Art itself (and with it sartorial art) is a compromise between imagination and reality; it deals with real media but implies an inability to find complete satisfaction with reality and creates a new world" nearer to the heart's desire." (Flgel 1933: 237)
In this paper I will discuss the 'contradictions' that surround the representation of the female body in fashion photography especially the conventions in fashion photography.
Crucially, this body contains the possibility, inherent to fashion, of reinventing itself in a constantly changing form. A process of transubstantiation transforms the fleshy, organic substance of the body into the artificial, synthetic substance of the fashion garment. The separate ontological states of what is possibly "clothing" and what is possibly "body" no longer signify and in the new entity that emerges from this alchemical process, the boundary between self and non-self is dissolved. The female model then can be seen as the embodiment of fashion's imaginary. As the avatar of fashion, it is where artifice, change and imagination coalesce on the body of the model to create a new, previously only imaginable, form.
Central to my argument is the different relationship that exists between the model's body and fashion photography in the lived world and the body and clothing in fashion representation. ...