Media: Naked, but nice, from the Netherlands

How can you have a fashion shoot with no clothes? Dutch did, and it works a treat.

INSIDE THE latest issue of Dutch magazine is one of the longest "fashion" shoots ever to appear in print, except that it is not, strictly speaking, a fashion shoot at all - and it has captured the attention of the fashion world. In place of the traditional section in all style magazines which presents editorial relating to the latest trends and ideas, there are 83 unbroken pages of black-and-white photographs by Mikael Jansson, a Swedish photographer, featuring male and female models in full nudity. And each nude picture represents a designer label.

The fashion shoot without clothes would seem to indicate that fashion journalism has at last disappeared up its own well-toned fundament.

Last week, America's daily fashion newspaper Women's Wear Daily felt the need to comment at length on the latest issue of this relatively small- circulation title, claiming that the nude shoot, which leaves nothing to the imagination, was the "hot topic" in fashion circles. This kind of high-profile reaction is what makes Dutch magazine noteworthy. It currently has a circulation of 45,000 a month (25,000 in Holland, 20,000 internationally), is four years old, and was initially published as a style title for the people of Holland.

WWD also asked Cristina Ortiz, the designer from the French house Lanvin, how she felt about her label being represented by a girl covered in goose- pimples and showing her breasts. Her answer was: "I wasn't shocked at all... I think it is the Lanvin woman, sensual but not aggressive." And Ortiz was so happy that she put pen to paper, writing to the editor to thank him for modernising the idea of her customer.

Impressionistic fashion shoots are not, strictly speaking, a new or revolutionary idea. All magazines regularly attribute a barely visible hem or shoulder strap to a designer label when, in fact, it could come from anywhere.

Ultimately, with all fashion magazines it all boils down to revenue, and keeping advertisers happy. Matthias Vriens, Dutch's editor-in-chief readily admits: "It was an easy trick to pull, but we have got to make money. When I came up with the idea for 85 pages of nudes with clothing captions, some friends and colleagues thought it was ludicrous, but the bottom line is that the pictures are beautiful, not offensive. Girls appear in magazines in the nude all the time. Boys never. But this is humanity at its most natural."

Indeed, the shoot features all the regular advertisers, including Fendi, Jil Sander, Joop!, Prada Sport, Calvin Klein and Chanel - and also courts potential advertisers. There have been no complaints. If anything, the themed nudity forces the onlooker to assess and analyse why one particular image has been placed with a certain designer label.

Vriens's editorial policy is representative of his nationality: "I am Dutch," he states. "We are a very open-minded race, and this magazine is for open-minded people. We didn't take each picture with a designer label in mind, but when the shoot was finished, I took the prints to my office, stuck them to the wall for two weeks and puzzled away. Some of the pairings are obvious, such as the feet in water with the shoe label Cesare Paciotti; others less so. The Missoni picture features girls with plaited hair. The plaits represent Missoni's knitting. Fendi [known for fur coats] was also obvious. There's a little fur available there, on the pudendum," he points out, and then laughs at my facial expression, which is a perfect example, he says, of my Englishness (those Ikea adverts are so spot-on).

Last year, when Vriens, now 35, was made editor-in-chief, he began to generate the fashion editorial from Paris, and by this summer the whole magazine, including global music, arts, and travel, in addition to cutting- edge fashion, was being created from the city. Vriens also took the step of publishing the whole magazine with English text. Until August of this year it was a half-Dutch, half-English mix. In the last few months it has become one of the most talked-about of the new generation of European style magazines, and is becoming increasingly influential as a global title, because it takes an honest look at the world as it is now, and has no major ties to advertisers (hence the nudity). Therefore it is not heavily niched towards one type of lifestyle, though it is gay-friendly, with an equal balance of gay and straight contributors.

A pull-out portfolio by the photographer Mario Testino, published in 1996, was so popular that Testino recently published his first book, Any Objections?, based on it. Yves Saint Laurent, the legendary fashion designer, also came out of seclusion to be photographed for an issue devoted to his work. High-profile subscribers include Tom Ford of Gucci, Miuccia Prada, Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld, and sales in New York, London and Paris are currently increasing monthly.

"I do what I do now, simply because I can," says Vriens, who runs the magazine almost single-handedly in Paris on minimal budgets, with one assistant and a trainee. "Let's face it, everything has been done, so I want this magazine to be different. Why make a Marie Claire, a Vogue, a Face or an i-D? They are there already."

Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
Arts and Entertainment
Boy George performing with Culture Club at Heaven

musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years

Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Arts and Entertainment


These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London