So this year everyone is talking about 50 shades of lame. Please read this most excellent & amusing review! It has made me think about erotica in literature, art, music, film and of it’s impact of course on fashion. There is something really compelling & intoxicating when it is done well, so well that it makes you want to discover more. When subculture becomes mainstream it is no longer taboo but sometimes the fact that it is out in the open makes it naturally more acceptable. For example walk through the sculpture garden at The Louvre & look at the beauty of the carved gods, goddess’s & mythical creatures that are there for us to remember the tales, marvel at the brilliant talent of the sculptor and quite frankly appreciate or perv over these perfect marble bodies. In the National Gallery in the Sainsbury Wing in a room is a famous image of Jesus being baptised by John the Baptist by Piero della Francesco. Two comments about this painting are a) is that tiny teeny little stream really meant to be the River Jordan? and b) Jesus is cut. He really has some serious abs & definition going on. That was painted in 1460 by the way. Yes I know it is wrong to talk about the son of God in that way and if I believed in hell I am sure I would be going there for a dirty martini with Dali, Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Hitchcock, Kubrick & Johnny Cash. My favourite erotic painting is by the troubled Sandro Botticelli of Mars and Venus painted c1485. They are gorgeous & clearly lying down after doing it and he has fallen asleep, I think the word is ‘spent.’ Thanks, Jilly Cooper. Once Man got past the animal finger paintings on cave walls he perfected in art what he likes to look at best. Then he learnt to speak, sing, write, photograph & film it. Fast forward through the centuries like we are Bill and Ted and I stop abruptly at the images of the late Helmut Newton. Why does fashion and the art world keep referencing him? Because his work is dangerous, unexpected, sexy and cool as hell. Note to self: must stop all this talk of hell. We see Nobuyoshi Araki’s love of bondage Marc Quinn’s gold Kate Moss and all of these above have one common thread: Worship. Some do it via faith and others do it via their loved ones (the Newton Image is of his beloved wife June) or their fantasies. No matter how sophisticated your appetite quite frankly sometimes you want a burger and sometimes you want a steak and it may be the 30 shades trilogy that gets you off or the Story of O book by Pauline Réage, last 2 images are from the film. Every year they ask if it’s another Summer of Love. I am not sure if this year it isn’t more like the Summer of Lust.