A few days back, luxury fashion house Balmain dropped the first look of it’s Spring Summer 2019 campaign. Modelled by Cara Delevingne and Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing himself, the bold pictures show the latter ‘covering’ her breasts.
The Cara Delevingne Balmain Pictures Break The Internet
In one picture–shot by photographer Dan Beleiu–one of her breasts is covered by Cara and the other by Rousteing.
While in another from the Cara Delevigne Balmain campaign, both are covered by Rousteing. The third shot, shows her sitting on what can be presumed to be a block of marble, naked.
These shots made two things very clear: they revealed to the world that the two were very close pals, and that Delevingne being a professional was totally comfortable with this type of shoot.
The pictures also held particular importance to Rousteing who told WWD that he wanted to pay homage to a 1993 Patrick Demarchelier photograph of singer Janet Jackson. (It was a picture of a topless Jackson, whose breasts were covered by her then boyfriend Rene Elizondo’s hands and went on to become the cover of Rolling Stone).
During his interview Rousteing explained that both of them were very comfortable during the shoot and that he consider Cara to be his muse.
“Whenever we meet, it’s impossible to hide either my admiration for her or the joy that I feel in her presence. Cara embodies that modern woman: she is authentic, transparent and never afraid to push it on every single level…She’s a talent with something to say and she’s never been timid about expressing her point of view—and that’s why I consider her a muse,” he told WWD.
But given the ‘boldness’ of the shoot, Rousteing also added that he expects trolls to bash the campaign.
“Yes, we’re naked. Yes, I’m black and she’s white…You will never change the fact that I love what Dan Beleiu was able to capture here: a reflection on the beauty and honesty of nudity, the impressive strength of a confident woman, the importance of friendship…and more than anything else…an essential truth…that the biggest luxury in life is being completely open, true and honest with yourself,” he added.
And it seems as though he was right.
While most of his and Cara’s fans and followers appreciated the art and the concept behind the pictures, some of them were not completely convinced. As soon as the images hit social media, it broke the Internet and paved way for a flurry of trolling.
Followers Left Divided Over The Cara Delevingne Balmain Shoot
While some followers shared their ‘concern’ about the brand promoting ‘vulgarity’ and ‘nudity.’
Others were just plain upset as to why Cara was ‘groped.’
There were plenty of debates arguing the other side too. While some followers said it was art and beautifully recreated the Janet Jackson cover. Others thought the images were quite artistic and talk so much more than just clothes.
Both sides had plenty to discuss, but in the process they brought out the imperative subject of consent.
How Consent Became The Centre Of The Debate
As one @iangierich shared on this post, “I am a gay man who has been sexually harassed, assaulted, and raped twice. I understand completely. Labeling this magazine cover as sexual harassment undermines the REAL sexual harassment happening every day. Bc what you see here is just two friends who are taking a consensual, sexual photograph.”
Consent can be a tricky subject, especially if looked at from outside. Just as it seemed to have happened in the Cara Delevingne Balmain campaign.
While Delevingne and Rousteing were both quite comfortable with each other, and the former had given consent to the campaign, it still forced people to ask if this is what pushing the envelope really looks like.
Is this where consent draws the line or there is more? Why was this concept redone and something new was not explored. This, even though Balmain is a noted brand that has in the past released outstanding campaigns.
While the Cara Delevingne Balmain shoot leaves a lot to be discussed, do you think this is art or simply an opportunistic perversion?