A few days ago, on the SuperShoots forum, a model posted a recent image she posed for and called it "fashion nude." (The thread has since been removed.)
I looked at the image (it didn't do much for me) and tried to imagine how it qualified as a fashion nude? I replied to the model's post: "Color me stupid but how is that a fashion nude?" I asked.
Okay. Maybe that wasn't the most tactful way to approach the subject. I'm a little blunt at times. What am I gonna do? I can't help it. I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way. (© Jessica Rabbit.)
Well, that sparked a lively forum debate on what might constitute a fashion nude and what defined "fashion." Some of the thread's participants kept focused on fashion as clothing and accessories. Rightfully, if also less than tactfully, the OP (original poster) advised everyone that, if they thought fashion was just about clothes, they really didn't know what they were talking about. "End of story," she added. (I guess the same folks who draw me draw others in a similar manner.)
To be sure, fashion isn't just about clothes although clothes are, commonly, examples of fashion.
The OP then posted other examples of "fashion nude" and referred people to certain fashion rags, like Zink and others, where nudity is sometimes employed in fashion photography.
As mentioned, this all got pretty lively and started taking on flame war dimensions. I'll admit, I didn't help matters out much. I continued participating in the thread. And I did so in a somewhat smart-ass way, posting "glamour nude" images along with my responses and proclaiming them "fashion nude" as well.
Then the photographer (of the image the OP had posted to kick-off the thread) jumped into the fray, more than a little defensively, and things really took a turn towards ugly.
While I make much of my living capturing beauty, I can do ugly, keep up with ugly, hang out within ugly's city limits and go, toe-to-toe, with the best (or should I say the worst?) of them... "them" being the ugliest of them, I mean. (It's a gift, what am I 'spose to do?)
So yeah, I took the bait.
In the end, the OP deleted her original post which deleted the entire thread.
But the whole ugly experience got me to thinking about labels and perception and context and here's what I think:
It doesn't matter if a picture resides within the usual and customary definition of fashion or anything else. It's like art and beauty and so many other things. It's in the eyes (perceptions) of the beholders. One person's fashion nude image is another person's average glam nude pic and still another person's porn. It's all got to do with context. And the context of almost any image can be manipulated, impacting viewers' perceptions, to represent almost anything. Almost any pretty girl pic I snap, for instance, with the addition, as an example, of a few words of text, a brand logo, or that it might be published in a certain magazine, will alter viewers' perceptions and, as a result, allow that image to represent something other than its original intent.
So sayeth the grand, high, exalted, mystic ruler of the Pretty Girl Shooter blog who will, in his next update, try to refrain from waxing photo-philosophically... or some facsimile of "waxing" and/or philosophy.
The gratuitous eye-candy is Jenna from a shoot last week. They're not fashion pics. They're not art. They're nothing special. They're just your basic, simple, assembly-line pretty girl pics.
Jenna captured with a Canon 5D and Tamron's most-excellent 28-75 f/2.8 zoom. ISO 100, f/8 @ 160th. Three Profoto Acute heads with the mainlight modified with a 7' Photoflex Octodome and the kickers with small, shoot-thru umbrellas hanging off them. I messed around with Nik's stylized color filters when processing the images above. Don't know if I like the effect or not. But messin' about with such tools sometimes leads to new and effective techniques. And, of course, sometimes not.