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Kristen McMenamy Makes World’s Most Expressive Fist for Alexander Wang’s Debut Balenciaga Campaign

Image via Facebook/Balenciaga

In the first released image from Balenciaga's Fall 2013 campaign, the label's new designer, Alexander Wang, breaks a few of the most well-established conventions of fashion photography. He hired cult favorite supermodel, Kristen McMenamy, but had her turn her back to the audience as she edged open a door on the photo set; the posture obscures not just her face, but her entire head, resulting in a predatory, stiff shape. Despite the fact that Wang's intentions were to focus "on the craft, detail and texture of the clothes, not [the model's] face," photographer Steven Klein shot the all-black look against an all-black background, shifting the viewer's attention onto the slivers of visible skin and the way the shadows cast by the garments play against the eerily lit wall. Wang is probably kind of messing with us, but the result is beautiful and disturbing — and I think the credit for that is largely due to McMenamy and her crazy-expressive fist. 

[Bonus: Read an excerpt from System magazine's candid interview with Nicolas Ghesquière about why he left Balenciaga.]

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