It’s not the cover shoot not in the editors letter but it does get a small blurb in the notices. Entitled ‘Back to School’, it describes the shoot as shot at the Complutense University of Madrid with models Julie Hoomans and Ton Heukels. It’s title page is as below.
In this picture, as with the rest, the female model looks at or towards the camera meanwhilst the male model looks at or towards her. Speaking of these models both have dirty blond hair (that remains down throughout) and blue eyes. And of course, both are annoyingly beautiful.
In this shot she wears a purple patchwork suede jacket over a light orange polo neck with a braided brown leather belt and a gold necklace. I’d firstly like to say that the total cost for her outfit is £5508. I bet you I could get a near exact match for that outfit for under £500. A cheap gold-tone pendant in similar pattern is £15-, a polo neck in near identical colour for £45- and the essentially exact same belt for £20-. The jacket would be harder but you could probably have it made for you for under £400 compared to the £4390 Derek Lam wants to charge you.
The male model wears the same throughout the shoot: a denim jacket, jeans and a white t-shirt. Double denim aside he is unnoticeable in anything but his apparent adoration of the female model.
The next double page spread contains two images, both just the female model. These begin a definite trend of covered arms and necks, most typically with more polo necks. They also introduce the brown leather bags and brown leather ankle boots used throughout the rest of the shoot.
The one on the left stands out a little, firstly for the bright colors in the patterns of the skirt which are echoed only in one later dress. Also the fringed bag is seen only here and slightly jars with the rest with its mid-west cowboy feel.
Unlike the first photo which has a blurred blank beige background these have backgrounds more in focus, both featuring repetitive school-themed items, lockers and chairs. This gives the viewer an illusion of a more filled image when in fact there is only one small focal point in each. It makes the images more interesting.
I’m not going to go into the clothing again, polo necks and denim shorts are hardly exciting. The next double page spread shows on its left the male and female models walk together and on the right the female model stands holding folders in front of some notice boards.
The image on the left in fairly typical in its subject. The male models wears his uniform looks at the female model. The female model wears her brown leather boots and bag with a polo neck whilst looking towards the camera.
The background however is one of the very few outside scenes. A repetitive pavement on the lower half, followed by landscaping and architecture below sky. Unusual in that it is outside however a very usual urban landscape scene.
The right picture had a more typical background although the outfit is more unusual. Her arms are uncovered although she still has a high neck. The stripes of the dress are similar to that of the polo neck two pages back meanwhile the folders she carry link to those carried on the left hand page.
The next image is another double page spread. It is quite typical, the male model wears his denim looking at the girl while she looks at the camera.
The only difference in this picture is the use of a fur coat, jarring with the summer vibe. Meanwhile she also half-smiles. More of a smirk. It implies hidden knowledge, perhaps related to the very obvious look the man is giving her. It’s an intriguing image.
Meanwhile the next spread has one very unusual image.
The dress on the left is the only hint of colour other than the earlier skirt. This is also unusual in its outside setting. However she does wear a polo neck, looks at the camera and wears the boots and bag. It strikes the viewer but not as much as if the darkening, de-striking polo neck were not worn. It’s difference only serves to highlight the typical pattern used.
The image on the right is more typical. Indoor setting, boots (albeit no bag), looking at the camera and covered arms. There is a slightly lower neck than usual but not so much as to be evident. Overall its a very typical shot from the series.
The image on the left of the last spread is typical again. Meanwhile the image on the left shows a definite ending.
An ending is evidently shown for several reasons. The woman again smiles knowingly; the man no longer looks straight at her but slightly forwards, as if no longer obsessed but still impassioned, a more adult feeling. The outfit too has moved away from polo necks to a wide-shouldered vest, a distinct change in style. Meanwhile for the first time the pose is no longer stationary or moving from one place to another but rather straight forwards into the camera.
The students are leaving school. They are moving forwards into adulthood.
Perhaps I read too much into these things. But it’s a good exercise none the less.