Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Dance Magic

If there was ever a time to feel even more removed from the athletic discipline of dance, it's this mince-pie-for-breakfast-and-sherry-for-lunch festive period. But it still inspires me, like...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Back to Collage

This week I turned my hand to a feminist collage. Or, at least one which features a fair few strong women.

The background is an ad for Vivienne Westwood's new Naughty Alice perfume, then I stuck down a gorgeous blue image of Mia Wasikowska aka Alice in Wonderland from a Dazed and Confused editorial. There's a portrait from a National Gallery catalogue I picked up at Beningbrough Hall in the right hand corner, a pencil illustration taken from a Bebaroque tights packet, the incredible Renee Robinson from an Alvin Ailey programme, some WAFs from a recent copy of InStyle, Leeds burlesque dancer Anna Fur Laxis from my magazine's 2009 Plush Awards programme, a peppermint cremes illustration from the original Bettys boxes, Cinderella's stepsisters from an illustration by Jeannie Harbour, printed in The Guardian, and a couple of pilots from Belgian chocolate wrappers which Tim bought me (they came with chocolate in them, too).
As with most of my collages, the detail shows an unhealthy fascination with sticking subjects' extremities in nooks and crannies. So satisfying when paper fits so snugly...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Money's Too Tight to Mention

But mention it we will, since the Observer ran a feature today about it's vicarious effect on creative fashion photography.

A Tim Walker spread featuring Karen Elson was used to illustrate it. Personally, from my relatively limited magazine experience compared to commmentator Lorraine Candy, I reckon there are plenty of other editorial pages to use for creative product placement without worrying overly about the fashion spreads. I do wonder, however, about the ways in which funds might be affected by the recession. I wonder if Vogue still has the resources to commission Walker as much. Or that Walker has the funds to source 80 rabbits and spend the best part of a day ensuring he gets the shot sans bunny poo.

I hope so. If only for the back stories behind such beautiful shoots. Robin Muir remembers, in Tim Walker's Pictures tome, how on seeing the above photo, Cant's uncle simply 'assumed she had done Playboy'. Apparently the  shoot's inspiration had been the well-known rat-based tale, The Pied Piper of Hamelyn. Walker explained, though: "We didn't want rats, because rats aren't very Vogue." Brilliant.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Time Out of Mind - An Ode to Magazines

How do I love thee. Let me count the ways. I love the way I can completely devour you and yet ingest no calories; I might even be inspired to go the other way, the kind of teensy weensy spiders you use for models, gawd bless thee. I love that I can spend money on you and pretend to myself it's research. And I particularly love the way you - some of you, this is - take it all so wonderfully seriously. Exhibit A: the latest Vs magazine and the sheer creativity of their watch spread.

Magazines within magazines? To paraphrase Claudia in Interview With The Vampire, 'How Avant Garde'. Only she was talking about vampires playing humans, playing vampires. And three words probably doesn't merit a credit. Whatevs, next page.

Ads for Cartier, rolled up, within a fashion spread... I freaking love it...

Those are little Rs and As and Ds and Os chopped from magazines and papers and used for the backdrop to the new Rado watch *swoon*
Did I mention this is printed on untreated paper which smells like libraries and theatre programmes? To think, my beau might have brought one of those crazy eyed porcelain dolls in leiderhosen back from Munich, instead he picks this up for me in Munchen Flughaffen (he's a doll and hang the creeping suspicion that he paid twice as much for something exported from his destination country). It reminds me of Hedi Slimane's poster for Wallpaper* a few years ago. And since this also reminds me of my landing wall at home, that can never be a bad thing.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Yellow There

My mum - and therefore, vicariously, probably my dad without realising it - bought me a blank calendar for Christmas one year. I kept it, mainly because there's some doodlings by my would-be nephews in there, and partly through vanity, as you do. Oh come on, you do, right?
I quite like deciding on a theme and sticking - quite literally, *fnar fnar* - with it. Hence the yellow. And the bit of brown, but you wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to put a horse in there, would you?

Flicking back through the calendar tonight it strikes me as slightly absurd that I would spend so much time that year (2007, FYI) making sunny calendar entries when we were living above a guy who encouraged us to get out of bed at 3am every morning to record his repeat plays of Chris de Burgh's Greatest Hits - that would be Lady in Red and , yep, Lady in Red, then - on a council environmental health loaned system. I say we, but I really mean me, with a cocked broom handle. Seriously, here's another...

...Though the effort has clearly gone by September. No doubt something to do with the lack of sleep, not to mention the lack of sense, staying in a rented flat alongside a dude who sees no shame in pumping up the volume for 'My Heart Will Go On'. Or answering the door in his grundies.

I totally see where inspiration was coming from for this sketch, mind.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

One Elle of a Day

You know that alarming realisation that hits when, chatting happily to someone at a schmoozy boozy event, you see through your glassy, Champagne eyeholes that standing before you is the person you aspire to be, and that you've only gone and done a collage a few months earlier on just such a theme? No, silly, not Peter Tatchell, tireless fighter for rights, or your mum (coo), but only the ruddy beauty director of Elle. Like - just a dazed walk from Harvey Nichols, through Leeds, scuzzy 40 minute bus ride, and walk across the Stray during which you hear succinctly from a bench-ful of boys 'let's do her', 'urgh, you're sick' - ago, that's who you were talking to. And you didn't ask for a job. Or, more proudly considering your empty stomached fizz-head and unrequited regard for her publication, a lock of her hair. Funny, nugh?
A bit of collage detail, while we're here...
night, then.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Just Glue It

This is blu-tacked next to my door and snugly incorporates my door phone. Neat, nuh? It wasn't planned. I might have made it more snug if it were.
The details:
This came from a programme for Alvin Ailey Dance Theater (sic!)
Check the circus freakery on that. Now if they could manage that under a big top, I'd go see it, and hang the animal rights. I made this unicorn (avec now sadly departed swishy tail) ages ago, inspired by (read 'completely ripping off') Jasper Goodall. He made the cut, despite boasting the most amateurish use of drawing ink you're likely to see this side of primary school.

Jim Morrison, innit. And yet more extremities-on-arse tomfoolery. Perhaps this should have been addressed when I made the collage a few years ago...

Snug, no? No.