The work of Corinne Day, one of the photographers who defined the look, style and feel of The Face magazine in the early Nineties, is celebrated in an exhibition on now at Gimpel Fils Gallery, Mayfair.
Her photography is known for the freedom in style and admiration of unconventional beauty that provided a contrast to styled and all-out glamour of the Eighties. Day died in August 2010, and a year on from her death this exhibition aims to celebrate her unique vision and the iconic images she created for the fashion and music industries.
Day’s fashion shoots in The Face helped launch the career of several models, most notably Kate Moss, seen in the exhibition images as a fresh-faced, vulnerable-looking teenager. The majority of pictures in the exhibition are taken from two fashion stories featured in The Face in February and August 1991: ‘Heaven is Real’ and ‘Borneo’.
In ‘Heaven is Real’, Day examined female friendship with a series of images of Moss and Lorraine Pascale going between fleeting moments of exuberance and hesitancy. In ‘Borneo’, Day reacted against the luxuriant, glossy extravagance of Eighties beach fashion shoots with a series of spontaneous, informal images of Moss walking out of the sea wearing flippers, or playing with local children.
As Sheryl Garrett, editor of The Face explains, the magazine ‘set out a new editorial task of expressing the underground movements of the Nineties. Acid house, ecstasy and the massive, rapid rise of rave culture was the magazine’s inspiration. It felt like a time for smiling rather than pouting, for bright colours and openness, and also for something more natural and real – which Corinne Day’s images tapped into very clearly.’
The Face is on until Saturday 1 October, Gimpel Fils Gallery, 30 Davies Street, London, W1; gimpelfils.com.