Mario Testino shows the style that made him one of the most sought-after fashion photographers in the world in his gigantic ‘Glam Slam’ fashion story in V Magazine’s big spring fashion issue. Styled by Andrew Richardson, the shoot is a sexy and stylish nod to the latter half of the 1970’s that seem to be, once again, an influence in many of the SS11 collections.
The rock ‘n roll bleached blonde gutter glamour of early Blondie or the New York dolls in garish prints, the dreamy up-market hippie chic of hanging out in interiors inspired by Marrakech, the airbrushed lacquered surfaces in bright colours that seem to amplify the subliminal threat in a photo by Guy Bourdin or the svelte decadence that we associate with Helmut Newton. There’s a little bit of all of these defining touches to a very specific era in ‘Glam Slam’.
Underscored by the hair, make-up and poses, Testino celebrates the decade in both colour and black ‘n white, showing off its influence in garments such as those by Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana and Tom Ford, amongst others, a number of whom are, naturally, referencing their own history.
It’s all a bit like a summary of the period –certainly, it’s fairly comprehensive in its references of the looks of the era- and goes for certain imagery that we immediately recognize, such as those fit for the first night of Studio 54. But it also evokes some of the less frequently remembered styles of the late 1970’s, such as those exotic floral looks dripping in a South Sea Islands exoticism that really appealed to the jet set generation of the day. They were rather keen on escaping the disco-driven hysteria of NYC or late night partying in bijou Parisian dens of iniquity by dashing off to Fiji or Tahiti. This naturally required a suitable wardrobe, either for a little island hopping itself or, more importantly, to indicate that one was chic enough to be one of the elite lucky enough to have been able to be marooned in a tropical paradise when back in town. In this, it brings a gentle smile of nostalgia to those who actually recall the period whilst offering a fresh excitement to all those who experience these tonal qualities for the very first time.