An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Christy Turlington's presence on the August cover of American Vogue prompted Style.com to duck into the archives for more of the supermodel's old work for the title. We thought the list lacked for a little seminal 80s campaign oomph, so...

An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

We decided to resurrect some early gems, like this Versace campaign, shot by Richard Avedon, and co-starring (who else?) Naomi and Linda.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

There is an entire cultural studies thesis about power dressing and the representation of women as authority figures and "having it all" latent in this picture from 1987.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Isn't it strange that this one, though it dates from almost ten years later, seems so passive by comparison? Calvin Klein had Turlington on a very restrictive exclusive contract until the early 1990s, when she was dumped by the brand for cutting her hair without consulting them — a relationship, and a reaction, that has always struck me as emblematic of a deep paternalism.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Herb Ritts, for Versace, makes Turlington look here like a piece of Surrealist art.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

You just know there's a hipster in Williamsburg itching to wear this, a coat so ugly even Irving Penn couldn't make it look appetizing, right now.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Pressing questions: what is going on with the crotch of those pants?


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Oh, man, remember film grain?


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Since it seems inevitable that we're heading back to the 90s, would it be totally unrealistic to hope that we might return to these 90s?


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Because I, for one, do not relish the thought of going back to these ones.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Ah, that's better.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Irving Penn contributes so very rarely to Vogue these days — which is understandable, given his advanced years. But this picture, and the next one, help show why he is missed.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Seriously, how long has it been since we've seen the actual shape of a human body, unaltered by Photoshop, in the pages of American Vogue? All the twists and overlaps are what make this picture — like the bulge in her arm that proves its supporting her weight, and the indentation the protrusion of her heel makes in her ass. And you can easily imagine these being among the first features that would be smoothed and tightened away under today's aesthetic regime.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Like they are here, in this otherwise striking cover from 2002.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Someone should make pumps like these again. They're not stupidly high, they have that perfect not-too-pointy toe, and the classic tapering heel. No hidden platform, no witchy long vamp, no 4" stiletto to negotiate walking in — just cute proportions and cute prints. Linda is saying, "Fuck yeah!"


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Meisel in the 80s doing Avedon in the 50s isn't the most original of themes, but I'm a sucker for shots of women putting on their makeup and jewelry. Something about those moments of feminine toilette is so intimate and fascinating.


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Shoulder-grazing ear-rings and 3 lb necklaces are fun to wear! Whee!


An 80s-Tastic Christy Turlington Retrospective

Never one to shy away from the unusual, for a 2006 campaign for her Puma line Nuala, the supermodel had artist Alex Katz paint her.

Christy Turlington is, of course, a lot more than a model these days. She quit the industry at the age of 25 to study comparative religion at NYU, and is currently a graduate student in public health at Columbia. Now 40 and a mother of two, Turlington is making a documentary about maternal health in developing countries. She's financing it with the money she makes from her occasional gigs, like being the next face of YSL. "I can talk about things that people in the field are afraid to bring up," says Turlington, "because their funding is tied to administrations and policy."

25 Years of Christy Turlington in Vogue [Style.com]
Beauty And Soul [Style.com]