I love coffe table books but now I have so many I should set up a weekly rotation. Luckily for me, they're usual a little expensive, so I can afford a new one only from time to time!
One of my favorite is the well known High Fashion Crime Scenes from LA based photographer Melanie Pullen. I saw her photos years ago and I fell in love with her project, her debut collection where she connected violence and style, crime scenes and high fashion in a fascinating yet slightly disturbing way.
Using LAPD and County Coroner's office old crime scene photos as sources, Pullen meticulously recreate the set of murders and bloody events, using models as victims and styling them with haute couture pieces, from Prada and Miu Miu, to de la Renta and Chanel. There is so much behind this...the idea crime and fashion fascination are today not dissimilar, the representation of dead bodies like mannequins, the glamourization of violence in our ages. In her bio you can read "she literally redress what are deeply disturbing events" and I think this is a perfect definition.
With WeeGee as one of her inspirations, Pullen mix artistic experience and a professional eye, building her sets with the help of stylists, make up artists, light crew, etc. This way, the set itself looks like a "behind the scenes" of a high fashion show, with up to 60 persons involved.
The Metro Series, the Barrel Series, the Hanging Series, the Taxi Cabs pictures, are totally mesmerizing. At the beginning the set distracts from the real scene and only after a while the viewer understands he's actually looking at a representation of a (well dressed) dead girl.
The Weitzman File