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Public Image: The Clothes Have No Emperor

Jenny Ustick's avatar Jenny Ustick

Public Image: The Clothes Have No Emperor is a body of work based on the Vogue Magazine December 1992 editorial "Grunge & Glory." Each charcoal drawing uses an image in the spread (photographed by Steven Meisel), featuring a collection by Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis, who was inspired by the pragmatic yet edgy style of the Seattle music scene in the early 1990's. Sub Pop Records owner and co-founder Jonathan Poneman even penned the accompanying article. As an adolescent devouring this odd, almost oxymoronic Vogue spread (Grunge sprang from thrift-stores--not the runway at Bryant Park), I was aware of both my desire and my incredulity. The models (Kristen McMenamy, Naomi Campbell) were featured in luxe wares elsewhere in the same magazine, but became icons of gritty-but-sexy nonchalance in these threads. The power of fashion to transform and assign identity to the wearer is the focus of these works, which remove the models. What's left are the attitude-laden fabric shells.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: (7) at 2
  • Medium: Charcoal on paper on panel
  • Width: (7) at 35
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: (7) at 48