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These Controversial Editorials Aim to Make Casts and Crutches Chic

Despite causing controversy, Helmut Newton's fashion editorial featuring casts and braces inspired a similar one 15 years later.
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Blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week.

Unremitting in his desire to shock, Helmut Newton consistently skirted the status quo with his borderline-offensive and politically incorrect imagery. For Vogue’s February 1995 issue, Newton cast Nadja Auermann to model the latest stilettos accessorized with leg braces, canes and other orthopedic paraphernalia, complete with a prop wheelchair. The editorial, named “High and Mighty,” was largely viewed as offensive; however, many also got a sense of empowerment from the photographs.

For i-D’s Winter 2010 issue, photographer (and serial model-dater) David Bailey would also employ a disability-chic theme for an editorial starring Abbey Lee Kershaw, who was similarly equipped with casts, crutches and braces.

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