For a while I’ve known of Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) although one would have to devote an entire life to appreciate his archive. I’ve chosen some of the frivolous photographs of dancers and female portraits that caught my eye during a brief browse. So many portraits of men and women in a usual pose can found but it’s the moments that he captured that really showed the sitters personality that I enjoy the most.
I realised that I hadn’t left London since June/July last year when I took a day trip to Oxford so I thought it was about time to go to another beautiful university town, Cambridge! As it was about 6 months in-between it meant that this time the weather was not so nice, it was freezing cold to walk around but at least it didn’t rain. I loved the place (minus the cobblestones) and attempted to capture some of its beauty in the below photos on my Olympus Trip 35 with Agfa Vista 200 film. I have to say I am very very happy with this roll!
What better way to welcome the new year than with a ridiculously heavy fashion memoir? I got this book from one of Walthamstow’s Little Free Libraries after Christmas and read it over a few days, at home of course (it weighs over a kilo and won’t fit in a small handbag). But it’s heaviness and length is well used, the story interested me even though I really had no desire to know any more about punk. It’s not my style, I never make the effort to look through the pictures of the Vivienne Westwood shows but I’ve always respected her brand and contribution to the world of fashion. It was nice to get some context in an area I hadn’t explored before and the strength of this book is that it drew me in so far that I couldn’t put it down (and didn’t leave the house!)
Oh to have the confidence of Vivienne. And of the punks. It was a movement that exists in both a bubble and in everyday life. It is a time to be explained but not forgotten and I feel that everything Vivienne does now and will do in the future still has a strong undercurrent of the punk mentality. And how can it not? When you live a life like she has it moulds you into either a fantastic success or a crippled mess. Her longevity is proof of how she handled herself. The images that accompany the stories of Vivienne’s life are helpful to understand who, what, where was happening around her. But as someone who is not 100% familiar with every show she has done or every shirt she sewed zippers into I was a bit lost when they referenced specific looks. I probably have seen them before but it is a never-ending case of not being told what something is and experiencing that disconnect. Otherwise, I felt that the images chosen really improved the experience of reading this book.
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Ahh the classic London area gone from derelict and abandoned to redeveloped and expensive. I do enjoy walking along Shad Thames past the old warehouses and I have to admit I do like that in the development into posh apartments they’ve kept all the little hints from the past on the buildings. If you like brick and bridges, this is your kind of place. Photos taken on Agfa Vista 200 film with my Olympus Trip 35.
Tim Walker is one of those photographer whose work you definitely know but you may not know his name. That used to be me, because I had seen so many of his photographs in fashion magazines and I could always tell they were by the same photographer but I never took notice of the name. That was until he came for an evening talk at the V&A which I worked and it was fascinating to learn that he shoots film (big tick) and doesn’t photoshop (bigger tick) but everything is created on set, on the day (biggest tick). He creates beautiful fantasies and I always look forward to opening a magazine to be surprised by a spread shot by Tim Walker.
All images © Tim Walker
There’s a saying that goes:
If something’s worth looking at, it’s worth looking at three times
Well….I lied, that isn’t a saying. But if it was it would be applicable to these photos that I have taken around London with my Disderi Robot 3. All slightly forgotten (if you’ve been following along you will know I take forever to finish films and get them developed) and now moments are remembered not once, not twice, but three times.
All photos taken on Agfa Vista 200, 35mm colour film with a Disderi Robot 3 camera.
Christmas turned out to be a lovely sunny day in London (damn you Dickens!) so I went for a nice fresh walk around Walthamstow. I expected it to be completely devoid of humanity but there were some people around, kids riding new bikes, families in the park, people going to pubs (open? on Christmas??) and me, taking a few photos of a little village I’ve come to love.
Photos taken on Agfa Vista 200 film with my Agfa Silette I.