Arnaud Lajeunie & Victoire Simonney shoot A nose is a nose is a nose for Sixteen Vol.4

Word by Victoire Simonney

A woman’s nose used to reveal a few things about its owner.


How she did at the genetic lottery, a rough estimate of how many boys fancied her in high school, and an idea of what her mother may look like.

A lot has changed with the meteoric rise in the demand for nose jobs. Today looking at a woman sporting a bumpy, long, or large nose compared to current standards you have to wonder, is she refusing to conform to societal ideals of beauty, proud of her heritage, or simply broke?

Previous image: Vest, Les Mauvais Garçons Vintage. This image: Nose ornament, Acne Studios.
Bustier and denim gloves, Stylist’s Own. Nose ornament, Acne Studios.
Trousers, Haider Ackermann. Belt, Les Mauvais Garçons Vintage.
Cropped jacket, Mugler. Leather bra and fringed belt, Alaïa.
Trousers, Jean Paul Gaultier Vintage. Pumps, Abra.

I’ve read that elegant Iranian women wear bandages on their noses to fake a recent surgery, just like they would sport a luxury bag fresh off the runway. Being able to afford the procedure becomes an upper-class status symbol, even more, enviable than having the required small nose from birth. In Teheran and worldwide nose, shapes are, just like the length of skirts and style of coats, subjects to trends and fads. Trends that go so fast that the inattentive woman can lose track. As Judith Viorst said in the late sixties « It’s hard to be hip over thirty when last we heard girls who looked like Barbra Streisand were trying to do something about it ».

Blouse, Maison Rabih Kayrouz. Corset, Les Mauvais GarçonsVintage.
Short, Isabel Marant. Earring, D’Heygere.

If Cleopatra was a millennial, would she get a rhinoplasty for her sweet sixteen?

Nose ornament, D’Heygere.
Bra, Alaïa. Girdle, Les Mauvais Garçons Vintage.
Trousers, Issey Miyake. Pumps, Abra. Necklace, Ellery.
Nose ornament, Acne. T-shirt, Y/Project.

These days a small straight nose that will do well in the unforgiving lens of the iPhone is all the craze, as the boom in the demand for rhinoplasty in recent years attest. It’s most likely a product of « Snapchat dysmorphia » a phenomenon especially affecting young women that makes their natural appearance unbearable compared to the perfection of the heavily filtered selfie. This standardized ideal calls for big almond-shaped eyes, full lips, high cheekbones, dewy skin, and a nose as small as possible. One’s particularity instantly becomes a flaw, an obstacle in the race for internet popularity. If Cleopatra was a millennial, would she get a rhinoplasty for her sweet sixteen?  All of those beautiful noses turning to clones on the operating table strikes me as an indisputable loss of beauty as well as a depletion of our cultural heritage and particularities. Choosing to keep a bold nose untouched in this climate is a fierce commitment to beauty from Mother Nature, a stand against a manufactured perfection created in the European – centric fashion magazines and movies, polished in the Silicon Valley. A strong nose might be an acquired taste, but once you adjust your gaze right, it is a delicacy to the eye and the camera.

Feather hood, Patou. Dress, Atlein. Pumps, Abra.
Black bustier, Les Mauvais Garçons Vintage. Lace corset worn under, Stylist’s Own.
Trousers, Byredo. Heart earring, D’Heygere.
Nose ornament, Acne Studio. T-shirt, Y/Project.
Dress, Valentino. Shapewear worn on top, Les Mauvais Garçons Vintage. Pumps, Abra.

Photography: Arnaud Lajeunie, assisted by Clément Dauvent and Jules Martin. Styling: Victoire Simonney, assisted by Caroline Mbonjo and Salomé Rouquet. Make-up: Cécile Paravina @ Bryant Artists, assisted by Emilie Revoyaz. Hair: Tomohiro Ohashi @ M+A, assisted by Leiko K. Manicurist: Hanaé Goumri @ TheWallGroup. Talents: Swati @ New Madison, Lisa Helene @ Marilyn, Justine. Asset @ women, AnneMarie Saric @ the claw models and Lisa @ Let it go mgmt. Production: Kitten.

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