my fashion education: Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly

Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly

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!)

Vivienne Westwood, British Vogue October 2009 © Tim Walker

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.

If you want to see what I’m reading then follow me on Goodreads!

shad thames

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.

photographer feature: Tim Walker

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.

Eglingham Hal leith Balloons, Italian Vogue, September 2000

Agyness Deyn, Simon & Kiki, British Vogue, May 2011

Charlotte Gainsbourg, W Magazine, September 2014

Maja Salamon, Ola Rudnicka, Codie Young, Esmerelda Seay-Reynolds, Nastya Sten, Sasha Luss, Alexandra Kivimaki & Alice Cornish, American Vogue, May 2014 – recreation of Cecil Beaton photograph of Charles James dresses made entirely of paper

Frida Gustavsson, American Vogue, January 2012

Kirsi Pyrhonen, British Vogue, April 2011

Pastel Cats, Italian Vogue, November 2000

All images © Tim Walker

london view x3

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.

quiet christmas

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.

photographer feature: Guy Bourdin

Last week I visited the Guy Bourdin: Image Maker exhibition at Somerset House. Having some idea of his work already I was pleasantly surprised by how inspired I was by his work. I particularly like the consistency of his work and how he uses ideas multiple times without it becoming tiresome, every shot is fresh and new. The way he plays with sexual exposure through hiding models behind tables, lampposts and Polaroids of them is what really fascinates me about his work. The show is excellently curated and I might have to go again just to see all the things I missed.

Charles Jourdan, 1979

French Vogue, Charles Jourdan, September 1979

Charles Jourdan, Fall 1977

French Vogue, December 1976

Charles Jourdan, Winter 1975

Charles Jourdan, Spring 1978

Charles Jourdan, Spring 1978

Charles Jourdan, Spring 1978

All images © Guy Bourdin

The Art of Photographing Cats

The Art of Photographing Cats: A Definitive Guide

1. Move fast, faster than they move because they will not stop for your inferior photographing activities.

2. Take as many photos as possible and then lament over which one looks the cutest/will get the most likes on whatever social media you share it on.

3. Use all your communicative abilities to direct the cat into positions that maximise their cute potential.

4. Always attempt to get as much eye contact as possible. Their eyes tell the stories of a million men.

5. All your cat photos will look like every cat photo that came before but luckily everyone loves seeing cat photos over and over again. Capitalise on this by getting many angles of the same cat position.

6. Get as many cats into one shot that is comfortable. Cat friends are better than cat foes.

7. Think like a cat, but do not groom oneself with ones tongue (that is called ‘going too far’ and ‘get out of my highly regarded establishment’).

8. Do not steal a cats limelight, they will always look grumpy in selfies with humans.

9. Never give up on your cat photo, everything from blurs to butts make for cute cat material.

10. If you get scratched it’s your own fault. Cats are eternally graceful and do not deserve to have their style cramped.

11. You are a good source of heat but cats prefer their fur to be molten to the touch. Using an external heat source both lures and sedates your feline subject.

12. Never break up a cat fight. The safest thing to do is try to capture it to prove to your friends it wasn’t you making those noises.

13. If your cat looks cute when doing something naughty then delaying a telling off is ok because they never listen anyway and at least you’ll have a cute photo. Who needs a nice rug/entire roll of toilet paper/paw-print-less bed linen/sanitary tabletops?

14. Pub cats present ideal opportunities for interaction that will not arouse too many whispers of “look at that crazy cat lazy” and more of “they’ve drunk so much they are in love with a cat!”

15. Lavish any cat you see with attention and love, even if you don’t get a cute photo you will have a warmed heart.

If you follow me on Instagram then these should look familiar, if you don’t then follow me here for all my future cat sightings.