Friday, August 8, 2008

Occidental Comparisons

It's always fun to compare similar concepts in different magazines and then decide which succeeds overall creatively and intellectually. For example let's take American Vogue's "Adult Education" from a couple months ago and compare it with Korean Vogue's "Modern Classic" from the current September issue. Both feature adult, serious clothes on A-list girls in a studio for a great photographer.

Here's the American:

First of all, unless it's Irving Penn behind the camera then the girls are drenched in studio lighting. They look a bit washed out, and it's not helped with the coal eye makeup, which I actually like in theory. But a bunch of ladies in serious petticoat-layered dresses and velvets stomping and hopping around with dark makeup and tight buns? It's fun, and probably a roll-your-eyes moment at the aged concept of the dowdy business women, but there's nothing wrong with occasionally dropping the gimmicks and letting the clothes speak for themselves.

With that point taken, here's the Korean:

The clean makeup is gorgeous, the styling is simple yet layered and (I guess for this reason) energetic given it's all laces, wool and fur. Plus this girl can WORK. Han Jin has been a top girl for a few years, has walked every runway and proves that hopping and grimaces do not befit a lady. Look at the hands and the overall humor. The lighting is also somber blue, so the mood is consistent throughout.

I think both editorials are good but Korean Vogue is more refreshing and clean. It also looks younger, which is surprising considering what the two stories are about (read: heaviness). And American Vogue rarely uses Asian models? There are good Asian models! What is going on with the world?

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