yes she looks vulnerable. But I think, most impressive is the contrast between the girl in her bright transparent blouse and all the photographers in dark clothes with their cameras pointed at the girl. Scott Schuman has a talent for the right moment. He can catch contrasts and always makes a good composition in his photographs.
Besides, a few years ago I have seen a lady in a Munich subway station. She must have been in her forties – she was definitely not a teenager anymore – and she wore a transparent black blouse and NO bra underneath. She really looked great to me. That must have been one of those Satorialist-moments.
An average teenage girl is more boy-crazy and sexualized then all of the fashion industry, Hollywood, and probably the staff of Penthouse. I doubt you have ever met one. I am quite sure the woman walking the runway here is an adult, so perhaps you shouldn’t infantilize her.
It takes confidence, certainly. Its definitely not for the shy, and its easy to start wanting to be the center of that storm. Everyone has their own brand of bravery, and its all to be commended. I am not sure guts is the word I would use, but I suppose we all have our own idea of what that word means.
Yes, it must! I kind of wonder what goes through models’ heads when they see what they have to wear sometimes, and as women, what they think of the purchasing value of some of the pieces. I’m sure that you could easily style the piece successfully in other ways, but obviously, the impact wouldn’t be the same. At what point does the “shock” value has more value than the selling and wearing capacity that is thought to be the driving force behind a collection?
Did you also take a shot of the front? Why did or didn’t you? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this as a visual professional!
Pretty obviously because he wanted the juxtaposition of the girl in the diaphonous garment and the photographers, critics, and other judges of the look wearing their black armor. I don’t think it was necessarily about the model being a woman. Male models going forth in some outlandish vulnerable looking get ups will feel exactly the same. Its about being judged while you are in your undies.
Why not? Why should it be a problem that her body is visible? When you think about it, it’s just her breasts. There is nothing scary or shameful about it. All this controversy regarding nudity only messes peoples minds and body images up. Not that I would walk down a catwalk like that, but I’m messed up by society and social discourses too.
And I don’t really think she gets to choose her outfit. Only if she wants to participate in the show or not. Modeling is about showing off your body. When you are used to striking poses, it probably isn’t such a dramatic thing to loose your top too.
Well most of all I just wish it was possible, that the “naked female body” didn’t necessarily equal “objectified body”. I wish it was possible to have an image of a naked female body, without some jerk thinking that he has the right to say something like “show us the front view please!”. Just because the chick is naked, it doesn’t mean that you own her.
It depends on how you feel about breasts, really. If the model is from Europe, where revealed breasts aren’t really that big a deal, then, maybe it’s not so much about guts but a part of the job. Revealed breasts doesn’t have to mean exploitative or daring, just, breasts. Whatever.
I don’t think you can generalise Europe like that. There are big culture differences between countries and I believe opinions would vary a lot as you travel from south to north or from east to west. I’m from north-west europe myself and find it slightly annoying that exposed breasts have become so widely present in fashion.
Of course there are. and one cannot generalise about much of anything. but as a european, I can certainly say that there are powerful differences between US and European culture. And the boundaries between countries are closer, and therefore cultural relativity is more prevalent. I’m from central Europe and I don’t care if breasts are shown one way or the other.
All these comments, and yet nobody wonders about how the model feels, only whether it is de rigeur, or whether the designer feels the clothes show better on a nude form. Make no mistake, topless and panties might as well be nude for all of the hiding one can do behind them.
As a model, I can tell you that she will have disconnected from her body already in order to do this work, and that is the shame of it. Being a teenager, and feeling like you have to expose yourself no matter what in order to get the work is the most insidious brain washing going. And how many years will she have to do this to be ‘successful’?
Well, it’s not like she was forced to do this job!! this is her choice. If she doesn’t like being “exposed” she can work in a pizza shop, in an office, or stay home and study! But obviously, she pursued this career and most probably wants to keep doing it, as long as it’s fun, and she is young enough. As a photographer, I meet lots of models who enjoy posing nude- no, they even prefer posing nude. I never felt like she was forced to do it. and I wouldn’t call it Guts. When a model reveals her breasts in a studio, she knows that her picture is being taken and will be seen by 1000s or 1000000s. Whether it’s one photographer pointing his camera at her, or 10 photographers, doesn’t really matter, to the experienced model.
I think you are missing H’s point — ie that to put forward a “European culture” perspective.
I’m English, and I think we, for example, have more in common with much of American culture as we do with Greece for example. Not being rude to anyone here – as I enjoy the variety of multiple cultures.
Is it wrong to say that I wish the model would turn around and say ‘hi’?
What’s with some of the cameras (apparently) pointing at her knees (or just above), judging from an imaginary line I draw with my eye? Did anyone else see that? Like that guy with the ble bag at his feet to the left of the model. Others doing it too. Is that a thing in Europe these days? [Assuming it's in Europe, of course.]
I’d say it takes more guts to walk down the street being gawked at and flirted with by random guys whose intentions are unknown than it does to walk down a runway surrounded by professional photographers and fashionistas.
still I am not sure what to think of this. one one hand I think: well, come one. fashion is also a kind of art, and art and the naked human body go hand in hand, she is beautiful, the clothes are pretty, so what? On the other hand I can only think…what a bunch of cynical, cruel bastards gawking at an teenage girl, exposed like a piece of meat. and I cannot help always thinking that second part as well. and of course they’ve chosen this profession themselves, but do we really know for what reasons? after all they are mostly just very young insecure girls, who genuinely believe that the prettier they are, the more love they deserve – and that is sadly the down side of fashion. not the nudity itself is a problem. It’s like you say. you look at this and think “it must take a lot of guts to do this.” or a lot of desperation, desire for attention, confusion. I’d rather just put a bra on her to be honest. It would still be a killer shirt, wouldn’t it?
I have the same hesitation as Margarita. On the one hand, these women can make a living from their natural beauty (with all the sacrifices they make to stay thin and to compete in the industry). At the same time, I worry about the balance between pay and exposure.
I appreciate the perspective Mr. Schuman’s gives here, which frames the discussion differently… instead of discussing how WE look at models, we’re talking about what THEY see, and how they might feel in that position. I think this instance of considering a woman’s position within the context of fashion affords her a level of complexity that is often denied to women who fit the fashion image of being tall, thin, and beautiful. After all, no matter how we look, we’re all being looked at.
I believe that it’s just perfect that you showed only the back. This way it’s only inviting and not explicit. Regarding the model – she’s just doing her job. To me there is nothing spectacular about this. Models are comfortable with their bodies, good for them!
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that THIS is my most favorite picture you’ve ever posted on this site.
If you were to create a poster out of it, I would definitely buy it.
Thank you for your great work!
I wonder if we aren’t doing ourselves a disservice with all the nudity these days. At MOCA’s recent independent book fair, it seemed every vendor was trying to out-shock the rest with unnecessary, often graphic nudity. I’m no prude – the nude body has always been at the nucleus of Art. But when it’s so omnipresent, it feels like a cheap way to label oneself or one’s product as “cool.” Like swearing, nudity is best when it’s used judiciously.
This fabulous shot not is only visually beautiful, it also tells a story, starts a dialogue, insists the viewer question their gaze. Instead of merely documenting clothes, this image elevates fashion to politics, making it infinitely more fascinating for the viewer. (Well, me, at least…) This is why The Sart, using all the powers of his intelligent, insightful observation keeps him head and shoulders above the pack. Merci x
I teach life drawing at a college, so this is a very ordinary occurance, a nude model in front of many working artists. I think it takes generosity more than guts – I tell my students all the time that models are generous beings.
Agree. She knows she’s disposable and if she refuses, there’re hundreds more who want to take her place. I’m curious to know if models’ permission is sought with outfits like this, or if it’s discussed beforehand.
I think the bravery is from a designer who designs a barely there “whatever.” It’s not from the model who is use to baring it all in front of a lot of people. I believe and correct me if I’m wrong that It’s really about a garment that don’t really make any sense both in a runway and in real life. You have minimal time to make an impression for a collection and you send this in the runway? Call me crazy.
Wow, I’ve never thought about the models’ perspective when looking at fashion weeks and runways and all that…they are really brave and fearless to be able to put themselves out there with so much confidence. I really applaud them!
Guts? Why? It takes guts to to work as a construction worker on the Empire State or lead a troop of men in Afghanistan. She’s a model it’s her dream like many women (and men) to be admired and desired so I think she’s probably in her element!
Every person has different boundaries. This is brave or takes “guts” if it is outside the model’s comfort zone. For some of us (Scott, based on commentary) walking a runway in a diaphanous garment with photographers recording the moment would be a challenge. For others, whether the body is perfect or not, this would be no problem. I too would need more guts or a stiff drink to pull this off.
As far as I understand, showing various kinds of clothing is a requirement of being a model. There’s nothing personal in this. A model at work is a body. I will compare it to a model standing in front of a bunch of artists to be painted naked. Nothing personal, nothing vulgar. Only professional.
When I initially looked at this picture, it was about the model and what she was modelling and why. When I looked again, however, what jumped out was the spectator in the pink hat who appears to be gazing at the model’s face and eyes and person wonderingly, and the bald and bearded phtographer on the right who appears to be making a quick and critical study of the model for compositional value. My gaze bounces between the two of them. The model is simply their focal point.