Books: Harley Weir

Harley Weir has quickly become a household name in the fashion and editorial world, having emerged at a young age through Vice Magazine where she began shooting editorials, rapidly establishing herself as a talent deserving of a closer look. While she established herself in the world of fashion, shooting campaigns for just about every A-list brand imaginable in her own recognisable style, her approach to fashion is in something of a conflict; a topic which tends to show itself more readily in her personal projects.

The latest of these projects, a book published by Beauty Papers which sees Harley turn the camera on herself for the first time in her career. A self-proclaimed social media absentee where selfies are concerned, the project is a series of self-portraits and imagery facilitated in part by Harley’s team. 

The images show Harley in various states of dress, depicting the artificial representation of women and the impact that has on a woman’s desire to be desired; or more specifically, what they are lead to believe is desirable and what they are willing to do to fit this stereotype. Harley has spoken about how she feels that the beauty ideals of today are pushing women to look more and more like dolls, to which she has dedicated the book; “For all the dolls in the world.” 

Stylistically you will find
 anything from a Francis Bacon-esque pink platform surrounded by darkness and textures with Harley posed awkwardly, the side of her head on the floor, legs in the air, underwear showing with pink shoes and full makeup to a strangely posed image of the artist in water at sunset holding her feet, wearing a synthetic bodysuit and face-mask, only revealing the eyes through loosely eye-holes surrounded by blue eye shadow and heavy eyeliner. 

The series has a clear connection to the legacies of artists Cindy Sherman and Gillian Wearing, who both famously shot imagery of themselves as critiques of society and perhaps more issues of identity more broadly speaking. Harley’s continuation of this is a very direct and in some places vulgar representation of fashion and its impacts.

To purchase Harley's latest book, please head over to IDEA Books online to order.