‘The Line Between the Wall and the Floor: Affect in Contemporary Fashion Photography’, in Fashion as Photograph

At the back of the Fall/Winter 2005/06 fashion issue of Purple magazine is a visual essay by Juergen Teller. Fourteen of the sixteen photographs, part of Marc Jacobs’ Fall/Winter 2005 advertising campaign, feature model Kristin McMenamy in evening wear, made up like a porcelain doll in a horror film. Her poses are awkward, at times grotesque, and in several of the images she appears semi-clothed. None of this is especially shocking in itself, but there’s something else strangely unsettling about this spread. The unnerving effect of these images, and the failure of language to fully describe it, is the subject of this essay.