Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Collaborating with an Angel Part 7

So I'm sure you are wondering what happened to the portrait. Well when we looked at the results of the first shoot I did look fabulous and all but there were a few things that we wanted to change. So the dreaded 'R' word was uttered: RE-SHOOT!!!!
The bracelets were too Indian looking and my love of the Japanese aesthetic was not coming through strongly enough. So back to the drawing board, literally. My original design for the dress (drawn on the way home on the tube, so excuse the draftsmanship) minus the crazy collar (less 'Snow White' that way). Then Neeta found some amazing jewelery from a store in Bath called Alexandra May. It was very hard to part with it after the shoot. The shoot was much easier second time around as I knew what to expect. The make-up was done with an added midnight blue eyeshadow I brought, for the full Liz Taylor effect. I had the routine down pat much quicker for the picture, (it became a mantra) it went as follows: turn side on - breathe in - look at the hat - eyes to the camera - follow Neeta's suggestion. What was her suggestion you ask? Well it varied from 'sultry eyes' to 'sultry eyes, knowing smile' or 'knowing smile eyebrow raised'. She called me Liz through the whole shoot, to fully channel Ms Taylor. I think it worked. We ended up with a fantastic array of pictures and 30 photo's, polaroids and digital shots later it was a rap. I awaited the final result the following week to see the fruits of our labours. The 4 hours attached to the set was well worth it. The end of the day was emotional for all concerned as it was the last in the series of 17. There will be a book available from Nazraeli in the summer. I'll surely let you know when it is released. I must take this opportunity to thans everyone who was on the shoots for making me feel like a goddess all day.As you can see the resulting image is incredible. It is hard to see it as me! (The image is provided by Neeta Madahar and is her copyright.) Neeta, my biggest thanks go to you for making me beautiful and choosing me as one of your sitters, I will be eternally grateful.

Threads for thought

How wonderful that the Threads show has been so well received by the press and public alike. The Evening Standard were enamored with the William Klein images of sultry temptresses smoking in stylish hats and through veils. Metro also fell for the charms of Klein. A fellow blogger, Fashion Is My Muse has also posted a delightful review of the exhibition and the gallery itself, so thank you, I hope to meet them soon. Many of the vintage works in the exhibition are the only known vintage prints, so they are as rare as they are truly beautiful. The work is framed in some cases, with visible notes from the photographer to indicate where to crop the image or comments on the image itself. There is a glorious photograph by Norman Parkinson of a model in a rather fetching bikini underwater which is extraordinary. I Photo Central has showcased the exhibition, so do look here for a preview of the show. The truly imaginative devices used by these 6 masters - long before the likes of photoshop came and invaded fashion photography - are displayed here to great effect. Bourdin's delicate use of placement and gesture, the elegance of Steichen's model who appears like a porcelain doll, Blumendfeld's surreal use of mirrors all so different and inventive, yet compliment each other so well. Even if fashion is not your thing, it is worth seeing the exhibition just to see how these masters did it with lights, make-up and a lens. I think that many contemporary photographers' could learn a lot from these images. Parkinson's 'Fan Dress' is an image one can't help being drawn to. To quote the mighty Raymond Chandler, "It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window." Farewell, My Lovely (Chapter 13)