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the scale of a skirt

Cecil Beaton. Mrs Charles James, 716 Madison Avenue, New York, 1955

In this 1948 Cecil Beaton portrait, there is something very interesting in the scale of the voluminous, crumpled curtain next to the extravagant skirt of the Charles James gown.  James' wife, perversely, is made small by her surroundings.  

A similar thing happens in Tim Walker's 2006 photograph of Coco Rocha.  The glove, in all its versimilitude, seems the real scale.

Both photographers used huge rooms – eighteen-foot ceilings, twelve-foot windows, their volume, their inevitable emptiness.  Anything in these rooms, whether little gilt chairs or gilded youth, is made to seem as serious and as ephemeral as a butterfly.

Tim Walker. Coco Rocha and Giant Glove. London, England, 2006

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