Earlier this summer, Staley-Wise Gallery presented an exhibition of Deborah Turbeville’s fashion photographs, including her photos of famously “anti-fashion” Comme des Garçons clothing, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum’s Rei Kawakubo retrospective. In 1977, we published Turbeville’s “ideal fashion magazine,” where women are vulnerable, perhaps a little fallen, and oddly not fashionable.
In the left-hand corner of the second spread of “Maquillage,” there’s a handwritten note that reads, in part: “I feel that New York is a house of Death—people shatter there so easily—evil gets into the bloodstream—unhappiness is more catching than laughter … ” In the duplicate images underneath, we see three women in white, their faces obscured: one is standing with her foot on a stool, looking out of a large, bright window; another sits facing the camera; a third rests behind the sitting woman—we can only see her elbow, which stabs out from her side like a lance (her hand is on her hip). Her foot rests next to her, delicately slipping out of a shoe. Their clothes are in shadow, but the light from the windows is blinding. They are women in a dream. Read More