Sunday, 31 January 2010

Portraiture....friend or foe???

I was thinking today about how a stylist actually works and how a photographer actually works and ways that the roles of these two professions can be challenged.


I would think it would be quite difficult for a stylist to show a character through a portrait shot, accessories could be used to show the characters personality, a quirky hat, or a satin bow tie maybe: there makeup and hair could help evoke their persona. For a photographer, their direction for the model would be probably the best way to show the character of the model or the sense of the image that needs to be portrayed.

I love the idea of a simple portrait shot and being able to work out the model: either there real self or a perception you create for the model. Before Andy Warhol created his screen prints he took a portrait shot of his models and from these portrait shots you can immediately begin to sense a character for the model.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Rankin 'Breeding'

In some of my past work, and my work today, when styling I very rarely style a female model very girly, and sweet looking, I like to give her attitude, dressing her more masculine than feminine and sometimes play with the idea of gender in the fahion story, so when we had our lecture the other day on models vs pose, and Adam (my lecturer) showed us a slideshow of models/photographers etc and we came across Rankins project, 'Breeding' whilst discussing the role of a model, I loved the simple imagery and I couldn't believe that I haven't come across this project before.

'Breeding' is primarily portrait shots, by Rankin, in black and white format. Rankin is well known for being a fashion/advertising photographer alongside high profile projects and collaborations. In this specific project he shows his depth as a photographer and subtlety. The images in 'Breeding' are questioning, they really bring the onlooker into the images and make the reader question the sex of the model. The androgony of the models is amazing and only makes the reader that more confused. I love the idea of the project and the images themselves. I may need to buy the book.....

Models included in the project are Kate Moss and Helena Christensen.
Follow this link to check out the images, enjoy :)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Cutting Edge Couture

In this months Dazed and Confused issue, the designers celebrated are none other than the amazing and very talented Viktor and Rolf. Their key pieces from their S/S10collection are shown in a shoot styled by Katie Shillingford, photographed by Josh Olins.

After reading the article I needed to see for myself the catwalk show that showcased these exquisite pieces of fashion/art. (If you haven't seen the show click on the link next door ---->Viktor and Rolf's S/S10 fashion show)

The dresses are literally breathtaking, the colour palette is so beautiful and feminine yet the pieces themselves can to some, feel quite masculine because of their sheer size. I love though how V&R have transformed such a delicate, softening fabric and changed its function by creating these very geometric, graphic fashion pieces or as I see them art pieces, because honestly, which everyday, average Alice is gonna wear these to a dinner party :s but this is the whole point of their catwalk show, an escapism, and the way the duo came up with the name of the show,

"We felt the need to attack a sweetness, and intuitively we made sketches of the voluminous shapes of a traditional ballgown...We wanted to destroy that perfection, so to speak-that's really what we wanted to achieve. We were thinking about the words 'cutting' because of the credit crunch- you hear so much about cutting budgets, so the word stuck in our minds' V&R

The dresses are gorgeous, the designers are extra creative and the show was very inspirational, what more can we ask for whilst we are surrounded daily by misery and everyday normality....thank you V&R for the beautiful collection.

Gosh! How we communicate.....

This semester I have been set an essay to write, I have chosen to look at the question, 'What is the role of clothing in fashion photography?' so at the mo, my eyes and ears are open to everthing around me that can help me answer this question.

With this in mind, when I came across an article about the young designer, Gosha Rubchinsky's new collection for s/s10 and I read that he will not be necessarily showing his collection on the catwalk, rather Gosha will throughly showcase his pieces in a series of events, it sparked a little delight. Firstly, he will show a film, than onto a book of photographs shot by his friends (mainly) then onto the finale, a performance piece instead of the norm catwalk show.

I love the media and always have, I love the way it evolves and changes and begins to make you think about the communicative world around you. The first time I came across a somewhat different way of showcasing a fashion show was Viktor and Rolf's unbelievable RTW spring 09 internet show (if you guys haven't seen it, and Im sure most of you have, you can watch it here). This was really the first time that this was done by a more 'famous' if you like, designer. And I loved it, I love the fact that anybody could get to see the show: that the fashion world was able to reach a much wider audience and the fact that the designers were more creative with showcasing their collection and bringing something new and exciting to the fashion table. Lets be honest here, the internet is massive and is getting bigger as I write so well done V&R!


The performance really helps to show what the clothes can actually do, and for commercial purposes, its nothing less than amazing....his clothes for s/s10 collection are designed with the 'workout' in mind (maybe for the january porky blues :S) and his models literally did this for an hour - workout. Gosha really wanted to highlight "The Clash of Russian Mentality" by showing his work through this creative, three sectoned idea.

Check out some of his work....

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


As a group we needed to test our street style shots on the projector to see what sort of effect the imagery had and wether it would work for us on the day of the shoot. Below are a couple of shots from the experimentation shoot.

We realised from the experimentation shoot that the children would need to be wearing the simplest of pale clothing to get the full effect of the projected image. We also decided that the street styling images we chose needed to be of characters who looked really interesting and that their clothing had to be eye catching and a little more complex than just a plain t with black jeans outfit. The photographers also became very interested in the shadows of the characters aswell as the person.

Olympus E-P1

Whilst living at the library at the minute, I am getting a tonne of reading done!

I was reading the february issue of Dazed and Confused and I came across a great advert for the Olympus E-P1 the advert reads a fun, ingenious statement cut out of the negative for the camera...

"I don't just want 300 000 same old pictures that break my hard drive,

I want 3 that break my heart.

Don't be a tourist"
love this.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Accessories....rings, bracelets and necklaces...oh my..

When Im out spending money I don't actually have, im usually buying accessories and basics for my wardrobe (that's already full of accessories and basics, I have an addiction...:s)rather than the latest dress. So I wanted to share some of my treasures with yourselves... :) Bought from everywhere from charity shops to topshop, to made to measure pieces to cheap stuff from Asda!

I love what accessories can do to an outfit and what certain accessories can say about your character. It's so odd yet fantastic how accessories can change a whole outfit, and for all us skint students it's brilliant, we can just sling a white t on and add different accessories for different occassions to give the look another feel. I especially love those accessories that are that versatile that you can wear them at different occasions, for instance a hair piece could easily be plonked on your head for uni, yet the week before you could have just worn it to your best mates, cousins nieces wedding!


Yesterday I had a design history class where we watched a documentry about teenagers in the late 50s/60's and into the early 70's.

It showed you views from adults who were in their teens during these periods and what they felt about certain fashions/subcultures/people, and it also showed some clips from these decades, from the teens at the time, and what they felt about their life and what their parents felt about there behaviour. The documentry was interesting really and the views expressed had quite similar connections. Being that teens were seen as 'things' in their own right. (and also something which I didn't know but should have - the fact that Teddyboys were seen as a kind of threatining group, maybe because they seem to stick together like an army, maybe there dress sense scared some people??) They had there little goups to hang about with. A good quote from the documentry has to be a woman commenting on people in the street and how you could put them into a specific group and reinforces how fashion works, 'you could recognise who somebody was by their clothes that they were wearing'- this again highlights the groups and specifies them in a way and it also shows their 'roles' in society.

During the afternoon, I had a chat with our lecturer, Steve and we were talking about the documentry and we got into a discussion about subcultures and the fact that they had certain roles to conform to....or that they just wanted to conform to. There are such things as subcultures and groups, be it teens, goths, skaters, teddyboys etc (and this is still present today) but it seems in these groups they have smaller groups within i.e goths to emos, goths to glam goths etc... and each group has these different roles that they have within the bigger group.

Then my very last lecture we were speaking about the model vs the pose and we came across again, the role that a model has. The lecture was really interesting, you began to understand that the role of a model is necessarily not to just sell clothes, or be a 'coathanger' they are actors in their own right, and from my previous blog, My favourite model being Lara Stone, she is a typical model to really show how the role of the model has changed drastically from the early 20's to now. She is a chameleon. In a shoot she doesn't seem to just pose, she acts.

So with all this information from yesterdays lectures it really got me thinking about roles of different kinds of people...the role of the photographer, the role of clothing, the role of a mother, of a child, the role of a parent, the role of a magazine editor, a fashion designer etc..... It seems throughout time roles have changed drastically-why?

Monday, 25 January 2010

Meeting with group.

After our session today me, Moira, Marie and Adam (my group for the photography project) had a cheeky drink at the pub whilst going through our ideas for the shoot thats needing to be shot over the next two weeks for our hand in (8th feb- we are busy busy busy).

These are my notes I took from our discussion:

-street style
-children fashionable?
-Milk magazine (French)- a shoot in mag, projected images onto children
-playing with a ‘Grown-up’ idea - ‘Big’ the film, think about Suri Cruise -roles of children?
-look at portrait shots- what Polaroid does/means?
-Role reversal

Point of Action-
-casting- street styles- go through Preston look at street style, take photos of people in different occupations (links to the DSM Label s/s10-mechanics)
-call mum ask for jack-to model (11 year old)
-need to book studios
-play with projector- projecting images onto ourselves

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Quirky styling

I know i've mentioned that my favourite catwalk show for s/s10 is Chloe (which it is), but I can't help inlove with Marc Jacobs' styling for his s/s10 show. The oriental-esque up do, the models doll like look, the gorgeous mixing of fabrics and not forgetting his take on innerwear as outwear and I love, love love the fact that the models walked down the catwalks in sexy sandals too.

Inspirational, Jenny Saville

Fashion is all around and you can find it in one of the most unusual places....

One of my favourite artists of all time has to be the British artist, Jenny Saville, best known for her amazing painting technique and her phenomenal paintings of women.

When I was studying in my foundation year at Wakefield college, I studied this artist a hell of a lot through my year. I just love the way she paints, the colours she users are stunning, although lots of her imagery is quite uncomfortabe to look at, because of the way she portrays these women, and is able to highlight there physique in such a graceful way, makes her inspirational to me.

I like to look at the human form, Im a bit of a people watcher really which links to the post below, its part of my job to look at people and understand there characteristics and persona.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Models....who's your favourite?

With the lecture coming up, The model vs the Pose, I began to think about what I look for when I want to cast a model and also models I like at the minute......

Not forgetting the juicy gossip, (I say gossip because I don't actually know whether its true) that Lara Stone is engaged to David Walliams.

Since Lara Stone graced our catwalks (she was signed by IMG in 2006) with her gorgeous beauty, her voluptuous figure as a model she really stood out to me, most models I have come across have quite a strange look, they always seem to have something unique about their look, for instance Kate Moss' waif look became huge when Corrine Day photographed the up and coming model, this look wasn't really celebrated until the 90's, the look of models over the past decade has changed drastically really when you think about. Anywhooo....Lara Stone,

Born in the netherlands to dutch parents, and brought up in a dutch town, she was spotted, age 12, in the Paris Metro (talk about right place, righ time!). Only after years of struggle in the world of modeling, she had her big break in '06 when Stone was signed to IMG...thank god!

Her look is so striking: those cheekbones, those breasts, that dutch blonde hair and those near visable brows..stunning. She has walked for so many designers, has been in tonnes of campaigns and has been on a variety of fashion covers. Vogue Paris named her as one of the top 30 models of the naughties.

Stone's trademarks being, the Madonna-esque gap in her front teeth, her wobbly walk on the catwalk (all the ladies out there with a little bigger feet can definatly understand this, I mean would you ladies out there with size 7+ feet have your feet cramped into sample size shoes size 5.....probably if the shoes were as gorgeous as the ones that Lara has worn!) and not forgetting her (unusual really for a catwalk model) busty bosoms!!

An amazing amazing look.

My checklist that I have when casting a model;

1.-do they fit my brief (the look) i.e punk. Look at- hair colour/eye colour/any piercings-needed/not wanted
2.-will the clothes look good on the models body
3.-tall enough? short enough?
4.-how much costing?if costing anything?
5.-do they have an agent?
6.-if professional model, ask to see past work, portfolio of looks.