Saturday, 31 January 2009

Sat 31st Jan: Portrait Profile Weekender Season 2 cont....

The golden colours in this picture are beautiful and very different from the rest of the shoot that is light and crisp. Perhaps it was affected in the instant developing and came out wrong in an accidentally fortuitous way. It is this uncontrollable quality about Polaroid's that Mads likes in addition to how they can also alter over time:

"I like all the small mistakes/scratches that normally appears on the
Polaroids after they been laying around for awhile. - it almost reminds me
of old photographs- which is more and more a medium that's dying out.
In a time were almost everyone is moving onto digital, images are starting
to look more and more perfect and clean- I think it's worth remembering the
Polaroids and all the fascinating moments they can recall. Had they been
shots from a digital shoot they would probably have been erased because
why would you save non perfect images."

Sat 31st Jan: Portrait Profile Weekender Season 2 cont....

So here are the Kickers portraits I mentioned. I like to use un-seen pictures on this blog to give artists a platform to show more personal work. All the photos that Mads has sent me for this post are original Polaroids from his shoots for this reason and also to show the special magic that materialises in that moment:

"By re looking at these old
Polaroid's I became fascinated about the fact that most of them are taken
in a quite spontaneous moment before the actual shoot starts. Most of them
have been shot to check the technical aspects rather than thinking of the
model looking perfect. This again creates a more natural approach and I
believe that sometimes the best images are taken in the beginning when the
person you photograph is not completely ready.
By reshooting lots of stuff and re directing the models they become almost
to aware of being photographed and the shot quite easily ends up looking
to composed, almost to perfect if you like."

Mads had 1 day to shoot each designer and their muse for this story. That equated to negotiating a cast of about 16 different people which is a tough call for any photographer. But on top of this tall order, poor Mads came down ill with food poisoning the night before! Ever the professional, he soldiered through and managed to extract a gorgeous glimmer of the dynamic between each couple's relationship.
Yes that is Peter Jensen is his underwear! And Simon Foxton and his assistant at the time, Elgar Johnson who has his own shoot in current menswear issue of i-D with Jason Evans.

Sat 31st Jan: Portrait Profile Weekender Season 2

Last weekend I covered the work of Tara Darby who I collaborated with doing the still-life shots for the Kickers X Project. This weekend I'm going to shift focus to photographer Mads Perch who I met at this time. It was 2 summers ago at a sunny August birthday picnic in Regents Park. We went through the customary polite convo of "What do you do?" It turned out we were coincidentally working on the same thing without knowing. Whilst I was styling the boots for press, Mads was snapping the actual designers for a feature in i-D. These portraits then became part of the installation we were asked to curate for the Kickers launch at the following fashion week in a deserted library on the Euston Road.
So to introduce his work, here are a couple of other designer portraits that he has been commissioned to do in the past. Mads has been lucky enough to shoot some fascinating characters and captured some real moments in history and evolution of the subject's individual career and times. I love this picture of Zandra and Andrew Logan from an article in i-D "Two Peas In A Pod"

Friday, 30 January 2009

Fri 30th January: Michael Vanderham

When Professor Louise Wilson had her OBE celebratory party, friends flew in to London especially for the event (eg. Balenciaga's Alistair Carr from Paris & Zero's Maria Conejo from NYC). One of her achievements awarded by the Queen is the continued success of her ability to sniff out an abundant source of future fashion stars. So who is going to emerge from the smoky corridors of Central this season?
My blog has a newly appointed assistant Ben Fern who will be contributing to the content of my page from here on in. For his 1st report I asked him to catch up with my top tip Michael Vanderham who will be showing at the CSM MA show in February.
************** WATCH THIS SPACE******************

Apparently you use a lot of fabric manipualtion and textile techniques in your work?

I used to however now I use a lot less, now I use more textiles and use the wieghts of the fabrics to work within my designs to contrast the weights- opposites.

Which designers have you trained with?
I've only worked with Mcqueen, Three as Four (NYC) and a few others.
(I also know for fact that Michael worked a long placement with Sophia Kokosolaki too, so I think there is some modesty here)

Who can you see yourself working for in the future?
I'm not really sure I have no idea as I don't really have any plans for after MA as of yet.

Who is your ideal muse?
Well being as though my work is quite ecclectic I have many influences such as Grace Jones, which I then contrast with other less outrageous people, but not as such a muse.

I know you don't want to say much about your collection for fashion week, however could you perhaps let me in on the theme?
Well as always my looks are going to be labour intensive with lots of hand sewing and a major amount of hand finishing. There will be 10 party dresses which will all be constructed to be layered and extremely busy to look at.

Did you always see yourself going down this fashion path?
I've been doing this since I was 16 so yeah I suppose so.

And finally, do you have any tips on who to look out for from CSM MA at fashion week?

errrmmmmmmmmm yeah there's two that instantly come to mind - Laura Mackness and Chary Westberg.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Tues 28th Jan: Fear and Loathing in Camden Town

I have been sitting on this one for a long time................the artwork for the new Lily Allen album was shot back in the Summer and i have patiently waited to preview the preparation. The cover for the 1st single from the album "The Fear" which features Lily sitting atop her own name in gigantic letters was the mastermind set, designed by Andy Hillman. There are some surprises to come judging from the treats that materialized during a week of intensive prop making from the team of regular specialists and friends that join our studio for such events. My lips are sealed but I'm buzzing with excitement to see the launch of the actual album on Feb 9th and the campaign popping up all over LDN.
Lily is going to debut the new tracks at her 1st gig in London for 2 years at KOKO tonight. Apparently its going to be a "rare and exclusive" set?! She kept hold of all the props from this shoot so who knows there might even be a special set on stage*

(*that is purely personal conjecture, not 1oz of fact, but fingers crossed)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Mon 26th Jan: Thank God Its Not Blue Monday

Photo from meeting with Kim Howells and Elisha Smith-Leverock who snapped us to record the uncanny coincidental match of hue.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Sun 25th Jan: Portrait Profile Weekender Part 4

To finish off, here are a couple of portraits of one of Tara's muses Sylva Kay who is a singer and the subject of her upcoming show at the Future Homes Gallery on Andrews Rd. Sylva will be performing at the private view on Feb 5th under the guise of IC with her musical partner Kevin Cormack a.k.a Half Cousin. Together they create "intimate, minimal songs........ a collaboration with krautrock, alt pop, new wave and dance music, creating something sensual, driven, and buzzing with flair".
As part of this group show, Tara is also going to be previewing a short film called 'Access Every Sparkle'. To check out Tara's new work, head east to Broadway market where she is exhibiting alongside another one of my favourite photographers fresh back from NY Annie Collinge..

Sun 25th Jan: Portrait Profile Weekender Part 3

Tara sent over some scanned Polaroids and an unpublished favourite shot from "Fleeting Sky" which was a shoot in the previous issue of Amelia's Magazine (a collaboration with stylist Milena Silvano). The story was inspired by the Ecofeminist Julia Butterfly Hill who spent some time campaigning for a forest's protection by living at the top of a 600 yr old Redwood tree. For Tara's shoot, set designer James Hatt designed and built their very own tree house with recycled old doors and windows,packing crates and pallets.

some images from The Fleeting Skies shoot I did for Amelia, polaroids and an image that did not get used