I've often thought that if I hadn't have become a fashion designer I would have been a photographer- A fashion photographer. Photography is probably my favourite artistic medium. Well I do love looking at a good painting.. Anyhow I digress! Yes the following utterly stunning photographs are the work of the late great Louise Dahl- Wolfe. Born in San Francisco 1914, Louise was a staff photographer for Harpers Bazaar for most of her working life but freelanced for Vogue and Sports Illustrated towards the end of her career. She is most renowned for discovering a teenage Lauren Bacall whom she photographed for the cover of March 1943 Harpers Bazaar. She was also said to be a great influence on fellow photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avendon. Louise was one of the first and most important practitioners of fashion photography in colour. What I love the most about her work is her colour sensitivity, her arrangements of colours together and use of natural light. Her photographs have an almost painterly quality about them, which I suppose is not surprising as she did train as a painter before pursuing a career in photography. Her style had such elegance and sophistication yet there is a kind of ease and informality to her models. Well I won't waffle on anymore.. I shall let the pictures do the talking. My words simply don't do enough justice..
It's that time of the year again. London Fashion week is about to start. Already the adolescent models and their elongated prepubescent bodies have descended upon Dalston ( perhaps it should be called Dalston fashion week- it is after all the unofficial fashion capital of London) They mill about Kingsland road looking rather bored/lost/hungry. The shows have already started in New York and as a freelancing designer I will be spending the next month staring day in, day out at teenage girls trying to sell clothes that are designed for women to wear. Half of which I won't see again next season, such is the disposableness of today's aspiring models. To top it off its SS11 season, there will be more flesh on show.. which means I'll have the pleasure of looking at..
Wasting thigh muscles..
Deflated boobs and flat bottoms..
(and is it just me or is her head size
disproportionate to that of her body?)
Sometimes their bony frames buckle under the immense
strain of wearing a dress AND carrying a handbag!
So when I first discovered the model Crystal Renn a couple of years back I IMMEDIATELY fell head over heels in love with her and all that she represents. She is a deliciously bosomed, peachy bottomed, ample thighed 'Up Yours' to the fashion worlds boringly stagnant ideal of beauty and body shape.
She is indeed somewhat of a novelty at present, but the beginnings of a quiet revolution I hope to bring sexy back! Interestingly in her early days of modelling she was a standard model size 6 but unable to coupe with the physical and emotional stress of keeping to such an unnatural size for her height she quit the mainstream modelling world to embark on a career as a 'plus size' model. It is a label I find odd- she's a UK size 16 and 5ft 10in' tall- that seems pretty OK to me?! Since then her career has had a meteoric rise, she has been featured in campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and numerous editorials including Vogue, Elle, Glamour and Harpers Bazaar magazines. Here are some more pictures of Crystal looking down right delicious!
Meow.. Prurrrrrrrrr.. Sex kitten
Hello Sailor! Boys Love Crystal..
...Tippi loves Crystal
Lace catsuits and thongs never looked so good!
Crystal has written a book about her experiences both as a size 6 model through her various body transformations to her drop dead gorgeousness as she is today!
Ok so as some of you- if you're reading this from Facebook- will know i'm currently holidaying in Ibiza. The other night I was out dancing in Ibiza town with my lovely friend Gemma at a theatre bar called 'Teatro Pereya' . They had a fun covers band on- I forget the name- playing all kinds of crowd pleasers. Needless to say I drank about a pirate ships worth of rum and ended up salsa dancing to Lionel Ritchies 'All night long' with some Italian dude called Fabio ( although he insisted I call him Flavio..!) 3 days off the Lindy Hop and I was desperate for a spin OK! We eventually left when I could take no more rum and that was that... or so I thought.
Two days later I was just setting off to the beach when on route I bumped into Flabio/Flavio. It was one of those awkward moments when you see someone you don't really want to and short of diving into the nearest hedge or under a passing car I had no choice but to engage in polite chit chat.. My Goodness this man was possibly THE most Italian, Italian man i've ever come across- all Mama Mia's, wild gesticulations and so up close and personal I feared he might try to dry hump me at any moment.. Apart from telling me I was a gift from God ( I thought we were all supposed to be?) he said I was like a Picasso painting! PICASSO! WTF?! Are you saying i've got a wonky face! Is that supposed to be a compliment?! Ok so Picasso is one of the worlds most revered and greatest artists of the 20th Century etc.etc. blah blah.. But seriously do you want to look like a Picasso...
Er, no thanks..
Which got me thinking and leads me onto my next postal subject matter..It's one of those questions like 'who would play me in a film about my life' we all, at some point must ask ourselves: 'if I could have any artist paint me- living or dead, who would it be?'
Hmm, not sure about standing in the giant shell. Having a couple of
Angels for mates might be quite nice though. Maybe they
could put a good word in for me..
Nice, but i'd like a flatter stomach please.. And what am I doing with my left hand?
Well i've always loved horse riding! But can I have some clothes please? The saddles chaffing me somewhat ...
Good Lord! Is that Kate Moss?
Nope, none of the above! Who i'd really like to have paint me is Gil Elvgren. Born in 1914 in St. Paul, Minnesota, in The US of A, Gil Elvgren was a master painter and one of America’s first and best loved pin-up artists. His paintings are both sensuous and humorous, with his models often caught in compromising situations that cause their hems to rise and flash some stocking.. that's a common occurrence in my day to day life. His girls have the most fabulous physiques, pert bosoms you can bounce beach balls off, tiny waists and bum cheeks so firm you could crack a Brazil nut between them.. Yes I want to be a Gil Elvgren gal!
Erm.. Hello!? IS ANYBODY OUT THERE..?! Yes? No? Well I guess I need to break my blogging cherry (Ahem..) and post something! So here goes..
This first post is all about Tippi Hedren. She was my first ever girl crush (well first adult girl crush, there were others before in my youth, such notables as Neneh Cherry, Madonna, Pepsi and Shirley...!)
I first fell in love with her when I discovered Alfred Hitchcock, probably my favorite film director of all. It was after watching her in The Birds that I started a long love affair with all things vintage and vintage style. I copied ( as best I could) her outfits. I was all pencil skirts, neat little jackets and kitten heels, tottering about the office floor of my first ever proper job as a design assistant at Debenhams head office. So much so people- including my then boss- started calling me Tippi! ( a vast improvement I might add from the one before which was ' Saucy Sarah' Oh dear..)
Before acting Tippi was a successful fashion model during the 50's and 60's and was discovered by Hitchcock whilst he was watching The Today Show when she appeared in one of the adverts. Mentored and groomed by the Master of Suspense himself she went on to star in two of his most iconic films: The Birds and Marnie. During the making of The Birds, in order to get the most 'realistic' scenes of sheer terror from our heroine, the sadistic Mr Hitchcock insisted that real birds be tied with elastic bands to her head and also thrown at her face! If that's not dedication to the job I don't what is!
Sure there are other Hitchcock heroines- Grace Kelly, Janet Leigh, Kim Novak and Ingrid Bergman to name a few. But none, in my opinion possessed and delivered on screen the same sass, wit and self assurance as Tippi Hedren.
Pass me a Vogue cigarette and an old fashioned telephone..
In anticipation of birds about to be hurled at her face, Tippi tries to keep her cool..
Getting her hustle on in Marni
What did you just call me?
His methods may be questionable but Tippi sure looks terrified!