It's OK for intellectual feminists to like fashion

Blog title from Hadley Freeman's book The Meaning of Sunglasses : "Prada styles itself as the label it's OK for intellectual feminists to like".

The author is a bilingual fashion editor, writer and translator with a serious blog, cinema and magazine habit.

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Email: fashionmemex(at)gmail.com

  • Siri Tollerod, Vogue Italia pre-2009. Rest of the editorial, Refinery 29. (x2)
  • Irina Lazareanu for Aubin & Wills Spring/Summer 2012. Rest of the ad campaign, Miss Moss.
  • Cara Delevingne by Liz Collins for Love Magazine S/S2013. Rest of the editorial, Visual Optimism.
  • Lanvin advert 2009, found at The Gloss which has a great overview of the rise of cats in fashion.
  • Soo Joo by Gan for Harper’s Bazaar Singapore August 2013. Rest of the editorial, Fashion Copious.
  • Nimue Smit by Txema Yeste for Numéro China April 2012. Part of a Styleite round up of the 13 best fashion editorials featuring cats.
  • Dewi Driegen by Chris Craymer "Visioni" Amica March 2012. Same source as above. 
  • Karl Lagerfeld’s drew his cat Choupette for i-D magazine
  • Linda Evangelista and Choupette by Karl Lagerfeld, Vogue Germany July 2013. 

Posted at 10:00am and tagged with: which, photography, cat, karl lagerfeld, model life,.

Strawberry fashion

  1. Photographer: Bruno Dayan
  2. Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia
  3. Chanel Iman in a French publication
  4. Vogue UK, September 1974, Norman Parkinson
  5. Anna Dello Russo wearing a strawberry-print dress from the Yves Saint Laurent S/S10 collection
  6. Lula magazine issue 10, March 2010, Kim Noorda as strawberry shortcake
  7. Nico with strawberry by Mark Shaw
  8. Kate Moss in Alexander McQueen by Wolfgang Tillmans, 1996
  9. The inspiration…

Posted at 7:59pm and tagged with: photography, strawberry, editorial, which,.

Blogger adventure: Jonathan Daniel Pryce of 100 Beards

Back in January, I interviewed Jonathan Daniel Pryce, one of my favourite menswear bloggers and the creative and photographic force behind the 100 Beards, 100 Days project and book. Danielle Meder a blogger as talented at illustration as she is at introducing people, had introduced us last summer.  In person, Jonathan is just as charming, thoughtful and stylish as his bearded man photos. 

Your current blog is called Another Garçon, the previous one was Les Garçons de Glasgow – why the French influence? Can we see these titles as a tribute to Rei Kawakubo?

The first blog, Les Garçons de Glasgow (LGDG), was started in 2009 when I lived in Glasgow. The idea for the name had so many influences, one of which being my appreciation of what Rei Kawakubo did with Comme des Garçons (CDG). The most commercially successful CDG pop-up store in the world was in Glasgow so it was also a small nod to that. 

I came up with the Les Garçons de Glasgow name when planning a trip to Paris. I had France on the brain and it just popped in my head – I think it has a real ring to it. When I started my menswear blog I needed a connecting name and so Another Garçon (AG) was born.

You started blogging in Glasgow and kept going when you moved to London. Do you think the change of city changed the way you blog?

When blogging from Glasgow I was still travelling a lot – attending fashion week in London and Paris every season, and making trips across Europe. My approach, although Glasgow-centric, wasn’t too narrow. I moved to Paris before London and considering it now, I think a change in blogging culture evolved my blogging style more than a change of city When I started blogging in 2007, the blogosphere was an entirely different place. It’s amazing to consider how much changes in six years.

Your 100 Beards project, now a book, was hosted on Tumblr, whereas your blog is on Blogger. Why the platform difference?

When starting the 100 Beard project, I wanted a format that was simple, easily understandable and the best place to host one photo per day. As photos are hosted on Tumblr directly (I use Photobucket with my blogger blogs) it made my life easier but but it was also more translatable for the user, who is accustomed to viewing images on Tumblr.

Did you set out to make a book out of the 100 Beards projects or was it a nice side effect of the project, and if so how did it happen?
 
My original ambition was to do an exhibition in London. I’ve shown my work across the United Kingdom (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Belfast to name a few) and Paris but never in London so I though it would make a nice end to 2012. About 30 days into the project the hits on 100 beards was doubling that of Les Garçons de Glasgow and Another Garçon. The press attention was also huge including GQ, Glamour, Grazia, WGSN so I thought a book may be a nice way to encapsulate the project as a whole. I’m very proud to say that the first edition sold out in just three weeks.

Whereas Les Garçons de Glasgow mixed women and men street style photography, Another Garçon has a strong men focus – why the evolution?

My personal interest lies in menswear, both in design and on the street. When developing Les Garcons de Glasgow it was the next, natural step. Now that we (me and my blogging partner and friend of LGDG, Daniel) have moved to London, Les  Garçons de Glasgow has lost some of it’s relevancy, and we are no longer working on that blog  I’m actually in the process of updating AG with a format and name change as I type! It’s been running for about 18 months now so it’s time for a change.*

Aside from your blogging work, you work as a social media consultant – how does the blog fit in your professional life?

Blogging is a great way to showcase what I can do for clients. All my clients are in the lifestyle or fashion sector, so AG is very relevant to what is possible for a brand. My academic and professional background is in marketing so over the years I’ve worked on some excellent campaigns for some wonderful companies. Since moving to London and winning my award last June I’ve had a huge amount of interest in my photography and that’s what most of my clients are asking for now.

How do you want your blog to evolve?

Photography is really my focus for the next year. I’m developing my editorial work, which is very exciting, meaning that the blog should feature a lot more fashion stories. I’d like to resolve all the different blogs I run, so they can all be seen in one place. I have Another Garçon, 100 Beards and whatever my next blogging project will be, so it’d be good for my readers to see my work all together.

Do you have any project to take over from 100 Beards?

That’s the question on everyone’s lips! I have no idea just now but I’m waiting for inspiration to hit. Right now, I’ve gone beyond 100 days and am continuing to photograph some beards on the blog. It’s hard to quit the habit! The new work will be featured in the second edition of the 100 Beards book, along with many more unseen photos, which can be preordered at 100beards.bigcartel.com.

* This interview was conducted back in January. Since then, Another Garçon has become Garçonjon.com. 

All photos are from Jonathan’s Tumblr, 100 Beards, 100 Days

Posted at 8:31pm and tagged with: blogger adventure, photography, beard, artists on tumblr,.

"La Déca Danse", a Mario Testino-Carine Roitfeld collaboration in the May 2010 issue of Paris Vogue to celebrate the anniversary of the Serge Gainsbourg-Jane Birkin La Décadanse song, is one of my favourite fashion shoots.

Likely inspired by a 1978 Helmut Newton photo of the couple, the editorial features Daria Werbowy and Francesco Vezzoli. It earned me a massive dressing down in the Tube one afternoon by a woman who told me I should really be ashamed to read such literature in public transports. With Carine Roitfeld, you read Vogue and people thought it was Playboy.

Posted at 8:04am and tagged with: Vogue, carine roitfeld, photography, editorial,.

Latest in the blurring of fashion and art trend is Chanel’s traveling exhibition The Little Black Jacket, currently showing in Paris after stints in Tokyo, New York and London, where I got to see it.

Focused on one classic little black jacket (LBJ) personalised ad infinitum in the Chanel ateliers to the dimensions and wishes of the personalities wearing it, the exhibition aims to show, through pictures styled by Carine Roitfeld and shot by Karl Lagerfeld, the eternal elegance, staying power and versatility of the garment.

In London, the Little Black Jacket is showed at the Saatchi gallery, a fitting space for a project which holds more to grandiose marketing and the desire to create buzz than straight ‘art’. The pictures and the quality of their printing might be beautiful, but the concept linking them feels tenuous.

The exhibition could be split into two categories: the people who wear the jacket as they would in their daily life, and the ones, mostly models, who wear it styled, fashion editorial-like.

Rather than Lulu Gainsbourg wearing his father trademark white Zizi shoes, Sofia Coppola in a stripy t-shirt or Alice Dellal complementing her LBJ with a studded leather jacket, I would have liked to see Roitfeld style them in an unexpected way, challenging not only their style, but also her own styling.

As for the more fashion editorial pictures, Freja Beha Erichsen wearing the jacket nun-like is reminiscent of POP's Autumn September 2008 issue. Men wearing an LBJ have already been done, say for the March 2009 issue of Paris Vogue tribute to Coco Chanel, in an editorial photographed by Lagerfeld and styled by Roitfeld (already).

If I stopped for long in front of any picture, it wasn’t because I was taken aback by an unexpected styling choice or photographic angle but rather to rack my brain trying to remember which fashion editorial a pose or a garment reminded me of. The only possible exception was Roitfeld, who dressed herself as Coco Chanel, in a move which could either be seen as tongue-in-cheek or self-aggrandising.

A sure crowd pleaser, the exhibition was a safe move by Chanel, which has so far guaranteed the brand thousands of mentions on social media and in the press, multiplied every time the show moves to a new city. I did not expect anything radical from the exhibition, considering it was staged by Chanel itself, but a little more imagination would have suggested that in addition to lasting that long, the little black jacket has a long life ahead.

All photos from The Little Black Jacket Chanel exhibition

Posted at 9:20am and tagged with: chanel, exhibition review, photography,.

It’s time to say goodbye to Autumn/Winter 2011. Frida Giannini’s collection for Gucci was one of her strongest for the brand so far and has featured in multiple editorials and graced many magazine covers. I’ll miss the 1970s vibe, rich hues, strong silhouette and golden Hollywood inspiration but most of all, I’ll miss the wide brimmed felt hats.

The Gucci Show

Show fittings from Vogue.it

Vogue Italia cover

Vogue Spain; Model Natasha Poly, Photographer Mariano Vivanco

Vogue Greece cover

Posted at 10:00am and tagged with: Gucci, photography, which, editorial, magazine,.

Take advantage of the week left to visit the Glamour of the Gods exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery because it will change the way you see Old Holywood. Mixing iconic portraits with more candid pictures, big names with forgotten names, Clark Gable’s good looks with Michelle Morgan’s eyes, the show displays pictures from the John Kobal’s Foundation collection. There are glamourous and iconic shots of Marlon Brando in his white tee-shirt, Marlene Dietrich in a perfect white shirt and Louise Brooks with the longest strand of white pearls, photos so ingrained in our collective memory they now define our vision and understanding of glamour. This is the glamour the magazines keep telling us about, bygone years when the studio ruled the game, when being gay could get you kicked out of Los Angeles, when lips were bright red and photography black and white. Those perfect pictures aren’t as true to life as many anti-Photoshop campaigns would have you believe: on display is a series of photos with the before, the after and everything that got changed in between. Some of the pictures are haunting or spooky, like Mary Pickford photographed in her wedding dress looking like she’s on her death bed or Vivien Leigh sporting Scarlett’s mad eyes. Yesterday just like today, pictures of stars aimed at capturing perfection, be it staged or not.

Picture from The Daily Telegraph

Posted at 6:56pm and tagged with: exhibition review, cinema, photography,.

The Grimaldi/Casiraghi/Vogue story is a long-standing one. Grace Kelly who, long after she left Hollywood for the Mediterranean shores of her royaume d’opérette, still fascinated the Americans, graced the cover of Vogue both sides of the Atlantic a few times. Eldest daughter Caroline then took over, with a predilection for Paris Vogue and an Andy Warhol painting for Christmas 1983 which can only be described as iconic. It took longer to Stephanie to join the fold, but Carine Roitfeld did the honours with the Christmas 2008 magazine edited by the princess in the 1980s vibe raving on the catwalks at the time. Fast forward two years and it’s only fitting that, for her first Monaco cover, Emmanuelle Alt chose the new generation of Monaco royals with Charlotte and an editorial heavily accented by her partnership with Gucci.

So what does this family album tell us about the evolution of Vogue? Fourty years separate them, but Charlotte’s pictures are as sage as Grace’s. With the exception of Caroline’s Warhol cover and Stephanie’s leather-clad photos, there is no real reinvention of what being a princess means. Apparently, in the 1970s like nowadays, it’s all about beautiful dresses and expensive jewellery. Vogue, for all its sexual bravado, isn’t about to break the Cinderella myth.

Grace by Richard Avedon, US Vogue, Christmas 1971

Grace, UK Vogue, March 1972

Caroline by Norman Parkinson, feature by Roger Peyrefitte, Paris Vogue, October 1977

Caroline par Sir Cecil Beaton (?), Paris Vogue, March 1979

Caroline by Andy Warhol, Paris Vogue, Christmas 1983

Caroline, Paris Vogue, Summer 1988

Stéphanie by Mert & Marcus, Paris Vogue, Christmas 2008

Stéphanie by Mario Testino, Paris Vogue, Christmas 2008

Charlotte by Mario Testino, Paris Vogue, September 2011

Charlene by Patrick Demarchelier, US Vogue, July 2011

Posted at 10:00am and tagged with: Vogue, Vogue Paris, magazine history, photography, Monaco,.

Once a week, Fashion Carrousel delights her readers with a selection of fashion photography, from editorials to adverts, chosen around a theme. In recent weeks, blue and red dresses, Paris and Peter Lindbergh have received the Fashion Carrousel treatment. Whimsical, visual and thoroughly researched, the blog has become one of my weekly favourites. As luck has it, Fashion Carrousel also happens to be my sister. She’s accepted to answer my questions about her blogging process.

Why did you decide to create Fashion Carrousel after years of blogging under another name?

It started with this wonderful fashion editorial shot by Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue - my favourite to this day. I decided to look for some of his other work. I really didn’t expect it, but three hours later, I was still on my computer: I couldn’t stop looking for more and more pictures! Keeping them in a folder where I would never look at them seemed useless. Instead I created Fashion Carrousel, to share these captivating pictures.


Why the focus on pictures over words?

Because I am bad at writing. Well, not really bad - I have my good days - but too lazy and private to write each week a good article about a topic I like. On my previous blog, there would sometimes be these pretty good articles, and then strings of boring things about my life, how I bought a dress, how my fridge was empty… I felt guilty because I should have tried writing more good updates. Whereas when I do a carrousel, there is no fear of revealing too much, or not being as good as before. These are not my pictures, so it helps me keep distance.

How do you select your topics?

I try to find names of photographers I don’t know yet; some themes are obvious, because they often come back in fashion editorials. I have a notebook where I write themes when they come to my mind, but very often I don’t stick to them. There are some topics I like very much, but when I look for pictures, it just doesn’t click. A good example is Paolo Roversi: his pictures are beautiful, but it took me three months to do a carrousel about them - they were kind of giving me the creeps !



Is there one topics you’d like to do but haven’t dared yet?

Not really, but I tend to stay away from topics where too much nudity/sex is involved. They always make me feel like the 13-year-old girl whose mother looked down on “sexy” fashion editorials. That’s why Ellen von Unwerth was a daring carrousel for me, even if in the end I only published one of the naked pictures I had selected.


Where do you source your pictures from?

Google Image when I begin doing research. I go on specialized sites, like Fashion gone Rogue, only when I want to find a complete editorial in high quality. I also browse The Fashion Spot forum to find scan of older editorials. However, I browse Google Image a lot, and I try to be creative about the keywords. Don’t ask me why, but I feel going on specialised sites at the beginning is like cheating!


Why only blogging once a week?

Mainly because each update takes me a long time: I need a good two hours to find the theme, the pictures, all the references (and the complete editorials when I can)… Plus, I always end up wandering on fashion forums on totally different subjects, and I really cannot spend all my evenings doing this!

Both pictures from Fashion Carrousel

Related: Become a Femme Fatale in Eight Lessons

Posted at 8:30am and tagged with: blogger adventure, photography, blog,.

Picture the perfect romantic Paris photo: the Tour Eiffel, a femme fatale wearing the most romantic of Christian Dior Couture gown on a carousel, a sign directing you to the nearest toilets…

Proust had a theory that to properly understand a painting, had to observe it through one singled out, tiny detail. Is Annie Leibovitz trying to tell us something about how she feels about her subject? Could no one in the Vanity fair Photoshop department understand French? Or on the contrary is the contrast between the mundane of the sign and the surreal beauty of Katy Perry’s dress making the picture? “The picture would have been perfect without that sign”. Except the accompanying interview isn’t about Perry’s perfection but about her life, its pink and its black.

Katy Perry’s Grand Tour, Vanity Fair June 2011

Posted at 9:07pm and tagged with: Paris, vanity fair, photography, Annie Leibovitz,.

Picture the perfect romantic Paris photo: the Tour Eiffel, a femme fatale wearing the most romantic of Christian Dior Couture gown on a carousel, a sign directing you to the nearest toilets…
Proust had a theory that to properly understand a painting, had to observe it through one singled out, tiny detail. Is Annie Leibovitz trying to tell us something about how she feels about her subject? Could no one in the Vanity fair Photoshop department understand French? Or on the contrary is the contrast between the mundane of the sign and the surreal beauty of Katy Perry’s dress making the picture? “The picture would have been perfect without that sign”. Except the accompanying interview isn’t about Perry’s perfection but about her life, its pink and its black.
Katy Perry’s Grand Tour, Vanity Fair June 2011