Via Lucis and Haute Couture (Dennis Aubrey)

"Matta VVV" by Roberto Matta's official web site. Via Wikipedia -

“Matta VVV” by Roberto Matta’s official web site. Via Wikipedia

Via Lucis images have been licensed by scholarly, art, architectural, and religious publications, and even the cover of a science magazine in France. Last summer we received a licensing application for two of PJ’s shots from VVV Magazine, of which we had never heard. We did a little bit of research and found some interesting results. First, we found that the original VVV Magazine was devoted to the dissemination of Surrealism, quite a surprising result. We thought that this would be interesting, especially since we have previously discussed the close relationship of abstract art and medieval architecture in our conversations with Angelico Surchamp. But this magazine only existed from 1942-1944, so it was pretty obvious that this was not the source of the enquiry.


When we saw the website for the current iteration of VVV Magazine, it became clear that we were in for a surprise. It is a very high end modern fashion publication and about as far from our work at Via Lucis as is possible. VVV is self-described as “a bi–annual magazine (print and web) that captures equal layouts of both fashion and beauty throughout the decades. Throughout each issue will be scattered amazing single frame images that will provoke your mind and inspire you to create …. It is shot by the world’s top established and upcoming photographers. It is our hope that through our dedication and devotion that we emit the beauty in all elements, to inspire the discouraged, and to stimulate the psyche with our contributions.”


PJ’s images were featured as full page layouts in the most recent Fall/Winter 2014 edition dedicated to “Conviction”. It appears that the issue features women dressed in clothing inspired by religious vestments and clerical garb such as nun’s habits. The editorial description reads “we break apart the facets of belief and truth, and explore a world conquered by fashion, faith, and fortitude.” I don’t really know what to say when I read things like this. But then, I don’t really know what I would say if I was walking down the street and confronted by someone wearing clothes like this.

Light on pillar, Washington National Cathedral, Washington DC  (Photo by PJ McKey)

Light on pillar, Washington National Cathedral, Washington DC (Photo by PJ McKey)

How PJ’s images of the Cathédrale Saint Front in Périgueux and the Washington National Cathedral came to be selected for VVV magazine is a complete mystery to both of us. We are pleased, of course, but I would think that our explorations of medieval faith are about as far away from the world of haute couture fashion trends as it is possible to get. How could we be so wrong? Who knew that Via Lucis was so high fashion?

Side aisle, Cathedrale Saint Front, Périgueux (Dordogne)  Photo by PJ McKey

Side aisle, Cathedrale Saint Front, Périgueux (Dordogne) Photo by PJ McKey

If you are interested in seeing a sample of the magazine, follow this link. Click on the “Expand” and you will see six pages. none of which show PJ’s shots. If you want to see the entire 150 or so pages, you need to pay for it through the “Joomag” link.

14 responses to “Via Lucis and Haute Couture (Dennis Aubrey)

    • Helen, VVV at this publication stands for Veni, Vidi, Vici, which as you well know was Caesar’s “I came, I saw, I conquered.” The editorial explanation reads “These are the words uttered by the father of an empire ages ago. His deep convictions echo through these pages feeding an attitude that we carry to heart: face your fears and be triumphant.” From this I’m worried that they are going to capture Gauls! French fashionistas beware!

      • To judge by some of the things seen on the Paris fashion week catwalks the Gauls wouldn’t be able to put up much resistance….I’m sure that I saw some woman dressed as a tapeworm in gilded netting…and as for the men….

  1. Why am I not surprised? PJ’s wonderful photographs of unusual lights and corners are always a delight to the eyes. If congratulations are in order “congratulations!!”

  2. Dennis, absolutely beautiful stuff. Even a few moments standing in these places has to be the most amazing physical and spiritusl experience. #jealous. Mick

    • Mick, so nice to hear from you again, and such kind words!! The spaces are extraordinary, no doubt; this is why PJ and I have such a passion for this project. Sometimes they are just old buildings, sometimes they are museums, sometimes they are living churches, and at other times – the most special – it is like the stones carry the memories of the tens of thousands of faithful.

  3. That certainly isn’t the sort of publication I would have expected to publish your stunning work. I’ve never paid much attention to such things as haute couture, what little i’ve seen has always struck me as more of an oddity than anything else and mostly not anything a regular person would wear. Perhaps it was an editor’s idea that since some of the clothes were supposedly inspired by religious garments they should have photographs of religious spaces. No knowing the vagaries if the editorial mind.

    • Aquila, that was the feeling we had when we discovered what VVV magazine is. Their choice was clearly part of the editorial design of the issue. We are still bemused, though.

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