Sophie Toulouse

For the purpose of research for the project, I’ve bought Fashion Illustration Next by Laird Borrelli, which has been on my “to buy” list for a while now anyway.

I love this image; it immediately grabbed my attention as I was flicking through the book, due in large part to the stark black-on-white contrast used, as well as the subject matter. The foot and leg focus, presence of stiletto heels, and animal print all convey an idea of sexuality, but I haven’t quite figured out how I ought to interpret it yet. The nondescript, simplistic legs could serve as a backdrop for the shoes – is the figure only present to display an item of clothing? The fact that nothing above the knees is shown to exist eliminates the importance of any personality or identity of the figure, effectively making the legs and feet themselves into objects with the single purpose of being viewed. Conversely, though, there is a certain boldness about the legs – both in the use of the contrasting black, and in the strong brushstrokes that seem to have been used to form them. Although there is still no personality or defining characteristic to be found, this could be seen to be at least indicative of a strong presence, if nothing else. Additionally, the stiletto heel is often seen as a symbol of sexual power or control… honestly I’m having a hard time coming to a conclusion here; these are just some thoughts I’ve had on the image.

The second one here did not strike me as much as the first, but I’ve mentioned it here simply because of the figures’ eyes, which are blacked out… this makes the importance of the “models” secondary to the display of the clothing and, again, takes away a sense of personality or identity.

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