Hit me baby one more time..

Friday, 26 August 2011

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Great Great Aunty Mary

My family has inherited the most amazing box of handmade lacy that my great great aunt made however many millions of years ago. The box is full of masses of beautiful, hand made lace collars and table cloths and doilies...it really is a spectacular legacy. Unfortunately, they are irreplaceable and fragile and difficult to use in projects without damaging them, since they were hardly designed with 21st century fashion in mind. Here are a few images of a few pieces which I have hand-stitched VERY CAREFULLY onto an old coat from Boden...should come somewhere in the colour lace trend for fall this year.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Re-invented art

THIS painting by Marie Guillemine Benoist was painted in 1800 and re-created this year for Louboutin’s A/W campaign. It’s really exciting for me to see art using its heritage and re-inventing old images which were so potent and controversial when they were created and still are today. I also have a bit of an obsession with the symbolism of shoes in art and so this is a really exciting image to me.

Guillemine Benoist’s artistic career began in the workshop of Delacroix; it was very unusual for girls of this era to receive any formal artistic training though both she and her sister became prolific. The painting is unusual because the black woman which it depicts is the sole focus of the painting. Often during this period in France “negroes” were painted as types rather than paying individual attention. There are several confusing and ambiguous symbols within the painting; the white headdress is neither the decorative fashion of the aristocracy nor the plain white cap of a servant girl; the room is bare but the chair is ancienne-regime; the breasts are bare, yet she is neither divinity nor allegory. Traditional baroque paintings depicted white women serving black women, yet by painting her, Guillemine Benoist creates the scenario that she is serving the black woman, equating her position as a woman to that of a slave. The image was painted at a time of new social equality in France where all men were suddenly equal and society was undecided about the position of women or blacks, the painting became a symbol for both the emancipation of women and the freedom of slaves. The painting is little known but I think so important, I really love that Louboutin has brought it back into our memory with this promotional campaign. 

A few creative liberties taken with Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot’s “Portrait of a Girl”

A brooding and sumptuous "Magdalene and the Flame" by Georges de la Tour 

making the 1500s sexy- re-visiting Fran├žois Clouet's "Portrait of Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of France"

These were just my favorites, there were a few others, but my passion is for Benoist, who is a genius, and I love the photographs attention to the original detail. I think the attention on the signature red sole of each is brilliantly sexy, really exploiting the relationship between shoes and sex. If i had unlimited resources, I would absolutely love to re-create Caravaggio and Michelangelo with a modern twist, perhaps with ipod headphones or the strong light and shade created by texting in the dark- who knows, if I have some crazy friends and too much free time maybe I will, but for now my resources are far too limited, and have more chance with the previous year’s Vanitas inspired shoots. Just a little more in my reach-though obviously not the shoes.

Red is the new Black...?

Vogue’s September issue arrived yesterday and I haven’t had the time to sit and read it all really carefully yet and pick out the interesting bits, but I have noticed some unusual colour choices in the adverts (which can sometimes be the best bit of these magazines anyway).

Tom Ford left his models with red eye, a not all together attractive look in my humble opinion, making the models a little she-devil-ish, but it does make some dramatic and extreme shots.

Chanel have matched this model’s lips and eyebrows, which is very cool but a look that I do not think will ever work on me. I may have to experiment for Halloween but perhaps try deep purple or even black.