Corinne Day (1962 – 2010)
Transitioning from fashion model to fashion photographer, Corinne Day proves that the only rule for success is to remain true to your vision.
After traveling around the world as a model at the age of 18, Day met aspiring filmmaker Mark Szaszy on a train in Tokyo in 1985. However, after two weeks Day was expected in LA and Szaszy to Melbourne, Australia. Two years later, Day surprised Szaszy with a phone call and their romance picked up where it had left off. Together they travelled around Asia and Europe, where he taught her photography and they adapted their styles.
Living in Milan together, Day began photographing new models for their portfolios. Her ability to put the new faces at ease and communicate their personality made her a favourite with modelling agencies.
Being encouraged to enter fashion photography, Day quit modeling and took her new candid style back to her hometown, London. In 1990, Day photographed a 15-year old Kate Moss for The Face magazine. Experiencing a hangover of 1980’s excess, Day wanted to avoid heavy make-up, big hair and stylized poses. From her time shooting models she had cultivated an intimacy within her photographs. Her debut images would influence the style of the 1990’s; raw with a documentary feel.
Day continued to shoot for The Face, as well as for i-D magazine and American Vogue. However, in 1993, Day’s controversial and heavily criticized shoot for British Vogue would leave her (temporarily) outcast by the publisher and Kate Moss’s model management. Styled in lingerie inside Moss’s apartment, Underexposed evokes an unfiltered tenderness. Once released, however, the shoot was condemned for promoting anorexia and pedophilia.
Her husband Mark Szaszy comments, “ The British press [dubbed] Corinne’s work in 1990 as the new “Waif Look” in reference to Kate. Then they called it “Grunge” circa 92 and after the 1993 Vogue scandal the great media oracle named it Heroin chic. Corinne didn’t like these cheap media labels. She preferred documentary style or reportage”.
Refusing to conform, Day persisted with her unpolished, authentic style by producing work for alternative magazines such as Raygun, Donna and Interview. Day found herself in favour of indie bands; shooting Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cranberries and Moby’s iconic Play album, 1998.
Towards the end of her life, Day continued to shoot for leading publications, finding her work once again gracing the covers of Vogue magazine. Unapologetically exposed, not only does Corinne Day have an impressive portfolio but one that defined a decade.
By Gabrielle Kynoch