Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Thumb Princess

Almost every time I see a fairy tale fashion shoot by Vogue, particularly one that includes tale/story elements, it's from Vogue Korea.

It says a lot about the cultures' love of fairy tales, especially as they don't always use the most well known ones, nor do they tend to portray their models in a Disney-fied fashion. You never know if it's going to be a dark version, a contemporary take or an illustration-brought-to-life shoot. Confession: I don't read or subscribe to fashion magazines but I do love seeing creative photography and themed spreads - especially when they're fairy tale themed. Vogue Korea have done this often enough I've actually considered subscribing so I can have the print in front of me but I always seem to find some other fairy tale thing that is a little cheaper or I believe I need more... (eg if Maria Tatar or Jack Zipes release a new book).

While the clothes in these shoots are almost always not for regular wear and wouldn't look particularly fairy tale-y without the settings what I enjoy is seeing different takes on both the tales and iconic scenes.

This beautiful Thumbelina themed spread is from 2006 but I don't think I've posted it before. Since I've just noticed that the 2012 Fall Fashion week has officially begun in New York (yes, don't worry, it's still Winter in the US and yes, I'm a little confused by "fashion seasons" too), it seems appropriate to post now, for a few reasons (which you'll see if you keep reading).

You see, this post isn't just about the pretty images. There's a dark side here too. Sadly, the model in these pictures, Daul Kim, committed suicide at age 20 in 2009.

From Huffington Post posted 11/19/09, the day of the morning she was found in her Paris apartment:

The South Korean model kept a blog called I Like To Fork Myself, and yesterday made her last posting under the title "say hi to forever." The post was a song called "I Go Deep" by Jim Rivers, under which she wrote "best track forever."
While her death has nothing specifically to do with fairy tales I thought I should make note of it here to give a slightly different perspective than we usually do on fashion shoots (I didn't mean to use the word "perspective" as a pun - there's no joking about this topic - but as it may help in remembering this in future I'm leaving my first word choice intact)
One of the comments Daul apparently made about herself is that she felt that the more success she had, the more she was fading away, that she was becoming a ghost. It seems her sense of self grew smaller and smaller until she felt she couldn't live anymore. I don't know why some people give in to this sense while others resist, fight and find their way through. She was obviously adored by many, including those close to her. I guess if there were an easy answer/fix to that there would be far less tragedies like this in the world.
Behind every glamorous image there are people who need to be noticed for who they are - not just what they are. One of the things that worries me about the "princess culture" is the idea that achieving goal 'x' completes you but if you have not found worth in yourself in your journey any emptiness seems only echoes more when you have everything money and fame can buy. Happily ever after is supposed to be the beginning of your stories, not the end of them. 
Tell someone you love how you feel about them today - that you love them for 'them'. If it only makes a little difference it may be all the difference to them.
Images source HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I love what you're doing with this blog and look forward to investigating it further. I'm a huge admirer of Carl Jung, especially his theory on identification with archetypes. It's so sad that the model here was very similar to Thumbelina, in resembling a vulnerable flower child. Pity she did not live to reach her potential as Thumbelina did. Jungian theory would suggest that the Prince was an outer manifestation of self love... that we need to love ourselves in order to fully realise outer love. I will be developing the mythology aspect of my blog over the coming months. I'd love you to take a look as I think we complement each other in certian aspects.
    You are ahead of the zetigeist in doing something unique, which will eventually become a huge trend. Well done on the creative front:) Mary