Fashion and Cindy Sherman

It is amazing to think that while Cindy Sherman was not only the photographer, the model, the makeup artist and the lighting director, she was also her own costume department. And, it is very clear to see in every single photo, the consideration behind every garment worn. Sherman manages to construct characters out of the most basic things with the clothing being one of the most obvious components. The first costume that struck me was the clown with the disco ball hat. It feels like an unconventional clown with an arty side. The floral pattern with the keyboard belt is confusing but somehow gives the impression of a very snobbish clown to me who manages to steal the show in such a subtle way. The fact that this is topped off with such a bizarre yet wonderful hat, really takes the character away from the standard happy/sad clown and throws it into a slightly more complex realm where it is hard to pin down exactly what the clown would be like. He has a small painted smile on his face so we would assume that it is a happy clown but then the dark colors in the jacket add a heaviness and sadness to it all. I think it is very interesting how these components work together to be visually pleasing but not mentally as the character feels ill-defined.

The two party ladies were from the Balenciaga also caught my attention. I love how these women are essentially wearing the same thing but seem so different due to small touches. The bright yellow fur adds vibrancy to the lady on the right but also makes her seem a tiny bit obnoxious and seeking attention. The mere fact that she is wearing her glasses on her head also adds to this interpretation as they are being worn for fashion rather than necessity. The lady on the left appears much more relaxed and friendly as the white/grey fur not only blends in, but also tones down the bright colors found in the dress. The jacket also covers a lot of her body, making her seem much smaller and slight and the over-sized glasses also add to this effect. In the end, I had come up with my own narrative for them where I thought that the lady on the right had dragged her friend to a party, promising that she would have a good time but everyone at the party likes the lady on the left much more as she is more sincere and easy to talk to.


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