thematically, but they do tend to fade into the background compared to the wonderful paper-crafting.

  • Terence Ng

    I know it’s subtle, but I think the fencer on the right is prepping.

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

      I ADORE your for knowing what that is! I thought the same thing. :) in fact I was beaten in a match once by a girl who did nothing but flick. It was extremely irritating.

    • Beardslee

      What is prepping?

      • Terence Ng

        Prepping is a colloquialism for “attack/ing in preparation” in a saber fencing bout.

        It’s basically when someone moves in to attack, but pulls their blade arm back, usually because the person is reflexively going for a swashbuckling, chopping motion with flair (thank you, Princess Bride), which is incorrect, or because they decided to no longer continue their attack. When this happens, it’s a clear indicator for an opponent to quickly take the attack instead and, if you want to be humiliating, hit them on the pulled-back and now fully exposed elbow/forearm.

        It’s a mistake that leaves you exposed and gives your opponent a quick and clear advantage, resulting in a lost point. Normally, with decent fencers, a prep will be subtle and probably not on purpose. In amateurish fencers, it’s like the model there: delusions of swashbuckling, Errol Flynn, Inigo Montoya, and the Dread Pirate Wesley.

        • Beardslee

          Thanks, interesting.  I’ll think of you when I watch fencing during the Olympics.

  • unbornfawn

    A lovely spread. The paper crafts are exquisite.

  • silaria

    I love the sets, the clothes, and the poses… but the backgrounds kill it.  They just look like the Sears Portrait Studio.  I wish they’d gone all out on the backgrounds, because I keep wanting these to look like Dali paintings.

  • filmcricket

    LOVE the cycling one – the juxtaposition of the futuristic bike helmet with the flowing gown and the penny-farthing bike. The rest of them all look a little like high-realism cake decorations: very pretty, but a bit sugary.

  • rawrgrowlrawr

    Amazing. I want to make a paper tree for my apartment. That is gorgeous. 

  • MilaXX

    I really like this. Love the simplicity of it.

  • MinkaL

    Oh of course, I always fence in my heels. Keeps me on my toes. Literally in some cases.

  • Le_Sigh

    Ooh – it reminds me a lot of MirrorMask actually.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    this is beautiful, particularly the color.
    does it say somewhere whether the models are actually interacting w/ the sets or if the sets are small & the models are photoshopped into them? it doesnt matter to me which–it’s not a bad use of photoshop, if thats how they made this. i’m just curious. also surprised that someone handmade the set curiosities at all when they couldve been quite easily created via computer.

    • Aurumgirl

      It is definitely a good way to use Photoshop.  And I love the way the colours are softened, too.

  • another_laura

    Thanks, T Lo.  I love this one, it is a respite for the eyes.  You can see the clothes.  You may not like the clothes, but you can’t deny it’s about the clothes and not trying to court controversy.

  • guest2visits

    These pale, chalky colors remind me of Wedgewood china.  See through skirts with granny-panties will never look good though.
    I love what they did with the jeans on the Christopher Kane model.  And the Antonio Berardi dress is pretty cool.

  • BrooklynBomber

    I love the storybook quality of the pictures. Very charming and whimsical.

  • PastryGoddess

    cute and fun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicole-Walraven/527225623 Nicole Walraven

    absolutely delightful, to my eye. especially the diver and the cyclist. i think it was all the white curly-cues, they give it such an air of delicate fantasy.

  • amyfromnj

    Well done and Cheerio.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-C-Rohrbacher/1152738205 James C. Rohrbacher

    Wow, Nicole Farhi is still around

  • Call me Bee

    Really pretty editorial–love pastels.  But I has a sad about the continuation of the granny panty under the sheer skirts.  Can we just say no?  
    Aside from that–very fun. 

  • TieDye64

    Very interesting. What a great idea for a fashion spread. I especially like the fencing and archery pics. The blue heels on the Versus model are way too freaking cute.

  • http://twitter.com/riosramblings Michael Rios

    I don’t know if all of these work, but I am simply gagging on the fiercesness of those fencing shots. The bicycling shot’s headpiece is serving it too.

  • understateddiva

    I love that you can see the clothes.

  • Yaara

    A great idea. I think more contrast between the cloths and the BG would have brought out the cloths.
    Also, I would’ve liked to see the models bringing more tension. This is sports, ladies! Use your muscles, show some drama, don’t look like you’re about to go to sleep!

  • http://ymwlt.blogspot.co.uk/ Dawn Sinclair

    It’s pretty and it’s Vogue – no real person will ever be able to afford any of this, it’s all icing and no substance – which is what Vogue is all about!

  • sleepycat

    love the cyclist image. From a fashion and art point of view this is better spread then the other one, but the other one has hot shirtless guys, so I am afraid they are even

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

    You’re all getting the references to classic Wedgwood Jasperware, yes?  (I don’t want to link for fear of being put into moderation purgatory, but just search for Wedgwood Jasperware in Google Images and you’ll see what I mean)

    • ballerinawithagun

      Thank you! 

    • ballerinawithagun

      Thank you! 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Carlson-Nikoleit/100002490979930 Margaret Carlson Nikoleit

      Yes! I love Jasperware and am privileged to own a few pieces. I recognized the pattern in the strip of the very first image, and was pleased to read confirmation in the text. Beautiful.

  • http://victoriapavlova.com Victoria Pavlova

    Don’t care for the models or the clothes but the paper thingies are amazing. Very quirky and interesting.

  • Corsetmaker

    That’s lovely, and very reminiscent of the old illustrated covers. Especially the first shot.

  • http://twitter.com/jaythenerdkid Aaminah Khan

    I want prints of all of these to put up on my wall. Just breathtaking.

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

    I quite like it. 

  • ballerinawithagun

    Went back to read the “small print”. Digital artwork. Fabulous! I still want to make it out of paper!

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    Erte in 3-D. Hate the clothes but the photos are wonderful.

  • ckokopuff

    I could snap the arms on those models like a twig.  THAT would be my Olympic sport.

  • afabulous50

    Not a fan of the clothes, but the photography ideas & styling are great.  I especially like the cycling shot.

  • mjude


  • Judy_S

    Love the editorial. Wedgewood + Olympics = a way to show off white clothes without looking bridal. Most of the clothes I don’t care for though….

  • crash1212

    Pretty. My faves are the bicycle and the archer. If I were to take up bike riding, I would totally NEED that helmet. Also, it’s kind of fun to see a fashion spread made mostly of clothes I haven’t seen eleventy billion other places. Well done!

  • Kolo_Ol

    wow, very pretty and imaginative

  • littlemac8

    Ha Ha  Ha!  I think the concept is funny and fresh.  But I agree the clothes stink!!!

  • Beardslee

    Wow!  Imaginative, great styling of the clothes, great choice of clothes.  The whole thing is great.  I really enjoyed this, thanks for posting it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=601016544 Amy J Albin

    Beautiful and artistic!

  • marilyn

    This is proof that the most imaginitive displays cannot save mediocrity.  

  • kimmeister

    I want to see Tilda in that entire lavender Vauthier getup, including the crazy bike helmet.

  • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com/ Rebecca


  • demidaemon

    The fencing and equestrian pictures are stunning, but that cycling picture is just wack.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    I love this so much and can’t believe how much it elevates the clothes.  Brava, Vogue stylists!

  • quiltrx

    I think this works because it’s clearly the cotton-candy fantasy versions of the sports being represented.  The gorgeous (and often oversized) props make it more interesting, too.

  • Emily Scott

    This is incredibly gorgeous. I LOVE the archery shot.

  • http://twitter.com/danielleRwest Danielle West

    The idea actually sounds like something Tyra Banks would come up with for America’s Next Top Model.

  • http://twitter.com/danielleRwest Danielle West

    The idea actually sounds like something Tyra Banks would come up with for America’s Next Top Model.