The Anatomy of an Iconic Image

BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed sits down with Charlotte Tilbury, Chris Levine and Malcolm Edwards at London’s Selfridges to discuss the making of She’s Light (Pure), a striking lenticular image of fashion icon Kate Moss.

LONDON, United Kingdom — The word ‘iconic’ is terribly overused in our industry. But there is little risk in using this word to describe Kate Moss, a household name known around the world and perhaps the most iconic face of present day Britain. There are very few models who transcend the ever-turning tides of fashion. But this, for me, is the secret to the enduring success of Kate Moss.

She emerged on the scene back in the 1990s with those, then shocking, now legendary Corinne Day images that appeared in the The Face, followed by those era-defining Calvin Klein campaigns. And she’s managed to maintain relevance long after that initial moment passed, even in the wake of a tabloid scandal a few years back and despite the fact that countless other models have come in and out of fashion.

Thus, it was an exciting moment when, last night, in the windows of London’s Selfridges, make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury and her collaborators, Chris Levine and Malcolm Edwards, unveiled a striking image of Kate Moss — titled She’s Light (Pure) — the result of a unique fusion of fashion, art and beauty which is sure to reach iconic status of its own.

Levine, known for his unique use of light and meditation techniques to create intimate images of his subjects, is perhaps most famous for The Lightness of Being, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. He has also refined the use of lenticular technology to create photographs that appear as if they are three-dimensional. And indeed, in collaboration with Tilbury and Edwards, a hairstylist who has frequently worked with Moss, Levine has created an image that shows the model in a completely different light — quite literally — than she has ever been seen before.

I was fortunate to sit down with Tilbury, Levine and Edwards, last night, to learn how the image was created. Attended by Moss, Mario Testino, Helena Bonham Carter and others, it was the first in a series of public events at Selfridges billed as ‘Charlotte Tilbury’s Make-up House of Rock n’ Kohl,’ designed to shed new light on Tilbury’s deep experience behind the scenes of the fashion industry in the run up to the launch of her new beauty brand this autumn.

Watch the interview video here.

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  1. Funny seeing lenticular made into such a big deal by fashion. I’ve been creating lenticular DVD covers for the entertainment world for 20 years. This Kate Moss image is really basic. Nice. But basic.

    Brad from Warrenville, IL, United States
  2. Super simple modern portrait. An icon of an icon very cool. Love it.

    roberta from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom