Who is this couple? Why are they on magazine covers?


  • People
  • Monday, 20 Jul 2015

Kim Kardashian with Kanye West at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards in New York in June. The duo have just posed for the cover of a magazine. Why? Photo: Reuters

The cover of the booklet produced by System magazine features the names of this unholy trinity: Kanye, Juergen & Kim, which gives us a quick indication of the pecking order – in this trio it goes stylist, photographer, then model.

The title recalls Rita, Sue and Bob Too!, and intriguingly – despite being shot in the French countryside – it does recall the Bradford landscape of the 1987 classic too. It’s probably unintentional, but given Juergen Teller’s penchant for overly normal snaps, he could have had the film on his mood board.

What we know for certain is that Kim and Kanye are snogging. Not really snogging, because that would be quite unfashion. They’re stage kissing – their lips barely touching. It isn’t the first time the pair have been forced into a PDA for fashion. They’ve done it in a Balmain ad and went the full faux-raunch for L’Officiel Hommes. This System version is basically a showcase for their excellent facial hair (him:beard, her:brows).

On this evidence – and on the evidence of his catwalk show back in February – Kanye’s styling can be reasonably summed up as 1980s British department store. He’s all over the hoisery department – brown tights, black sockings, whatever, he clearly loves it. The addition of some champagne shapewear does nothing to undo this theory.

She is likely wearing so little in a field because fashion – and Teller – loves to be incongruous. But what with the department store vibes, the grass and the bra, I can’t help but think Kanye was heavily influenced by the M&S “I’m normal”advert, where she runs up the hill in the nude.

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Fashion show goers are familiar with the sight of Teller the photographer in breezy running shirts, 1980s trainers and on-display thighs. To the uninitiated, it’s a little odd. The down coat is not the obvious companion to a pair of shorts, nor is a woolly hat, so again more intentional incongruity. The hiker’s stick and the wheelie suitcase could contain his camera kit (unlikely; he takes the lo-fi approach) or could just be more intentional weirdness.

Is Teller playing the role of an unassuming rambler who has come across a peroxide goddess who has raided the lingerie department? Who knows, but this one is kind of genius.

It would be nice if the picture of Kim asleep in the car was about boredom – Kim so fed up with listening to Kanye and Juergen banging on about “mood”and “rawness”that she has opted to snooze. But it isn’t. It’s about luxury.

The thick arm rest in pale leather that you only get between the seats in the back of a really posh car is a little reminder that though the shoot may be raw and odd but they are still, like, super rich. The (presumably real) fur coat-cum-pillow is there just in case you were left in any doubt as to their wealth.

As a rule, most stylists do not feature in their shoots, but then Kanye isn’t most stylists. The restraint he’s showing in a shot, only showing us his backview – it’s almost palpable, isn’t it? – Guardian News & Media


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