It’s not really that there’s anything particularly inspiring or creative about these spreads. These ensembles come straight from the real costumes of wartime civilians and soldiers. But these spread emanate a sense of age frozen in time, a war that passed and went but still cannot be forgotten.
The revolutions of the past have always been part of who the people are. Countless dramas have been filmed emphasizing the power and triumph of the people who believed in their doctrines and their comrades.
My father’s shelves contain a myriad of books containing lengthy essays debating on the character and classical fighting strategies both the Communists and Nationalists used. In these books, it seems what lasts has always been the pride of winning, the pride of overcoming the impossible impasses.
Though never the core theme, the dramas almost always hint at the invincibility of the Communist soldiers. In the story of two siblings, the one who chose the stars would live on, while the one who chose the sun would drown in the large mountaintop that is grass covered quicksand.
For the directors, it’s always a matter of showing the plot, to take the triumph of the Communists, add a literary theme, and then create the drama.
For these Vogue editors and stylists, it’s a very different story. The positions of these models are rigid, and the expressions are stationary on the faces. The men in these spreads show none of the handsome heroism and invincibility of the soldiers portrayed in the dramas. Those guys are actually kind of ugly.
Du Juan emanates a sense of immaculate and fragile strength. With her sharp haircut and upright positions, her fragile strength creates a sense of fascination unique from the women of the dramas.
I think that these images get to the crux of the truth: that it’s not the triumph that makes the war so potent in the minds of the people. Of my countless relatives that lived through the war, the triumph of the Communists was impersonal, and far from their actual experience with the battle.
It is the experience of war and carnage, frozen in its state that is part of the people, not merely the triumph of the battles.
Off to the side: School ended for April vacation but this is going to be my first time with finals. . .which does not sound too appetizing. And report cards were sent home the day before break (whose idea is this?). I hate those no matter what they look like. . . and I'm also waiting for some stuff to arrive.