|Controversial heroin-glorifying photo featuring Jaime King among famous dead drug addicted Rock icons
This is fitting in light of the heroin overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman this weekend:
Yesterday, our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum Jaime King shared an image on her Instagram page in tribute to the anniversary of the death of her ex-boyfriend, famed Italian fashion photographer Davide Sorrenti.
|Davide Sorrenti and Jaime King – source
“Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me. In the Carriage held but just ourselves and Immortality.” –Emily Dickinson #DavideSorrenti #RestInPeace #SKE” the actress and former model wrote in the revised caption.
In the original caption, however, the Hart of Dixie star used the hashtag #HeroinChic.
|photo by Davide Sorrenti source
It is reference to a style of fashion photography and fashion industry styling that Sorrenti, who came from a family of talented photographers, and a few other photographers of the late 1990s embraced and promoted as part of their stance of rejecting glossy & glamorous imagery promoted at the time. It was at the cusp of the grunge era.
They chose to instead to portray their reality and the darker elements of that world, which as we all know, often included drug abusing figures. One of Sorrenti’s most controversial photographs was of a strung out and super thin King, who had admitted to being a drug addict starting age 14. Around her in the photo for Hysteric Glamour were famous dead icons who were drug addicts: Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious, and Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead (see top).
The term “Heroin Chic” has outlived Sorrenti, who died at the tender age of just 20-years old. It is reference to a look during the 90s grunge era that the fashion industry adopted as a “trend.” It included dark penciled under eye, emaciated appearance, pale skin, all to resemble the appearance of a heroin addict.
Of course, the industry’s capitalizing and marketing the androgynous look of drug addiction and making it fashionable and cool caught the ire and outrage of many, leading magazines to apologize and pull entire spreads.
In 1997, US President Bill Clinton spoke out against
“heroin chic” in light of Sorrenti’s death and the industry responded by shifting gears.
But if you click the hashtag in Instagram, as we did after noticing it mentioned on King’s Instagram account, you can see clearly that the look lives on today and is remembered.
It is almost reminiscent of Thinspiration and ProAna websites and imagery that glorify anorexia, bulimia and rail thinness as a goal among young girls and women.
Polite society can condemn it all and attempt to quell its prevalence in the mainstream but in the background and underground, it moves around, thrives, finds new homes and fans and essentially lives on…..
|Clothing from the Heroin Kids film project’s website
|Shirt from the Heroin Kids project website
The See Know Evil project is producing a film about Sorrenti. Here is a video featuring a never before seen interview with the late talent: