In Your Face

Where words fail, photos never do


Do you think Ashton Kutcher really had to amputate his forearm for that photo? LOL, JK.

Holiday gifts that rock: coffee table books you want to buy for yourself, won’t buy for yourself. It’s just one of those things. Like self-gifting flowers or a bracelet that says “I Love You Mucho” on it. I maintain that I have purchased for myself both of those things (see: Ovando–in excess, Venessa Arizaga respectively) but whatever. Let me talk.

Where words fail, photos never do.

Wasn’t that insightful?

I think I take it back though. My favorite deductions from this book (other than, of course, Lady Gaga’s full 70s bush), which is really actually an experience, are that a. the photographer extraordinaire, Mario Testino was referenced as a “tireless chronicler of sheer fabulousness” in the afterword and that b. Anna Wintour wrote the very lovely foreword. Both of those things include words, so…


On a particularly cold, perhaps uninspiring Friday, I hope the above photos (some of my favorite from the extensive collection) incite even the slightest of butterflies. While delivering beautiful words is certainly a gift, forging a visceral connection with someone you wholly do not know and perhaps even learning something new about yourself (I had no idea I am so intrigued, inspired, and overwhelmed by the way in which Oprah smiles) via photo is something that no bequest can offer.

Now, on a scale from 1 to 1, one being most lucid and most cryptic, how do you rank the general level of coherence demonstrated in this post? I for one, am going with 1.

Get more Personal Style ?
  • what i wouldn’t give for a lady gaga bush to keep me warm on this arctic friday.


  • Mariam

    LOVE it, i got a similar edition of a book from Mario Testino. Absolutely adore it 🙂

  • Anna looks so glamorous. Very inspirational xx

  • 1. Obviously. And yes – These are the PERFECT gift. I love coffee table books & my family has been giving me ones filled w/ Audrey & Grace for years. Now I need all the new ones!

  • Jessica Tenczar

    You should come to Boston and see them in person!

  • Mario Testino is incredible, and he gets better and better. I’m going to buy this book kkk =)

  • Anna Feruga

    This book is awesome! I really like his photos.

    Bisous, bisous
    Little Anaelle

  • Is it still cryptic if I understand it? (Kinda like if a tree falls and no one hears it…)

  • lavieenliz

    I love Coffee Table Books!! this one is soo good!! oh Ashton, you sexy robot man!!

  • mercergirl

    Ahhh…Mario. Genius can muddle the senses, even those of a sharp cookie like you. So really who can stay coherent in the face of that mastery? My favorite portraits of his are some of those of Lady Diana. Very regal but at the same time so intimate and gentle. Quite a contrast to his hyper sexual pics of Kate.

  • Malibu PR Gal

    I am going with 1 as well! very visual and creative on a gloomy Friday – even in Malibu!

  • babylon-chic

    1/1 – I call it “babylon style”. What is coherence, anyway…

  • Melissa

    oh wouldnt you just love to own this book x

  • Heather P.

    I’m going to go with 1 on that…ha! This looks like a really cool book to leave out “accidentally” when your parents come to visit. At least I would. My parents are uptight midwesterners who could sometimes use a good jolt…or a good laugh. 🙂

  • Zuzankita
  • Ivana Džidić

    coherence isn’t everything:) sometimes we need a bit of this and that…

  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni

    I need to get thisbook!!

  • Actually. I’m pretty sure both of Ashton’s arms were amputated in The Butterfly Effect, and they had to use a prosthetic left arm to capture that photo.

  • Kate Funk

    I love coffee table books too and there are so many that I want and I never buy them for myself either, this one looks so fun. I definitely feel a bit inspired by that gorgeous full skirt in the second photo!

  • Thank you for spelling “foreword” correctly. You made my day.

  • Rosie

    The museum of fine arts in Boston has the exhibit right now!

  • A.

    I love that you featured this book! Mario Testino is amazing!
    This is the sort of book that you can’t buy for yourself, but want- agreed!
    Testino is something of an icon for me, a photography student… His portraits are amazing.

  • It makes me laugh how often I finish one of your “essays,” for lack of a better word and don’t have a full comprehension of what, exactly, you’re saying, because I still wholly love the experience of reading your writing. And I so look forward to what you have to say every day. So keep it up, MR; whatever it is you’re doing, it’s clearly working.


    • Will Code For Clothes

      This was actually one of the more comprehendible posts, I think! Sometimes, when I don’t understand, I’ll just keep reading and then the jumble of sentence will make more sense down the post. Sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s still really good jumble.

      Keep it up, MR. Love reading your genius jumble. 🙂

  • Nathan Niche

    I love receiving coffee table books, they make such a nice gift! Not to mention, they’re oh so fashion with a capital EFF! You should check out my newest HOLY CHIC tee from Ashish, bound to bring up a few giggles in you to brighten up your day, or it simply provokes you, either way works 😉

    xx The Provoker

  • Love Kate’s pictures, both of them. Oh, yeah: that adrenaline thing, after chopping up your locks? Totally true. Got rid of half of my hair. Oh, well! I love it anyway 🙂

  • KatWalkSF

    Love a good coffee table book, but yes I will never buy one for myself!

  • Performance and Cocktails

    It pisses me off in these books when they split a full-face portrait over two pages and have the binding carve the person right down the middle.

  • debbywarner

    I love coffee table books but they are so expensive! Here’s a tip — buy them at thrift stores. Kutcher is so fucking handsome. The Stones photograph so much better in black and white. The lines on their faces say so much of their life on the road. I agree, I hate the split pages.

  • Jennifer
  • s

    i have a list of those things i really want but will never buy for myself .. aka the perfect present haha


  • http://style-squared.blogspot.


  • I don’t know how to smile.. If Mario took my picture people would think I was about to fart

  • Adrianna Alejandra

    I get you Leandra. Your lucid and cryptic writing is still rad, and I understand! Books like that are the utter and complete bomb dot com. Wonderfully delightful gift, if I don’t say so myself.

  • Wow… its great

  • Wow its awesome


  • Lauren Dimesky

    Great photos should only be displayed in giant coffee table books! And left open, to inspire picking it up!! This one is to covet, for sure!


    -Lauren at adorn la femme

  • Holly-Bella

    on a scale from 1 to 1…I’ve have to go with…1. Maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe 1 instead. Far out, man.

  • XeanaFashion

    Mario Testino – the genius of photography. Beautiful photos are presented here. These gift editions each of us should have at home. If none of your friends does not bestow such gifts, you can buy it yourself.


  • NOEmeLIA

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  • Zumrut

    The book looks amazing, hoping someone will get me one, because you know, no one gets herself a coffee table book:)

  • Denisa

    It is interesting post. Great weekend.

  • I’m always amazed by Mario Testino. I really should pick this up for myself!

    Cheers, Elizabeth

  • Behind the Mirror

    This was an amazing exhibit in Boston!!! After driving there with no where to stay the same weekend as the Head of the Charles (big mistake!), I loved every moment of it!!!!

    I wrote a blog entry about the exhibit In Your Face. I’d love you to read it if you have time…

  • NYC is too collldddd. All you want to do is lay down with some warm tea and tons and tons of fashion. Testino himself is such a work of art…these pictures are incredible, as expected.


  • Avice

    Hey can you visit and comment on my new blog? I’m a new teen blogger and I’d love feedback

  • Hahaha!!!! Get that butt in there!!! That last pic got me….

  • Shawnee Rajala

    Ha, I completely agree with Alexandra! And when I do comprehend what you’re saying, man, it’s a great day. I adore your writing. And yes I gush to my friends about you, even if they don’t understand the greatness (I can’t even…) I keep on gushing. So please, keep it up. xo

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    I also have a copy of that book and I really had so much fun reading the whole content, It was truly a great read for me.
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