Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Retail Therapy

I don't have time to write a lengthy post, concerned as I am with chasing up leads and attending council meetings - it's all part of being a student reporter on a news website, don't you know. But I have two blogs I would like to share with you.

Both are concerned with one of my favourite aspects of London life - the independent shop. Coming from Ireland, with its countless Spars and Centras, it was a joy to come across the little independent stores that make up London's retail landscape. I remember being agog at the sight of fruit in bowls and night shops that sell alcohol all night long (in Ireland it is illegal for shops to sell alcohol after 10pm!) when I first moved here 18 months ago. My Portmanteau other half and I would spend hours in our local grocers when we lived in Holland Park, intrigued by the dusty ornaments and delighted by the out-of-date Immac depilatory cream.
does what it says on the tin - photograph London shop fronts, duh - but the results are often beautiful, and always representative of the vast array of shops that populate the city.

Photographs: Emily Webber for London Shop Fronts

is a blog that accompanies an exhibition currently on at Chats Palace, the Hackney-based art centre. Photographer Colin O'Brien and travel writer Jane Egginton have captured Clapton shopkeepers in their natural habitat - the shops, cafes, mechanics suppliers and launderettes that operate on Chatsworth Road in Hackney. The street's landscape is changing and gentrification may be afoot (read an article I wrote on the subject here) but this exhibition manages - through arresting images and engaging text - to capture the various businesspeople that make a living on this diverse street in 2010.

Photographs: Colin O'Brien for ChatsE5/Last of the Real High Streets

Lynn Enright

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mr. Guy at Mr. Start

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to stop by Mr Start before the end of the month to check out Shot From Above, the latest exhibition from Alistair Guy. Is there more to planet fashion than guest lists and free drinks? Apparently so and Alistair is trying to educate us by continuing his look behind the scenes to show the party peeps in their everyday fashion environments. Following on from last year’s Behind the Seams, which put the spotlight on fashion gals, now it’s time for the boys. This exhibition of dapper gents includes portraits of designers Charlie Casely-Hayford and William Tempest (above), Robin Derrick, creative director of Vogue, LFW CEO Harold Tillman and milliner Stephen Jones. The next project for this busy Guy will be a set of portraits for the British Fashion Council of menswear designers during London Fashion Week at Somerset House. And now it’s official: Alistair is one of most exciting and influential people in the creative industries! -click here to vote for him in the Emerging section as one of the Hospital Club /The Independent’s top 100 creatives. NOK

Friday, December 11, 2009

High Hair, High Fashion

We’ve been feeling completely bereft since John & Edward left the X-Factor – Olly, Stacey, Joe, whatevs. We’re had to make do with a mediocre appearance on the Late Late Toy Show (totally overshadowed by Johnjoe) and find something else to do with our Saturday and Sunday nights. But now the fashion world is sitting up and taking notice, we are getting excited again and remembering why we fell in love with them in the first place. Jedward might be saying goodbye to personal appearances at Basildon nightclubs and hello (and “this is soooo cool”) to the front row. The first sign that the fash pack were taking them seriously was their Grazia photoshoot.

Now they have taken it to another level by sitting for Nick Knight as part of his 100 Portraits project for i-D. All we can say is, wow. The suits, the quiffs, more than a hint of homoeroticism – it could be an ad campaign for Prada or Dior Homme. Louis, or whoever is advising these boys, is doing a great job. Fellow sitters for Knight include Phoebe Philo, Philip Treacy, Marios Schwab and Gareth Pugh so our boys are in excellent company. NOK

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Mysterious and dramatic - the addition of a veil to a fashion image instantly adds a degree of intrigue. It has been a visual trope used by imagemakers for years, from the days of fashion photography’s earliest innovators like Edward Steichen who draped Gloria Swanson in a veil of black lace and Irving Penn who used veiling to great effect in his technically perfect portraits. In 2009, the veil has become ubiquitous in fashion imagery. It's everywhere – on covers - Tasha Tilberg on i—D, Chanel Iman on Lula - and editorials. It has also hit the red carpet with a vengeance. Personally, I love seeing it in the right context- to heighten the drama in a black and white image such as this Linda Evangelista portrait by Steven Meisel from the Urban Decay shoot in August’s Italian Vogue. Other times it comes across as a lazy styling trick used to quickly capture the required mood. It you’re looking for dark and alluring, grab a piece of net and the job is done (Kylie in BlackBook). Similarly, if it's light-hearted and quirky you’re going for, a Luella-esque veiled headpiece is all you need. (see countless Teen Vogue editorials). I am guilty of it myself – at college, veils were everywhere in nearly all my styling and photography projects. Sometimes I carried it off, but more often than not, the model just looked like she had gotten lost in a dressing box. NOK

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm your biggest fan....

This weekend, Brigitte Bardot and the Original Paparazzi, an exhibition of vintage photographs of one of the world's most celebrated beauties, opens at the James Hyman gallery on Savile Row. It's an opportunity to enjoy BB in her prime, when she was known more for her beauty and less for her extreme right-wing views and animal-rights activism. My favourite is this portrait by Sam Levin where she is the picture of French elegance in contrast to the typical Bardot bombshell. The exhibition also highlights the change in relationship between star and paparazzo - no sneaky upskirt shots, or being captured stumbling out of nightclubs at 3am. Runs until 3 October.

When I heard about Donovan Leitch's John Hughes tribute at the Palihouse in LA, I was hoping someone in London would do the same. Ferris Bueller played on screen, while Leitch spun songs from Hughes classics. Thankfully, someone was thinking along the same lines because tonight Club de Fromage are hosting their own celebration of the saviour of 80s misfits.There will be a screening of The Breakfast Club followed by a night of dancing to Hughes-inspired hits. I'm sure most will be taking their style cues from his brat pack and high school classics but I would like to pay tribute to my own favourite from the Hughes canon - Home Alone 2. Ok, so he only wrote Lost in New York but it's still my fave. I'm thinking mittens and woolly hat à la Kevin McCallister- very timely as Mac was back in the news this week as yet another possible Blanket Daddy or we could think even further outside the box and go as Brenda Fricker's Bird Lady. It may not score you a Michael Schoeffling- look alike but you will stand out in a sea of lace, crimped hair and over-sized blazers. And standing dejected on the edge of the dance floor, ogling the object of your crush - I can't think of a more apt tribute to Hughes. NOK

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nomenus Beauty

During my trip to NY, I had the pleasure of meeting Erik Madigan Heck and Catharine Stuart, a photographer and illustrator respectively who work together to create the masterpiece that is Nomenus Quarterly. They’re insanely young, talented and also boyf & girlf – I tried my best to hate them but they were just too nice.

Nomenus Quarterly is a fashion magazine like no other. In fact, the word magazine doesn’t do justice to this publication – a stunning art-meets-fashion wonder would be more apt. They work with artists from all mediums and disciplines within the worlds of fine art and fashion. It’s published online every quarter and in print as a limited edition series of books and folios.

All works are created especially for Nomenus or are previously unpublished. Past collaborators have included Elizabeth Peyton, Rodarte, Sally Singer and Helmut Lang. The current issue features work by Lucien Freud, Anselm Kiefer and Ann Demeulemeester. I am utterly in awe of the lineup of prestigious and influential people that they get to work on this project. The beauty of the final images is just unsurpassed by any publication out there at the moment, and the result of of Heck’s incredible eye and undoubted talent. The only drawback is the exorbitant price tag. Despite my excessive spending on magazines each month, I don’t think I’ll be able to come up with £1275.00 to buy it although the gorgeous online version is a pretty good alternative. NOK

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Models & Monet

After spotting Helena Christensen strolling through the West Village and then Lauren Hutton on the Lower East Side, I was definitely in model mode so off I went to see the Model as Muse show at the Met. Yes - we laughed at Kate's turban and Madonna's horns so it was time to see what all the fuss was about. The exhibition focuses on the iconic models of the twentieth century and features haute couture, fashion photography, video footage and magazines interspersed with clips from Funny Face, Blow-Up and George Michael's Freedom vid. I admit that it's a pretty slight concept for such a large-scale show but for model mad me, it's a dream. Highlights for me were portraits from the masterful Irving Penn, Twiggy by Melvin Sokolsky, Peter Lindbergh's pics of the '90s supers and my beloved Christy in Jil Sander, shot by Ellen von Unwerth. Another standout was the tableau of Charles James gowns and Louis XV furniture used to recreate Beaton's 1947 Vogue photograph. What shines through it all is the importance of the relationship between model and photographer - Irving Penn and wife / muse Lisa Fonssagrives, David Bailey and Jean Shimpton, Linda Evangelista and Steven Meisel.

The show struggles to provide justification for taking over such a huge space and basically filling it with pretty faces and gorgeous clothes. It also doesn't give much insight into the modeling experience and much of the content will be familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in fashion although as some frothy light relief from Eqyptian artifacts and Monets, it more than delivers. NOK

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Unseen Guy Bourdin

The private view of the Guy Bourdin exhibition at the Wapping Project last week was definitely not your regular, run-of-the-mill art opening. Instead of Asahi beer in a bin and the usual crowd of art students and hangers on, we had champagne cocktails and Bryan Ferry. The venue itself is breathtaking. It’s a renovated power station and the dark, cavernous interior was lit by hundreds of candles for the night. There is also the cutest little bookshop in a greenhouse outside on the grass. The rather excellent soundtrack was provided by Misty Rabbit and Jerry Bouthier and the fashion crowd actually danced, rather than just standing around, looking flawless.

I had always found Bourdin's work a little too disturbing and twisted for my taste but I was completely floored by this show - the photographs glowed in the haunting darkness and the compelling images offer the viewer a glimpse into a private world, inviting them to complete the narrative. The centrepiece of the exhibition is Bourdin's Surrealist-inspired image of a silhouette with a heavily made-up eye looking through a peephole. Until 4 July at the Wapping Project.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Behind the Seams

Other than a tray of canapés or Henry Holland on the decks, one of the most welcome sights at an LFW party is Alistair Guy with camera in hand – among a sea of cooler than cool fashion peeps who were all probably born in the nineties, it's always a delight to see his friendly face and great to check in and get all the party goss. But it's not all about the fash bashes, you know. Lots of these party people work very hard and with his new exhibition, everyone's favourite Guy is showing us what goes on “behind the seams”, capturing various fashion gals in their offices, studios and homes - subjects include designer Hannah Marshall, illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve and Vogue's Emma Elwick . The exhibition runs from 17 April to 30 April 09 at Tapestry Gallery.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Call Her Red

One of the year's most hyped artists took to the stage at YoYo at the Notting Hill Art Club last week looking oh so 2009. Sure, the synth sounds and 80s styling of La Roux are very now, but it’s really all about lead singer Elly Jackson's fiery do. In the video for their debut single Quicksand (directed by sometimes redhead Kinga Burza) she perches on the rim of a giant margarita cocktail as her quiff of red hair blows in the breeze. After years of ginger minger insults, redheads are having a moment. Other redheads of note for 09: Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine; Taylor Tomasi, Teen Vogue's Accessories Director and Cate Blanchett in Benjamin Button. Redheads are also storming the catwalk: Coco Rocha unveiled her new red tresses for January's Vogue and Vlada Roslyakova made herself stand out from a sea of faceless runway newcomers at NY fashion week with her newly dyed locks. The gene is definitely in my family: my sister is a full on redser but I’m afraid it hasn’t been passed to me. I have that all too common Irish hair colour - born mousy brown with a hint of red, now completely obliterated by a mass of blonde highlights – yes, it could be time to pull a Coco. This wave of 09 scarlet fever continues at the Idea Generation Gallery where photographer Jenny Wicks captures redheads in all their blazing glory in her series of stunning portraits.

Coco / Cate / La Roux / Taylor

Portrait by Jenny Wicks

Friday, January 30, 2009

Love Me Do

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and our shops are soon going to be full of nauseatingly pink balloons and cards. I claim to not really care about Valentine’s Day but always act like a spoilt brat unless I receive a bouquet of flowers at the very least (carnations bought in Tesco do not count). It probably stems from the fact that I didn’t receive a Valentine’s card until I was 20. Other girls in my primary school spent the 14th counting their messages of adoration, whilst I comforted myself with the fact that I lived on a road that had very few boys and therefore the lack of male interest was not entirely my fault. If I had more access to boys, I reasoned, I would surely receive more cards. I still act a little competitive on the day, comparing my boyfriend’s gestures to the romantic gifts delivered to my colleagues.

Le Love - a blog that collates images of beautiful couples from online and print media - is destined to make anybody who’s feeling insecure about the lack of romance in their life feel about 10 times worse. If you’re single, you imagine that your life would look like that if only you could get somebody to go out with you. If you’re part of a couple, you know that your photos could never look that hot. Whenever the boyfriend and I are pictured, he’s squinting and I look mildly angry. It’s still a guilty pleasure though – perusing images of Irish stylist Celestine Cooney and her handsome beau, as featured on The Selby, or gazing at the adorably colourful Agyness and Albert shoot from February’s US Vogue.

Images from Le Love

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One shop we're not so fond of.....

The Mirror is today reporting that Sienna Miller was “airbrushed to within an inch of her life” for American Vogue’s September ‘07 cover according to the documentary, The September Issue. Like, duh. Sienna’s camp has sensibly responded to the furore, stating that Sienna is always airbrushed for magazine covers. Anybody who has ever stepped inside a newsagent will know that it is not only Sienna who has undergone some photoshopping for American Vogue. Kate Moss was barely recognisable when she graced the cover of the Age issue last August, her skin a creepy orange colour and her eyes devoid of any kind of life. I fully understand magazines retouching pictures to remove the odd spot or obliterate some downy fluff but when the subjects cease to look like themselves, you have to wonder if photoshopping has gone too far. The King of the retouching tool is Pascal Dangin - in one issue of US Vogue (March 2008) alone he doctored 107 ads and 36 editorial images along with rendering Drew Barrymore virtually unrecognizable on the cover. Magazines are quick to defend the practice, claiming that people don’t expect reality when they buy a fashion magazine. Alexandra Shulman has been quoted as saying “We are not in the business of portraying reality all the time and people buy magazines like Vogue in order to look at a kind of perfection.”

Fair enough, but the thing is I don’t find thinned noses, sharpened jaw lines and strangely elongated legs perfect. The most beautiful portraits of Kate Moss or Sienna Miller are not those in which they look the least real. The photos of Sienna and Savannah Miller in August 2007's British Vogue didn’t prompt feelings of envy at their perfection or a desire to rush out and buy the Twenty8Twelve clothes they were modelling, but rather a bewildered curiosity at how the retouching team thought that anybody would believe that those were actually Savannah’s thighs. The delicate and natural portraits by Corinne Day - a photographer famed for her raw style - were merely diluted by the overuse of photoshop.

Kate on the cover of American Vogue

Savannah Miller in British Vogue

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let There Be (UV) Light

Just a quick note to say bravo to the talented Mr. Debusschere whose latest shoot appears in this month's Dazed. Ok, I may be a bit biased as Pierre is a friend but with this shoot he has achieved the seemingly impossible: using a combination of black light and UV makeup, he has made a DKNY collection almost intriguing and, dare I say it, cutting-edge. The pictures showcase Pierre's mesmerising way with light and are evidence of his major influences, the Northern Lights and Iceland. See the video he made to accompany the shoot at Dazed Digital and further images on his slick website

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Date with Mikhail & Mario

                                             Merce My Way - Mikhail Baryshnikov

Struggling to entertain ourselves on a 17 hour train journey from Riga to Moscow, my friends and I resorted to doing lame impressions of Carrie Bradshaw's Russian lover, Aleksandr Petrovsky, to pass the time ("Is that a banana in your purse or are you just happy to see me?", "Call me Bob" etc. - continue ad nauseum for hours and you get the picture). Yeah, we were pretty bored and going slightly insane as the crazy Russians around us plied us with vodka and red caviar. If this kept us entertained, you can imagine our excitement when we encountered Aleksandr himself on our last night in Moscow. Well, not Aleksandr himself exactly, but an exhibition of photographs by legendary ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov - who, as well as doing a nice sideline in arrogant Russian lovers on TV, is also a fine photographer. The exhibition, "Merce My Way", consists of colourful, blurry images that manage to capture both the movement and stillness in the work of choreographer, Merce Cunnningham. 

The show took place at Winzavod, an amazing collection of galleries, shops and bars housed in a renovated 19th century winery. The centre is now at the heart of Moscow's art scene. On our way in, we bumped into an uber-friendly Mario Testino, in town for Russian Vogue's 10th anniversary party, who greeted me like a long lost friend even though I have clearly never met him in my entire life. If Mario approves, it really must be the place to be in Moscow.

                                         Natalia V in Red Sq  - Mario Testino

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Fashion Life of Ryan

If you are familiar with photographer Ryan McGinley, I'm sure images of naked, downtown NY hipsters spring to mind when you think of his work. McGinley, along with friends Dash Snow and Dan Colen, make up a threesome of media-friendly enfant terribles who have dominated the NY art scene for the past 4 years. However, more recently, McGinley's work has gone beyond downtown New York and is increasingly being seen in more mainstream areas - he provided the artwork for the last Sigur Ros album and also lensed the 2008 Oscar Portfolio in The New York Times Magazine, the current Wrangler "We Are Animals" campaign and will apparently be behind the camera for Stella McCartney's Spring 2009 campaign.

For me, his most beautiful work has appeared in fashion magazines - Kate Moss as McGinley's Dream Girl for a June 2007 W shoot, Agy Deyn falling from a Manhatten fire escape in this season's Pop and this month's road trip editorial in Paris Vogue with Raquel Zimmerman. I'm a big fan of the hazy, soft-focus fantasy worlds that he creates. Certain McGinley hallmarks appear again and again - besides the aforementioned nudity, there are often fireworks, figures floating through the air, faces half hidden by the branches of a tree - I don't really mind if he is getting lazy and reusing the same tricks - it results in some of the most beautiful fashion editorials I have seen in a long time

NY Times Magazine -Feb 2008

W - June 2007

Pop - Sept 2008

Paris Vogue - Nov 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Polaroid Retrospective

For Polaroid lovers on this side of the sea, you can head to the AOP Gallery from Thursday to pay your respects to this dying art form. I think Jessops and Boots have enough Polaroid film in stock to keep me happily snapping away at parties for years to come but for professional photographers, the end of the Polaroid era is more of a tragedy. This show will highlight the many ways in which the AOP's members have used the film over the years.
Polaroid Retrospective - The AOP Gallery, 81 Leonard St, London EC2A 4QS
Exhibition continues until 14 November 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ode To The Polaroid

We love Polaroids at The Portmanteau. You can never really look bad in a Polaroid – you do look like you’ve stepped out of the 70s – but you don’t look bad. They are also an instant way to make yourself popular at parties. Just snap away and then hand out the little mementos to those you wish to befriend. It’s way easier than small talk (but admittedly more expensive). And in this digital age it’s nice to have something to stick on the walls or paste into photo albums.

Photographer Richard Gilligan is a man after own hearts. He panicked when he heard that Polaroid were to stop producing its analogue hardware products and instant film. The result is his ‘Bye Bye Polaroid’ exhibition at Monster Truck which opened yesterday and runs for a further 2 weeks.