Vogue Goes to Rehab...

One thing I love about the Internet is the infinite nature of what is there and what you can find. Today while doing some research I came across this editorial from the July 2007 issue of Vogue Italia. I cannot believe I've never seen it before. The images are so powerful, sad and beautiful. Photographer Steven Meisel nailed the tabloid-fueled celebrity zeitgeist on the head, depicting top models incarcerated in what is called rehab, but more aptly resembles the backdrop from scenes in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or Girl, Interrupted.

This intimate portrait of a world only seen from the outside (if you be so lucky) is no plush Wonderland or Promises treatment center frequented by the likes of Hollywood's young starlets. Meisel almost replicates infamous scenes that have been so ingrained in our collective consciousness thanks to the supermarket weeklies like Star and Us. The final product is more than a little wink in the direction of Tinseltown's troubled elite; they are clearly the inspiration for the shoot. We are treated to a veritable buffet of familiar indiscretions. There's the ever-so-popular crotch flashing, the unforgettable maniac-impulsive head shaving à la Britney (or the opposite, bad extensions—again, thanks Britney), and all the requisite cigarette smoking one could need when coming off something more addictive. Apparently, the Surgeon General recommends them for "exhaustion," if that is the case for admission.

The art direction is so spectacular and the visuals so provocative that we have to take a moment before we can absorb the fashion. The shoot was styled by Karl Templer and incorporates a vast spectrum of soft, girly palettes mixed with a raw rock & roll roughness—and a little mismatched wackiness thrown in for good measure. Having so many different styles and moods in one editorial is pretty difficult when telling a cohesive story, but given that it is shot in a loony bin, it should be permitted creative liberty to be a little schizophrenic. Within the 20-plus page editorial there is no doubt something for every one of our multiple personalities. In any case, crazy never looked so sexy or cool.