Ave Avedon!

Last weekend, I received three vintage magazines in the mail from my favorite seller: two US Vogue (February 1993 and April 1993) and an issue of American Photo March/April 1994. The third is a special one because it was dedicated to the great Avedon.

A whole issue dedicated to Richard Avedon - American Photo March-April1994

A whole issue dedicated to Richard Avedon: see the Diva (i.e. Dovima with the Elephants) wearing YSL for Christian Dior to the right? It is one of the top twenty most expensive photographs in history.

I can’t even remember when was the first time I’ve heard of his name, but I have a memory of his images from decades past.

When I first searched for Twiggy, Penelope Tree and Veruschka online, I found out much later on that most of their dreamy photographs were taken by Avedon. Twiggy’s headshot with those insanely long lashes, Penelope Tree with the black Halston dress with that ornate metal neck detail, and Veruschka in that epic Great Fur Caravan.

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Frenemies Betty and Veronica for MEGA magazine!

While browsing Facebook earlier, I was elated to see this photo:

Betty and Veronica for MEGA magazine's 21st Anniversary Issue
(Photo from Mega magazine’s Facebook page)

Growing up reading Archie Comics, I always find the dynamics between the two to be interesting and exasperating at the same time. What’s with Archie, anyway, and why were they fighting tooth and nail to catch his attention and affection? Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge are definitely the epitome of the cartoon version of what frenemy is. Frenemy, a portmanteau of the words ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’, which readily gives us an insight on what sort of relationship that exists between people who consider each other frenemies. But in the entertainment industry as a whole, how many men frenemies can you identify? Maybe not a lot, or if ever, none at all. This frenemy phenomenon must be exclusively existing between the ladies, and popular culture from generations before until now have its own version.

Joan Crawford and Bette Davis
(Photo from Gawker.com)

Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf
(Photo from MSN.com)

Another notable thing: the brunette-blonde dichotomy. Joan Crawford and Better Davis, Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen, and of course, Betty and Veronica. There seems to be a fascination on the difference between the dark-haired and light-haired girl.

Anyway, back to the magazine cover, Archie comics’ Dan Parent has illustrated the girls wearing local designers’ collections, presumably from the Holiday 2012 collection (because we obviously don’t have Fall/Winter here). Betty’s wearing Veejay Floresca, while Veronica’s donning a Cary Santiago piece. Reading the text next to Veronica, it mentions the girls being the new faces of MAC. O_O How will that exactly work and the simpleton me was left wondering how on Earth do you make use of cartoon characters as the “face” of a cosmetic brand. But reading from this article on Dailymail, it is actually more of the personality of the girls. Now, it brings us back to the supposed dichotomy of personalities between blondes and brunettes because product names such as ‘Girl Next Door’, ‘Summer Sweetheart’ and ‘Kiss and Don’t Tell’ (for Betty) or ‘Boyfriend Stealer’, ‘Past Curfew’ and ‘Double Trouble’ (for Veronica) actually reinforce such split. Not to mention, “Archie’s Girls” — they were not even “Betty and Veronica”, but are still attached to Archie’s identity.

In the House of Chanel - Homer, Linda, Marge and Kaiser Karl for Harper's Bazaar 2007
(Photo from Trendland.com)

As for concept of the shoot, it is definitely not the first time that cartoon characters are used for a fashion magazine editorial. Sure we had Disney characters posing as designers for the April 2010 issue of Elle España, or even an appearance of Shrek characters in VMan May 2010 (which was controversial because of the ‘sexy’ nature of the shoot), the most famous and notable one is still the “Simpsons go to Paris” editorial from Harper’s Bazaar’s August 2007 issue (for more pictures, view it here on harpersbazaar.com). I think it is a very wise decision for the MEGA magazine team to have this clever cover featuring Betty and Veronica. I’m not too sure if there will be a spread inside but I might be actually buying my first ever MEGA magazine just to own this unexpected cover. Unlike the Shrek and Disney ones, Betty and Veronica would hopefully be wearing the clothes, similar to the Simpsons one. If I see that inside, I’ll be extremely happy. =D