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Nick Knight on Photoshopping in Magazines: ‘If You Want Reality, Look Out of the Window’

Kate Moss, Nick Knight, Vogue May 2008

Kate Moss for Nick Knight on the cover of Vogue Spain May 2008 / Image:

Photoshopped fashion images have generated a lot of outrage in recent months: there was the Instagram/MirandaKerr scandal, the Lena Dunham for Vogue controversy, the Beyonce thigh gap outrage, the Lady Gaga x Versace shocker. On blogs and across social media, the practice of airbrushing celebrity photos is one of the least polarizing aspects of the current fashion status quo; many of us agree that the abusive Photoshopping that goes on is not okay.

But in the industry, some people may feel a little differently. Speaking with The Independent's Alexander Fury for a feature on fashion's increasing willingness to embrace diversity, photographer Nick Knight explained why, in his view, Photoshop's critics have it wrong: “You have [titles] like The New York Times saying you can’t use retouching, as if that’s something intelligent to say about image making, but it absolutely shows a total lack of understanding of how an image is created… I can change how someone looks enormously by the lens I use, how close I put it to their body and what lighting I use… That’s my craft, and retouching is part of that craft. I don’t see why taking a pimple off somebody’s nose, or changing their eye colour, or elongating their body, is wrong.”

Fury writes: "When Knight photographed the famously voluptuous model Sophie Dahl in the Nineties, he used Photoshop to exaggerate her curvaceous silhouette. 'If you want reality,' Knight has said, 'look out of the window.'”

Okay, but that's missing the point: Opponents of the technique criticize the widespread use of airbrushing in the mainstream media, which produces commercial images that conform to a physically impossible standard of perfection. It's not about taking a tiny pimple off someone's nose (which, as Knight points out, is a technique that can be achieved by lighting) or using Photoshop to layer surreal elements into a picture. Knight is one of the most original and inventive photographers of the past half century, known for his unsettling and otherworldly images; he uses Photoshop to make models look like bizarre and beautiful aliens, not Barbie dolls. That's not what people are talking about when they criticize the use of retouching in fashion images. 



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Is Kimye Married Yet or Not?—We Investigate

Image: SIPA/

Image: SIPA/

Kim and Kanye's May 24 wedding is soon upon us, but it looks like some people are a little too excited about the couple's big day. Over the weekend, Life and Style, along with other news outlets reported that the pair had already wed. Phantom "sources" claimed the couple already got their marriage license from a California court last week, making them officially married under the law.

But if you were psyched to see the couple walk tonight's Met Gala red carpet as Mr. and Mrs. West, don't get too excited–there are several sources reporting that the rumor simply isn't true, and the two have not wed yet. People magazine is saying that Kimye have yet to join as one, but the New York Daily News received quite a shady little response from Kim's publicist when asked about the alleged nuptials: "There is no statement and no comment on wedding conjecture." Shut down!

Obviously, you've always got to take the word of these "sources" with a grain of salt. But if Kim and Kanye aren't married already, wouldn't their publicist have simply denied the claims and kept it moving? Hmm… something seems to be afoot here.

What do you think? Are Kimye married, or is this whole thing just a ploy to get people to pay even more attention to their wedding?


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theFashionSpot’s 10 Best Articles of the Week


  1. How I Got to Be… Harper’s Bazaar Senior Accessories Editor with Amanda Weiner — These days, when Amanda isn't jet-setting to Milan, Paris or Coachella (pinning her down for this interview was a feat in itself!), you can find Amanda well-dressed and working away as Harper's Bazaar Senior Accessories Editor.
  2. All The T&A in Rihanna’s Lui Magazine Spread (NSFW) — Peek inside the racy spread.
  3. Ingrid Verner’s Politically Charged AW 2014 Collection ‘White Washed’ — Created to cause a stir. 
  4. At a Glance: See How These Six Corporations Control the Luxury Fashion Industry — A handful of companies dominate the luxury fashion industry.
  5. Office Space: A Behind the Scenes Look At Interior Design Startup Homepolish — We go inside this interior design startup. 
  6. Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s Met Gala — Tickets cost $25,000, up from $15,000 last year.
  7. Style Showdown: This Year’s Tribeca Film Festival was Full of Premieres and Second Showings — We saw a surprising amount of red carpet sequels. 
  8. Bling of Ire: Are You Eye-Rolling Over the Clooney Engagement Ring? — No, George Clooney did not magically transform into a ring designer while you were sleeping.
  9. #TBT? Five Big-Name Fashion Designers Who Had Ties to the Nazis — What were your favorite fashion designers doing during the Nazi occupation of France?
  10. Before You Buy: We Rank the Best Deep Conditioners for Hair — Whether your hair is parched from flatirons, highlights or even too much brushing, these deep conditioners will shape up your sad locks.


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Flashback: Vogue June 2006 with Uma Thurman by Mario Testino

With the June issues flooding in thick and fast this week, I thought it only right to look back at a past June issue for our flashback series. I'm a huge Instagram addict and constantly searching the hashtags of my favorite models and photographers. I happened to stumble across a stunning image of Gisele Bundchen and after doing a quick search online, I found out which magazine and issue the image was from (the joys of modern technology, right?). Luckily I happened to have the issue in my collection.

The June 2006 issue of US Vogue features Uma Thurman. The American actress is photographed by Mario Testino and styled by Tonne Goodman who selected Thurman to wear a Maison Martin Margiela silver mesh top with an Eres white bikini for the effortlessly summery cover. Uma's pictures inside are just as flawless as the cover shot. It's the type of direction that Testino excels at, each and every time.

Flashback, US Vogue June 2006 Uma Thurman


Please excuse the unattractive sticker on my personal scan above (I'm unwilling sacrifice the condition after all these years — I knew you'd understand).

This 244-page issue consists of very seasonal stories whilst still providing the reader with a range of summer fashions. We see fashion stories from Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel and Miles Aldrige. Models include Gisele Bundchen, Amber Valletta and Caroline Trentini — all the American Vogue regulars.

'Water Baby' by Patrick Demarchelier with Gisele is my favorite story from the whole issue. It's just one of those fashion stories that works every single time, without fail. Shot in a studio and with Tonne Goodman to work her magic during the shoot, it's no wonder it's faultless image after image. A sun-kissed Bundchen wears a range of pieces from Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Bottega Veneta and Carolina Herrera, to name a few.

Check out the dormant thread for the June 2006 issue here. You too might also find a blast from the past. Enjoy!

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Fendi Taps Cara Delevingne, Adele and More for Charity Peekaboo Project

Image: Fendi

Image: Fendi

Fendi's celebrating the opening of its new London flagship by giving back to the kids…with the help of a few big names, and label-obsessed folks with deep pockets. The Italian brand's launched its Peekabo Project, a line of celebrity-designed bags to benefit the Kids Company, a charity to aid child abuse victims. Fendi's tapped 10 celebrities to design 10 limited-edition versions of its Peekabo bag, to be auctioned off from now to May's end.

The bags each represent its creator's personal taste, although some, like Cara Delevingne's, which has her initials emblazoned on it, are easier to spot. Jerry Hall created a bight red croco-embossed carryall inspired by Chinese culture, Naomie Harris' monochrome butterfly-spangled tote reads, "Truth, Love, Freedom" in it's "peekaboo" pocket, and Georgia May Jagger silkscreened a photo she took herself onto her version…before decorating it with a million sequins. The most fun option has to be Adele's, which is decorated with a set of flirty lashes and rainbow-colored resin studs down the sides.

It's a collection for charity, so the starting bids (most at £15,000) are predictably steep. But when you're a wealthy person who luh da kidz, we guess money is of little concern. So far, Gwyneth Paltrow's white reptile-embossed bag is currently in the lead with a £20,000-pound bid, while Naomie and Zaha Hadid's follow at £18,000 and £16,000, respectively.

If you've got the extra cash lying around, you can bid on the bags here.

h/t Fashionista

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Ellery Enlists Local Legends for Her Spring 2014 Campaign ‘Transcendenta’

ellery1You can take the girl out of Australia, but you can’t take Australia out of the girl. Or at least out of her Spring 2014 campaign, which comprises an all-star local lineup of O.G. supermodel Emma Balfour, photographer Holly Blake, and of course the Ellery brand itself. There’s also a bunny, which we’ll assume is also a homegrown.  

Since relocating to Paris two seasons ago, Kym Ellery has only strengthened her roots. Silhouettes are engulfing, metallics are shinier, textures are richer, and flares and bell sleeves have reached positively epic proportions. If you’re not here for the flare, look away now.

This collection added to that DNA an interesting mix of decadent eveningwear and punky edges – her kick-off point was looks the Ellery girl would wear on the red carpet — the combined effect of which was the exact opposite of last year’s Met Gala tragedy. (Reviews of Ellery’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia show last month were almost unanimously positive.) Contemporary Australian artist Ben Barretto also worked with the designer to refashion his woven tapestries into bustier tops made from bricklayers’ line and abseiling cords.  

Blake shot the campaign in Wahroonga’s iconic Rose Seidler house, home of famous architect Harry Seidler. So many local legends. You can watch a video of the campaign shoot here


Image: Ellery

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