HIGH FASHION CRIME SCENES
Melanie Pullen’s extensive series, High Fashion Crime Scenes (2003-2017), is based on vintage crime-scene images Pullen mined from the files of The Los Angeles Police Department and The LA County Coroner’s Office.
Drawn to the rich details and compelling stories preserved in the criminal records, Pullen began re-enacting these crime-scenes, with well-known actresses and models, outfitting the “victims” in current haute-couture, and photographing them in her elaborately staged settings.
Photographs from this series employ the power of fashion to disguise, distract, and to draw the viewer’s attention away from the otherwise gruesome subjects.
In High Fashion Crime Scenes, Pullen focuses on both social values and taboos while purposely taking aim at the media’s exploitation of sex, gender, and violence.
Pullen herself has noted that she targets society’s glamorization of violent acts and crimes by literally re-dressing what are deeply disturbing events, forcing the viewer to question their own values and observations.