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  • Writer's pictureSarah

Powerful Vulnerability

As A New Look prepares to take on a new life, we look back on popular posts.

Equipment's Spring 2016 campaign is a series of monochrome images featuring a very natural looking Kate Moss and Daria Werbowy, shot by Werbowy herself. I've written about Werbowy's work before, so I was excited to see this latest campaign for several reasons. This work puts Werbowy behind the lens, looking not just at herself but at another; telling a story, but playing an active role not only in its creation but in its execution.

Werbowy's character in this series of photos is clad only in a pair of cotton underwear and is often not the central focus of the images. Her lack of clothing insinuates, perhaps, a wish to disappear. Viewed against a tree or against a sandy beach, her skin in these compositions begins to blend in to the natural environment.

Tall, brunette and devoid of any significant fashionable attire, Werbowy's character serves as a foil to Moss's petite, Equipment-draped frame. Her face is often turned from the camera or obscured, causing Moss's confident gaze to anchor each shot; in turn, the shirts and Moss's attitude become central to telling the story for the campaign.

In terms of creative ideas, I was mesmerized by Werbowy's concepts with this campaign, specifically when she shot Moss alone. Settings were stripped down to the point of ambiguity, and depth of field allowed for more intimate, unsettling moments. Moss's cat-like features, highlighted in profile, appeared as appropriately regal when compared with a leopard print blouse.

Werbowy exists as a mysterious, yet strikingly vulnerable presence in these images. Even in the photos she isn't physically present, she is behind the camera, as is her character. A fascination with reflections and self portraiture is long held historically and images such as the one on the right, inherently and aesthetically, serve as a nod to the past.

It should be noted that Werbowy is not merely vulnerable in these images. The fact that her face remains partially obscured, combined with her stature compared to Moss's, can be read as powerful; she is the image maker, after all.

All photos shot by Daria Werbowy for Equipment.

This article from January 23, 2016.

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