Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Photography | Guy Bourdin: Red or Dead

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Charles Jourdan advertising campaign, spring 1976



Guy Bourdin: Image-Maker
Somerset House
London | UK
27th November 2014 > 15th March 2015



Charles Jourdan advertising campaign, autumn 1977



The Pentax calendar, 1980



Vogue Paris, May 1970



Charles Jourdan advertising campaign, autumn 1979



The photographer Guy Bourdin (1928 > 1991), whose favourite colour was blood red, needs no introduction, and his uncompromising pictures tell their own stories. Good news for us, because we are on holiday this week and don’t have time to write one of our usual in-depth previews/reviews. Don’t miss Guy Bourdin: Image-Maker at Somerset House!

All images by Guy Bourdain © The Guy Bourdin Estate, 2014
Courtesy Somerset House



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The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier



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Fashion | Roxanne Lowit’s Yves Saint Laurent

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
YSL model, Paris





Roxanne Lowit Photographs
Yves Saint Laurent
Introduction by Pierre Bergé
Thames & Hudson
208pp hardback
200 photographs, 80 in colour
Designed by Baron & Baron
Available now




‘I love that I met him on top of the Eiffel Tower.’
‘I love how his designs empowered women.’
‘I love his tuxedo; it transformed women’s evening wear.’
‘I love that he had a silly side.’
‘I love that I called him ‘Yves’, even though everyone
else called him ‘Monsieur Saint Laurent’
‘I loved that he had such a passion for his work.’
‘I loved how detail-oriented and hands-on he was.’
– Roxanne Lowit on Yves Saint Laurent




YSL, New York, December 1983




‘Roxanne appeared out of nowhere, placed a big cardboard model of the Empire State Building into [Yves'] arms, and took the picture that was to become so well known.’
Pierre Bergé

‘Yves was a darling, gentle man, who always wanted everyone around him to be happy.’
Jerry Hall

Stripped naked by fans, she was still to sing La Vie en Rose [Yves] said, ‘You cannot go on naked,’ so he took off his tuxedo cummerbund, put it around my breasts, and draped Loulou’s [de La Falaise] scarf on my hips like an Egyptian belly dancer.’
Grace Jones at the opening night at Le Palace




Catherine Deneuve, Paris, 1988




‘…He [Yves] would kid around, you know – something light and very silly. He had a great sense of humour.’

It was absolutely breathtaking! Yves was forever creating magic on the runway…beauty was his only master and it was sacred to him.’

…’I held him tight. It was Yves’ sensitive side that I felt most connected to.’





Shalom Harlow, Haute Couture, Paris, January 1993




‘Roxanne chooses her subjects, scrutinises them, lays them bare, and allows each one to reach a moment of truth.’
Pierre Bergé

‘Yves: you were a genius, an innovator: you changed the world of fashion, and kept the fantasy alive.’
Roxanne Lowit





All photographs © Roxanne Lowit, from
Roxanne Lowit Photographs Yves Saint Laurent,
courtesy Thames & Hudson


















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All Categories | The Blog Will Return Next Week

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Untitled #1, Norfolk, UK

Untitled #2, Norfolk, UK

Untitled #3, Norfolk, UK

Photographs by Pedro Silmon, 2014




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All Categories | The Blog Team is on Holiday

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Kielder Water from below the Kielder Observatory, Northumberland, UK

Kielder Observatory, by Charles Barclay Architects, completed 2008

Photographs by Pedro Silmon, 2014




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Fashion | Supermodel Portraits

Friday, July 4th, 2014

© Dominique Issermann, Kate Moss, Paris, 2004





Supermodels – Then and Now
CWC Gallery
Berlin | Germany
Until 6th September





On the Storm modelling agency’s website, British model Kate Moss’s simple description, height: 5ft 8in / 173cm, bust: 34B, waist: 26 in / 66.04 cm, hips: 35.5in / 90.17 cm, shoes: UK 6.5 / EUR 39.5, hair: blonde light, length: mid-length, eyes: hazel, belies the fact that this week a David Bailey portrait of the supermodel sold for £80,000 at a charity auction in London. Although, aged 16, she had begun modelling for The Face four years before, Moss was barely known when the cult of the supermodel was established in 1990, when Linda Evangelista infamously told US Vogue, ‘We have this expression, Christy (Turlington) and I, ‘We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.’ When Evangelista later quipped to People magazine ‘We don’t vogue, we are Vogue,’ it was pretty much the truth.





© Albert Watson, Christy Turlington, Egypt

© Bruno Bisang, Claudia Schiffer, Paris, 1997





One of the most accomplished models of all time, Evangelista remains the most featured model on the covers of Italian Vogue, was the muse of photographer Steven Meisel and of fashion designers Gianni Versace and Karl Lagerfeld. Strange then that among the generous selection of 24 press images available for Supermodels – Then and Now at Berlin’s CWC Gallery, there is not a single picture of her, an oversight which explains her absence here. Evangelista, however – who, as well as her work with Meisel, has been photographed by Richard Avedon, Gilles Bensimon, Gian Paolo Barbieri, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Nick Knight, Sante D’Orazio, Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Paolo Roversi, Francesco Scavullo, Bruce Weber, and Ellen von Unwerth, to name but a few, many of whose images appear in this exhibition – is certainly present in the show itself.





© Brian Duffy, Jean Shrimpton





In the 1980s and early 1990s, Canadian Evangelista, together with Brit Naomi Campbell and American Christy Turlington comprised a triumvirate that was dubbed The Trinity. The trio, augumented by another American Cindy Crawford, with German model Tatjana Patitz, were photographed together by Peter Lindbergh for the cover of the January 1990 issue of British Vogue, and thereafter became known as The Supermodels. There had been big name models before, of course, pictures of whom contribute to the story behind the exhibition – Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree, Veruschka, Marie Helvin, Jerry Hall – but while their names may have added a certain cachet to the designers’ clothes they were photographed in, often by great photographers, only Hall crossed over successfully into runway modelling.  Nor did they – aside from perhaps, some years later, Twiggy, and again Hall, both via acting – become world famous personalities in their own right. The names of The Supermodels became as big as those of the biggest movie stars and they were just as big a target for the paparazzi and the gossip columns. Other would-be supermodels followed hot on the heels of the originals, but only Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer achieved a similar level of fame and success.





© Albert Watson, Naomi Campbell, Palm Springs, 1989

© Herb Ritts, Laetitia Casta 2 (for Pirelli Calendar), Malibu, 1998





Paradoxically, Kate Moss, if anything an anti-supermodel at the start of her career, rose metiorically, reaching undreamed of heights in supermodeldom. Gracing 17 W covers, she was named as the magazine’s muse in 2003. She has been the model of choice for more than 30 covers (and counting) of British Vogue, and has modelled major advertising campaigns for almost every high end fashion house in the world. During the past 25 years she has been photographed by every great fashion photographer worth his salt. She has designed clothes for high street brand Topshop – her 2014 collection for the brand, inspired by her own wardrobe will be sold in 40 countries – and handbags for Longchamp, has fragrances named after her, and been the subject of sculpture by Marc Quinn. A model for the mutability of the supermodel, through portraits and nudes by Patrick Demarchelier, Dominique Issermann, Paolo Roversi, Ellen von Unwerth, and Albert Watson, Moss is given a special focus in the CWC exhibition.

Photographs courtesy the photographers and CWC Gallery



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Auction | Photography versus Deforestation

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Sebastiao Salgado
Mentawai people on
Siberut Island,
Indonesia, 2008
Estimate €11,500 > 13,500



Objectif Arbres
Sotheby’s
Paris | France
Exhibition 28th March > 31st March 2014
Charity sale 31st March 2014
Supporting the Anne Fontaine Foundation

Objectif Arbres, the French title of this travelling exhibition that began its journey in New York, in April last year, and ends it in Paris on March 31st, sounds far more romantic than the English one, Trees in Focus. But the beautiful examples of photography on show are there to make a serious point, and the proceeds of this sale will go towards a very good cause.

Almudena Caso
Arbolitos x seis, #12, 2006
Assembly under Plexiglas
Estimate €3,000 > 3,300

Laurent Elie Badessi
The tree of love, Brooklyn, 2014
Chromogenic print

Estimate €2,000 > 2,500

Sarah Moon
L’ombre du palmier, 2010
Estimate €6,000 > 7,000


Thirty-five internationally-renowned photographers each with their own personal approach, and representing diverse areas of the art – from reportage photographers Sebastião Salgado and Martine Franck, to Sarah Moon, Pamela Hanson and Antoine Verglas, who shoot fashion and beauty – have each donated photographs on the theme of trees, which will be put on show at Sotheby’s, Paris, and afterwards be auctioned in aid of the Anne Fontaine Foundation. New York-based French-Brazilian designer Fontaine, founder of the massively successful Anne Fontaine online clothing company, set up the non-profitmaking foundation in 2011 to raise awareness of the rapid deforestation taking place in many parts of the world, especially in the Amazon basin.

Steve Miller
Jungle, 2008
Collage on aluminium
Estimate €2,500 > 3,000


The aim of the exhibition is to confront the visitor with the relationship between humans and nature. Fontaine has also persuaded high-quality publishing house Assouline to publish the images in a book – for every book sold, ten trees will be planted, which must be a pretty good deal. Deforestation is an ugly business, and unless it can be halted and put into reverse with the help of organisations such as hers, it may become impossible to take such beautiful and poignant photographs in the future.

All Photos © the photographers, and Art Digital Studio / Sotheby’s


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Books | London Youth 1978-1987

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Boy George, Le Beat Route 1981


78–87
London Youth – Derek Ridgers

Photographs by Derek Ridgers
Introductory text by John Maybury
Published by Damiani / February 2014
21.5 x 31.5 cm / 160 pp / hardback

Steve and friend, left, and Matin, right, Bowie Night at Billy’s 1978


Eye-witness and participating member of London’s edgy youth culture scene during the unique period this book documents, video artist and film director John Maybury’s introductory text is so sharp and well-written that all we’re going to do is select a few short edited passages from it and allow Derek Ridgers formidable images, as they appear in this beautifully-produced book, do the rest.

Charlotte at the Dayglo Ball, Heaven 1984. Right, Paul, Kings Road 1984


John Maybury: Curiously the London represented in these images might be recognisable to a twenty-year-old today – a recession coming after an extended period of boom and bust, but there the similarities end. Post swinging London, the euphoria dissolved into a grey reality, with a political and media class confused by the rallying cry of the Sex Pistol’s [sic] No Future – but there was…

At Feltham Rugby Club 1981. Right, Mark, Leicester Square, 1981


JM: Against the depressing backdrop of a grey London demoralised by IRA bombs, riots in Brixton, Toxteth and at the Notting Hill Carnival, the miners’ strike and general civil unrest, going clubbing offered an escape…  The Roxy and Louise’s begat the Vortex, Bowie Night at Billy’s, Le Beat Route, the Blitz, Le Kilt, the Batcave, Hell, White Trash, Legends, the People’s Palace, and Taboo, where events would take place mid-week. To walk into one of them was to enter a kaleidoscope world of like-minded hedonists.

Martin and Steve, Kings Road 1981. Right, Chelsea, 1980


JM: Suddenly ordinary kids were adopting styles and attitudes that threw their parents into tailspin. Before long the streets of Soho, Camden Lock, the Kings Road and Kensington High Street were crawling with ‘these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds’.

Charlotte and Jeffrey at the Alternative Miss World, Earls Court 1981


JM: Sex (that became Seditionaries and mutated into Worlds End, Boy and PX, the stalls at Beaufort market and Kensington market, provided street-style catwalks. Punk was about watching bands. Now we were watching each other.

Southend Seafront on Bank Holiday, 1979


JM: Notorious camera whores like Boy George, Marilyn or Steve Strange not only deserved to be photographed but expected it. Being photographed served as an affirmation that your particular ‘look’ set you apart as somebody… In 78–87 London Youth, Derek Ridgers makes each and every one a hero or heroine of their own drama with one click.


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Design | Vintage 2013

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Vintage – Design with a History
Museum für Gestaltung
Zürich, Switzerland
13th November, 2013 – 6th April, 2014

East London, the area formerly known as East Berlin, and New York’s Lower East Side, have far more in common than their location in the eastern precincts of capital cities. Undoubtedly there are areas, north, south, east and west, in other major cities around the globe that, having been neglected and run down for a variety of reasons, are experiencing similar processes of regeneration, in which to a large extent rather than buildings having been demolished and new ones erected, a variety of former commercial warehouses and industrial workshops have been converted into apartments, offices, cafés, bars and shops. These three, however, currently exert the greatest influence at an international level, on fashion and lifestyle trends. Each boasts distinctive 21st century buildings, but down at street level, at times, and in certain locations within each, it’s difficult to separate one from another, especially since an overriding taste for vintage predominates in all.

In 1966, the US Customs Department legalised the definition of ‘antique’ as referring to art, buildings, furniture, accessories or personal possessions that are over 100 years old. Borrowed from wine-making, the meaning of the term ‘vintage’, was adapted and used to denote items in the same categories that were newer than 100 years old.

Over the coarse of the past couple of decades, these precepts themselves have become old fashioned. Currently, it would seem, anything older than last week can qualify as vintage and the description is taken to stand for the increase in value of any manufactured object that is a result of aging, selection or shortage – even when their patina is artificially created. Vintage, properly used, however, stands for a whole look – rather than any single item – and to achieve it requires a confident but relaxed attitude to the mixing of 20th and 21st century styles from a variety of periods.

Those who live in vintage-styled homes, or dress in vintage outfits, or do both – which is common – would much rather, sort her or his way through tightly-packed clothes racks at places such as Berlin’s Mauerpark Flohmarkt (Flea Market), than buy a new item of clothing, or an accessory, in a conventional shop. They might collect original or re-issued vinyl records, but at the same time live very much in the moment and are certain to own or desire the latest smartphone or tablet. They know their way around every aspect of the internet, too. They’ll tweet, text, chat, Skype, bank online and be guided to anywhere they need to go on their cranky old upright bikes by GPS.

It’s not surprising, when items falling into either category are displayed together, that the descriptions ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’ are often mistakenly taken by consumers to mean the same thing. Although there is a clear distinction, the confusion can at times be intended by the dealer, who may try to pass off new articles with fake patina or retro styling that apes much earlier genuine designs, as genuine vintage items. But, it must be said that often customers with little knowledge of design history don’t understand or appreciate the difference, or even care. Some prominent manufacturers, on the other hand, hoping to cash in on growing worldwide interest in vintage, have launched new products with bang up to date features that boast retro styling. Nikon, for instance, have just brought out the Df, a lightwight full-frame digital SLR camera, retailing at a whopping £1,865.76 (€2,215.62 / $2,999.95), which ‘pays homage to analogue camera styling’. With mechanical dials taken from the company’s famous ‘F’ series (1959) of 35mm film cameras – originals can easily be found in second-hand camera shops, on market stalls, and on eBay. The Df comes with an optional wireless mobile adapter, and the camera can be fired remotely by syncing it to a smartphone or tablet. Retro styled cars have been around since the late 1990s – the Prowler, launched in 1997, with exposed front wheels, was American manufacturer Plymouth’s take on a modern hot rod and arguably spearheaded the trend. In 2007, fifty years after it was first launched, the Fiat 500 was rebuilt, redesigned and relaunched, with many of its original features intact. But perhaps the Porsche Citroen 911 DS Franken-Sportscar by American design group Brandpowder, combining elements of two of the most renowned vehicles ever produced – albeit as a Photoshopped image – is the only one of these cars that merits the description ‘vintage’.

Vintage – Design with a History, the forthcoming exhibition at Zürich’s Museum für Gestaltung, will take a look at the special qualities inherent to original pieces from the world of fashion, furniture and product design, with the objective of throwing light on the current yearning for items from the relatively recent past and aims to explore commercial responses to the demand. In this regard, Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela is considered by the curators to be an important figure. Various pieces, spanning the range of his reinterpreted second-hand textiles from the early 1990s to designs that deal conceptually with fashion’s expiry date appear throughout the themed sections of the exhibition.

Images from top
Martin Margiela top, 1989–2001
Boutique Roma
Photo Betty Fleck © ZHdK

Levi’s denim jacket, 1960s, USA
Showing natural signs of wear, in the exhibition this
denim jacket is contrasted with items of clothing which, on leaving
the factory, show artificially produced traces of use

Jeansmuseum Ruedi Karrer
Photo Betty Fleck ©ZHdK

Marcel Breuer, Metal Band Chair, model 1082, 1935
Found by its present owner in a chicken coop,
this chair is the most expensive object on show

©Embru-Werke

Arrangement of vintage pieces, Möbel Zürich, 2012
Photo Regula Bearth ©ZHdK


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All Categories | The Blog is on Holiday

Friday, September 6th, 2013

This Way, 2012, Pedro Silmon

Our Mapplethorpe Curated by Huppert blog post was published early this week

Watch out for our next post on, or around, September 27th

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The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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Photography | Reutersward: Nudes & Landscapes

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Blaise Reutersward: Aktstudien und Deutsche Landschaften
(Nude studies and German Landscape)
Camera Work
Berlin, Germany
24th August – October 12th, 2013

Following in the wake of then deputy fashion director Kerstin Schneider, photographer Blaise Reutersward’s unruly shock of blond hair seemed to arrive in my office at German Elle in Munich, a millisecond before he did. It was the late 1990s and and most of the female staff were dressed head-to-toe in black (Tom Ford) Gucci or maybe Jil Sander, the younger ones in less expensive Strenesse, the editor, Renata Rosenthal in Issey Miyake – sometimes with scarily-weird green contact lenses. On the surface, Blaise, tanned, in bright blue and white checked shirt and jeans – I’m not sure what he wore on his feet, probably Converse – was a breath of fresh air, much like his photography, the naturalness of which cut a swathe through the rather stilted, heavily stylised stuff that was coming out of Paris and New York at the time. Reutersward’s models didn’t pose, they moved about under blue skies with puffy, whispy white clouds in them, wearing the clothes with ease, their hair catching the breeze. But, Reutersward himself, unsmiling, hiding beneath his hair, avoiding eye-contact, ostensibly coming in to discuss layout ideas for his photographs was deeply serious about his work and knew exactly how he wanted it to be presented.

Born in 1961, in Stockholm, Sweden, where he still lives and is based, in the one picture (2010) of him that resulted from an internet search, only sea and sky fill the background, although the tan remains, replaced by a stubble crop the long blond hair is gone, and he sports a black T-shirt – maybe a sop to fashion, or perhaps signifying the broody, mysterious side to the photographer that I had been aware of at our single meeting and which would later be revealed via his personal work.

Unable to compete with German Vogue for the best photographers, German Elle was and probably remains the poor relation, but, certainly during the period I was the magazine’s art director (1996-1999) – many of the photographers coming in via the fashion department, who were extremely picky about who they would work with – it provided a testing ground for talented new, not necessarily young – Blaise would have been around 35 years old at the time – photographers, keen for a chance to get published. Reutersward was one of those who impressed German Vogue and soon found himself regularly shooting for them, and throughout the past 15 or so years, for French Vogue as well as those in Japan and China. He may not have achieved the success or fame of giant of Swedish fashion photography, Mikael Jansson, but he has stuck to his guns, consistently producing sensitive, timeless images of female fashion and beauty, most often in a natural setting with a minimum of artificial lighting.

Typically understated, Reuterward’s website shows nothing other than a slideshow of a few dark photographs from Aktstudien und Deutsche Landschaften, his forthcoming exhibition of large format nude portraits and German landscapes at Berlin’s Camera Work. The landscapes new, the nudes produced over the past 10 years, he uses his great skill and unique eye for composition to create an intense dialogue between the objects of his obsession.

Photographs from top
Aktstudie 002
Grevgatan, Stockholm, Sweden

Deutsche Landschaft 1205
Ariel view of Sylt, Germany

Deutsche Landschaft 1207
Schönau am Königssee,
Berchtesgaden National Park,
Bavaria, Germany

Deutsche Landschaft 1206
Neinhäger Holz,
Mecklenburger Bucht, Germany

All images ©Blaise Reutersward
Courtesy Camera Work


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The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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