When Whitney Turned into Jerry

I was born in 1974 and lots of that decade still lingers in my life: I love music, fashion and culture from the 70, fashion included. As a fashion photography nerd, I’ve always admired the work of Helmut Newton, one of the most ground-breaking and original photographers ever. I have been collecting his books since the 90s, so I know his work in depht; even if most of his photos were amazing, I have a thing for portraits of celebrities (among my favourite, the infamous portrait of Charlotte Rampling as Venus in Furs, Brigitte Nielsen and Elizabeth Taylor), for the advertising campaigns he shot for Blumarine, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Thierry Mugler, and for his extraordinary photoshoots for Vogue (especially the ones shot on the Cote d’Azur). The love for Helmut Newton’s photography is the reason why I was enthralled by a photoshoot I saw on the March 2010 issue of Zink magazine, starring Whitney Port. I must admit I’ve never watched The City, but I quite like Whitney’s style, where a quirky or a personal touch is never missing.

In this photoshoot, which is very reminiscent of Helmut Newton’s approach to fashion photography, she is turned into an icon of the 70s, the one and only Jerry Hall, the American blonde model who will always have a special place in my own fashion shrine.

Those blonde locks are mesmerizing, aren’t they? You may be not used to seeing Whitney with this hairstyle and all this make-up on, but I think she looks gorgeous. The hairstyle, the make-up and all the jewellery scream 70s and Jerry Hall to me, do you agree?


I digged the Net to find these shots of Jerry Hall with her former husband Mick Jagger. These were taken in the 70s, when Mick and Jerry were one of the hottest couple of show biz. The jewellery and red nails she were sporting echo Whitney Port’s styling in Zink magazine.

Whitney’s red hot nails and jewellery also remind me of a famous shot by Helmut Newton, published on Vogue France in 1994. This was one of Newton’s favourite photos: in an interview, he explained he loved it so much, but at Bulgari (the model was stuffing a chicken wearing Bulgari jewels) they thought it was a terrible thing for him to do with their jewels.

Newton loved taking photos in black and white, and the shot above reminds me of his editorials shot in hotel rooms. This one, in particular, reminds me of a single shot I’ve seen somewhere, but at the moment I can’t trace back the original.

Whitney looks gorgeous in this pic and I think the resemblance to Jerry Hall is quite striking. The colour composition here is sublime: the bright blue of the dress contrasts with the pale pink of her skin, the white sofa and the dark red cushion and carpet. Those blonde locks are simply stunning. As a brunette, I’ve always wanted to be blonde, and these pictures perfectly explain why.

Jerry Hall is a traditional American beauty, but she became a star while living in Europe. Her attitude towards fashion has been modern, self-conscious and relaxed, even when she wore incredible outfits by Thierry Mugler, posed for Francesco Scavullo in Versace ads or for Helmut Newton.

These two pics are set in a hotel room. The first one, in particular, totally recalls the Chanel spring/summer 2009 advertising campaign, shot by Karl Lagerfeld, starring Jerry Hall and Baptiste Giabiconi.  Different artists who pay homage to other artists all mingle here: Karl Lagerfeld has often taken inspiration from Newton’s work (just think of the “scandalous” portraits of Baptiste Giabiconi, seen on Purple magazine; part of the shoot was set in Ramatouelle, a French location Newton particularly loved).

I like the striking white lighting in this pic. I don’t like Whitney’s outfit – that printed blazer is not the perfect match for the sparling minidress she’s wearing – but the pic is lovely. This kind of light and the setting (a bathroom) remind me of a campaign Newton shot for Villeroy & Boch in the 70s, where mirrors play an important role.

Jerry Hall had a love story with Brian Ferry [1] in the 70s, and the pic above, portraying Jerry and Brian in the background, share some features with both the photo from Zink (the round mirror) and the Villeroy & Boch campaign by Newton (the bright white light).

This last shot is nothing special, to be honest, but I like it because the fuchsia dress looks striking on Whitney. I also like the mysterious vibe of the setting (a hotel, again).

What do you think of this shoot? Do you like how Whitney has channelled her inner Jerry Hall?

[1] Brian Ferry met her at a photoshoot for the cover of Siren, an album by Roxy Music. She also appeared in the music video of his solo hit Let’s Stick Together. It is said Hall is the subject of Ferry’s hit Kiss and Tell. This is not the first song about her, because Mick Jagger wrote Miss You for her. Just for info, Jagger left his wife Bianca (one of my greatest fashion icons; I named my daughter after her) for Jerry Hall.

Source, source and source.

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3 comments

    1. Certo che sì. Tra oggi e domani spero di riuscire a scriverlo, perchè ho a casa B (che stiamo curando per un principio di bronchite) e il tempo è quello che è, però lo scriverò di sicuro.

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