Intro To Fashion Post#3


 According to Dazed’s report of the controversial fashion ads nowadays, one of the advertisements is from Yves Saint Laurent’s 2000 ad campaign of Opium fragrance. In the center of the image, English model Sophie Dahl was featured naked with only gold necklace, bracelet and a pair of gold sandals. As the only subject in the image, Sophie Dahl was featured in a suggestive pose, she lied on the black silk with legs open and the breasts were covered by her hands. From my point, the image reveals the creator objectified view of women as both a sexualized object and a displayed product. Joanne Entwistle wrote in her article The Dressed Body that “The body is a highly restricted medium of expression that expresses the social pressure brought to bear on it.” (Entwistle) The way of how the model’s body in the advertisement is placed can somehow reveal the status of women in the society. She wore nothing but only the jewelry and high heels. Like a display stand showing treasures, she is displaying the jewelry with her nude body, with her flesh and skin. As Susan B. Kaiser wrote in her book Fashion and Cultural Studies about the gendered system of looking, she mentioned John Berger’s opinion about “Men act and women appear.” (Kaiser 128)  I did some research on the notion of “male gaze” afterwards through John Berger’s book Ways of Seeing. He talks about the relationship between viewers and the female nudes in classical oil paintings.  The women in female nude paintings mostly show a laze, submissive pose which lack of energy. He said that the female nudes in paintings are being watched, at the same time being judged or blamed. They are submissive and soft in the painting in order to please male viewers. It is the same as what is shown in YSL’s advertisement. Nude model is like a commodity being picked and played, in the center of the image. She is displayed as a sexualized image which equals the symbol of sex appeal, and there is no other people in the image in which way everyone could be the viewer and the predator.

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