Deconstructing the image



Binary oppositions can be used to identify the narrative of a media text so we can understand what the image is presenting to us in terms of structure. This is important in relation to Georgina, Brixton as it seems to connote a number of meanings and ideas to do with fashion.

Culture : Nature
Synthetic : Real
Model : normal person
full : emptiness
healthy : unhealthy
fashion : unfashionable?

This image could be viewed as a fashion image due to the designer underwear and idea of ‘heroin chic’ fashion photography or conversely a snap shot due to the anti-glamour and, for its time, unconventional fashion environment to shoot fashion images.

The last Binary opposition has a question mark at the end. You would assume this is exactly the confusion in the interpretation of these images that Corinne Day was trying to unearth. ‘I think fashion photography has gone full circle. Grunge has become glamorous’

Past structures involving the myth of glamorous fashion photography used perfect models in perfect environments to try and glorify the image to such an extent that it tempts the consumer to step into the higher society and purchase the product with the hope of consuming a part of the glamour and lifestyle portrayed by the image. The intertextuality from this form of fashion structure has been inverted severely altering the image and explicitly intextualising with work from inspirations such as Nan Goldins work, Corinne was involved in the transformation of fashion photography away from the photographer focusing more on the model.

The Paratextuality of the image or more the Diary from which this image was obtained can be compared with that of Nan Goldins ‘The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency’. The Documentational structure is similar. Architextually the genre could be identified as documentary fashion photography or ‘heroin chic’. The Hypotextuality of this image is evident in todays fashion photography as critically acclaimed photographers often produce images resembling elements of Georgina, Brixton and the Heroin Chic look.

Textual Analysis


Chandler, D (2002), Semiotics: The Basics, Routledge, pp194-205 and at: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem09.html


Bignell, J. (2002), Media Semiotics (2nd ed.), Manchester University Press , p44


Branston, G. & Stafford, R. (2006), The Media Student’s Book (4th ed.), Routledge, chapter 3


Gillespie, M. & Toynbee, J. (2006), Analysing Media Texts, Open University Press , pp55-64