Corinne Day is named of the most important fashion and documentary photographers from Britain. Her photographs of Kate Moss were responsible for putting her on the map of the fashion world. She started with innocent pictures of a young Kate Moos and brought her on her first magazine cover. On another job Corinne Day worked with Kate on a photo shoot for ‘Vogue’. “I’d photographed Kate in her flat. I bought some underwear from an Ann Summers sex shop in Brewer Street, which is where I live. I also bought some American tan tights and got Liza Bruce to copy some t-shirts of mine so at least there were some designer credits in the magazine. The photographs looked cheap and tacky – everything Vogue wasn’t supposed to be.” (2000) For seven years ‘Vogue’ would not want to work with Corinne Day again. The photographs were to daring in the time of original supermodels like Cindy Crawford.
Her husband introduced her in 1993 to the band ‘Pusherman’, a ‘hard drugs’ taking rock-band. They went together on tour and Corinne Day first started to photograph in documentary style. She also made first experience with hard drugs. Because the band spilt up because of drug relating problems the ‘rock-documentary’ has been never done, Day decided to make a photographic diary of her and her friends in the style of Nan Goldin’s ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’. Drugs became part of her life and she captured every moment. The result was a pornographic book full snapshot of drug-addicted junkies consuming drugs. We could see Corinne Days naked, pregnant, without knickers but a tampon removal cord hanging out of her, we could see her cry, and we could see her laughing. What does that has to do with artistic photography? What has that to do with fashion and why people call her one of the greatest photographers? Because she was not just a fashion photographer! Her book ‘diary’ which was published in 2000 is a piece of art of documentary photographs. She was producing truthful and objective pictures of a lifestyle not everybody can share. Drugs were part of her life and she was capturing it.
After publishing her book, Corinne Day was getting jobs at Vogue again. She was taking pictures for a few Vogue magazines in UK, Italy and Japan. Corinne Day tried hardly to bring more of the documentary look in to fashion photography, but not like shown in her diary. She tried to bring more biographical elements into the picture. For example the difference between Gemma Ward’s picture and Corinne’s friend Tara. Gemma is a fashion shoot by Corinne Day and the photograph of Tara was part of her documentary
project ‘diary’. Gemma Ward is clearly posing in the picture while Tara was photographed when she was sitting on the floor. While the background of the fashion is carefully chosen, the background of Tara’s picture looks like she is sitting in her own garden. The difference between the fashion shoot and the documentary shoot is that the fashion shoot is made; everything in the picture is planned. The documentary picture documents the moment in which it has been taken. The sense of documentary photography is to reflect the reality without objectivity. Fashion photography is about creating a new reality within a picture.
Corinne Day is a great photographer. She maybe had a drug problem but in both, the fashion photography and documentary photography, she was really good. In her ‘diary’ she recorded her life in pictures, and in fashion photography she was shooting for magazine as Vogue. Corinne Day was on of the best and futuristic photographers from the UK.
Pictures available at:
Corinne Day – brilliant photographer or just a junkie with a camera?
Corinne Day was a fashion and documentary photographer, why did she do both genres?
Argument (main body)
Coinne Day: Fashion + Ducumentory
Counter argument (main body)
Corinne Day was on of the best and futuristic photographers of the UK.
Corinne Day was a brilliant photographer but was drug consume needed to photographing it?
Corinne Day made the picture of Georgina Cooper as part of her photographic diary which is influenced by work of Nan Goldin(The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, 1986) and Larry Clark (Tulsa, 1971). She was capturing her friends during drug consume and sexual activities for a period of 7 years. Corinne Day was mainly known as a fashion photographer, who photographed for the ‘the Face’ magazine and Vogue. She is also known as the finder of Kate Moss and take these pictures of her that catapulted her to fame and so the rise (thought a Calvin Klein campaign and the photographer Davide Sorrenti) of the ‘heroin chic’ trend of skinny, pale and black underneath eyes models in the 90s over the overpaid original supermodels with long legs and perfectly beautiful faces who were dominating the fashion world. Corinne Day took pictures of the back then 18 years old Kate Moss in sexy underwear which some newspapers interpreted as child porn. Corinne Day distanced herself from fashion photography and went on tour with the rock band ‘Pusherman’ to make a rock documentary with her husband about the lifestyle and tour of the band. There Corinne Day made her first experience in documentary photography and hard drug consume due to the high heroin consume of the band. With the new drug lifestyle and the inspiration of mainly Nan Goldin’s work, she started capturing every moment with her friends. So with her friend and fashion model Georgina Cooper which was featured on some magazine covers. They were taking drug and making love and photographing everything because Corinne Day had leant from Nan Goldin’s work that there is absolutely no limits in photography.
The denotation in Corinne Day’s Picture is one young woman with dirty feet and shinny skin sitting on the faded carpet of a dirty and bare room, wearing just red sexy underwear, having her arms on a black leather chair. A wire is coming off the wall The photograph is taking in an crooked angle and her eyes are going nowhere.
The connotation in this picture is an unhygienic model who looks like a drug-addicted prostitute sitting on a carpet with reflects her dirty an unhealthy lifestyle. The smooth shining leather and her red erotic underwear shows an exiting and perverse sexual life.
The myth of the picture is a model with a drug addiction. We are seeing how a beautiful girl can become to an ugly junkie through drug use. She looks like a whore who sleeps which a lot of men for drugs. Drugs become more imported than social value, care of health and hygiene.
In this post I shall be using Levi Strauss’ binary opposites. I will be applying this to Corinne Day’s picture entitled ‘Georgina, Brixton 1995’.
In one lecture we have learnt about narrative theory. Focusing on Levi Strauss who viewed a narrative to have binary opposites. We were asked to look at our individual selected pieces to look at the binary opposite. We were told that there were two types of narrative, syntagmatic and paradigmatic. Syntagmatic narrative refers to a horizontal and linear narrative where as paradigmatic refers to a vertical narrative which has changeable elements. For example, if you change a noun it can give a completely different meaning. Toderov and Propp were briefly covered as well in the lecture.
Model : Real Person
healthy : unhealthy
glamorous : grotesquery
synthetic : natural
clean : dirty
synthetic : natural
fashionable : unfashionable
artificial : real
Chandler (204), drawing on Genette:
Intertextuality (quotation): The picture is more a capture of a moment than a build photograph. The style reminds on Nan Goldin.
Paratextuality (titles, footnotes, captions, narration…): The title says that the photo has been made in Brixton. Which is and socially deprived area in south London. Brixton is known for its gang and drug culture. The photo appears in her book called ‘diary’, which says that it is a record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period.
Architextuality (genre identification): In the first place the genre is ‘documentary photography‘ which means the scene is not played, Georgina is sitting on the floor caused to alcohol or other drugs, but Corinne Day did also ‘fashion photography‘ which i think is also takes a small part of the picture.
Metatextuality (critical commentary on another text): N/A
Hypotextuality (another text or genre is transformed or extended by this text): ‘heroin chic’ is related to this but in fashion photography the model is not supposed to be ‘high’
Hypertextuality (direct connections to other texts through hyperlinks, for example): N/A
Reflexivity (self-consciousness of intertextuality): Corinne Day were documenting her life by taking pictures of moment with her friends and family, so i think the photo is reflecting her lifestyle she used to live at this moment(drugs, sex…)
Alteration (how much has the other text been changed): N/A
Explicitness (direct or indirect quotation): N/A
Criticality to comprehension (will it still make sense if you don’t recognise the reference):
Scale of adoption (is it entirely a mash-up): The adoption from Nan Goldin’s book ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (1986) is clear if you compare it to Corinne Days ‘diary’. Corinne Day did not copy the picture but the idea. Corinne Day has seen Nan’s book
Structural unboundedness (is it tied to a larger structure – eg genre, series etc): Fashion photography, portrait photography and ‘heroin chic’