One of my favourite photographers of all time, is Helmut Newton. I (lucidly) remember picking up a newspaper 9 years ago, to read, that he had been killed in a car accident. His cadillac sped out of control and crashed into a wall, in Los Angeles. He was 83, died on January 23, 2004. His black-and-white (risque) images were known throughout the world, appearing in the tabloids and fashion magazines, such as Vogue and Elle. He pushed the boundaries with gender, fashion and art. His most famous photo, the ‘Self Portrait with Wife & Models, 1981’ was valued upto (US)$140,000 apparently auctioned last year at Christie’s London. I can only afford his collections, in books.
Derived from Greek words, which refers to the combination of both masculine and feminine characteristics. Fashion designers play with androgyny on the catwalk and in (editorial) print, especially Vivienne Westwood, Giorgio Armani, Pierre Cardin, Alexander McQueen, blah, you get it. David Bowie, Boy George, Annie Lennox and Prince all challenged the norms of society in the 70’s and pushed the boundaries wearing cross gender wardrobes by the 80’s. Liberating. There is also, a new fashion label called ‘Androgyny’ in San Francisco, that make unique shirts only for women, ‘to inspire personal confidence that fit as true as your own skin.’ There is high demand for this product. Great. Clothing is our identity, our badge, right? In the western world we have the freedom to express ourselves, which is radical. Top model, Stella Tennant gets my vote. Helmut Newton is another favourite, gifted photographer. Androgyny will always be (the new) black.
“In a sense I portray myself in a very androgynous way, and I love androgyny.” – Lady Gaga