Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Karlie Kloss undresses. Testino unimpresses

I haven’t come away from an encounter with Karlie Kloss without being somewhat gobsmacked by her beauty – whether it was encountering her on a train between Paris and London or watching her dominate the catwalks of New York Fashion week, Kloss has never once failed to leave an impression. But where other models of her calibre might radiate cool confidence or knowing sexuality, Kloss radiates classic beauty – she’s the Grace Kelly for the current generation.
Which is why her photo shoot for Allure’s October 2011 issue surprises me.
We’re certainly no wallflowers to fashion and nudity (even when it’s only implied) at, in fact we’re oft accused of being precisely the opposite. But that we’d see an exploration of the form involving Kloss caught me off guard.
And perhaps it shouldn’t have. After all, Karlie Kloss is now 19 and has been avidly watched as one of the next-big-things for the past 4 years. For a model such years often mean that sexually charged photo shoots are the rule and not the exception. But with Karlie Kloss I expected it to be different and for the exception to not occur at all for quite some time.
Sensual photo shoots, yes. Sexual photo shoots, no.
And why? Because Kloss’ current commercial value lies in the fact that she is the classic beauty – the classic beauty set to be considered the world’s number one model as the likes of Natasha Poly move further into their own careers. Mario Testino’s implied-nude photo shoot with Karlie Kloss doesn’t play to that classic strength. There’s no allure to it and, frankly, it’s not that much better than what you’d expect to find in a whole range of low-brow men’s titles. Sure – Karlie Kloss looks stunning in the photo shoot; with her features, how could she not? But the technical work that went on behind the lens doesn’t play to her strength. The strength of the allure that we love about her simply isn’t there.
That allure is what Karlie Kloss really brings to the fashion industry – Testino’s photo shoot with all its half nudity and sultry looks offers up something that is merely hot. Most any model can look hot in a photo shoot – Kloss has way more to offer than that.

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