PRINT November 2000


Steven Meisel

ASKED TO COMMENT on the recent ad campaign he shot for Versace, Steven Meisel tells me it was all about “extravagance. Over-the-top LA excessiveness—is that a word?” Not that fashion hasn’t often trafficked in opulence. But Meisel, perhaps best known for his infamous Calvin Klein jeans basement shoot and his queues of artificially gritty, Avedon-inflected model-zombies for cK One perfume—both styles of ripe adolescence—now gives us with his Versace excessiveness (yes, it is a word) an opulent fantasy structure about the power of the adult.

Given the cultural staple of the ersatz sexy, cutesy teen—from boy bands to Britney Spears to Teen Vogue—adulthood suddenly looks like nothing short of a luxury good. An unconscious (?) desire for the adult helps explain how Meisel, with the unerring aid of stylist Lori Goldstein, manages to present everything in a way that includes

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