The art form known as “celebrity pregnancy photo shoot” has a new winning entry. Rihanna and A$AP Rocky announced that she is expecting her first baby with the release of a series of street photos of Miles Diggs, alias diggzy, alias, the 20-something photographer named by fashion What “fashion’s favorite paparazzi.”
The images, posted on Instagram and sold to a variety of media, show Rihanna with a long pink vintage Chanel coat with jeweled gold buttons from the fall 1996 collection about ripped extra long jeans flooded in the street and sustained by a gold and leather Chanel chain belt. His stomach, framed by the coat, which closes with a single button at the sternum, is covered only by a cross of costume jewelry encrusted with jewels on a long string of pearls, also from chanell. For its part, the rapper wore leather pants, a signature jean jacket Carhartt, a college hooded sweater and a black beanie.
In a photo, they are walking down a neighborhood street harlem in New York, apparently under the viaduct of Riverside Drive, holding hands; in another, he is kissing her on the top of her head, creating a loving circle of two. In neither of the two there seems to be no one else around. There is what seems to be just a pinch of snow in her hair, which suggests that the photos were taken before from the blizzard and sub-zero temperatures over the weekend, and posted on a planned schedule.
The framing it is carefully calculated in its feigned intimacy. They seem “stuck” by the paparazzi so that the audience gets the feeling that they are peeking into a private moment, albeit in a way that has been completely choreographed to the vintage diamond signet ring on her finger.
In this, Rihanna’s snapshot is the latest in a photographic tradition that dates back to Demi Moore’s pregnancy cover in Vanity Fair in 1991. That portrait, which shows the actress cradling her distended belly, naked except for a giant diamond ring, was so scandalous when it was published that it was banned from certain stores even though it was mailed out with a paper cover. the take started a trend of creating images that spread through Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, Ciara and Gigi Hadid, Although all of them were overtaken by the photo of Beyonce of 2017 pregnant. That snapshot established a new standard for managing public disclosure of pregnancy, becoming not only the photo with the most likes of the year on Instagram when it reached 11.1 million, but also in the first in an entire series of high-concept maternity photo shoots released by the star.
Now Rihanna has brought tradition back to earth, connecting it with two contemporary phenomena. First, the evolution of street style photography from guerrilla reporting to a new kind of fashion image-making (the visual equivalent of casual Friday); and second, the growing use of social networks as an image-building exercise. It’s a way for celebrities to communicate with their fan base and community, and they offer seemingly personal and unadorned glimpses of their lives in the most varnished and controlled way possible.
In fact, diggs, whose signature is highlight your subjects against a black and white background to bring them into focus, said to fashion that part of his success was his desire to represent his leading men in their best light, and his willingness to abstain if he surprises them on a bad day.
Unlike the tradition of Moore, which often involved being as naked as possible, or the image of Beyoncé, which plunged into the history of art, Rihanna elected a look and composition that seems like a sly nod to fashion itself, specifically, to the Anna Wintour’s first Vogue cover, in 1988, which featured the Israeli model Michaela Bercu wearing old Guess jeans and a Christian Lacroix jacket with a jeweled cross on the front, her hair wild and wavy, laughing in the street.
At the time it was considered revolutionary: a way to blow out the stuffiness of Vogue, demonstrate a grittier fashion era, and herald the advent of a new power at the top. At this time, underscores Rihanna’s ease in appropriating street images and revising them for her own purposes. Not to mention her ability to move products, which helped transform her from a simple fashion icon to a billionaire entrepreneur.
According to the online shopping site lovethesales, searches for “pink quilted coats” jumped 200% in the hours after the photos were posted; for “ripped jeans”, 175%; and for “pearl necklace”, 80%. Along the same lines, A$AP Rocky sparked an increase in men’s sweater vests, leather pants and Carhartt jackets. All of which suggests that when it comes to maternity style, not to mention baby kits, this may just be the beginning.
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