Corinne Day: Back to the Day

Corinne Day
Text: Danai Alaska

At the end of August, photographer Corinne Day died. Day’s favorite images portrayed reality; the brutal cancellations in everyday life and the boredom inside messy flats were only an introduction to nature, an endless daydreaming under the trees. Now that the nostalgia of a pure era has become more intense, these photographs are something we come back to. They might even become providers of escape, at least for those who stand to watch the stars falling again and again.

In the 80s, Vogue gave the thumbs up to powerdressing. Shoulder pads, excessive blusher on the cheeks, permed hair is all we need to conquer the city. That was a decade when all you could find in the pages of the greatest fashion magazines, were images of models posing like successful business personas. Wearing a jacket was considered incredibly good, wearing a suit was even better.

Vogue 1993: a photo of a small skinny girl with faded features without a sight of breasts and a somewhat bended nose, poses in comfy underwear. The girl is Kate Moss and ‘Under Exposure: what to wear beneath effort free clothes’ was the first Vogue editorial for Corinne Day. The term ‘ heroin chic’ is born around then and grunge starts paying the rent for both model and photographer making last season’s glamour look devoid of any meaning.

In reality, the first ‘strike’ on glamour was given three years before, by another magazine. In 1990 British magazine ‘The Face’ trusts the self-taught Corrine Day when she chooses to use the fifteen year old Kate Moss as a model. In  ‘The Third Summer Of Love’, Corinne Day transforms her into a real girl playing with that awkward smile behind a set of crooked teeth.

Day’s idea of fashion neglects the clothes themselves. Instead, she is interested in catching the moment, the feeling, what is real, as if she is shooting fashion and documentary at the same time. In these photographs Day is making a comeback. A return to the basics. After that everything is simpler as if they always existed.

Brutality is flirting with boredom, being undressed is free from an effort to seduce, the tv set remains switched off and the flat is full of empty beer bottles. In the next frame the girl, still half-naked wearing shoes, daydreaming under the trees (England’s Dreaming, The Face).

Corinne Day returns in the forest only seconds after having witnessed the city for what it’s worth; images that seem to be pending between what is real and unreal. An experiment. Like loosing yourself in the streets of the city, walking over cigarette butts only to find yourself on top of a tree wearing Indian feathers on the head.