Unlike most people who have difficulty sleeping in unfamiliar places, we had no such problem in our new apartment. We took the bed like fish to water. However, we had to quickly get accustomed to new habits such as where to get our clothes laundered the cheapest, or to look for much nearer carinderias to buy our lunch from. We loved the one in South Avenue, but it was no joke going up and down five flights of stairs, and walking several blocks under the sun (and in the coming weeks, rain). It was a lovely neighborhood in general, and I always have a grand time looking outside the window to view the lights of the buildings whenever we go home at night. We also have a fair share of stray cats around, and there was a pet store four houses away from us.
As expected, the air was kinder on the fifth floor with all those windows, but things took a different turn during the first time it rained hard and we were still in the office. We left one window open to let the air circulate in the room, and we were crossing our fingers that it did not rain that hard in Makati as it did in Taguig. Opening the door, I took about five seconds to realize that there was a puddle of water on the floor, right in front of the refrigerator. Lesson learned: always keep the windows closed, regardless if it would rain or not. Another mishap happened when one of the window panes got broken. Good thing there was a spare glass with the people maintaining the building and they replaced it, provided we buy the sealant and pay a minimum fee for the labor.
Last week, I was contemplating on whether or not I should buy these back issues of Vogue from an Ebay seller. He had several very cheaply-priced and interesting issues, particularly this Vogue Italia with Natalia Vodianova on the cover. However, it was not enough for me to jump the gun on it. But when I saw that he had a June-July 2010 Vogue Paris for sale, I knew that it was my signal. I was hoping that the original supplementary DVD for “Les Filles en Vogue” would be included, but it wasn’t. The documentary followed the lives of Sasha Pivovarova, Sessilee Lopez, Constance Jablonski, Natasha Poly and Freja-Beha Erichsen in Paris during casting, fashion week and client fittings. It was no secret that I love Sasha Pivovarova since 2008, and I particularly love the fact that she is an artist.
Anyway, to save on shipping and since it was also sold very reasonably, I also got this back issue of Vogue Deutsch. The oldest one on the bunch was this US Vogue September 2001 with Linda Evangelista on the cover. I never had a chance of holding any magazine with her on the cover ever, and to think that 2001 was way beyond her heyday. I still haven’t properly browsed the pages but it was funny how an old Apple advertisement was championing this 4.7 gigabyte DVD-R as having the capability to replace a box of videotapes and photos. Of course, that capacity may may appear paltry compared to our external hard drives or even our flashdrives today.
And speaking of magazines, we were in Wellcome in McKinley Hill a few days ago to stock on some Yakult for the week. While Faye and Mon were queuing to pay, I was just in front of the magazines for sale when I noticed the cover of Rogue magazine for May 2014. I immediately thought that the concept was very familiar. Having watched “Vogue: the Editor’s Eye” two months ago, I recall Irving Penn’s photo of a model’s face repeatedly drenched in milk for a feature on beauty cream (they also featured the other great Avedon in it).
I did not buy the magazine but I saw the editorial online. And yep, the opening shot has Irving Penn written all over it.
The shots were quite cool, though, and the last one clearly references Magritte’s “Le fils de l’Homme“: from the bowler hat to the apple.
Of course I am not saying that Neal Oshima copied Irving Penn or Magritte. Inspired, perhaps? But he won’t be the first nor the last one to reference works in editorials for magazines. A lot of fashion magazine editorials and fashion houses ad campaigns are known to recreate art such as Leibovitz’s Flaming June by Leighton or Meisel’s Odalisque with a Slave by Ingres. We might be too lenient with such recreations, but the imitation-or-inspiration question gets a bit problematic if one photographer shows a similar concept done by another photographer, especially on magazine covers.