Surreal or Real – it’s not quite a statement, not quite a question but rather a punctuation-less piece of typography floating across the cover of Vogue Italia’s February 2012 issue. Whether or not it begs you to mentally add a question mark, it does set the mood of the issue. The main editorial, like the cover, stars Laura Kampman as photographed by Steven Meisel. It’s not your instructional type fashion shoot and nor is it exactly cinematic; in this case Meisel’s work borders more to frameable art.
The surrealism hinted at on the cover weaves in without too much fanfare. It’s all created through small twists in styling and photography rather than through cluttered Dali-esque sets or vast attempts at mind-bending futurism. If anything, some of Meisel’s black and white shots feel like they’re channeling 1920s silent films (owing some influence to The Artist, perhaps?) – clawed gloves and tree-like headpieces more akin to theatrical costume than anything you’d find in modern cinema. Kampman is a little expressionless throughout, but has just the right features to justify her casting in such a dark, vintage-esque editorial endeavour.
Styled by Karl Templer. You can answer the ‘surreal or real’ question (if indeed it is one) by clicking on the thumbnails above.