Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Matter of Principle

Photographic duo Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have released a photographic retrospective of their greatest work to date through Taschen, entitled "Pretty Much Everything". The hefty monograph consists of two volumes, featuring 666 photographs from their work for publications including Paris Vogue, V Magazine, various art projects, and from campaigns for the likes of Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent.

Van Lamsweerde and Matadin are well-known for their steadfast loyalty towards a motley crew of models including Kate Moss, Guinevere Van Seenus, Raquel Zimmermann and Daria Werbowry amongst others. Of particular interest is the duo's  policy of not photographing models under the age of 18. In an interview with, the pair outline the reasons behind their age conscious decision.

IVL: We saw this happen to so many models, especially with girls. They start at 14 and everyone says to them "Wow, you're incredible. You're so skinny. You look like a boy." And once that girl is 18 and she is finished growing, all of a sudden it was like, "Oh, she's fat."The poor girl. She's just growing. We felt it was unethical to support that. You get judged anyway and it's not easy. You have to really know who you are first. And at such a tender age - between 14 and 18 - you're figuring out who you are. But also I love seeing these girls like Malgosia who get older and just get better.

IVL: Yeah, more beautiful and more interesting. And as they grow, we grow with them. You never get bored of shooting someone that has made an interesting life for herself. What's exciting for us is when someone is not afraid to be someone else, and it takes character to be able to do that.

With the modelling industry's cast away attitude to last season's faces, I have complete admiration for Van Lamsweerde and Matadin's nurturing and principled approach towards their models. The images featured below from the CFDA Journal, illustrate the duo's ability to magically capture each model as a human being rather than an empty vessel ready to be discarded at whim.

Guinevere Van Seenus

Jamie Bochert

Anne Vyalitsyna

Isabeli Fontana

Doutzen Kroes

Dree Hemingway

Candice Swanepoel

Arizona Muse

Raquel Zimmermann

Freja Beha Erichsen

Anja Rubik

Natasha Poly
CFDA Journal Portraits 2011
Photographer - Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
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