Fashion photographer Anne Menke has spent her career traveling the world to shoot fashion stories for magazines like Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire. Along the way, she realized that the exotic locations she was scouting were teeming with inspiration, often in the form of people and places who seemed to inspire high fashion in ways undocumented.
After noticing this form of cultural diaspora, Menke took her commercial skills into a more personal realm, shooting people from the deserts of Africa to the hills of Asia and the frozen landscapes of North America. Having lived all over the world, she approached the project with an understanding of universal truths and globalization, where separate cultures are, in many ways, one.
The book itself is large and striking, offering Anne's perspective on many remote lands and overlooked peoples. At one point, Anne says, "In the Andes, the women perform manual labor in the fields, harvesting corn and potatoes. The men do all of the knitting. They make elaborate patterns that are some of the most sophisticated I've ever seen." In such moments, the diaspora becomes clearer, and Anne continually proves that the fashion on our runways is closer to the handiwork of people in lesser known parts of the world.
In addition to her own introduction, the book features text from Tommy Hilfiger, Julia Chaplin and Andrew Niccol, who've witnessed Menke's career and journey. As a whole, the narrative — both graphically and textually — is as complex as it is inspiring. In Anne's words, "Beauty is happiness, happiness is beauty. You can find it anywhere. But it helps to have a good pair of flip flops and a Pentax 6-7." Readers of this book will undoubtedly get her message and appreciate her for telling both sides of the story so well.
See The World Beautiful
Photographs by Anne Menke
Published by Glitterati Incorporated, $85