Agyness Deyn. Edginess Dimmed. Ageless Djinn. Egg’s Nest’s Din
Conde Nast’s Fashion Rocks supplement magazine comes out around the show season, as harbinger to New York Fashion Week. This year has Jennifer Lopez on the cover. Ac.Stet really do not really see the connection between JennyFromTheBloc and Rock, but it’s acceptable practice to take such creative liberties. Anyway what does the general readership care? They see J’Lo on the cover and go “woohoo!”, gotta ‘avf.
There’s a feature on Agyness Deyn. Again. When Ac.Stet first heard of her, there was a healthy sense of skepticism. A mannequinne who has her own sense of fashion? C’mon, and of course there must be a theatre stagehand who is straight. But really, Deyn is something else. She is not really a model, but more apotheotical, on the planar existence as muse. While she has yet to influence any house yet, Ac.Stet loves her tomboy mix of the neon-acidic with the athletic poses. And that ragamuffin toss of platinum hair. Andy Warhol would have his posse form a hunting tribe and shoot Agyness Deyn down just carve her scalp for his wig collection.
And that mouth. Parted between child-like gasp and orgasmic throe, Deyn sure knows that once separated – vaccuumed – that orifice framed by them lips just sucks you into engaging in the fashion story she is in. Those vacant lips are the equivalent of those vacant big-eyed looks perpetuated by models in the 1980s and 1990s. Ac.Stet believes that the camera is a very threatening and alarming device. Those women-of-the-pages in the 80s and 90s dealt with it by deflecting it with a blase, vacant look, as if to say: “Look Camera, you don’t exist and I don’t see you”, totally denying the presence of some watcher there. (Er, sorry, Laura Mulvey, Ac.Stet sometimes get rather tired of you.)
Dean’s vacant lips manoeuvre the same kind of fashion tai-chi. Her lips are vestal virgins to the Medusa that is the camera: “Hey Mister Camera, I’m only a model. I have nothing to hide. See, mouth’s empty, no poison darts or bitchy words coming out. Just shoot me. And. Spare me.”
So in most of Deyn’s fashion shoots – from Burberry to spreads for Vogue – with her mouth poised in mid-sentence, is like a sacrifical lamb stopped in her tracks by a hulking Medusa and her dozens of snake-eyes encapsulating her gait in stone.
For some, life without a lens is a life half-lived. Yes, I’m talking about you, Victoria Beckham-Adams.
For others like Agyness Deyn, life with a lens is a life short-lived. To milk all that is out of it, they cultivate an individuality, a look, a persona. And they use it all out to in a love-hate battle with the camera, through which they attain an alabastered immortality.