Vogue Germany: Opulenz à la Marie Antoinette

Posted on April 25, 2014

Hey, remember models?

Darlings, let’s take a break from all the testosterone of Sausage Friday here at T Lo Objectifying, Inc., and just wallow in some straight-up, unadulterated, pin-that-shit-on-pinterest, make-no-bones-about-it gorgeousness. You don’t need these two queens yakking away. Just scroll down. But do it slowly.

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Vogue Germany April 2014 Issue
Title: Opulenz à la Marie Antoinette
Photographers: Daniele Duella, Iango Henzi, and Luigi Murenu
Stylist: Patti Wilson
Hair: Luigi Murenu
Makeup: Virginia Young
Models: Meghan Collison, Sophie Touchet, Steffi Soede, Xiao Wen, Holly Rose Emery, and Codie Young
Garments: Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda Spring/Summer 2014 Collection

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[Photo Credit: Daniele Duella, Iango Henzi, and Luigi Murenu for Vogue Germany]

    • gabbilevy

      This is sending me serenely off into my weekend. More of this, less James Franco. Please and thankyou.

    • alyce1213

      I want more of this! I want models on covers! I’m tired of celebs and movie stars. I’ll go to the movies or a play or watch TV if I want to see them work.

      • ktr33

        Me too! I miss models on magazine covers. NOBODY does that anymore, as far as I can tell.

        • alyce1213

          Not in the U.S., not the major magazines.

          • Qitkat

            This kind of spread would look very out-of-place in an American magazine, because it calls back to European history, and the centuries of art. But it would be wonderful to see some American photographers take on our own history and interpret it in fashion, with thoughtfulness and good research behind it. There is a lot of richness to be mined for inspiration on this side of the pond. And absolutely, best done with models, as here.

            • KinoEye

              Have you seen The September Issue? A documentary about the Sept. issue of Vogue and all the work that goes into putting it together. The magazine’s head art director, Grace Coddington, shot an absolutely amazing 20s-themed spread. Flappers and gritty glamour. Granted, I think she took her inspiration more from Paris in the 20s, but still a highly recognizable piece of American history. I’d love to see more of that in our magazines, too!

            • Qitkat

              I have seen it, and may revisit it sometime. I feel I’ve learned so much more about the fashion business since it first came out. Grace Coddington is such a tour de force, and I am so impressed with her still going strong at 73. It makes me realize how much I undervalued myself, and occasionally kick myself too for not being gritty enough to stay on in the workplace and find my own little niche. She has a wonderful eye for style. I wonder, is she really the talent behind Vogue, rather than Anna Wintour?

            • Hetha Innis

              I’ve wondered that, too. Anna would not be nearly as successful without Grace by her side.

            • cocohall

              No, but Grace, left to her own devices, would have run Vogue into the ground financially a long time ago. They each have their strengths and their blind sides. Which is what makes them good foils for each other, but also what causes them to clash. But who would I rather spend the day with? Grace, of course. I feel like I would see the world with fresh eyes.

    • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

      Beautiful! Even the slightly creepy crepe bandages.

    • Sif

      Speaking of models, hope TLO covers The Face.

    • Glam Dixie

      The most rare and exotic creatures, what are these models of which you speak? There is a reason they exist, wish the got more work like this. Gorgeous.

    • RohanMBN

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! I want to frame every single one.

    • FibonacciSequins

      You/we/I don’t see enough real fashion photography these days. The “maternity” dress and the last dress are especially gorgeous.

      • marlie

        Those are my favorites too.

      • Nathan

        I could barely bring myself to scroll down from the maternity dress. I just wanted to keep staring.

        • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

          The maternity dress is, I believe, a reference to Jan van Eyck’s painting, “The Arnolfini Wedding” from 1434.

    • hughman

      Love. Let’s get all Mark Ryden up in this Vogue shit.

    • Danielle

      Take my breath awayyyyyyyyyyy

    • WaterGhost

      Holy Mike. I like pale, but that’s a bit too pale, or too much powder, I should say. There’s not a lot of actual skin showing. How do they stop from sneezing? And features. People need features. Like eyebrows. Eyebrows are good things to have.

      The dresses are gorgeous – this is what I’ll wear at my coronation when I finally find the door into Narnia. But I’ll insist on having eyebrows.

      • alyce1213

        The high stylization of makeup and hair, etc. is EXACTLY what makes this editorial so great. (Also the clothes and the photography.)

      • Qitkat

        I LOVE the paleness here. Everyone assumes a persona who is slightly ethereal, mysterious, fragile, otherworldly. When it is created with such excellence, it is very powerful.

        There is an American fine art photographer, Joyce Tenneson, who has throughout her career, taken very compelling images, many of them deliberately pale, but never washed out, with painterly details, that this reminds me of.

        • WaterGhost

          I do like pale. I am anti-tan, pro pale. I am pale myself, and I stand by my right to gleam palely in all sorts of whites, pastels, and dishwater beiges.

          My problem with this shoot is that they overdid it on the make-up. Always IMO, of course. I’m sure the models have beautiful fair skin, but the make-up is caked on so heavily you wouldn’t know. When you can see gobs of makeup on the eyebrows, it detracts from the beauty of the clothes.

          Thank you for the reference to Joyce Tenneson. She is new to me but I think I will enjoy looking through her work.

          • Qitkat

            I’ll admit that the eyebrowlessness adds a certain spooky quality, but it didn’t disturb me that much, it felt organic to the work to me.

            I’d be curious to know what you think of Tenneson. I first heard of her in the late 80s, when no one else seemed to be doing similar work. There’s also a thoughtful essay exploring her personal vision on her website (tenneson dot com) titled ‘Joyce Tenneson: Spiritual Warrior’ by Mark Edward Harris.

            • demidaemon

              I think it’s a stylized look that works for this editorial. Of course it wouldn’t work in everyday life, but, then, it isn’t supposed to.

            • Gatto Nero

              Yes. Thank you.

            • demidaemon

              :)

            • WaterGhost

              I read the essay and looked through Tenneson’s portfolio. For someone who has been working since the 80s, a lot of her stuff seems quite modern. In her subjects, delicate shadowing emphasizes facial features. If makeup was applied, it was with a light touch. Skin appears translucent rather than solid, and fine lines can be inferred. Every face is unique, and has depth.

              This shoot is McDonald’s in comparison. Heavy makeup flattens the skin. Distinct facial features are whitewashed out. The different models are collapsed into the same cipher. There is no telling these women apart. Actresses would have brought some life to the shoot – you can see why models were chosen instead. The clothes have more personality in this shoot than the women do. It is slightly repellant.

              I spend a bit of spare time looking at fashion photography – I’ve seen this Marie Antoinette tableau before, and I’ll see it again. But it is good to learn about the Tenneson’s, because the Tenneson’s are the ones producing the work with staying power.

            • Qitkat

              Every point here that you have made is true. When I first learned about Joyce Tennesons’s work, I was a photography student, returned to college after many years, discovering fine art photography for the first time, in depth. Now many years have passed, and I did not follow up on photography, which at the time was a real passion with me, and also pre-digital. I also had very little interest in fashion at the time. Although I am not repelled as you are, I recognize the difference here, the heavier hand, the blander faces, most likely the photoshopping, the emphasis on the personality of the clothing, which means that in that measure the German Vogue editors were successful.

              Joyce’s people are luminous, very alive, very distinct, and certainly, the ones which will stay long with our memory, long past forgetting this shoot. I think everyone is reacting so strongly here, as a kind of backlash against the use of Kim and Kanye in American Vogue. My impression is that many here (bitter kittens) feel there’s been a dumbing down in our version of Vogue. Myself, I rarely pick up any fashion magazines, and post on here for the connections I make with people, more than for the fashions. I don’t mean that to sound like blasphemy to Tom and Lorenzo, as I do enjoy their brand of humor, or there wouldn’t be any point in coming back time after time.

              It has been nice to have you respond so thoughtfully, and that you enjoyed discovering Tenneson’s work. It brings me back to wanting to re-focus some of my creative energies in that direction again.

            • WaterGhost

              Good luck with your own photography.

        • StillGary

          I think the word you are looking for is “dead.”

          • Qitkat

            lol. I see you’re in the Walking Dead camp of BKs on this post. Pretty funny.

      • Alloy Jane

        I thought they were supposed to be statues…

      • Ceur

        Do you also say that about people with this colouring naturally? Just asking. My eyebrows are invisible by nature, and although I colour them regularly, I don’t want to offend you by taking an occasional colouring break. One of the models actually has brows like that naturally (Steffie, and probably Holly Rose as well according to google images) and Sophie (perhaps Cody as well?) is a redhead (more likely to have invisible eyebrows). I just think this is a weird demand.

        • WaterGhost

          “I don’t want to offend you by taking an occasional colouring break.”

          Again, HOLY MIKE. Sorry, but if you’re that worried about what a complete stranger on the Internet thinks about eyebrow colouring, then you are beyond my help.

          On the other hand, maybe it isn’t you. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I have a wild, untameable charisma that makes complete strangers care deeply about my opinions on eyebrow colouring. Maybe it doesn’t only apply to eyebrow colouring. Maybe it applies also to things like wars in the Middle East, China’s economy, and the national health policy. I may be in possession of a superpower here. So cool!

          *goes off to dictate a letter on foreign policy to Obama*

          • save_the_hobbit

            Well it is kind of rude to act like paler people with hardly visible eyebrows are something so beyond your comprehension that you think these models look unnatural.

            • WaterGhost

              Honestly, I never thought I would be accused of rudeness on this site.
              The models look plastic and barely human.
              You, on the hand, are adorable.
              Kisses!

            • Gatto Nero

              They’re *supposed* to look unnatural, tho.
              This is highly stylized to make the subjects look otherworldly. It’s a fantasy.
              So the argument of natural versus unnatural doesn’t really pertain.

    • Trickytrisha

      Incredible work from all concerned. THIS is a breath of frosty, slightly mournful spring. Life giving and awesome.

      • WaterGhost

        You have a beautiful way with words, but now these pics bring to mind a frosty, slightly mournful spring with eyebrowless zombies. There’s a Walking Dead episode in here somewhere.

        • Trickytrisha

          The Walking Dead Spring 2015 collection?

          • Judih1

            That’s what I think I don’t find this attractive at all – not the models, not the clothing or make up. Granted it is better than seeing Kim Kardashian in a Vogue spread, but this is the polar opposite. How about something in between?

            • marlie

              There’s definitely a market for the in-between (the largest market, probably), but there’s also something otherworldly-beautiful about a bizarre, truly “editorial” spread like this that I personally haven’t seen in a while.

            • WaterGhost

              I have seen these Marie Antoinette spreads before. The last time they were circling around was when Kristen Dunst’s movie came out, I think. That’s the problem with being as ancient as I am.

            • marlie

              There are some themes that are always going to cycle back around every few years, but I don’t mind that so much.

    • Gatto Nero

      Breathtaking.
      Thank you for this.

    • Anna

      SO. MUCH. ELEGANZA.

    • LadyVimes

      Whoa. I love this.

    • Jacob Bowen

      The 5th shot just makes my knees weak. Thank you Germany for showing America what it’s Vogue should be cranking out!

    • Aidan B

      Yes, yes a thousand times yes. Downright gorge.

    • Rhonda Shore

      OH YES. And now i can face the rain…

      • Qitkat

        What a lovely beginning to a poem.

    • jilly_d

      Opulenz is right. Glad to see D&G has something up their sleeves other than “Italian Widow” these days. Absolutely stunning.

    • Violentcello

      Not gonna lie, when I saw the fourth photo, I briefly considered how I might work flower sleeves into a real wardrobe.

      I can’t.

      • ankali

        That’s my favorite. It reminds me of Ophelia, floating prone with flowers drifting over her.

    • B_C_J

      Breathtaking

    • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

      It’s been so long.

    • SophieCollier

      Each one is like a fantasy painting. So pretty and strange.

    • Isabel

      2nd one for Gaga; last one for Katy Perry

      • Imasewsure

        Oh no… please don’t let Gaga see these… she’ll just f@*k it up with one of her lousy two dollar fright wigs!! NOOOOOOOO

    • SuzyQuzey

      This is insane, but in a good way.

    • The Versatile Chef

      I want to put this in a silver cup and drink it all down.

    • enchanted216

      Love!

    • @Biting Panda

      Le sighhhhhhh

    • Kate4queen

      beautiful. I wish I could get away with dressing like this all the time… :(

    • LeelaST

      Exquisite. Every photo is a work of art.

    • bringbackbeatles

      Wow, this is stunning! I love it. This is what I wish we would see more of in magazines. It’s art.

    • Jacqueline Wessel

      These are beautiful and bizarre and I love them.

    • dash1211

      The epitome of fashion photography. Stunning.

    • marlie

      SO pretty. A little weird and “artsy” but in such a lovely, interesting way.

    • &theJets

      My computer screen isn’t big enough for this beauty!

    • Imasewsure

      Wow how fun was that! Ah models… we miss you!!

    • teensmom99

      Call me crazy but I prefer to see clothes modeled on LIVE people and not dead ones.

    • StillGary

      Yay, pretty cadavers! I HAVE missed them!

    • malarson2

      THAT is how to light a shoot.

    • MzzPants

      Aaaaaahhhhhh….

    • Anna

      This is just so lovely and weird! Vogue has hijacked my dreams!

    • boweryboy

      Dreamy…

    • decormaven

      Thank you! The looks from today have been a bit wearying; my soul is now uplifted.

    • MilaXX

      It’s been a long time since I just scrolled back up to look at just the dresses without worrying if a lady celeb could actually pull off a very difficult dress. Thank you uncles.

    • nannypoo

      American Vogue features Kim Kardasahian and Kanye West doing the Big Nasty on a car and German Vogue shows us this.

    • lunchcoma

      Wonderful unicorn chaser after James Franco and his Francoing.

    • siriuslover

      I think the second one is my favorite–both the dress and the styling. Thanks for sharing!

    • Baghag

      Food for my SOUL!!!

    • venusvelvet

      Very fey and otherworldly – absolutely gorgeous. A visual feast of texture. The under saturation of color frames their delicate features. Reminds me of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon.

      • KinoEye

        Me too. And anything that reminds this mega Kubrick fan of the greatest period piece ever made is a great thing.

        • Qitkat

          I have realized that I have never seen this film. Obviously it needs to go on my must-see list. It doesn’t seem that netflix has it on streaming, just dvd/blu-ray.

          • venusvelvet

            Put it on mute and play some music -not much of a story, but beautiful cinematography.

    • Janet B

      So very beautiful
      We don’t get enough of this type of editorial.

    • texashistorian

      Growing up in Germany, I was FASCINATED by anything rococo. I also read everything I could find on Marie Antoinette. I know that if I had seen this magazine at a newsstand as a kid, I would have saved my allowances (probably borrowed my sister’s allowance as well) to buy a copy and then just stare for hours at these photographs. Kind of like what I’m doing now.

    • joything

      These child-creatures have just entered a fairy tale I’m writing.

    • frannyprof

      Note to Lady GaGa: *This* is how you do a “powdered” look. Take notes.

    • kat

      omg thx for the candy

    • quiltrx

      Wow, my eyes are so happy now!

    • MannahattaMamma

      Why? Why this editorial, now? I’m confused. The clothing is gorgeous, the models are eerily beautiful, and the whole thing is like a dystopian spin on Versailles. But involking Marie Antoinette’s entire world at this point in our own world’s history seems to me a little weird, unless somehow implicitly the editorial is calling for revolution and throwing a bunch of heads of state into prison and then eventually beheading them?
      Sorry. Maybe I need more coffee.

      • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

        I feel you. However, those bitches knew how to DRESS. I mean, if you’re gonna be beheaded by revolutionary forces, you might as well look pretty.

      • Corsetmaker

        With a tiny percent holding so much of the wealth throughout the world and people beginning to react against it, it’s pretty appropriate really ;)

    • mila_8

      Each and everyone knew what to do with their hands (thinking back to the Uncles post on Rihanna a while back). Stunning.

    • Vainte

      Beautiful and interesting. Christian from Clueless would have loved It.

      The last one Is totally a mermaid.

    • SewingSiren

      Now I want to make a dress with cheese cloth sleeves. Love.

      • Qitkat

        And we all wish we could see it if/when you do!

    • Guest

      Some of those slouchy positions look very uncomfortable. Can they never photograph someone standing up straight?

    • macwell

      Breathtaking.

    • Vtg Fashion Library

      Why, oh why, oh WHY can’t Vogue US have gorgeous editorials like this?

    • WaterGhost

      I love Flemish art. This would have been a few centuries before Marie Antoinette, though. I’m not sure whether those eyebrows were powdered over, or whether the subject just had fair hair, covered by the veil. A lovely portrait. It’s the look of the powdery gunk glomped onto the eyebrow hairs that squicks me, in the photoshoot here.

      I looked up a few portraits of Marie Antoinette. She does have eyebrows, but I’m sure if she had wanted to get rid of them, she would have just shaved those bad boys off. Apparently the models weren’t willing to commit.

      You can also find the eyebrowless look in some period Japanese cinema. “Rashomon” is one I’m think of. The actress shaved, though, I think.

    • JaCory Deon

      This is what Vogue is supposed to be! Gorgeous!

    • Lower L

      The hair in photo #2 is reminding me too much of the movie “Mama” for me to look at anything else.

    • save_the_hobbit

      Nope, no words. Just beautiful.

    • http://www.bertkeeter.com Bert Keeter

      Can we send Kim and Kanye to Germany along with Anna W …. and get their editor and stylist!

    • PeaceBang

      Oh jeepers. That was transcendent.

    • Gatto Nero

      Yes. Many of the hand gestures remind me of portraits from that period as well.

    • Sylvia

      Xiao Wen! One of my favourite models and they made her slouch like a broken puppet.
      Other than the slouching it is a gorgeous gorgeous editorial and I love it.