Controversial and Disturbing Oil Spill Editorial in Vogue Italia Features Eco-Designer

vogue italia oil spill photo

Photo: Vogue Italia, courtesy of My Sister's Art

When green jewelry designer Kathleen Nowak Tucci of My Sister's Art contacted us with the news that her recycled rubber jewelry made the cover of Vogue Italia I was thrilled; I'd seen her dramatic necklaces featured in Ecouterre and I am always happy when green fashion designers are recognized by mainstream fashion press. However, upon closer examination at the "Water & Oil" editorial, inspired by the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, I was unsettled by the controversial and haunting images, shot by Steven Meisel, that show model Kristen McMenamy strewn across the rocks like the injured animals we've seen in the news. More:
In the subsequent media coverage following Vogue Italia's editorial (thank you, Ecco*Eco for posting the link on Facebook), Taylor Combs at Refinery 29 brings up some good points. She says:

Creating beauty and glamour out of tragedy seems quite f***ed up to us, not to mention wasteful and hypocritical, seeing as thousands of dollars of luxury clothing was flown in, and then subsequently ruined for the shoot. Glamorizing this recent ecological and social disaster for the sake of "fashion" reduces the tragic event to nothing more than attention-grabbing newsstand fodder.

I agree with Refinery 29 and believe that there is a fine line between raising awareness for an issue and using it to boost newstand sales. On the other hand, we've seen artists drench models in fake oil to protest the spill so how far off is a fashion editorial? View the entire 'Water & Oil' slideshow over at Refinery 29 and tell us what you think in the comment section, below.

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