Sunrise-sunset, 90’s styling, filmy shots and Helmut Newton-esque poses make this a dreamy shoot…
Every now and again you come upon a story or an image that just takes you away to another time and place. The nostalgia overwhelms you and it reminds you of something or somewhere or some time in your life that you just can’t put your finger on.
I guess that is what art does – takes you somewhere. Away from your screen or the page or the gallery wall. It evokes something so intangible in you that you can’t take your eyes off it. You can’t explain, there’s just something in the light, the colours, the location. It transports you. Often it can be an element that is seemingly unremarkable or it usually doesn’t grab other people in the same way. And the more you try to explain it, the more it gets lost, slipping through your fingers like a forgotten dream. That struggle to recapture it usually leaves me quite sad. I struggle to vocalise what I mean and desperately want people to understand how important something feels to me but I can never quite explain it.
This shoot from Marie Claire with its 90’s inspired swimwear, off-beat sunrise/sunset lighting, filmy quality and Helmut Newton-esque poses, does exactly that. It reminds me of late summer holidays where the light is still golden, but the air is turning and soon we will have to pack up the car and go home – back to hair cuts, new school books and time indoors.
A moody nod to the wishy washy season. Here’s to the start of a beautiful summer.
Once again apologies for the break in transmission. I see that I last wrote in November 2017. That feels like a complete lifetime ago. For starters it was the dead of winter. The beginning of what felt like the apocalypse in London – dark and dreary with no end in sight. But we got through it, albeit with a lot more snow than anticipated (global warming what?) and now we are at the start of what I’m hoping will be a beautiful summer. I don’t want to bore you (or me for that matter) with talk of the weather but it does influence my mood. While most people find Spring to be invigorating and hopeful as it winds its way into summer, I find the odd showers and strange winds can make it forlorn or nostalgic. Like a teenage girl left to her own devices in a big old house while the grown ups are laughing and smoking in the garden. She’s all dressed up with nowhere to go.
There’s something restless about the air – an anticipation and a fear of being left behind but at the same time wanting to start afresh. I guess that’s what change is – fear and excitement rolled into one. And before you know it, the uncertainty and blossoms are over and a bright and confident Summer arrives. As if it was always there and never planned to leave. I hope you like the images…
I love it when a vision comes together visually (that sounds rather pseudo-profound doesn’t it?). What I mean is, when you can see that a photographer, model, stylist and concept all come together and produce something clever or interesting or – and I hesitate to use this word – beautiful. The reason I hesitate with the word ‘ beautiful’ is because beauty is terribly subjective. As are the other terms I’ve used, but beauty strikes me as so superficial. A 2 dimensional concept when featured in the same breath as striking or mesmerising for example. Case and point – the latest cover story from Harper’s Bazaar Spain. Featuring Daphne Groeneveld, who might not be everyone’s cup of tea, she has been exaggerated to the point of full fabulosity and you can’t help but be captivated by the images. The blanked out eyebrows, props, styling, its just magical….
I’m quite picky when it comes to models. I think most people in the fashion industry are. Beauty is such a subjective and tricky beast that you absolutely have to get the girl right. She is now sometimes more important the photographer as she tends to make a poor shoot look better (you could argue the reverse as well of course).
Yesterday a friend just couldn’t understand how I don’t find Cara Delevingne attractive. We were looking at her latest cover shoot for British GQ and while I was horrified, she on the other hand – completely entranced. I really just don’t get it. I’m sure Cara’s lovely, fun, a nice person, great to photograph, etc. etc. (or not) but she just doesn’t doesn’t tick my aesthetic boxes. At all. It’s the nose. And the fact that she has pulled too many of these faces.
The other issue is that we humans are the most fickle of creatures – the cherubic face that threw my art director into raptures yesterday, doesn’t get a second’s notice today. As the world turns ever faster and we are exposed to more and more images so our tastes shift and change within each day.
So its a rarity when a face stays with you. When a model is so beautiful no matter the pose, photographer, brand, look or mood she stands out and makes you love her that little bit more each time you see her.
One such face that does this for me is Frederikke Sofie. Danish, blonde and completely flawless I would shoot this beauty over and over again. She is in equal measure cool, quirky, ethereal, of the moment and timeless. And that hair! I’m having a major girl crush…
Some days the world is just too much. Especially when you live in a crazy busy city like London. Your mind is constantly bombarded with new information – trains coming and going, people pushing past you, new languages (I actually think English is the least spoken language in London), smells, signs, advertising, the sound of conductors whistles, music, announcements, car horns, feet on the pavements – its a never ceasing hum which jolts us from the minute we wake up to the minute we get home. We are a wash with information and I don’t think we take enough stock of what this does to our bodies and minds. I often say that my heart beats faster in London and not because I want it to. So today’s inspiration aims to sooth the soul. Nothing jarring, nothing heart racing, just a break from the pulse of today.
image credits: oracle fox / Pinterest / they all hate us / fashion editorials /
Confession time – I was never a fan of the younger Hadid sister. Gigi was always my favourite and when Bella arrived on the scene I thought “Here she is, piggybacking on her sister’s success and failing, eye roll.” And then that Cannes dress happened (Shock!) and the world woke up to Hadid 2.0. This was followed by a slew of very out there outfits (hello Dior nipple saga), a Victoria Secret runway moment with ex-boyfriend The Weekend (miaow!) and campaign after campaign, runway after runway and now the girl is holding her own. And growing on me. Let’s face it that… errrr- face definitely did not just ‘happen’. There was some work involved. And my French friend Lucile finds her ‘moche’, the French word for ‘bleh’. Which is always a concern to me because say what you like about the French, they know classy and stylish when they see it.
But then Miss Bella arrived on the 2017 Cannes red carpet looking radiant and serene and quite frankly like a million dollars. I have since loved most of the on- and off-duty looks she’s put out there (the thigh high slit could be turned down just a tad, but maybe I’m showing my age here). There’s a feline quality to her eyes that makes her stand out in most shots. I’ll admit she can sometimes come across a little comatose but apparently that’s just shyness. Well whatever it is, when she switches it on the girl definitely does have something. Exhibit A – these shots from her Mr Porter Summer shoot. Simply lovely…