Tag Archives: Photography

Peekaboo

Ever wondered what might result if the world of Kate Moss were to collide with that of Readers Wives?

Nah, me either.

But here’s the pictorial answer for all those Pervy McPervyson’s who have…

|Fashionising|     

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Amuse Bouche

Let’s start with an apology, shall we?

Sporadic posting is becoming my trademark and, for that, I am very sorry.  I could boast that such neglect results from a hedonistic three-week ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ birthday celebration, but all would be lies.

The truth, altogether less glamorously, is that the nine-to-five has been kicking my ass.  A long day spent reading, and editing, the words of others is one which leaves few of my own.

Quite apart from fatigue – and being worked to the bone for pittance -  there is the troubling matter of hypocrisy.  How can a fashion blog be authored by one who has forgotten to dress?

Despite being a ‘Winter Girl’ – who drifts, like a moth to the ever seductive flame, to lust over winter coats on Net-a-Porter during the inferno of summer – I still find this season the most challenging. 

Rain?  I take puddles in my stride.  Wind?  I’m firing on all pistons albeit with bad hair.  But snow? 

Down comes the white stuff and my sartorial wits freeze.

It is times such as these that streetstyle blogs – Vanessa Jackman, Hanneli, Stockholm Streetstyle and Mr Newton, to name but four – inspire me to wear something other than Long Johns, Hunter wellingtons and an electric blanket.

Curative to a bad case of ‘Style Boondocks’ as Lemsip is to flu, I plan to slavishly emulate their offerings – like the copiest of all copycats – and be returned to fashion and blogging toot sweet.

So there we have it.

An amuse bouche of a blog post. A tastebud tickle of adjectives until time, and workload, permit more. And more there will be…

Even if it does require handing in my resignation at the office!

|Stockholm Streetstyle|

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Lovely Bones

Cheryl Cole. 

Her face, child-like but for the maquillage of a woman.  Her eyes, doe-like but for lashes so fake they became tarantula.  Framed by the bubbliest of bubblegum pink, she stared out from the magazine rack.

A cover girl.

The face to launch a thousand gossip magazines, you might presume, wrapped in the cheap jewellery of salacious neon headlines. 

Not so.

For this cover, this magazine, was the October edition of Vogue.

The cover coincides, curiously, with another Vogue release – ‘Vogue Model: The Faces of Fashion’, a beautiful coffee-table tome celebrating ninety years of the magazine’s history and the many women – the models – to have adorned its velveteen pages.

In an age of content – and curiosity - fashion magazines have increasingly looked for endorsements from celebrities.  They fill the vacuum when it is not enough to simply recognise the face on the cover.  We must also know the minutiae of her diet, sex life and medical history.  All the better if she is embroiled in scandal.

But is this right?

I will purchase Vogue, faithfully as a lover, each month.  This October – though I prevaricated, biting my lip and lingering beside the magazine rack longer than is reasonably proper for even a shoplifter - I walked away.

It was a Homeric struggle not experienced the edition before when Kate Moss straddled the cover in a brass-buttoned Burberry peacoat with the kohled eyes of a rock star.

Recognisable – yet, paradoxically, little known - my favourite models (some of whom are pictured here) allow the clothes to speak without the baggage and brouhaha of celebrity.  Fashion without fameClothes not the clotheshorse.  Or, as Stefano Pilati has roundly summed: ‘To me, fashion photography is with a model; otherwise, it’s a portrait.’ 

So let me know. 

Is the marriage of fashion magazine and celebrity a wise one?  Does it homogenise – and potentially damage – a high fashion magazine to have their cover girl simultaneously emblazoned across those of gossip magazines? 

Or could it be… am I simply a cantankerous snob unable to progress with the times?

{P.S: For those who love (envy, stick pins into voodoo dolls, yearn to look like) models as much as me, you should skip over to my Tumblr page… right about here.}

|Fashion Gone Rogue, Fashionising|

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The Ten Commandments

Holy Crap!

It’s a shirtless Johannes!

Okay, okay…

So I may be twenty-nine years of age, soon-to-be-spliced to an also rather handsome boy and there’s that commandment about not coveting your neighbours piece of fluff, but…

Holy Crap!

It’s a shirtless Johannes!

|The Fashion Spot|

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Monochrome

For those wise souls amongst you who can’t ever be arsed to read my words…

|Fashion Gone Rogue|

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Pout

|The Fashion Spot|

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Pushing the Envelope?

Terry Richardson.

To some he is a visionary. A cultural behemoth.

His work, with its hallmark 1970s pornographic aesthetic, is as iconic as his signature handlebar moustache. It receives patronage from the most prestigious magazines – carrying, as it does, the dual stamp of editorial approval from Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeld – and is feted by commercial clients.

To others he is a pornographer-in-chief.

With allegations that his modus operandi exploits the subjects of his art, it seems striking that – whilst Richardson’s trademark portraits are set against a white wall and bleached virginal with a strong-flash – a picture of the man himself is nuanced and dark.

I have long known his portfolio, and its flirtation with controversy, but had not felt the need to comment. Until now. Until this. (NSFW!)

The most preliminary examination of a glossy magazine will reveal that nudity and fashion form an intoxicating marriage.  Provocative images tumble from almost every page;  however, whilst some have pushed the boundaries of visual style or elicited my blushes, none have offended.  The naked female form holds such beauty, and – as Helmut Newton documented – this can often be captured by the lens with great taste and originality.

In furthering the genre of nude photography, some might argue that Richardson is merely the creative progeny of Newton. It might also be argued that my approval of one, and rain of opprobrium for the other, is contradictory. I would shrug my (fully clothed) shoulders and reply that an important distinction needs to be made.

Newton was an observer, Richardson is an actor.

There is something about his physical proximity to the subject in The Journal that transgresses the parameters of professional distance. The exchange, though consensual, seems violating insomuch as it accentuates the imbalance of power between the young woman and her celebrity photographer. The act of intimately touching her with his hands – rather than simply with the artistic gaze of a lens – makes a statement of his superior status and manipulates the model into being little more than a vessel for his own sexuality.

Newton empowered his subjects, Richardson makes them passive.

With a bruised face bereft of makeup and disarrayed hair, the model’s depiction gives every semblance of her being underage. Though contrived, this amplification of youth brings her vulnerability – and thus, exploitation – into even sharper focus. It is this quality of fragility that is not evidenced in the portraiture of Newton and, even though he worked with the same medium of raw, unprotected souls, his imagery gave every appearance of emboldening women with their own latent eroticism.

As one of the most prolific photographers of his age, it seems clear that Richardson’s entrenchment amongst the fashion elite is absolute. But should that be the case? Should the readers of fashion magazines find the pages adorned with images of genitalia so gratuitous it would make a gynecologist coy? Should editors continue to disseminate his work and, in doing so, legitimise pornography with the lofty titles of ‘fashion’ and ‘art’?

I will let you decide but let’s end on this…

Whilst the stench of misogyny and manipulation lingers on these particular prints, it is my hope that other strong voices of protest will be heard because, let’s face it, they put out a better message than the one Richardson seems intent on making.

{Okay, I’m coming off my soapbox now. The floor is yours.}

|Terry Richardson|

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