W Magazine: A Modest Proposal

Posted on September 18, 2012

Kittens, for your pretty of the day, let’s all get our creepy-ass daguerreotype on with W magazine’s latest trip into the land of fashion craziness. Enjoy.



W Magazine October 2012 Issue
Editorial: “A Modest Proposal”
Photographer: Michael Thompson
Stylist: Edward Enninful
Models: Marie Piovesan, Meghan Collison, Katryn Kruger, Kinga Rajzak, Ollie Edwards, Sean O’Pry, Lenz von Johnston & Cordula Reyer
Hair: Jimmy Paul
MakeUp: Dick Page



[Photo Credit: Michael Thompson for wmagazine.com]

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

    I LOVE IT. Can’t wait for this one to come in the mail.

    • http://twitter.com/ElizabethSDavis Elizabeth S. Davis

      Love it but the closeup of the woman with cameos in her hair is surely going to give me nightmares...Zap21.com

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

         I thought that photo was a little… disconcerting… too. She certainly cuts a striking figure.

    • AuntieAnonny

       Yeah, it might be time for me to subscribe.

  • http://angryfemur.tumblr.com Andrea Lane

    Well, they all sure look ready to eat some babies.

    • http://twitter.com/Melcollum Mary Ellen Feinberg

      Jonathan Swift, right!  Now there’s a satire that could be timely trotted out again.  But I’ll leave it at that so I don’t descend into politics on this blog. :-)

      • adnama79

        Mary, that essay sprang to mind the other day for me, as well.  Not wanting to get political here either, I just found your comment validating and wanted to let you know.

        Fashion, fashion, fashion.  Pretty pretty, la la la. 

        Have you noticed how peplums seem to be everywhere lately?  Wonder if some photographer/stylist was like, “Well, then, let’s GO THERE.”

      • lovelyivy

         That is a very worthy descent. It made me go back and enjoy a fine essay that I read many many many moons ago and had forgotten, so thank you.

        • http://twitter.com/Melcollum Mary Ellen Feinberg

           It was great political satire as well as “deliciously” creepy:  “A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragoust.”

          Stephen Colbert trotted it out a couple of years ago, after Ted Turner proposed a one-child-per-family policy similar to China’s, but where the poor could sell their childbirthing “credits” to the rich.  Perfect.  No need to write something new!

          • lovelyivy

             It is a particularly timely political essay, which SHOULD be impossible, since it was written in the 1700’s. Just goes to show that fashion changes, people don’t.

    • http://tinyglimpses.blogspot.com/ Meg P. W.

      I thought it sounded like an odd name for an editorial… 😉

      • formerlyAnon

        I think it is. As if chosen by someone who sort of remembered the essay, but not really. These have their own kind of creepy but it isn’t the same as Swift’s, IMO. (Don’t mind me. I’m just grumpy. I thing I was expecting too much of this)

        • http://twitter.com/Melcollum Mary Ellen Feinberg

          Oh, yeah.  I think but for the title there is no real connection, and I certainly don’t think they’re meaning to do political satire.  It’s more of a lazy way to give it some literary cachet, I think.  But “creepy” is having kind of a vogue right now, and that’s pretty much what this is about.

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

       I wondered who would mention that first. Well done.

  • hughman

    OMG, THIS IS THE SHIT! It’s like “Downton Abbey” meets “The Shining” INSIDE OF ANNA WINTOUR’S BRAIN. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1401197785 Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

      I didn’t have the words to describe this. Thank goodness you did!

    • DTLAFamilies

      I immediately thought REDRUM when I saw the two girls. Great minds, etc.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720415976 Amy Wilson Faville

        I thought, Arbus. But same thing, really.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        Me too!

        (This coming from the 35-year-old woman who saw The Shining for the first time ever just a few months ago.)

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

      I am officially appending INSIDE OF ANNA WINTOUR’S BRAIN to all of my future descriptions.

    • muzan-e

      See, this is what I love about this place. That being more of a horror buff than a fashion enthusiast, I can gasp my way happily through the entire set of pictures, leap down here desperate to praise the Shining shoutout, and see:


      Right here. On a fashion blog.
      Which must in fact actually be a fashion&AWESOMENESS blog.
      Damn cool. *g*

    • drdirection

      that is seriously the funniest thing I’ve read all day!  I, too, will be borrowing the phrase “inside of Anna Wintour’s brain”

    • you’renotmysupervisor!!

      with a dash of “American Horror Story”

      • kathryn_dc

         I said the exact same thing!

        • you’renotmysupervisor!!

          woo! high-five!!

    • LambeeBaby

      So freaky that I may not be able to visit the site for a few days, until that scarey photo has made it to the bottom of the page.

    • kathryn_dc

       With a splash of “American Horror Story.” Creepy!

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

    Pretty but weird, weird but pretty. I love it.

  • NC_Meg

    Love it but the closeup of the woman with cameos in her hair is surely going to give me nightmares.

    • Kristin McNamara

      I think it’s because of how far apart her eyes are. It gives her face a spooky, exotic feel. Spot-on for this editorial, if you ask me. Perfectly fitting.

      • NC_Meg

        The eyebrows also add to the spookiness and make her look super angry. Fitting but oh so creepy.

    • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

       It’s like Emily Dickinson rose from the dead.

    • StellaZafella

      Hugo Weaving as the Belle of Amherst…retelling the story of Medusa…

      • formerlyAnon

        Closest so far, IMO.

  • MilaXX

    Creepy is right, this looks like the Romanov’s before the Bolshviks got to them.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      I think it looks like the Romanovs AFTER the Bolshviks got to them.

      • formerlyAnon

        If they were more thoroughly gently mad than normally depicted.

  • Sarah Thomas

    Man, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a great book. 

    • schadenfreudelicious

      that’s exactly the vibe, though the girl with the lamb should probably be levitating….

    • Anathema_Device

       Heh, I was thinking the same thing.

    • adnama79

      Edward Gorey – Grashlycrumb Tinies!

  • j_anson

    Wow, I was previously unaware that I had a type of editorial, but it turns out that this is, indeed, my type of editorial. By which I mean, AWESOME.

  • littlemissstrange

    Fashion makes me laugh sometimes. “The Amish are SO HOT right now.”

  • teensmom99

    Great outtakes from “The Others.”  Just wondering where Nicole Kidman is.

  • KateShouldBeWorking

    Well that settles it: I’m totally watching The Others tonight.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

       I looooove that movie, but it still gives me the creeps. There’s no way I’m watching it right before bed.

  • ojosazules

    Happily creeped out. Thank you.

  • PinkLemon

    Love to love to love this.

  • http://twitter.com/SparklyCasanova UglyCasanova

    Love it.  Yum, Sean O’Pry.

  • snarkykitten

    that shot of the little girls? Come play with us, Clarice

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344314000 Anne Meek White

    Somebody hold me, please. I so scared. 

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Waiting for the inevitable day in which some fashion magazine does an editorial inspired by dead photos.

  • http://twitter.com/MajorBedhead MajorBedhead

    Those twins in the curls are creeping me right the fuck out. 

    • 3boysful

       Because they’re causing us to flash back to The Shining.

      • http://twitter.com/MajorBedhead MajorBedhead

         I never saw The Shining. Me + scary movies = no. No, no, no, no, no, a thousand times, no.

        • adnama79

          Me too but I watched The Shining w/ someone to tell me when to close my eyes…

      • aumerle

        Diane Arbus also– google “Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967”, very possible inspiration for Kubrick

  • joe_tey83

    The Addams Family Photo Album

  • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

    Weirdly and bizarrely beautiful. LOVE the nontraditional models! Love the older couple, and love the 2 guys in the Prada coats. 

  • bitterk

    Creepy but I love it.  

  • Lauren Frankel

    Creepy daguerrotypes are my favorite kind of daguerrotypes!

  • Lilithcat

    Oh, it’s Peter Quint and Miss Jessel.

  • PastryGoddess

    OK Wow!  Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw are serving up all kinds of Fierce

    These are pictures you can’t stop looking at.  

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

       SO true! I actually came back to this post because I was still mentally digesting the photos. You kinda notice something different every time you come back to it.

  • SpcilK

    Eerily Beautiful.

  • http://twitter.com/theresaharnisch theresa harnisch

    Reminds me of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. 

    • AnneElliot

      YES!  I was just going to write that comment — Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Adults.  They frighten me, especially the woman in the fourth photo from the top, with the cameos hanging all over her head.  I’m going to have nightmares about her. 

  • https://twitter.com/LisaF1163 Lisa

    Creepy, but kind of cool!

  • margaret meyers

    That was pretty amazing.

  • http://www.lifeinspice.com/ rose88

    No, Clarise, the lambs have not stopped screaming.

  • Mirakel9

    Eery, freaky….love it!

  • YoungSally

    Gosh — that headline photo….my first thought was — “Damn, did Prince just go and get ANOTHER new do?”  Then I realized it was a skinny white chick.

  • BrooklynBomber

    This must be one of my favorite fashion editorials of all time.

    • lalagigi

      I feel the same. Of all the beautiful editorials we’ve seen over the many years on this site, this stands out. I can and probably will stare at these images all day.

  • Iroqhard

    This is weird as fuck, and I love it. This is what they should show when people question if fashion Is art.

  • Martha Anderson

    first thought is Edward Gorey

    Very much feels like many of his illustrations

    • adnama79

      Me too.

      “N is for Neville who died of ennui.”

      • schadenfreudelicious

        Gashlycrumb Tinies! Love…

  • http://www.facebook.com/beccalise.deveaux ‘Becca’lise Deveaux

    Oh hello nightmares.

  • SewingSiren

    White petticoats, black tights, cameos, buckle shoes and sheep. I love them all equally.

  • Pterodactyl111

    All I can think about is how all those people are plotting to eat that little boy. 

    • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

      exactly!  has anyone pointed out the title “a modest proposal”?  this is the title of a famous satirical essay proposing that the solution to poverty is for the rich british to eat poor irish children.  when i was in school, it was often used as an example of classic satirical literature.  in english 1A at UC berkeley, i wrote a “modest proposal suggesting that all young coeds be fitted with chastity belts, the keys to which would be held by the UC regents.  this was to eradicate the immorality that was sweeping the campuses in 1968.  i got an A!

      i thought the same thing when i saw that plump little boy, dressed rather plainly compared to the family.  doesn’t look like their son.  looks like they’re going on a family picnic, and he’s lunch!

  • gabbilevy

    Ok, fine, eye-catching, pretty, etc., BUT– and this isn’t limited to this editorial– does anyone else find it more than a little weird how easy it is for so many editorials to take MODERN clothing and easily transform it into something that could pass as 19th century garb, if you didn’t look too carefully at the details? 

    All that hyper-modesty, women-are-really-just-property thing gives me the willies.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

       I never got that vibe, though I certainly see how it might be interpreted as such. I disagree because a) fashion is constantly recycled and draws from previous eras; b) this silhouette isn’t the only one that’s popular now; and c) some fashion is designed with the express purpose of being used in editorials, and isn’t necessarily intended to be worn “in real life”; d) no one is saying that people HAVE or SHOULD dress this way. If you look at any of TLo’s recent red carpet posts, you can see that this aesthetic hasn’t bled over too much.

      Personally, I’ve become really fascinated by late 19th century-early 20th century (1860s-1910s) fashion, so I think it’s really interesting how modern day fashion adapts some of those elements.

    • ojosazules

      These women don’t seem to me like they would appreciate being referred to as just property. More like they would jump out of the pyre brandishing their bladed broomsticks at the fleeing clergy.

  • adnama79

    I’m seriously considering braiding my hair, pinning it across my forehead and hanging cameos from it. 

    Of course, there is no where I can go where that’s appropriate, which is why these editorials are so much fun to behold. To imagine cool things you can’t get away with normally. (If you need someone to walk around and state the obvious for you all day, I’m available for a modest fee.)

    Love this.

    • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

      you could probably go to an asylum and fit right in.  but then, asylums are harder to find these days.

      • adnama79


        My husband does work in a mental hospital… it’s not an asylum, per se, but that’s a thought. I think the patients just wear tee shirts and jeans, though. They are just normal people. I’d probably scare them.

  • adnama79

    “Daguerreotype” is fun to say.

  • PeaceBang

    Oh, thank God. I have found my look for fall/winter of 2012. 

  • aumerle

    Wisconsin Death Trip chic.

    • margaret meyers

      A favorite book.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OQG2B3GDOIKSFYT6YDXFVOMEM4 A. Lure

    Hm. I’m drawn to this. The compactness of the scenes and the tension in the models’ stances is very oppressive, and that grimness, I think, engenders a sort language of extremity. I particularly respond to photo # 7: there’s a pervasive austerity to it. It’s almost forbidding, but also oddly compelling.

  • quiltrx

    I want to live in the hair of the guy with the cane!  It is beyond fabulous.

  • quiltrx

    Oh, and…the whole standing-on-the-cliff-by-the-water thing?  Very ‘The Ring’.  I hope we don’t all die after looking at this cool spread!

  • PhillipWilde

    J’adore!  Especially the men’s coats.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VHWWV7QX4JEXFHSV2X6MPQ5YTE Andra

    I didn’t think anyone else remembered the Jonathan Swift story!  Creepy pics to go with creepy story, a good one for campfires and Hallowe’en!

  • RzYoung

    Wow! What an incredible set of pics and an amazing looking cast!

  • Vanja

    I love these! Lovely moody and slightly creepy pictures, interesting models and poses, and it still manages to show off the gorgeous clothes.

  • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

    wow. LOVE.

  • Pennymac

    I adore everything about this! Creepy, weird, artsy, interesting, AND fashion. LOVE!

  • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

    Fortunately the dog looks happy. If they’d made him do a grim expression too it would have been a step too far for me.

  • StillGary

    awesome — the only thing missing is crows with a bit a fabulous jewelry in their beaks!

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

    OMG! It’s the Adams Family Reunion! I love the dowager matriarch’s hair. That is what I am going to wear tomorrow to work!

    • RL McGruder

      Love her hair – AND that cape!

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

    Exactly! I replied before I saw your post. Great minds think alike. Then, again, so do offbeat people.

  • mjude

    the twin girls are right out of the shinning. love everthing about this.

    • SewingSiren

      Or Mothra.

  • sweetlilvoice


  • Judy_J

    If this makes you want to check out the real thing, go here:http://mydaguerreotypeboyfriend.tumblr.com/

  • shopgirl716

    Here’s what I don’t understand – Aren’t you supposed to be able to see the clothes in a fashion editorial?  I understand it’s art and not an ad but still…

  • Jillaine13

    WOW, Wow, wow!  I love!  Everything about this editorial is my favorite.  Love the creep factor and especially the multi-generational aspect.  

  • AlinaValero

    the two little girls with the sheep is too “the shining” for me… can’t handle it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=768540908 Badriya Al-Badi’a

    Gorgeous.  I love all the cameos in the hair.

  • choco

    they look all strange and inbred…but in a good way

  • lilibetp

    Anyone else reminded of “The Others?”

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    Coming soon – “The Woman In Black – The Musical”.

  • margaret meyers

    Diane Arbus offered to do the photo album of our family reunion! 

    What clothing line is it that does the family reunion spreads with all the beautifully groomed, impeccably attractive white people?  The one with the wonderously lithe old people and the sulky young people?  Lord & Taylor? Hilfigger?

  • afabulous50

    Salem witch trials or a Stephen King novel….you choose!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XAFAJ53QF3DLEFQB3WTLMRM75E MarinaB

    Looks like stills from American Horror Story.

  • formerlyAnon

    Meh. Probably because I love old photos and spend more time than most looking at them, these look contrived to me. Also, silly. I almost like the two girls with lamb and two gentlemen with dog, though.

  • http://twitter.com/TMamBo Therese Bohn

    Creepy Silly! Why is that lady wearing a fender on her head? 😉

    • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

      to keep those alien voices from messing with her brain waves.  or to keep the government from reading her mind.  

  • oohsparkley!

    The comments on this blog are awesome!  I was just thinking – fabulous photography and creepy pictures. I really like that high contrast, sharply focused with the blurry background. Do they call that depth of field?  So many great comments about the literary references and film inspirations.

  • emily mcginnis


  • Trisha26

    Forget the clothes, I want to see this movie…

  • Emmyllou

    Diane Arbus meets Matthew Brady!

  • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

    downton abby set in rural arkansas.

  • http://twitter.com/jennsaysmeow Fifi LaRoux

    This is freaking fantastic!!! Wow. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Cookie.Taz Aisa Ginger Jake Psenicnik

    I am very aroused .

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/R6OP6BTUBNAJOBIIACR5XZJ4IM Karen C

    omg that is so friggin creepy

  • http://twitter.com/cornekopia Shawn EH

    Slow-to-develop film is the perfect source for premier bitchface!

  • PrunellaV

    Ralph Lauren on crack.

  • lucasuk82

    I absolutely love this kind of editorial – unsettlingly beautiful.

  • ccm800

    Love the menswear here. AND that is ONE CUTE SHEEP – but – forgive me for saying so but that model (2nd lady from the left in the first pic) has a very simian cast to her face,WOW.

  • librarygrrl64

    It’s all very Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.