Noel Zheng: “Untitled (Jolie Laide)”


Photography and Text by Noel Zheng, Copyright 2017


“Untitled (Jolie Laide)” A short project to realize the empire of fashion.


The fashion industry sells to all types of lifestyles through their shoots. Entering fall/winter, every year, coats become the centre around which the industries uses as a medium to captivate the public, and give the idea that they too can live a similar life—given they have the material item.

I set this shoot up to reflect an editorial “vibe”; the black and white seamless with two soft boxes were set up in attempt to reap the most stripped back of editorial shoots. In post-production, saturation was muted but vibrancy increased to achieve the same effect.

In terms of styling, I stripped all elements back so only the coat (or some other winter wear) would be the centre of the shoot. The models wore little more than the outerwear in attempt to critic the fashion industry—when all is stripped back, is the lifestyle sold still worthy of buying? Or rather—when all is stripped back, is the coat sold still worthy of buying? The simplicity of this shoot hinges between avant-garde and classic.

But of course, this industry has become so powerful that a “stripped back” non- flamboyant lifestyle is, in ways, still avant-garde. It exemplifies a term now trending: “minimalism”. Because I realize that in attempt to mute the toxic environment of ‘fashion sells’, I add to it.

This is what I mean when I say “the fashion industry sells to all types of lifestyles through their shoots”—because no matter how ugly, or how simple, or how kitsch one tries to make fashion, it is still—as Tyra Banks says—“Jolie Laide”.


About The Author: Noel Zheng is a Sophomore majoring in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Noel Zheng, go here


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