Friday, 12 August 2011

Masterly Inspiration in Vogue UK's September Issue

Freja Beha Erichsen, by Mario Testino for Vogue UK, September 2011.
Mario Testino's shots of models Freja Beha Erichsen and Arizona Muse for Vogue UK's September issue invoke the spirit of Old Masters like Johannes Vermeer.

Johannes Vermeer, Woman Weighing Pearls, c.1662-4.
Starched, severe white caps, prim collars and brilliant white cuffs are seemingly lifted from the canvas of paintings like Woman Weighing Pearls and given a modern, high fashion twist.

Freja Beha Erichsen on the streets of Antwerp, by Mario Testino.
It would also seem that the iconic work, Girl With a Pearl Earring, has its part to play in this autumnal fashion story.

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665.
Beautiful and intelligent use of light, striking jewellery and an unusual head-dress...

Freja Beha Erichsen, by Mario Testino.
All are in evidence here, translated for a twenty-first century audience. Perhaps the only thing missing is that enigmatic look from the unknown girl in Vermeer's painting.

Johannes Vermeer, Woman With a Water Jug, 1665.
Testino and his team have done a marvellous job of paying tribute to the harmony of light and composition of the Old Masters; carefully observing key elements, from the shape and form of clothing to blushing cheeks...

I blogged about the historical connotations of this McQueen gown back in April.
This is a great example of fashion meeting art...and getting along famously.

Vermeer images courtesy of Olga's Gallery. Testino/Vogue UK images courtesy of


  1. Hi Laura,
    Thanks for this post! The images and references to Vermeer are gorgeous. Funny thing, I was just thinking to myself it must be time for the September issue. I must run to the news stand.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. Salut Laura, thanks for the warm welcome back and sorry for being so rubbish at replying to you. Yes, I do feel guilty if you need to know ;-)

    This post is great - I really like your take on this Vogue issue (need to get it tomorrow) and the old masters.

    I hope you're well and all your plans are now coming together. Have a lovely Sunday evening wherever you are ;-) xo