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.
Miss Chapin, 1918
Miss Burnand, 1918
Miss Maitland and Miss Knight, 1915
Isadora Duncan dancer, ca.1915-1923
Isadora Duncan dancer, ca.1915-1923
Isadora Duncan dancers, ca.1915-1923
Miss Ruth Findlay, 1915
Miss Florence Fair, 1918
Florence Noyes dancers, ca.1915-1918
©Arnold Genthe Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA
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!
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.
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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
Frida Gustavsson, American Vogue, January 2012
Kirsi Pyrhonen, British Vogue, April 2011
Pastel Cats, Italian Vogue, November 2000
All images © Tim Walker