June is the first month in which Vogue magazine is supposed to live up to the strictures of its new "Health Initiative," a voluntary attempt at self-regulation by the fashion bible's 19 international editions. Vogue will, as of this month, no longer "knowingly hire" models under the age of 16; it will no longer "knowingly hire" models "who appear to have an eating disorder"; and it will be an ambassador "for the message of healthy body image." How is the brand doing so far? Well, Vogue Germany opted to mark the transition by running an un-Photoshopped Peter Lindbergh spread featuring 11 prominent German women of various ages — including actors, models, and the editor-in-chief of the magazine herself. Vogue calls the pictures "unvarnished, unadulterated, pure." While not exactly groundbreaking — we've seen Lindbergh shoot supermodels in black-and-white, without Photoshop, before — the spread is an interesting counterpoint to the over-'Shopped ladymag new normal. Will Vogue keep its commitments? That remains to be seen. But these pictures sure are pretty.
Donata Wenders, who is married to the documentarian Wim, is a photographer and a director of photography.
The editor of Vogue Germany, Christiane Arp.
Jana Drews is a German model.
This photograph highlights German model Julia Stegner's thinness to such a degree that it seems impossible not to comment on. I have complicated feelings: on the one hand, it's not like tall, skinny women are undervalued in high fashion, or in the culture in general. But there is a tendency, even in fashion, to glorify only certain bodies with nude photography — Lara Stone, Gisele Bündchen, big-breasted runway model X, every plus-size model, ever, yes; flat-chested typical runway model Z, no. Thin women are constantly reminded that their figures are "boyish," as if millions of beer ads and every Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition ever published could have left them in any doubt what kind of female body men supposedly prefer. Uninformed critics of the fashion industry even repeat the old canard that runway models are thin and small-chested because "gay men run fashion," and their bodies remind them of young boys — a line that hits the double-whammy of misogyny (skinny women are lesser-than) and homophobia (gay men like little boys) simultaneously. This photo, like the spread itself, may not be revolutionary, but it's kind of nice to see Stegner, with her notable lack of T&A, portrayed in a way that is supposed to tell us her body is actually desirable.
Karina Krawczyk is a German actor.
Katrin Thormann and Hanna Wähmer are German fashion models.
Thormann last caught my eye in a Vogue Italia cover spread inspired by the Bergman film Persona.
Luca Gadjus is a German model.
Nina Hoss is a German actor.
Nadja Auermann sure looks serene; guess that tax evasion conviction isn't getting her down.
The Naked Truth [Vogue.de]