Female Elegance On A HorseMonday, November 12, 2007
Fashion and I have never really gotten together much, as I wrote here. But there was another occasion. It involved finding a horse and a bunch of grapes in an Abbotsford farm. John Lekich had written and essay on female elegance and I had an idea on how to illustrate it. Unfortunately shooting for a family publication, in this case the Georgia Straight somewhat thwarted my total vision. I thought that a couple of sisters dressed to kill and riding bareback would somehow convey the ideal of the elegant woman being elegant, no matter what the circumstances. At the time I had written a story for the Vancouver Sun on the role of women cello players in music. This was quite restricted until women were allowed to play full-frontal cello in the beginning of the 20th century. Until then, since putting your legs around a cello was deemed immoral, women were forced to play musical side-saddle with the instrument. The same idea of a woman riding a horse like a man was anathema well into the 20th.
I am not sure if Miki and Nicole Ruso were wearing anything underneath for this picture of them on the horse. I was too busy trying to take the picture of the untrained horse who would not stand still to think much about it. But in the end we took our pictures and had our Straight cover and everything was back to normal.
As cliche, as the concept is, that was the first and last time I ever approached the idea of a woman and a horse. I had previously photographed a woman, quite bare, on a dressage saddle, on a saw horse in the middle of her living room, but that's another story.