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May 1, 2010

The Usual Suspects

Fashion models have been called “walking clothes hangers,” a label that suits this depiction of  Louis Vuitton’s latest “collection” of women. The bare, blank stares, haphazard variations on a uniform, and minimalist hairstyles position the models as vacant objects—things that substitute for Vuitton’s signature bags. The rectangular photos also connote mug shots in which the fashion industry’s usual suspects are captive to the consumer’s gaze. The soullessness of the photos’ subjects is underscored by a contrast introduced in the last shot. Supermodel Elle Macpherson’s engaged smile suggests that she, alone, has the clout to look us in the eye.

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