Close-up on dirty old men
Sunday 27 September 1998
Vogue printed transcripts from Bailey's programme, where the old cocky spaniel gets shirty and flirty with his subjects. "You're quite rich aren't you?" he asks ex-flame and Sixties model Penelope Tree. "A spoilt rich American girl." But our Pen's having none of it. "Bailey ... I'm not going to answer that ... It's like saying you're a dumb cockney." Then he prods Kate Moss. "I suppose when you're younger it's easier to be naked," he giggles, but the laid-back Kate takes it in her stride. "I used to get upset about it, now I'll get my tits out at any chance."
Mr B, apart from being a bloody good photographer, was the archetypal "lad". But now he's the man who's done it all. "He hung out with the Stones and the Beatles," recalls India Knight in the Review, "and was the alleged inspiration for the David Hemmings character in Blow up." Yes, Bailey made fashion photography rock and roll. But now he's like any old codger on the block with a glorious past (he's 61 next birthday).
Mario Testino, every minor fashion editor's darling in the Eighties, has reinvented himself for the Nineties. This is the man who shot Diana for Vanity Fair, who was responsible for the first photographs of Madonna and child for the same magazine, and the fashion press love him.
But at 48, he's also showing signs of dirty-old-bloke-itus. His book, Any Objections?, features bawdy shots of models and involves lots of undressing. "A picture of Naomi Campbell showing her bum at a party appears," reported Harriet Quick in the Independent, "then there's a line-up of men with their pants down next to a picture of Kate Moss and Naomi peeing."
As if all this wasn't steamy enough, Elle featured saucy Sante D'Orazio, who warms up his models by rolling around naked with them. "Most people find it difficult to tell someone they're beautiful," he cooed, "but it comes easily to me because I honestly feel that way about the women I photograph." Photographers. They don't need Viagra, just a sturdy zoom lens.
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