Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Leibovitz Stages Hansel & Gretel for December 2009 Vogue 2009

There are only a couple of pictures so far because the big news item is not that there's a new fairy tale shoot by Leibovitz (though many people are excited about that), nor is it that Leibovitz is still working and producing quality pieces (though that's newsworthy considering her financial troubles this year).

The 'hot' news item - as far as the tabloids are concerned - is that Leibovitz shot the notorious Lady Gaga (with her camera of course). The other models are Lily Cole and Andrew Garfield.The images released show Lady Gaga playing the role of the wicked witch (if she were dressed by Marc Jacobs that is). The notoriety continued just with Lady Gaga's entrance.

From StyleFrizz:

The tiny column that you can see at the right of the burning picture says so much about Lady Gaga’s desperation that could be written down in a Gaga-why dictionary: she’s so eager to please, so ambitious to get somewhere, so willing to do anything and everything to look different, she showed up for the shooting wearing absolutely nothing except a rubber rain coat and very, very high heels... (Edit FTNH: clicking on that last link will take you to one of the craziest pairs of high heels I've ever seen.)
You can read the rest of the short article, including more fashion label details, HERE.

I'm hoping we'll see the rest of the images soon - and that the order will make some sense with the story. Coming out of the oven first would put a different take on the witch getting pushed in later...

Apparently the shoot was inspired by the Engelbert Humperdink's "Hansel und Gretel" as staged by Richard Jones for The Metropolitan Opera, even down to replicating one of their sets. The Metropolitan Opera's production opens December 14th, 2009. Click on the banner below for more details on the production.


  1. The images are interesting, but make me think of the Tim Burton adaptation of Sweeney Todd more than the story of Hansel And Gretel.

  2. How wonderful! High fashion fairytales.. My new obsession!

  3. I knew the 2009 Metropolitan Opera Hansel and Gretel was going to be stark, but I was unaware how truely cold, cruel and distrubing this adaptation could be. The large imagry on the screen preceding each act showing gaping jaws, teeth and tounge in colors of red and black. Very macabre. The interiors had depth of space but were unimaginatively utiliatrian and bleak. The mother and father of Hansel and Gretel are portrayed as the father, both drunk and a louse, the mother is a victim of abuse by her husband, is at her wits end. She resorts to physically and verbally abusing her poor children and sends them out of the house to the wood. The parents who admittedly are short on funds and food to eat, have sunk to the lowest level of parenting in this scene. Only when the father hears that the children have gone to the wood does he inform his wife that there is a witch who rides her broom and roasts and eats the local children! How could the mother not have known this until now! From this point on, there is little visual imagry of the Grimm or Humperdink versions. The Sandman is a dreary, almost scary Scrooge-like figure, and dew fairy is a maid in a blue outfit. The angels are fat-suited Bakers and a man in a fish costume who serve a meal to Hansel and Gretel in a dream sequence. We get it. Then there are the headless men who have berry trees growing out of their necks. Let me skip to the witches's house. It is not a house but just the inside of a a grey warehouse with a creamatory-like kiln oven in one corner and charred bodies of realistic children all around. Not cookies of children with icing or color, just brown bodies of dead children. When Gretel tries to run away she opens a closet door, and more bodies fall out. The witch, played by a man in drag is almost comedic if he didn't try to force feed poor skewered Hansel with a red funnel and long tube. This image itself was quite disturbing and reminded me of force-feeding people that used to take place in sanitoriums not too long ago. Are they kidding... this is not a opera for children. I hope parents steer away from it. It is not a story to see or tell for the holidays. If the Met is looking to entice a new audience of young viewers... I am sure this is NOT the way to do it. The older folk in the auidence actually felt sorry for the young children in the matinee performance, as did I.