The Newton Ideal

In the new Purple, Olivier Zahm and Karl Lagerfeld presents a tribute to longtime KL friend, Helmut Newton by using Baptiste Giabiconi to represent the iconic Newton Woman. 14 pages of the seductive young Frenchman in black stiletto heels (“bought at Ernst Pigalle“) are unsettling, provocative and witty as hell. We love! Here’s a sneak peek.

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Ph: Karl Lagerfeld. Art direction: Olivier Zahm.

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93 Comments
  1. I was just checking out some Helmut Newton photography a few days ago, and I must say they didn’t really capture his essence (at least in these preview images). But… wow at that first image!

  2. The first thought was vulgar. The second thought maybe not vulgar.

    Karl Lagerfeld produced some teddy bears, which were looking exactly like him, and costed some 1000 euro per one teddy.
    Is this vulgar? hmm.

  3. stop putting boys in high heels already! no one thinks its cool! And while your at it, stop putting them in dresses. k thanks

  4. having a ned male wear stilettos is hardly creative or witty. It’s just derivative and not even interesting enough to be provocative.

  5. poor Newton…this s just pathetic…
    the last pic makes ashame to be gay n to in fashion

    NEWTON 4 EVER

  6. i must say, baptiste has better legs than some women, lol, i’m mean… it’s a cool shoot and it’s Lagerfeld!

  7. Dear god, the level of vulgarity does not even seem to suggest the unupholstered nature of this seemingly sensational development; and yes, the poor boy’s father must be quite proud of him right now.

  8. “represent the iconic Newton Woman”

    im not into man in high heels seriously i know lagerfeld did this hes icon whatever but even if god photograph this i wouldnt be too fond of it either
    its looks weird

  9. The pictures are not terribly original (and I was never a big fan of Newton anyway), but they’re gorgeous. Baptiste is a beauty. He’s got better legs (and a better butt) than most female models. And I’m definitely not complaining.
    Karl, this boy was a great find.

  10. Hmmm not a new idea at all…I have seen better (male in heels) Baptiste looks hot everything…..take off the heels and be a man!!!

  11. I believe Helmut Newton in screaming and having nightmares in his grave, somewhere in the north hemisphere! Baptiste is being extremely highlighted by the media recently, not that i agree with that. When someone like Karl Lagerfeld decides do promote a new model, everybody pays attention, but not because they might like it, its because they are afraid to contest his taste and ‘vision’. He can be the kaiser of fashion – to some people – but throwing him in magazines like that is just disrespectful, even more when his work doesnt reach the proper results!

  12. its hard to believe the same Karl who produces Chanel and Fendi each season produced this tranny softcore porn

  13. completely agree with gustavo. if this project wasn’t tied to lagerfeld, neither the pics nor the model would be considered publishable. helmut-newton-inspired? please – it’s not even worth delving into. at instances like this, we really are the vacuous, empty industry people complain about.

  14. Hmm imagine a man in high heels? How shocking?
    Definitely not up to Newton (that’s a really tall order) but not worthless either. Actually it’s clear from the reactions that there are still a lot of taboos to be surmounted.
    Thank god for Karl and Olivier… who else is going to challenge the mediocrity of conformity and the fear of the unfamiliar.
    At least Karl is not ashamed of what he likes.

  15. The 2nd picture is decent but collectively this whole editorial is just not happening for me in any type of artistic way. I just do not see the point of it. The poses and body language are not appealing so it makes whatever he is trying to sell unappealing as well.

    Sometimes the risk is worth the outcome but it doesn’t seem that way this time :/

  16. The story is too hard to follow without the accompanying text. A good editorial should be able to tell a story with no words, and this one falls very short of doing that.

  17. Hmmm…remember what Karl looked like when he was young?
    This is NOT by any means an hommage to Newton-but it is
    poor old Karl using a dark brooding young man-to fill the unfufilled fantasy of being shot in heels by Newton….soo sad and NOT sexy or forward. Jeez-I or anyone else for that
    matter can see better looking men/trans in heels walking in the village or the Bois du Bologne in Paris!

  18. Any questions go to YouTube and death “Karl Laerfeld in erotic movie…eeewwwwwh!
    As I said–that whole “Newton “shoot is about
    an old queen’s unfulfilled dreams…..

  19. Baptiste looks incredible… kudos to him for working with an overdone theme. I appreciate the homo-eroticism and think that this would have been forward-thinking and provocative a couple of years ago, but now has a tone of “Gay for the sake of being gay”

  20. First pic: Gay erotica I must say, yet those were nice heels! Baptiste pulled it off but on that sense I think he was kind of used in this set-up. I definitely agree with Joe and Gustavo, if not for The Lagerfeld who took this photos, this suggests P-O-R-N! I mean this is entirely homo-erotic in the sense that it is much different from D&G campaigns which I love!
    I guess if you have power over something MAJOR and Important you might not know that you have cross the line!

  21. He should shave his legs before wearing stiletto.
    seductive ? young Frenchman – that´s a joke

  22. sometimes if you have the power, Major or International that is, someone tends to forget they have crossed the line between Fashion and overkill… Baptiste seems so overrated!!!

  23. I do beleive this whole mess should stop now…
    Baptiste as a high end model, in chanel, fendi? i guess 1 seaon of this is enough oready… Commercial model suit him better..
    Just becuz its Karl who brought him up, does not mean he have that something that surprises ppl… I am already so tired of him showing up in fashion magazines….
    He is always wearing a heels and a jacket only, or else he is completely nake….pls, no one really want to see him naked..
    This whole baptiste thing is turning into a joke…;[

  24. i don’t mind the homo eroticism… i don’t think people would protest as much if the model was female in the same poses. that said, the last shot needs to go…its horrible. i’m not a fan of baptiste either but seeing him naked in heels isn’t the end of the world. i actually really like the first shot. the rest were just ‘eh’. men in heels isn’t exactly shocking…i wish he would’ve shaved his legs though.
    and i agree that newton is probably rolling in his grave.

  25. i think that the photography is ok, its just the concept and direction that is so forced, stop trying to push the creative envelope and maybe one day it will happen again…. newton was a genius, strong beautiful women captured that way, this is taking away the strength of someone.

    boring

  26. does anybody remember the name of one french hot blond male model from the 90s? recently he dated some old actress from france …what was his name?

    thanks

  27. Karl, sempre inovando mostrando que sua idade é pura e habilidosa experiência.

    parabéns Karl…

    By

    Moacir Junior
    agente de modelos
    Time Models Mgmt – Brazil.

  28. the first and third shots are gorgeous. i can’t believe how many people are angry about this. does lara and eniko ever wear clothes in editorials?

  29. The outcry against this photography is compelling evidence that Karl is, in fact, a visionary. People see a man in heels and automatically say it’s homoerotic, embarrassing, not fashion, etc. Just goes to show you how many are too blind to see past the connotations of a shoe with a pointy thing on the heel — why should a shoe with a pointy thing necessary mean homoerotic, embarrassing, not fashion, or whatever other preconceived notion I read on this forum? The only reason it feels homoerotic to you is because you’re narrow-minded, and Karl has achieved his goal: (1) pushing boundaries; (2) creating with vision a world without preconception; (3) making you uncomfortable due to your own shortsightedness; and (4) perhaps, helping you ask questions about your preconceptions. Wake up — it’s 2009. Sure, we’ve all seen boys in heels before, but way too many of you still say it’s “embarrassing”? I would be proud.

  30. Definetly controversial but thats why i like it, love it 2bh not sure but admire them for going through with the concept certainly.

  31. I must say the man doesn’t look so bad in high heels. I am a woman and I don’t mind seeing a man in heels. In fact as an artist; novelist of science fiction/ fantasy and a future designer of futuristic menswear and boyswear, I have no problem with men or boys in female clothing. What I think is preposterous is that a woman can wear mens clothing and pants, but a man can’t wear dresses, skirts, and heels. And don’t tell me that because a man is tall he shouldn’t wear heels because most of the so-called female models are tall,yet they’re always wearing really high heels. ALAS THIS WORLD IS TOO PATHETIC AND HYPOCRITICAL FOR ME….

  32. Well, controversy creates press coverage so I’m sure KL is happy either way.

    Why does KL have to turn the models with whom he’s obsessed into escorts?

    I wonder what Baptiste has to do to stay in vogue with Uncle Karl?

  33. Beta Glucan:

    Putting a man in high heels has been done before, in art, photography, fashion and real life — many, many times in fact.

    If you think Uncle Karl putting his favorite toyboy in high heels is “visionary” then you are easily impressed and wowed.

    Let’s face it, the only reason this shoot was done so that Uncle Karl could get young Baptiste bent over a chair naked.

    Perhaps the two of them should keep such activities for the private time they share together.

  34. It’s totally sexy. as for it being too homo..guess what fashion is? RUN BY HOMOS, so images like this will forever be floating around in fashion because the people at the top of the game have homo eroticism running through their veins. so just accept it today and your tomorrow will be less complicated. I get it, heels on boys isn’t provocative, but remember that this is paying tribute, the goal isn’t to project a future image or change fashion, it’s reflective.

    As for all the comments about his father being “proud”, maybe his father is actually more mature than some of you and can separate Baptiste his son from Baptiste the product. He’s a model, it’s his job to be inspire, wear heels or a beautiful suit, that’s one of the job requirements so get over it.

    as for him not shaving his legs, dont you get it? that’s the point! Karl isn’t trying make this about being womanly, he knows he is presenting a boy in heels and thats what it is at it’s purest form, a boy, no editing, in heels, in the SPIRIT of Newton’s muses.

    Thanx

  35. I love it but I think we all know why Bapt is the new muse: he looks EXACTLY like Lagerfeld in his youth, hmm? Unt so, it follows like this, then, yes? That Mister Karl, he likes his own likeness, whether in Teddy bears or pseudo lovers, hmm? very Madonna vis a Jesus Luz, hmm? Non?

  36. I agree there is more to this than just a man in heels- and also that so much of the negative commentary here helps prove this. Karl Lagerfeld, like myself, is more intelligent than the vast majority of people, and likes to mess with people’s minds, and he does so here. We are playing with categories and significatio. The young man is not a woman, but he is representing a woman, thus he IS a woman, symbolically, etc. I wish I could put it better, but I’m tired… That last pic shown is not the best, but I quite enjoy the others. But even the one I don’t like so much I think almost dares you not to like it, and thus, I like it. Of course, I do enjoy what Karl does in general, so perhaps I am not so objective? Oh well. Take it or leave it. It harms no one. The boy is hot, heels are hot, and this boy in heels is definitely hot.

  37. Do you think Baptiste had to do a reverse tuck for the first shot? Is there such a thing as a reverse tuck? That’s my only concern.

  38. Looked again this morning, and see I left the “n” off of “signification”. Oh, I love the person who said they wouldn’t enjoy it even if God photographed it! Though I do like the pics, that comment amuses me. It is pure gold. Or platinum, perhaps.
    Now, for those complaining of homo-eroticism, I know these people would be pleased if Karl had taken these of a woman- but what if I myself took similar photos of another woman? Would that trouble any of you? I somehow doubt it…
    Oh, fashionthoroughbred, I did search the terms you mentioned on Youtube- not sure what’s so “eeewwwww”- it’s just a 15 second clip from the Andy Warhol film “L’Amour”, of Karl kissing a girl. Rather sloppily, I suppose, but my goodness, it’s a heterosexual kiss! How can that gross anyone out?
    Perhaps the people so disturbed by this shoot should go check that out.
    And the people who feel that just because men in heels has already been done, it should not be done again, look, show me someone who has not been influenced by work that is already done and I will show you… no one. This person does not exist. There are only degrees of originality in all art. Nothing is 100% original.

  39. KathleenShimp:

    You say: “Karl Lagerfeld, like myself, is more intelligent than the vast majority of people.”

    You then go on to say:

    “The young man is not a woman, but he is representing a woman.”

    NO? Really? Thank you for that *penetrating* insight into this photo shoot.

    With your well-above average intelligence, I certainly hope you will bless us with more precocious observations on the world of fashion.

  40. I also thought KathleenShimp’s “like myself” comment was somewhat unintelligent. I’ve mentioned before how I’m not a fan of Karl at all and there’s nothing really “intelligent” about this photoshoot. A naked guy in heels isn’t that light bulb worthy.

    http://calvinshow.blogspot.com

  41. Calvin, dear, I was being a bit facetious with the “like myself”, although it is indeed a statement of fact.
    And goodness, do I care if you are a fan of his or not? Did I mention you specifically? I don’t recall doing so.

    John Baker, Look, I indicated I knew I wasn’t articulating it that well.

    And for intelligence I’m talking not only about this shoot, but in the context of what Karl Lagerfeld generally does. Perhaps I should have stuck to this topic more specifically, or given more indication that I was being expansive in thought. Sorry, I couldn’t directly project thoughts across the internet, so there is some deterioration in translation between what was in my head and what came out here.

    There really was supposed to be some humor involved. Only a tiny amount, but it was there. So I thought. I guess it really wasn’t after all. I wasn’t trying to be as much of a bitch as I sounded. But in the end, this is how it sounded, so this is how it was. Oh well. So I get a bit misunderstood. Only a bit, I grant. I am somewhat of a bitch. But a very sensitive and vulnerable one.

  42. Basically, all this boils down to is one opinion versus another. It doesn’t even matter.
    Some day, none of us will be here. The photographs, the magazines, all will decay eventually as we will. I start wondering what is the point of anything? The truth, there is none. So we do what we do. We enjoy our time as best we can. Artists, we try to have validity by what we do, our art. But do we? Does anyone?
    I don’t know.
    I really don’t know.

  43. “Some day, none of us will be here. The photographs, the magazines, all will decay eventually as we will. I start wondering what is the point of anything? The truth, there is none. So we do what we do. We enjoy our time as best we can. Artists, we try to have validity by what we do, our art. But do we? Does anyone?
    I don’t know.
    I really don’t know.”

    That was the most beautiful philosophic message I have ever read on a forum on internet. 🙂

    Do we have the right to judge? What gives us the right to judge? I was asking just myself.

  44. KathleenShimp:

    “Some day, none of us will be here. The photographs, the magazines, all will decay eventually as we will. I start wondering what is the point of anything? The truth, there is none. So we do what we do. We enjoy our time as best we can. Artists, we try to have validity by what we do, our art. But do we? Does anyone?”

    I agree, and I completely echo these sentiments. I was only poking fun light-heartedly in my initial response to you.

    My problem is not with your post, or this photoshoot, for that matter.

    I just think there is a danger in the fashion community to view anything that is “controversial” as immediately being “good”. A number of posters on this topic have made that mistake. People get offended, so they jump to the conclusion that the work has been misunderstood.

    Controversy is brave, but it does not always mean good art.

  45. Analiso este traseiro de uma forma brasileira de ser ver as coisas por trás: um tesão de bunda!
    uau;;;;;very hottttt

  46. You know what i get it guys that u love Matthias lauridsen, i love him too, heck, the whole world does. but he is not number 1 anymore, get over IT!!! guys. And please guys, u need to lay off of baptiste. as far as im concerned he did no ask to be the new #1, models.com did, and your opinions does not matter at the end of the day, so stop being angry at him for nothing!

  47. Such stupid comments. This is not supposed to be fashion, but art. So “homo”. What bullshit. Lagerfeld is playing with the roles of different sexes. This is provocative. Nothing for narrow-minded idiots.

  48. …I agree with the last two comments by Iris and Daniel.
    …and people, please, get over it and move on!…and some of you get a life in the process too…!!!

  49. This is high fashion? When ranking models, perhaps you should consider the QUALITY of the photographs rather than just the QUANTITY. You now have a bona fide porn star ranked at #1.
    Congratulations!

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