Kristen McMenamy Oils Up for a Gulf Spill-Inspired Shoot for Vogue Italia

For its latest cover editorial, Vogue Italia has teamed with muse du moment Kristen McMenamy and Steven Meisel to produce an epic, somewhat nightmarish vision of the Gulf oil spill. Yes, you read correctly. In their own words, the silver-haired heroine plays “the survivor version, where she interprets in images the environmental drama that’s afflicting the Gulf of Mexico.” The resulting spread features an oil-slicked McMenamy contorted into all sorts of couture-ish forms, channeling a variety of endangered wildlife.

Of course, the glossy has never shied away from controversial images (remember Linda Evangelista’s plastic-surgery story a few seasons back?), but this definitely up the ante. As you can imagine, the daring and, some would say, shocking images have caused quite stir in the twittosphere, with responses ranging from accusations of glamorizing of environmental disasters to applause for an unflinching look at the real world. And lest you think Vogue Italia is all talk and no content, they’ve even provided a beauty regimen to protect readers from the elements and other natural disasters—and if that’s not environmental awareness, we don’t know what is.

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