In La Femme à Paris the author Octave Uzanne dubbed a woman’s clothing ‘her offensive armour’ - but, in reality, fashion seldom offers protection from the violence of the modern world. The clothing adopted when a woman is at her most vulnerable to attack - the heels, furs and jewels of evening attire - actively works against the idea of self-preservation.
Nick Knight sought to challenge this: born from a desire to protect his own two teenage daughters and inspired by the ‘Slutwalk’ movement of women reclaiming the right to dress as they wish without being seen to invite attack, Knight decided to address the notion of self-defence through a fashion shoot. For this, he chose to collaborate with two much-celebrated and empowered female fashion figures - model Lara Stone, and stylist Carine Roitfeld - to redefine the notion of ‘Power Dressing’ for the twenty-first century.
Specially trained for this shoot in the techniques of Krav Maga, a self-defence system developed by the Israeli Defence Forces, Stone defends herself in a series of scenarios whilst modelling a selection of Spring/Summer 2012’s finest fashions, selected by Roitfeld and captured by Knight in stills for V Magazine and on fashion film for SHOWstudio. These films serve two functions - showcasing next season’s key styles, and offering instruction to women, a high-fashion ‘how to’ of self-defence.
Pushing the boundaries of fashion editorial beyond aesthetic, and countering the ‘Brutal Chic’ of violent fashion imagery that dominated in the seventies, Knight, Roitfeld and Stone offer a true vision of ‘Power Dressing’ for a modern and truly powerful woman.