Indie Idols: Corinne Day, The Woman Who Discovered Kate Moss

Laia Garcia

Photographer Corinne Day

In this series, we’d like to give you a little primer on those icons – musicians, artists, girls-about-town, that are often cited by fashion designers, and editors, as inspiration behind collections, and editorials.

Who: Corinne Day
What: Photographer
Fans: British Vogue, The Face, Miu Miu, Vivienne Westwood, Sofia Coppola, the fashion industry as a whole.

Kate Moss in “The 3rd Summer of Love,” ‘The Face’ Magazine, July 1990. Photo: Corinne Day

Tell Me More: Corinne Day was born in England in 1962 and was a catalog model for a brief time in the 1980s. While in Milan with her boyfriend Mark Szaszy, who she would go on to stay with until her death in 2010, he introduced her to photography and taught her how to use a camera. She began photographing Szaszy and his friends, who were also models, but her big break didn’t come until the July 1990 issue of The Face entitled “The 3rd Summer of Love.” On the cover, a 16 year old Kate Moss wore a grinning smile on her face and a feathered headband. The accompanying editorial inside featured images of Moss frolicking on the beach, the youthful spirit and decidedly anti-fashion vibes of the shoot were immediately revolutionary.

It would catapult Kate Moss into stardom.

Kate Moss in “Underexposure,” ‘British Vogue,’ 1993. Photo: Corinne Day

Day’s work continued to appear in edgy magazines like i-D and Ray-Gun, and eventually made her way to British Vogue, where her work would continuously appear for the next two decades. Inspired by artists like Nan Goldin, she also began documenting her everyday life, her group of friends, and everything in between. Her “documentary” photographs were published in a book titled Diary, and were also exhibited in galleries in London, Boston, and Frankfurt.

Day was diagnosed with a brain tumor and after a series of unsuccessful treatments, died on August of 2010. Another book of her photographs May the Circle Remain Unbroken, was published after her death.

Miu Miu’s Spring 1994 Campaign. Photo: Corinne Day

Signature Style: Corinne Day’s style heralded a new era in fashion photography, one centered on real life, and unplanned moments that captured the subject’s real attitude. Even with her fashion photography, there was rarely anything too posed or faked. Her photographs have a washed-out hazy quality, that immediately transports you to another time, a feeling of nostalgia for a place that you weren’t even at to begin with. Through her lens, even supermodel Gisele was suddenly just the really cool girl next door.

Day recreated some of Yoko Ono’s iconic artworks for “Mind Train,” ‘Vogue Japan,’ August 2006. Photo: Corinne Day

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