Perhaps most famous for her work with Kate Moss, Day, a one-time model herself, was instrumental in the early 90s shift from glamour to grunge. "I believe there can be no true beauty without decay," she wrote in an introduction to her work for the 2007 Face of Fashion exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
It was this fundamental attitude that propelled the self-taught artist to the top of her game. Day's images blurred the lines between fashion and art with her documentary style and her often close relationships with her subjects. These enviable bonds afforded Day a unique opportunity to "make the images more intimate, revealing a life in the eyes of the person being photographed that is vital."
The result was palpable. The first time Day photographed Moss for British Vogue her images sent a seismic wave through the fashion world. Here was Moss at home, not dolled up in front of a white screen in a nameless studio, with her so-called flaws (nobbly knees, small breasts, shortish stature) on show. It was in stark contrast to the age of the supermodel.
At the time the shock of these photos was described as "a cider-obliterated punk wandering into a coming out ball." Today they're seen as one of fashion's most recent turning points, and what shot Day to fame.
Day was a regular contributor to British, Japanese and Italian Vogue. In 2000, she published Diary, a controversial book of photographs that chronicled the lives of her friends through the trials and tribulations of youth, including drug addiction, through to early adulthood. Her work has also been exhibited in a number of galleries, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern, Saatchi Gallery, The Design Museum, Photographers Gallery, and Gimpel Fils London.
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