September is the cruelest month – at least for fashion magazines. Expectations for the fall issues are always high and with several coveted publications set to drop their monolithic editions within in the next few weeks, buzz is building. One of the more inventive offerings for September is Vogue Nippon. Chock full of latter day supermodel goodness, the Japanese edition of Vogue offers up a mega-editorial in Mario Sorrenti’s Portrait of A City.
Bringing über-blonde Raquel Zimmerman to the streets of Tokyo and shooting her alongside Japanese fashion icons like Rinko Kikuchi is a spirited idea but this isn’t just another fashion “fish out of water” editorial. Combining street photography, black and white portraits and kinetic action shots Sorrenti creates a futuristic and at times tongue in cheek travel diary.
Portrait is a gritty mix of sci-fi and fantasy – taking its cues from cyberpunk super-heroines rather than steeping in orientalist nostalgia so many east meets west fashion shoots are prone towards doing. Tokyo is represented as luxurious, modern and unabashedly fast paced. There is the impression that everything is moving at the speed of light – including the clothes themselves. Slick body conscious designs from Haider Ackermann, Giles Deacon and Maison Martin Margiela are used in lieu of the editorial usual suspects and even when something wildly popular like the inescapable Balenciaga latex coat shows up it is always in line with the theme. As far as styling goes George Cortina outdid himself with this one.
While nearly 50 pages of Raquel may not be everyone’s cup of tea the styling and the compelling juxtaposition of architecture and subject are not to be missed.