Posted Feb 20, 2020
Bella Hadid by Harley Weir for the Chaos + Control issue of Love Magazine, S/S 2020. She Is Fire… She Is Fair… She Is Born of Light and Aire. Bella lays flat on the seashore land as her breasts dig in deep on the surrounding sand. Lulled to sleep by waves so grand, she cradles her head in pillowed hands. The serenity of this scene is quickly interrupted by graphic stamps that cover her entire back. Originally we believe we are seeing something beautiful crafted over her skin. Then, after gazing we come to the realization of the scene. Marks move up her arm, over her shoulder and across her entire face. Boldness makes it difficult to deny what they mean. I take a moment. Comprehension sets in motion a reaction. One that signals our internal despair. We can’t deny what we see. Beguiled by her beauty, as we are struck by the sadness of the statement being made. Can these two realities exist simultaneously? Can we concurrently be visually enticed and overtly outraged? Is this being done in good taste? Is this aloud? Do or should we care when true art speaks on such consequential topics? Those are questions we alone must answer for ourselves. I maintain there is no easy answer. But, I submit to you, they are worthy of your time. Go forth and conquer your fears. That which complicates and challenges our system, are the very things that move and inspire us as a united people.
We all bare a faint hint of these markings, as women, we’ve been under the shoe of men for far too long. Moving through this storied editorial, it’s clear this is not for the faint of heart. Weir takes poetic license in an effort to reach a prophetic point. An effort that in/itself is grand. The brilliance of Bella is notable in her ability to make every move count. Thereby allowing her body to explore every nuance of instinct. It’s a brave thing done by a band of brave women. Harley, Katie, Miranda, Cyndia and Bella. Proving once and for all true beauty is measured by the strength of your steps. Not the distance that they cover, but what meaning that they hold. Laying bare on that beach we are not just struck by an aching loneliness. We are connected by a commitment to serve each other. For, we are not merely a place to wipe your feet. We will not be held down by any force, physical and/or mental. This artistic message is difficult, but powerful. These markings are not necessarily literal, but they do carry a very strong message. One that deserves our attention!
Katie Grand graces us with her incomparable styling technique. This is Fashion of the Phenomenal Mind. Ripped up garbage bags create couture. Bella sits against a life-sized, open clam shell, that appears to be floating on water. There she wears black trousers, sliced/diced to reveal her skin below. Accompanied by a see-through bustier made out of a plastic mold. Ripped up and sewn back together each piece carries a memory. A revised vision of what it once was. These are daring designs make you think. In another image, Bella stands in front of a wall covered in black, garbage bags. Leaning forward, her derriere protrudes out of an unzipped floral skirt, revealing pink-panties below. Steadying herself upon this wall, we begin to see a yellow shape forming overhead. Staring intently, I determine the design is that of a labia. A feature we can’t ignore. Here we see parts hidden and some displayed distant travelers that time betrays. The Fire of My Female Spirit is Engaged.
At once dynamic and disturbing. This is pure Haute Couture. Katie Grand is like a conductor working on a symphony of styles. Each one is memorable. Each one a masterpiece. Bella embodies a cast of characters. Ranging from the Bride of Godzilla, in a gauze pantsuit with a towering, white headdress. To a stealthy spy, dressed in all black, wearing mirrored headgear that partially masks her darkened face. A river of multi-colored tinfoil flows down her body like flowers floating on water. Obviously this coiffure has been crafted to meet specification. Yet, it appears as if the clothes have morphed by pure magic. A statement to the organic nature of this work. The most dynamic of which has Bella, marked in diagonal designs that are carried through her upper torso. Diamond shapes, painstakingly drawn over her skin, as if to mimic a sunburn.
Miranda Joyce finds fire in every face. She isn’t held down by the discipline of modern makeup. She is lifted by the vastness of beauty. Reveling in every nuance. Her eye shadow need not to be precise, for it is exercising the whim of wonder. Her skin shines in glowing fare as her lips are deep red or almost bare. There’s no middle ground. That is the beauty of Joyce. She takes on the skin in it’s entirety. We see that with the black bar she has drawn over Bella breasts, and the chaos of colors striking her face. The delicious part of this editorial masterpiece, is in Embracing the Insanity. This is like eating a dozen doughnuts without taking a breath. Amazing women working together to capture the purity of insanity, with such a noble hand. To that end these aren’t just fashion statements. This is about the unification of women. She laughs in fool hearty fun, running through the water. She cries standing in that same watered spot. Her eyes are smudged as black drips down her face, like tears made of mud.
Tangled Lines Create a Chaotic Scene Like a Child Gone Crazy with Red, Purple and Green. There are strong feminine signs throughout the storied page, not hidden in shame or fired up in rage. This is a story of energy escaping it’s captor. Here it stands, from the mind of Harley Weir. Daringly depicted. Unafraid to handle dark concepts. I applaud her endless ability to go beyond the storied border. Her goal is not to overstimulate the senses, it’s to inspire a shared sentiment. Harley’s work is among the best in the industry. I’m inspired by her relevance. Each story delves deeper into Woman as Warrior. The Female Form. The Lightness of Being. The Beauty of Becoming. This is a mindful journey taken with visual aids. There’s a longing to her photographs that leave you with an ache. The kind of ache that taunts you… that teaches you… that begs you. IT’S THE KIND OF ACHE THAT MAKES YOU… This is Truth Personified.