Purple Magazine
— F/W 2008 issue 10


This cover is not just a Kate Moss cover but also a self-portrait of the photographer, Mario Sorrenti, naked. I told him that I would love for him to be on the cover of this Fall/Winter 2008 issue, but wearing the least amount of clothing possible. His response was to hide behind Kate. For Mario, though, Kate’s not just the world’s best model — they used to be lovers before becoming famous. This intimate cover introduces an all-new section, Purple Portraits, all of it shot by Mario, where you’ll find more of his self-portraits along with an interview about him.

Besides, I realized that the entire issue turned out to be a gallery of intimate portraits — the Interview section, the Naked story by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin with Trish Goff,
the visual essay by Richard Prince (photographs of his studio, two local girls and Terry Richardson), and even the portrait of L.A. in the Travel section…

Also, I tended to orient the fashion shoots around
the personality of each model — and non-model.
The looks that my close friend Dash Snow wears for Terry’s camera, the fashion editor Camilla Nickerson and the French actress Lou Doillon shot by Mario,
and the style icon Daphne Guinness by Paul Wetherell — seeing these spreads evokes the immediate impression we have upon meeting someone for the first time.
I read somewhere that we should pay attention
to the very first microsecond we encounter someone — subconscious impressions are usually the best ones.

I’d like Purple to be a perfect place to present people. Why? Because magazine pictures are not like Internet pictures, which can be changed, removed, updated,
or deleted at any given moment. A photographic portrait in a magazine is like a painting on the wall. It’s an unchangeable moment, frozen in time, immutable.
The image is forever fixed the second it’s made.

It’s clear that portraits have nothing to do with the usual pictures seen on newsstands, most of which

are photos of celebrities — stolen moments (some of which rip the hearts out of their subjects), or just promotional visual candy made to sell cultural products. In a portrait, the subject recognizes something true about him- or herself, and the viewer may also discover something about him- or herself. A portrait is not stolen. A portrait doesn’t sell anything.
It says something universal about all of us.

At the end of the day, maybe this is just a manipulation of the photographer. Who knows? Marvin Israel, the art director of Harper’s Bazaar in the ’60s, once told Bob Richardson: “Don’t take a picture you think I want to see, but take a picture that’s you. Photograph yourself!”


[Table of contents]

F/W 2008 issue 10

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