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Vogue 1997
Model: Sara Morrison
Photographer: Nick Knight

When we think of fashion photography the first thing we think of are tall, slim women with little body fat adorned in beautiful designer clothing and placed in fantastical scenes. These scenes ask the viewers to place themselves into the storyline or fill in the gaps in the scenario. These images that grace the glossy pages of magazines are highly edited and unrealistic. They can be seamlessly altered, mixed and blended together. Realism is portrayed through the images making them more relatable to the viewer. Fashion today is as much about the image as it is about the ideas behind the image.

Nick knight, a British photographer, challenges these ‘traditional’ forms of fashion photography. He questions what we perceive as beautiful. Knight is not your typical fashion photographer. His work addresses taboos such as racism, ageism, fat-ism and physical disability (Berry 2014)(1). His photography pushes boundaries of what is and isn’t beautiful.

In 1997 Vogue magazine, known for its freakishly thin models and high fashion, published Knights photos of a 16 plus sized model in Dolce & Gabbana couture. The model, Sara Morrison, was posed seductively in a black lace dress. Knight’s images were apart of a six-page spread under the headline ‘Modern Curves’ (Blanchard 1997)(2). Blanchard (1997) quotes Knight stating, “I wanted to show a difference image of women”. This was one of the first of many images in fashion of plus sized models. Knight photographs show people from various backgrounds and body shapes that everyone can relate to. His work critiques the bodily aspects of fashion. Knights disregard for high fashions use of freakishly thin models was greeted with praise putting him at the forefront of fashion photography in the 1990’s (Blanchard 1997)(2).

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Vogue 1997
Model: Sara Morrison
Photographer: Nick Knight

(1) Berry, J 2014, ‘Fashion Photography: From Heroin Chic to Narrative Glamour’, retrieved from Griffith University, Queensland College of Art, Learning@Griffith website: <https://bblearn.griffith.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-1010411-dt-content-rid-2625164_1/courses/2432QCA_3145_SB/Course%20Content/Week%204%20Contemporary%20Fashion%20

(2) Blanchard, T 1997, ‘Big Shot’, viewed 22 August 2014,

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