My youth is dotted with memories. Sitting in the waiting rooms of beauty salons while my mum was being waxed, plucked or lasered, I would entertain myself by flicking through the glossy magazines fanned out on the coffee table. Sitting on the couch watching the seven o’clock news, my parents would remark on the female news anchor’s ‘too heavy’ makeup or supposedly unflattering dress. As a woman who’s grown up constantly surrounded by fashion marketing, I am interested in the representation of women and feminine-presenting people in fashion and how this influences individual constructions of femininity. My series The Ideal and Illusory Feminine explores the fashion photograph as a theatre of performed and masqueraded femininity. It seeks to consider how high fashion photography shapes the performance of gender roles and their correlating presentation.

Photograph of person tilting head back

Photograph of person smiling

Photograph of a person with their head tilted

Photograph of person sitting on stage in haute couture

, ,
Sophie Smith