“Last Words” is a fashion spread featuring models reenacting the suicides of female authors who tragically ended their own lives. It is part of our 2013 Fiction Issue, one that is entirely dedicated to female writers, photographers, illustrators, painters, and other contributors.
The fashion spreads in VICE magazine are always unconventional and approached with an art-editorial point-of-view rather than a typical fashion photo-editorial one. Our main goal is to create artful images, with the fashion message following, rather than leading.
“Last Words” was created in this tradition and focused on the demise of a set of writers whose lives we very much wish weren’t cut tragically short, especially at their own hands. We will no longer display “Last Words” on our website and apologize to anyone who was hurt or offended.I appreciate that it was a real apology and not a fake we're-sorry-if-we-offended-anyone non-apology. I didn't see the images before the spread was pulled but I'm also not sure I'd want to:
In seven “artistic” photos, the models flaunt their clothes as they pose in the very act that claimed the writer in question — except in the case of Dorothy Parker, who died of natural causes, even though she had made suicide attempts several times. In addition to Parker, we see models dressed as Virginia Woolf, Iris Chang, Charlotte Perkins, Sylvia Plath, Sanmao and Elise Cowen. Their age at death, date of birth, city of birth, date of death, city they died in, and causes of death are listed under the photos.All these women were great writers who suffered from crippling depression before taking their lives. I could see using them as a PSA to women to get help but to sell clothing? Not so much.