When I saw the images from Chadwick Tyler’s Tiberius gallery exhibition, I was speechless. They were far outside of anything I’d come to expect from a fashion editorial (which is what I first thought it was); I loved them simply because they felt new. The second time I went through them, I was slightly disgusted. My only frame of reference for the stark images of madness and hysteria were holocaust victims, abused women, and the hopeless inmates of Victorian asylums. The gritty black and white shots of gaunt, half-naked and vulnerable women became brutal and exploitative. The third time I went through them they led me to three revelations.
There has always been a lot of discussion around the WORN table about the monster known as Mainstream Fashion. Its visual cues seep into every aspect of media culture, from music videos to detergent ads, an homogenous human landscape of the pale and thin. We absorb more images in a day than our brains could ever consciously process, and we internalize them without analysis. But what are we really looking at? What are the messages underneath the bright clothes and perfect skin?