Corinne Day, 1962-2010, a genius of the recreated snapshot. Her photographs are timeless, edgy and revolutionary creating a lasting trend in fashion photography. Looking at Day’s photographs, there is a sense of seeing a happy snap of one of her friends, with each natural, carefree pose appearing to be unplanned; a spontaneous moment. In time however, once you look more closely, it is evident that each one reveals a completely different yet fascinating story.
What made Day stand out from her contemporaries was her almost documentary style photographs which highlighted the changing trends in fashion photography and shook the fashion world. Her fresh approach and unique visual style became a visual shorthand for grunge, rebelling against the traditional high glamour photoshoots with set backdrops, staged poses and highly edited, groomed models. Her intimate images feel natural and realistic with scuffed furniture and exposed dirt and were often shot in bleak conditions.
Day, known for capturing young Kate Moss in her own flat for her first ever Vogue cover, March 1993, boasts a wide variety of photographs modelled by Kate, her close friend and flatmate for three years. As quoted by Robin Muir’s in Vogue 100, A Century of Style, “she wanted real life to intrude into Vogue’s pages as never before.” Delving deeper into Day’s work, you are struck by the raw exposure of her images, and the lack of generic poses, somehow inviting you into this intimate experience.
A personal favourite from her collection is one of Kate Moss, wearing distressed bright silver trousers and only a cushion to cover her torso. Her relaxed demeanour while staring directly at the viewer draws you in, making you question what was happening before and after this split second shot. Bare footed and topless, Moss looks as if she has woken up from a night out, still in the glamorous party outfit that she was wearing a few hours before.
What was amazing about Day was her unashamedly bold and daring ideas, as well as her distinct stylish approach which certainly widened the genre for future photographers, designers and stylists.
Day’s photographs are exciting, unconventional and sometimes a little disconcerting, totally changing the way we view fashion photography today. You will find yourself thinking about her photographs long after you’ve been looking at them.