Corrine Day, Kate Moss and The Face

Corinne Day image on the V&A website

Corinne Day image on the V&A website

I’ve just caught up with the Review from Saturday’s Times , which carries a front-page obituary by Amy Raphael for photographer Corinne Day who dies a week ago (‘She never stopped being a rebel’).

The 3rd Summer of Love shoot for The Face in 1990 brought the 15-year-old Kate Moss to the pages of a magazine and is regarded as being the pivotal point in the change of fashion from power-dressing to grunge.

But Day’s watershed shoots did not end there. Her 1993 Moss shoot for June’s Vogue put ‘heroin chic’ all over the papers. Of course, the term had been around for a while – Mick Brown used it about Boy George’s addiction years before – but now the idea had a personification in the shape of Moss, a waif in ‘grotty knickers’ and a vest. It divided the magazine world.

Marcelle D’Argy Smith, editor of Cosmopolitan, told the Independent the pictures were ‘hideous and tragic. I believe they can only appeal to the paedophile market.’ Vogue was accused of peddling porn and editor Alexandra Shulman had to defend herself against accusations of child pornography and encouraging anorexia. The Daily Mail talked of  ‘the darkest regions of human sexuality’.

But Day was away and anti-glamour imagery became the name of the game, with David Sims, Juergen Teller, Craig McDean and Glen Luchford following Day into the pages of Vogue.

In 1997, her photographs were even in the relaunched Penthouse. A Dazed & Confused picture of a pair of soiled knickers won a ‘yukkiest picture’ accolade from the Independent.

But the Raphael piece tells of Day collapsing on a shoot in New York for Interview the year before.

Day carried on working, with her work shown at the V&A and the Photographer’s Gallery, and a Moss commission from the National Portrait Gallery. She also charted her life and illness in a book of photographs, Diary, that came out in 2000.

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