Purple Magazine
— F/W 2009 issue 12


Dash Snow died while I was writing this editorial, which was going to be about the return to high fashion, the rethinking of the works of Helmut Newton, and the new directions in style and sensibility we’re all taking. But I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t think about anything but Dash. I was just too sad. The shock was too violent.
But Dash’s death wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Everyone who loved Dash and his work knew he dealt with love — and with death. He flirted with death, edging closer and closer to it, defying it, but he always managed to reel himself back onto shore. We all knew that one day he could disappear. But he’d been in rehab recently; he was still sick, but he was getting better; and he was enjoying working again. He contributed a lot to this issue of Purple, including portraits of Rene Ricard, Brendan Fowler, Jack Walls, and A-ron. Dash liked these artists so much he convinced me to feature them in the magazine. He also shot the photos in Purple Travel of his daughter, Secret, and Jade, the love of his life. To go along with these portraits, Dash made four short films, which were supposed to be shown in New York for the launch of this issue. He was so happy about it — he called me almost every day asking about the layout. I didn’t realize my beautiful friend was in so much danger. 

Dash was the best artist of his generation. He incarnated what it means to be a true artist in these dark days — days when artworks tend to be luxuriously expensive status symbols. He was so charismatic. So loving, so graceful, and so noble. He wouldn’t own a cell phone: he’d show up in his own sweet time — in style, and in a good mood. His presence was such a joy: graceful, delicate, and totally inspiring. His love for life was so romantic it could make you cry. 

Of course, he did have a dark side. He was haunted by death and fascinated by horror. It was like a ritual, the way he scoured newspaper headlines of murder, torture, rape, and disaster. Ten days before he died he began drinking and taking drugs, non-stop. No one knows why. It will forever remain his secret. But this time the devil took him. 

Dash Snow’s death is a disaster for so many people. Things will never be the same again. The darkness engulfed him. The violence, abuse, terror, ugliness, and pornographic images he worked with — and fought with — were just too powerful. His refusal to accept cynicism, in the face of the horror that most of the world seemingly regards as normal and inevitable, made him a symbol of purity, one in stark contrast to the nihilism he rejected — and has now escaped from. Who will fight for beauty in the darkness and chaos, now that Dash is gone? Perhaps no one can avoid the violence of our times. But does this mean we should all forget the dream of a more beautiful world? That we should all just give up?


[Table of contents]

F/W 2009 issue 12

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS





purple NAKED

purple LOVE

purple BEAUTY


purple TRAVEL

purple PARIS



Subscribe to our newsletter