This American Life

John Updike probably didn’t read that many fashion magazines. I can’t really picture him as a Glamour sort of guy, you know? But I think he would have liked – even loved? – this editorial from the March 2005 issue of Flair. After all, “Ritratti di Nuovo Stile (Portraits of New Style)” takes cues from none other than one of Updike’s favorite artists and frequent essay subject, Edward Hopper.

In a tacit tribute to the 20th-century painter, photographer Javier Vallhonrat explored the frequent Hopper theme of urban isolation, dressing model Mariacarla Boscono in retro-inspired ensembles to play the part of the young, middle-class woman who has just entered America’s new interwar urban scene.

It’s hard to believe this shoot is as recent as 2005, but steeped in Hopper’s style of plainness and intimacy, even that ’80s peplum power suit and those Storm Trooper wedges are convincing. As for who this woman is, and why we’re focused on her, we’ll never know. In true Hopper style, the spread leaves us full of questions, so that we’re forever (as Updike aptly said) “eavesdropping on that wonderful Hopper silence.”


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  1. Avatar
    RachelC 03/09/2010 at 5:17 pm #

    So romantic!

  2. Avatar
    Kristie 03/09/2010 at 6:53 pm #

    I want those clothes.

  3. Avatar
    Shelby 03/09/2010 at 11:08 pm #

    these really ARE so edward hopper… love him…

  4. Avatar
    Charlene 03/10/2010 at 1:18 am #

    There’s something very quiet and thoughtful about a Hopper painting. I love art history and paintings, so to marry that with fashion is such a win for me! I can definitely see the inspiration. 🙂

  5. Avatar
    Gerlached 03/10/2010 at 1:23 am #

    Where can I get that blue dress?!

  6. Avatar
    Catarina 03/10/2010 at 4:56 am #

    I love this! Those outfits are so beautiful!

  7. Avatar
    Jo 03/12/2010 at 1:15 am #

    LOVE these photos!

  8. Avatar
    Alice 03/14/2010 at 3:05 am #

    Absolutely love these! There’s so much presence and emotion…very unexpected. The second one is beautiful and breathtaking…I’m totally inspired by these.

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