Cara Delevingne and Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing are close, at least according to the fashion house's latest blockbuster campaign. For its spring 2019 ads, shot by photographer Dan Beleiu, Delevingne poses completely in the nude. In one snapshot, she's leaning against a marble (cement? stone?) block. In another, even more, intimate image, Delevingne is topless with Rousteing's hands covering her chest.
This photo held particularly special meaning to Rousteing, who said to WWD that he was paying homage to a 1993 Patrick Demarchelier photograph of Janet Jackson.(If you recall, Jackson posed naked save for her then-boyfriend Rene Elizondo's hands. The photo later became a cover on Rolling Stone.
In re-creating the moment, there wasn't any apparent awkwardness between Delevingne and Rousteing. Their chemistry, in other words, looks and feels real. In a statement, Rousteing said: "Whenever we meet, it’s impossible to hide either my admiration for her or the joy that I feel in her presence. Cara embodies that modern woman: she is authentic, transparent and never afraid to push it on every single level...She's a talent with something to say and she’s never been timid about expressing her point of view—and that’s why I consider her a muse."
While Rousteing and Delevingne fans will appreciate these fierce and powerful photos of the two, the designer also seemed to anticipate the "trolls" of the internet. He added: "Yes, we’re naked. Yes, I’m black and she’s white...You will never change the fact that I love what Dan Beleiu was able to capture here: a reflection on the beauty and honesty of nudity, the impressive strength of a confident woman, the importance of friendship...and more than anything else...an essential truth...that the biggest luxury in life is being completely open, true and honest with yourself."
Like I said, powerful.
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