Marco Glaviano, SIRENS

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, supermodels strode forth upon the Earth like goddesses.  They could cross from one coast to the other in a few strides, adoring fans followed them by the millions, and they could destroy any who displeased them with lightning bolts from their eyes.  Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly like that -- but folks like Cindy Crawford, Paulina Porizkova, Angie Everhart, and others were household names and mainstays on magazine covers and swimsuit calendars.  Photographer Marco Glaviano captured some of the best images of the best models, and his book Sirens (first printed in 1999) is a wonderful collection of his work across these two decades.

Sirens collects a wide selection of Glaviano's work, mainly from beaches and glamour shots.  Chapters are dedicated to specific models (Crawford, Porizkova, Niki Taylor, Amber Smith, Claudia Schiffer, and a new model named Anna Nicole Smith), or themes (Behind Closed Doors, Naked Chicks on the Rocks, Goddesses of the Sand).  Glaviano also offers observations on both the models and themes.
Sirens works both as a collection of beauty and a time capsule.  These photos capture the beauty of some of the most attractive women across two decades, and it's no surprise that Glaviano has done swimsuit calendars, magazine covers, and even the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.  At the same time, the fashion world doesn't offer a lot of longevity for even its biggest celebrities, and many of the people shown here haven't been active in the fashion world for years; because of that, Sirens functions well as a nostalgic look back at some of the biggest names in beauty from over a decade ago.
Sirens provides plenty of not only beauty, but also the creator's thoughts on that beauty.  The only thing that would have made this book better if it was a coffee-table book, giving these pictures the size they deserve.  That said, Sirens is an astounding look at the best of the beautiful.
Overall grade: A+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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