Miley Cyrus looks dead in her latest ad campaign and the photographer assigned was so disgusted, he refused to photograph her. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs’ in-house photographer has so much contempt for the good-girl-gone-very-bad that he refused to work with her on the latest shoot. The photographer, Juergen Teller, has worked with Marc Jacobs since 1986.
When asked about Teller’s refusal to photograph the twerking queen, Jacobs said, ““I have worked with Juergen for years and love him as an artist, he just didn’t want to shoot her.”
Completing the shoot in Teller’s absence was another Jacobs photographer, David Sims.
When Cyrus isn’t looking dead, she is apparently a big fan of the fashion designer. She wore his sheer mesh gown at the 2013 Met Gala in New York. She also posed naked for Jacobs’ “Protect the Skin You’re In” t-shirt line, with a different photographer.
Jacobs is an internationally acclaimed American fashion designer, with 200 retail stores in 80 countries. From 1997 to 2013, he was the creative force behind the French design firm, Louis Vuitton. In 2010 he made Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
When Jacobs was 15, he worked as a stocker at Charivari clothing boutique in New York City. Backed by Onward Kashiyama USA, Inc., Jacobs designed his first collection bearing his own label in 1986. The following year, he became the youngest designer to win the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Perry Ellis Award.
Women posing as dead bodies have long been a trend in fashion advertising, including the recent Jacobs shoot with Miley Cyrus which Teller refused to do.
In the latest Jacobs campaign, Cyrus and two female models pose on a moonlit beach. Cyrus, who is sitting up, stares off into the distance while another model lies on the sand beside her. The model on the sand isn’t reclining with a drink in her hand or even taking a peaceful nap. Flat on her back with her hair covering her face, she has the demeanor of a body already in the morgue.
The day before the Cyrus-on-the-beach-looking-dead ad campaign came out, Entertainment Weekly ran an ad which shows two stars from the new movie, Gone Girl, stretched out on a gurney. Ben Affleck is awake and curled around Rosamund Pike, who is wearing a slip and bra. Pale and wide-eyed, Pike, with a tag tied around her toe, looks very much dead.
Hoping to build an audience, advertising campaigns for TV shows, as well as other fashion designers, have specialized in showing female corpses.
In 2013, Vice illustrated their Women in Fiction issue with a shoot showing a collection of well-known female writers in the middle of killing themselves. Sylvia Plath was photographed kneeling in front of an open oven. Virginia Woolf stood in the middle of a stream holding a large stone as she prepared to drown herself, and Dorothy Parker was bleeding into a sink.
Teller, who studied at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt fur Photographe in Munich, Germany, learned English and moved to London in 1986 to avoid compulsory military service.
Using a raw, overexposed style, Teller shoots with a Contax G2 with an onboard flash. Preferring to work in color, his work has been featured in magazines such as The Face, Vogue, AnOther, Index and W, among others.
Teller gained worldwide recognition in 1996 with his cover shot for the German publication, Suddeutsche Zeitung featuring a nude Kristen McMenamy with the word ‘Versace’ drawn on her chest.
That shoot brought him to the attention of Marc Jacobs. The two began to collaborate in 1998 and Teller has since photographed many celebrities and models for Jacobs’ fashion campaigns. Some of the subjects have included Dakota Fanning, Helena Bonham Carter, Victoria Beckham and others.
Attempts to reach Teller, and his agent, Thu Nguyen, for comments about this story were reportedly unsuccessful. Twitter, though, has been full of comments about the situation, and most have not been flattering to Cyrus.
@Imarianaagrande tweeted, “Miley Cyrus has displayed some trashy behavior in recent years. Here’s proof in photos – #1 is disturbing!”
Talking about the dark and brooding atmosphere of the images, The Guardian had this to say:
@Guardian How female corpses became a fashion trend.
And SugarScape chimed in with this:
@Sugarscape Miley Cyrus gets frowny for new Marc Jacobs campaign. Maybe they told her to keep her tongue in.
With Miley Cyrus looking dead in the latest ad campaign, Teller has moved down the road to other projects. A fashion photographer of his caliber has options. He and Jacobs do plan, though, on continuing their long collaboration. Just without a zombie in the picture.
By Jerry Nelson