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Binary Opposites



Levi Strauss came up with the idea of Binary Opposites, by using his method you can compare what you see with what you don’t see. It is a way to figure out what we are seeing with what we expect to see.

In the case of the Georgina Brixton photograph, there are many Binary Opposites which can be used. I am only going to look at the main three I believe are the most important for this photograph.



Glamour: alluring beauty or charm. Often with sex-appeal. [1]

Anti: a person who is opposed. Not in favour of. [2]

When looking at the photograph, it is easy to spot the difference with other fashion photographs. The main one being the setting the photograph was taken in. In high fashion shoots, the set is normally crisp clean and the model always perfectly presented. However in this photograph, the model is only wearing her underwear, her feet are dirty and her hair looks unwashed and not styled.  Her surroundings are dirty, especially the floor and she looks as if she has possibly taken something. Although a lot of fashion photographs are posed awkwardly in order to make the model ‘pop’ more, her pose is not flattering and it looks more as if she just fell down and Corinne Day happened to catch it at the right time. Given that Corinne Day likes to photograph people in their real lives, and  that this photograph is taken from Diary, it is possible that is what had happened.

However, After Corinne Day’s work, this Heroine Chic look became very popular and has yet again, recently become back into style for fashion magazines. Magazines devoted to only these types of photographs or similar ones that still give the ‘Heroine Chic’ image have also emerged.


Synthetic: man-made, not of natural origin; prepared or made artificially. Combining separate elements to form a coherent whole. Combining of root and modifying elements into single words. Of a proposition whose truth value is determined by observation or facts. Artificial as if portrayed in a film. Not genuine or natural. [3]

Real: existent, being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory. No less than what is stated; worthy of the name. Capable of being treated as fact. actual, genuine, literal. Being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something. Having substance or capable of being treated as fact; not imaginary. Coinciding with reality. [4]

There is no argument against this photograph showing the ‘realness’ of the model/character. The model is wearing hardly any makeup (if any at all), I would guess that the underwear she is wearing is her own and looking at her face, there clearly has been no retouching.

However, as her pose is so awkward, it could be said that it looks unrealistic. If the photograph wasn’t taken as she fell or slipped awkwardly then the pose itself is synthetic and therefore does not represent real life.


Clean: Free from dirt or impurities; or having clean habits [5]

Unclean: Dirty: soiled or likely to soil with dirt or grime. [6]

You immediately know that this photograph is unclean when you first look at it, just by simply looking at her feet and the floor around her.

However if you look closely into the meaning of clean and unclean then you could say that this model is clean, as in, washed clear of makeup, showing only her natural looks. Her body (apart from her feet) appears to be clean and so does the underwear that she is wearing.

Yet, due to the fact that she looks as if she has taken something, you could argue that she has a bad habit, another reason why she is unclean.

Sources –  accessed 20/11/2010







[7] (Image)


Personal Entry 4

I feel that I have gathered alot of information about Corinne Day and the people she worked with to understand her influences and the messages she was trying to get across with her photography.

I now feel like I need to concentrate on connecting all the information in order to fully understand her and her work.

Georgina Cooper

All images taken from multiple websites found through



Her full name is Georgina Ellen Cooper. She grew up in Wellington, England and became a model at the age of 15, after appearing in  a Bon Jovi music video.


  • Elite Model Management – New York
  • Time Models
  • SS&M Model Management – Barcelona
  • Wilhelmina Models – New York
  • Premier Model Management
  • Stars Model Management
  • Why Not Model Agency
  • Ice Model Management – Cape Town
  • Look Models International – Vienna
  • 3D Model Agency – Cape Town
  • Karin Models
  • 3D Model Agency – Johannesburg




  • Banana Republic
  • Burberry
  • Emmanuel Ungaro
  • Ernesto Esposito
  • Face a Face
  • George Rech
  • H&M
  • Instante
  • Nivea
  • Jackpoint
  • Palmers
  • Paul Smith
  • Paul Smith Fragance
  • Sisley
  • Triumph
  • Vichy

Magazine Covers:

  • Denmark: ‘Eurowoman’
  • France: ‘Jalouse’ – July/August 1998
  • Spain: ‘Vogue’ – June 1999
  • The Netherlands: ‘Marie Claire’ – January 2003
  • UK: ‘The Face’ – August 1996; ‘Vogue’ – January 2002

Fashion Shows:

  • Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 1997 {Angela Missoni, Antonio Berardi, Blumarine, Cerruti 1881, Christian Lacroix, Corinne Cobson, Emanuel Ungaro, Jasper Conran, Jil Sander, Karl Lagerfeld, Martine Sitbon, Nicole Farhi, Philosophy, Ter et Bantine, Trussardi}
  • Ready to wear – Spring/Summer 1998 {Antonio Berardi, Corinne Cobson, Collette Dinnigan, Calvin Klein, Christian Lacroix, Costume National, Chloé, Dries van Noten, Eric Bergere, Emanuel Ungaro, Hussein Chalayan, John Bartlett, Jean Colonna, Julien MacDonald, John Rocha, Jill Stuart, Mark Eisen, Michael Kors, Nicole Farhi, Nicole Miller, Rifat Ozbek, Richard Tyler Collections, Sonia Rykiel}
  • Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 1998 {Genny, Gianni Versace}
  • Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 1999 {Carolina Herrera, Clements Ribeiro, Elsbeth Gibson, Matthew Williamson, MaxMara}
  • Ready to wear – Spring/Summer 2000 {Antonio Berardi, Betty Jackson, Costume National, Daryl K, Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan, Julien Macdonald, Marcel Marongiu, Mila Schon, Missoni, NYC 2000, Narciso Rodriguez, Paul Smith, Robert Cary-Williams, Susan Lazar, Tuleh, Vivienne Tam}
  • Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 2000 {Clements Ribeiro, Costume National, Dries van Noten, Elspeth Gibson, Givenchy, Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan, Julien Macdonald, Kostas Murkudis, Loewe, Markus Lupfer, Nina Ricci, Paul Smith, Versace}
  • Ready to wear – Spring/Summer 2001 {AF Vandevorst, Betty Jackson, Burberry, Collette Dinnigan, Elspeth Gibson, Emanuel Ungaro, Gaspard Yurkevich, Helmut Lang, Jerome Dreyfuss, Kenzo, Koji Tatsuno, Kostas Murkudis, Robert Cary-Williams}
  • Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 2001 {AF Vandevorst, Gaspard Yurkevich, Helmut Lang, Thimister, Tuleh, Veronique Branquinho, Vivienne Westwood}
  • Ready to wear – Spring/Summer 2002 {Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Etro, John Richmond, Krizia, Victor Bellaish}
  • Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 2002{Amaya Arzuaga, Betty Jackson, Boyd, Jean Muir, Jorando, Lancetti, Markus Lupfer, Warren Noronha}
  • Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 2003 {Giorgio Armani, Jasper Conran, Michiko Koshino, Paul Smith}
  • Ready to wear – Spring/Summer 2004 {Michiko Koshino, Paul Smith, Ronit Zilkha}
  • Ready to wear – Autumn/Winter 2004 {Emporio Armani, Jenny Packham, Paul Smith, Ronit Zilkha}
  • Ready to wear – Spring/Summer 2005 {Jenny Packham, Paul Smith, Ronit Zilkha}
  • Ready to wear – Spring/Summer 2006 {Emporio Armani}


Sources – accessed 18/11/2010

All photos taken from websites


Georgina & George


Above is the picture Georgina, Brixton 1995. While looking for information about this, I found that it was linked to another shoot also by Corinne Day. It is called George 1995. However I have only been able to find this on a few websites and so I am not sure if Corinne Day meant them to be viewed as a duo or as part of the entire collection.



I looked for infomation about the model in Georgina, Brixton and found out her name is Georgina Ellen Cooper.

George 1995 … this one is sometimes known as George at the sunset 1995 (Below)



(At this point I haven’t been able to find out who ‘George’ is.)

Below: Georgina at Tara’s, Streatham, 1995


(Below) George in the bath, 1994




Source – Accessed 16/11/2010 (photos taken from websites)—2010

To be considered…

1. Who is George?

2. Are there other pictures from this series?

3. Are they from Diary?

Personal Entry 3

I thought it was important to look at the team of people that Corinne Day considered her ‘Fashion Family’ to get a better understanding of who she was and who she associated with in order to create the famous ‘Heroine Chic’ look.

I thought that this was important as knowing her personal experiences and social influences would help explain why she took the photographs she did.

Looking through her timeline and the timeline as those she considered important, it is clear to see how her personal life effected her work which led to her ‘fashion family’ broking apart.

Now that I have looked at that, I am going to take a closer look at the actual photograph and see what information I can find out.


Things to be considered…

1. Who is Georgina?

2. Why Brixton?

3. Why 1995?


Larry Clark

Larry Clark ( Lawerence Donald Clark was born 19/01/1943 and is best known as an american film director and photographer. His best known photography work comes from his book Tulsa inwhich he photographs people using drugs and violence as well as unage sex.

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All images taken from search words: Larry clark tulsa.


Photographs by Nan Goldin

Here are some examples of photographs taken by Nan Goldin.


Joanna Topless at the Château Le Bastion,

The above photograph is also known as:

Joana with Cigarette at the Châteauneuf de Gadagne, Avignon, May, 2000


Honeymoon Suite, Nuremberger Eck, Berlin


Bea with a Whip Boston 1953

Cody at home 1990's


Amanda in the Shower, Hamburg 1992


Nan and Brian in bed NYC 1983


Amanda in the locker room 1993


Joey in my Mirror 1992/1999

Nan Goldin ( 1953 – present ) is a contemporary American fine-art and documentary photographer, and indeed is one of the leading contemporary photographers to have successfully combined the two genres. She is often compared to Diane Arbus ( 1923 – 1971 ) and can be seen to have influenced the styles of a diverse range of contemporary photographers, such as Nobuyoshi Araki ( 1940 – present ) and Larry Clarke ( 1943 – present ). Goldin is credited with the creation of “Heroin Chic” and was blamed for its prevalence in the fashion industry by then-President elect Bill Clinton. She was also a pioneer in gaining acceptance for the use of color film in the Fine Art photography world, although it has been variously claimed that this was as a result of accidentally using a roll of color film rather than the Black and White more common to the field, or that she couldn’t afford the use of a developing room at some early points in her career.

The focus of her early work is a documentation and reinterpretation of intimate moments between members of her friends and those she has chosen as her surrogate “family”, as well as self portraits of key moments in her life. Her early style follows the contemporary American trend of the snapshot aesthetic – quick, almost unposed photographs taken in available light. Her more recent, later works have become more impersonal and have included land and sea- scapes as well as children and childhood and seem to be following more general themes of innocence and tranquility, rather than the earlier, more claustrophobic subject matter. The style in these works is more formal and composed, which may be a conscious decision or a reflection of Goldin’s mature technical skill with a camera.

Goldin was born in Washington, D.C., and was raised in Maryland for much of her early childhood. She ran away from home and was fostered by a variety of families in her teens. Her sister also committed suicide at a very early age, events which set the tone for much of her life and work. During 1968 in Boston, Goldin was introduced to photography at the age of fifteen, and progressed to study and graduate from the Boston Tufts University with a qualification in Fine Arts in the 1977/78 academic year. Before she had ever graduated she was presenting solo shows, based on her photography of the transvestite and drag queen communities of Boston. Her early shows tended to be in the format of a slide-show, and screened in the fashion of a movie. Goldin’s early work, after all, was before photography was fully accepted as a Fine Art form, but her work was one of the key reasons for its eventual acceptance.

Goldin moved to New York after graduation and became involved in – and documented – the emergent post-punk scene in the city, as well as continuing to capture images of the vibrant gay and transsexual subcultures. She became very involved in the Bowery area scene and began using hard drugs, even as she continued to document her life and lifestyle. Her pieces from this era are probably the most iconic and famous, certainly the most referenced, of Goldins, and were released as a series known as *The Ballad of Sexual Dependency*. The works that form “The Ballad…” is a very personal reflection on sexual relationships, domestic violence, substance abuse, so-called alternative lifestyles and male social isolation. Of equal relevance as the pictures in Goldin’s essay which accompanies the photography, talking of her psychological need to use the camera to document her version of her history. It is this dedication to the personal, subjective vision as well as her fine art qualification that makes “The Ballad…” and following works so noteworthy – Goldin is not engaging in simple journalism, she is displaying her vision of her lifestyle, the times she is living in and how it affects her and those around her.

The series was followed by others, “I’ll be your mirror” and “All by Myself” as well as more solo shows and widespread acclaim. Her work was criticized for making heroin use seem glamorous, but that seems to have mostly been as a reaction to her style being appropriated by magazines such as The Face and i-D. Goldin herself has said that the use of the heroin chic aesthetic to sell clothes was “reprehensible and evil”. Her aim was to portray her subjective vision and chronicle every aspect of her life, not supply false narratives or universal aesthetics suitable for marketing. If proof were needed, most of Goldins subjects were dead by the mid 1990’s from AIDS or drug abuse and overdoses. These collections of photographs were depicting their reality, not an invention.

Her relationship with her then-husband Brian and her drug dependency – she herself described it as ‘this big love affair that was sort of a threesome between him and me and drugs’ – eventually led to him almost killing her in a Berlin hotel room. She was battered so badly she almost lost the sight in her left eye. And, as always, she documented the incident with her camera, taking one of her most visually harrowing photographs “Nan one month after being battered”. She left Brian and spent a period of four years ( 1984 – 1988 ) engaging in even heavier drug abuse, vicious relationships and tellingly, taking very few photographs. She entered rehabilitation for substance addiction and became clean, but unsure at that period in her life if she would or could produce her art again. Eventually she re-engaged with her work and began to use the camera as a way to rebuild herself and her self-image, photographing constant self-portraits and beginning to work with sunlight as opposed to indoor, available light sources.

The deaths of so many of her subjects also marks the turning in her career towards her recent style, particularly that of Dorothy “Cookie” Mueller (1949 – 1989) the actress and novelist and often-photographed subject of Goldin’s, who died from AIDS at the end of the eighties. As discussed earlier, this work has turned towards landscapes, including the New York skyline and waterscapes, often including figures of women in water, her then lover, Siobhan, and babies, childhood and family life. Goldin is very much in demand in the contemporary art world and art market, and many of her recent projects have been collaborative in nature. She has worked on a book project – “Tokyo Love” with the Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki and released the collection “The Devil’s Playground” – a book project which included written pieces from authors like Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen while offering an in-depth retrospective of her whole career from her early Boston years to the present. Bjork has also collaborated with her, creating the soundtrack to a recent slide-show piece, “Heartbeat”.

Nan Goldin is still living a very active and still – at times – troubled life. She has worked on fashion photo-shoots and still chronicles friends who are living with AIDS, although these images tend to be less troubled now that treatment in the Western world has improved and her subjects are more comfortable with their bodies and their condition. She suffered some damage to her hand in 2002 from a fall into a empty swimming pool on the set of Mira Nair’s film Monsoon Wedding in New Delhi. Subsequent surgery was unsuccessful and she is unable to turn her hand with previous facility. She was awarded the 2007 Hassleblad award, the international prize from the estate of the inventor of the Hassleblad photography system. She continues to exhibit widely and is represented by the agents of the Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.

Nan Goldin one month after being attacked

Sources Accessed:

Heroine/Heroin Chic?

Both Heroine Chic and Heroin Chic are accepted as the same meaning in the fashion world. Below are examples of photographs I have found to be connected to Heroine/Heroin Chic.

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Sources – All images accessed 8/11/2010


All others taken from google images (search words: Heroin Chic)



Heroine Chic – Definitions

“Day was credited with creating the heroine chic movement after splitting from the 80’s high glamour photography of the day and shooting a grungy looking model, the then unknown Kate Moss. The heroine chic look spread across the fashion world like wildfire, however, it soon became mired in controversy and was accused of glamourising drugs and encouraging anorexia.”

Unknown Author. Unknown Date.


When looking through websites, I noticed the term Heroine Chic often, which seems to be connected to Corinne Day. I decided to look into this as I wasn’t completely sure what was meant by it.



  • Main good female character in a work of fiction
  • A woman possessing heroic qualities
  • A woman who has performed heroic deeds



  • Considered a hard drug
  • Highly addictive morphine derivative
  • Also known as diacetylmorphine (INN) and diamorphine (BAN)
  • White, odorless, bitter crystalline compound
  • C 17 H 17 NO(C 2 H 3 O 2 ) 2



  • elegance by virtue of being fashionable
  • elegant and stylish; “chic elegance”



  • Popularized look in mid-1990s.
  • Characterized by pale skin, dark circles underneath the eyes, and jutting bones.
  • Models who bore characteristics of heroin addicts.
  • Dark bags under eyes, bed-head, oversized clothing, dark sunglasses.
  • Although they look like a bit of a slob, they give off an air of confidence and glamour.
  • Substanc abusing, crucifix wearing and unhealthy appeararence.
  • Being waif skinny, pale, tired and sickly looking, using cigarette smoke as perfume, lanky, and wearing clothes that hang off your emaciated body.
  • Look like you have been up for the past week partying and you are worn out (but in a good way).
  • Encourages children to try drugs and saying drugs were cool.


Sources – accessed 7/11/2010  – September 2010 00:26 – Team (No official name to quote)