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Corinne Day challenged fashion and beauty conventions in the 90’s. Georgina, Brixton is an example of Day’s alternate view and representation of what is typically seen. Her thoughts and views are published in Imperfect Beauty, which contains interviews with key British Photographers cited as changing the face of 1990’s fashion photography. “Fashion magazines had been selling sex & glamour for too long. I wanted to instill some reality into a world of fantasy” (Page 84/85 Imperfect Beauty) Day’s editorial work did this explicitly, resulting in fall-outs with major magazines; “Vogue never worked with me again.” (Page 84/85 Imperfect Beauty) This was due to Day’s intention to go against standards, apparent in the 1993 Vogue images of Kate Moss in her flat, minus the glamour and fashion. Day describes the photos as ‘cheap and tacky- everything Vogue wasn’t supposed to be’.

The intention behind her work can be found implicitly through Day’s life and experiences. Having worked in the fashion industry as model, Day has been measured accordingly to beauty and body image standards, and she comments on not measuring up on numerous occasions. “I don’t have great cheekbones, or huge lips to pile lipstick on – it didn’t suit me…I wasn’t really a conventional beauty, I was quite plain-looking for a model. When I first saw Christy Turlington all my hopes of ever getting on the cover of Vogue were gone.” (2000 Observer interview) The concept of  beauty had been central for her. It was after she left the industry, traveling with boyfriend Mark, when she began documenting a real life version of beauty that contrasted from the ‘glamourous magazines that were so far away from [her] own level of living.’ The contrast is presented in Georgina, Brixton, and other photos of Georgina which candidly present model Georgina Cooper without the glamour and in a natural setting. Although presenting an imperfect beauty, Day’s distinguished imagery helped Georgina who was thankful for the photos as people were finally beginning to notice her.

Anything that goes against the grain gains attention, both negative and positive, yet attention all the same. Day’s alternate view to beauty and convention with Kate Moss was both negative and positive. It helped launch Moss’ career despite her height “…she was small for a model” However the photos that appeared on the Face Magazine and Vogue sparked negative reaction towards Day which she viewed as over-the-top. Moss’ agency, Storm Model Management, stopped the model from working with Day, who deemed the photos as funny. Perhaps society wasn’t ready Day’s grunge style or imperfect beauty, which is more common nowadays, with models that break the mould, and fashion that pushes boundaries.

Day’s notion of imperfect beauty is part of her ‘getting as close as you can to real life” where everyone isn’t the same or necessarily what society holds as beautiful. She mentions model Sarah Murray as not looking ‘like a typical model’ and her being attracted to Rose (Rosemary) Ferguson’s ‘androgyny’. Day places this idea of imperfect beauty in her work with the models and the fashion (or lack of) and straying away from ‘fakes poses and phony faces’. Day mentions an unpublished image of Kate Moss blinking and looking ‘pissed off’ and the realism that is captured in her photography is emphasized by her photographic style. Imperfect beauty is an interesting element which a culturally and socially sensitive, and what may be imperfect in the 90’s could easily have changed in the current decade. By looking at various fashion images in the 90’s I can find out exactly what kind of imagery Day was steering away from, and also any other social topics at the time in which she worked.


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