It is important to establish and understand the motivation for the prevalence of this style in the 1990s, since a ‘recourse to the documentary and vernacular image is not entirely a contemporary phenomenon’ (Williams 1998: 104). Periodically, there is an attempt by the fashion world to shed what it perceives as an overly commercial image – and its search for something new often results in a flirtation, even a courtship, between fashion and the art world. In this case, the ‘art’ concerned is documentary photography, a strand of photographic practice now accepted as a legitimate art form. This courtship is crucial to the realist aesthetic of the 1990s, with practitioners within both arenas crossing the boundaries – and thus blurring them. The concerns of documentary photography – ‘the perfect tool for the representation of the human plight and experience’ (Mack 1996: 232) – presented fashion photography with the chance to challenge its own role. While this role has traditionally been to create fantasy, fusing this notion with that of documentary has led to some misinterpretation.