Sunday, October 30

PERSPECTIVES, AS TAUGHT BY STANLEY KUBRICK

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I can recall primary school art lessons, spent hunched over drawing imaginary lines of telegraph poles, railway lines and valleys with snaking rivers, in the name of learning that valuable skill for realistic drawing : perspective. When I saw Stanley Kubrick's photographic exhibition in Milan last year, (yes, he of Clockwork Orange fame, but so much more than that) I felt he had never forgotten those school lessons on perspective. With his early work on travelling circus performers and the Irish immigrant population in New York City, his camera is at the whim of his subject; grubby boys stand scowling, while gymnasts twirl and pose in a continuation of their performance. However in his later work, focused on travels in southern Italy and around the student population of Columbia University, he molds his subjects into position. They become shapes that fit into diagrams, diagrams of perspective. The photos of the line of fishermen particularly reminded me of the telegraph poles, with the  rope passed through hand to hand, down a seemingly endless line. Then there is the Italian series - the man looming large and dominant in the foreground of every shot, a tiny espresso cup adding a comical edge. The woman remains subordinate in the far hintergrund, passive and small. My favourite by far is the group under the cross, because it shows the power of the photographer to craft an image that was never really there. An innocent sightseeing party become almost demonic in this Wickerman-esque tableau; the looming heavy cross, the   dramatic wisp of cloud OR smoke, the ambiguous expressions. Again, it is a question of perspective. Taken from above, or level with the subjects, it would never have the same effect.
The camera's power to enhance, enlarge or distort fascinates me. Fashion bloggers, many of whom are also their own photographers, have a huge amount of control over their image and how they can manipulate it. Over time, we build up a projection of ourselves through the camera lens - the most honest and untrustworthy of eyes. Which perspective are you looking at?
Roz of Clothes, Cameras and Coffee wrote an interesting piece about the power of the photographer to craft an image in their favour on her blog this week. Read it here. 
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All pictures scanned from the book to accompany the exhibition

Wednesday, October 26

WHAT'S IN MY BAG?

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I always thought it was a pointless exercise for a blog post since everyone has more or less the same things in their bag, give or take a few exceptions based on unusual career choice or mental stability - a handgun, for instance, or some birdseed, or your dead grandmother's teeth ..."they bring me back so many good memories..."
But then Peony did a bag post and it looked so orderly and inviting, I just had to copy. I really wanted to stick a tiny pistol in mine just to fuel some 'dangerous blogger' rumours but I was found wanting. 
Clockwise from top : Vitamin C pills. Heaven knows if these actually do you any good, but here in France they are so cheap, it's more cost effective than to buy an actual piece of fruit, so they stand me stead for now // Pill box : Pain is not cute, but this box is. // Blackberry Curve phone // USB Memory stick shaped like a gold bar, I think my bank gave me this with my student account, as some sort of ironic financial joke. // Cologne : I can't stand sickly feminine perfumes, preferring Hermes' Eau d'orange vert or Dior's Eau Savage, but my new favourite is this English Pear & Freesia by Jo Malone.// Lip balm by Palmer's - it tastes like After Eights. //Assorted notebooks: I go through these like water, so I tend to hoard as many free ones as possible. If I wrote exclusively in Moleskines, I'd probably not be able to afford to eat. // Assorted jewellry: Having piled it on in the morning, by mid-afternoon I usually get into a fit of excessive metalwear and start tearing it all off - into the bag it goes. Earrings from my Edie Sedgwick phase, gold and turquoise bracelet from Gogo Philip. // YSL Lipstick No. 140 - the perfect shade of burgundy. // Aspinalls of London Union Jack wallet. An ex-boyfriend of mine gave this to me for Christmas, after we had broken up. Proof that he is still do this day, the best ex-boyfriend on earth. // Rayban sunglasses I can't believe are not broken, even after having been sat on by a fat twerp at Glastonbury. // Disposable camera - always. And no more charming feeling than that experienced when rifling through 36 random photos you don't remember taking  // Purple faux-ostrich filofax diary, 'because nothing has ever really happened, until it has been recorded."* // and finally ... KEYS! Very important. I have been locked out enough times to have learned that lesson, at least.


Not pictured : 
Pens without lids, lids without pens, and stains made by said pens
A plethora of dog-eared receipts from sad, bi-weekly shopping trips to Carrefour city, usually coming to around €12.
Misc. sweetwrappers and the skeletons of things I ate or forgot to eat (including the occasional squashed and browned banana .
Degraded business cards once belonging to men who confidently presented them to me at nightclubs or parties, and for that very reason they have been condemned to die a death at the bottom of my bag alongside browned bananas.
A winebottle opener I may have borrowed from a hotel bar.
Glitter.
Pointless lists like this one.

Tuesday, October 25

A TALE OF THREE CITIES

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This Friday night in Paris, hebdomadaire literary soirée The Book Club, which has been gracing Le Carmen since February, throws a special party to celebrate the launch of new literary arts journal A Tale of Three Cities, linking Europe's golden artistic triangle of Paris, London and Berlin. A Tale of Three has been many, careful months in the making - contributions from Zadie Smith, Joss McKinley and Todd Zuniga along with some of the three cities' most promising young writers and artists are all bound together in the inaugural first edition, hand-numbered in an exclusive print run of 500 copies and produced by boutique publishing house Ditto Press. A Tale of Three will only be available as a hard copy, to have and to hold, forevermore. As Paris Editor Rosa Rankin-Gee expressed : "We believe in paper and ink. Good art and writing should be able to exist without electricity. This journal has a beautiful textured dust jacket - you can't get that on a Kindle." A Tale of Three will be available to buy on Friday night at Le Carmen in Paris, at B Store in London or on the Tale of Three online store.
As for Book Club, the concept is thus : bring a book you don't mind passing on, and swap it for someone else's over a cocktail (Tequila Mockingbird perhaps), whilst flirtatiously perching on a stranger's knee. As illustrated by the pictures below from last month's club, I warn you that this isn't any ordinary book club. It involves champagne, dancing to old-school garage, good-looking men in hats, and possibly ... motorbikes. But what did you expect? Turns out people who love books, don't just love books.

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Photos by Un Autre Quelqu'Un and Audrey Rogers

Sunday, October 23

OCTOBER BALLOONS

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Sunday afternoons in Paris are for tearing up new neighbourhoods with an open heart and a string of stolen borrowed balloons. Burnished leaves fringe cobbled streets, and brisk winds drive us from twilight graveyards into warm maroon cafés with unsentimental names.
Photographed in Montmartre with Chris Weir and my new musical kindred spirit Zora, who is the only person I've met so far in my life who adores Echo & the Bunnymen as much as I do.
I am now also micro-blogging on Tumblr under Arcadian Eight, as a sideline for my stray photographs that had no home to go to.
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Monday, October 17

PARIS FASHION WEEK : DAY SEVEN

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With Audrey and Peony outside the Chloe show in the Tuileries gardens. I'm wearing the Mansfield dress in coquelicot from the Jitrois S/S 2012 collection. Photos by Dvora for her '3 days with...' series. See the rest of my outfits on Fashionistable here.

Sunday, October 16

KARLIE-KANYE

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 I first met Gabriel Lahanque at a party during Paris Fashion Week. It was at GrandLife NYC's This Is New York party at Le Regine - a smokefilled sweatbox done in mirrors and red velvet, where the crowd, fuelled on vodka cranberry cocktails, dripped cigarette ends onto a sodden carpet stained with hedonist history. Competing with the sound of the Misshapes thumping set, we fell to the topic of photography - and when we simultaneously pulled our own disposable cameras out to show each other, we both laughed. Emerging from a swarm of streetstyle photographers and paparazzi armed with intrusive lenses like rocketlaunchers, Gabriel has the freedom to snap that moment in a more unique, and approachable way. His photography also proves that you don't need an expensive lens with a fancy f/stop to capture the spirit of fashion week. He's inspired me to keep my trusty Boots 400iso camera in my bag at all times, and not just at parties. Recognise any of these familiar faces?
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Gabriel Lahanque on Tumblr

Tuesday, October 11

PARIS FASHION WEEK : MONTAGE II

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I was in Anna Wintour's eyeline for the Carven show. For such a small person, she really creates such a magnetic presence. Even the celebrity-spotting photographers were too timid to approach her.
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T-shirt in the window at Collette
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Michael in the Tuileries
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Rockabilly monochrome and bopping ponytails at the Limi Feu show. Read my show report for Notion magazine HERE.
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A trio of hats outside Shiatzy Chen
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David Nyanzi snapped me outside the Anne Valerie Hash show on Day 4. It was so great to see him here, as he was the first person I ever met when I first went to London Fashion Week in September 2009, when we got chatting outside the Henry Holland show, as we were both totally new to the whole thing and it overwhelmed us. Back then, you could probably count the number of bloggers who went to fashion week off two hands. It's a different world now. Two years later here in Paris, I wore Zara orange fur, purple vintage paisley shirt, Suede skirt from Topshop and Chanel bag.
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Charlotte Free walking for Limi Feu
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Colour explosion at Carven

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I just didn't have any time to snap ay streetstyle this time round, but just as I was leaving the Tuileries I had to stop for this guy. ORANGE CORDUROY. I feel the bottle-green S.Pelligrino just adds to the look.
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Final walk at Dévastée. Read my full show report with photographs for Notion Magazine HERE.
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Dunja from Style Dissection snapped me on Day 6 outside the Akris show, dressed as a wannabe colonial. That morning I had been thinking about John Jannuzi's blog Textbook, and I half-unconsciously  dressed with "What would Mrs. Moore* wear...?" in my mind. The kimono and safari hat are non-Indian themed pieces I accept creative license for.


*Mrs Moore is a character in E.M. Forster's novel A Passage to India. Unlike the other British Colonials, she has an instinctive understanding of the mysticism of the native culture which transcends racial barriers.
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Behind the scenes at the Jitrois showroom overlooking the Tuileries, where I spent 8 days working solidly, popping to shows when I had a chance. It was fascinating and exciting to watch a fashion house prepare for the new season.
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Polaroid taken by Cèdric for the Unknown Project at Cent Trent rue Rivoli, or was it the Citizen K party? It was the last day of PFW and my head was a mess. I'm wearing S/S 2012 Jitrois suede dress, kindly lent to me by the designer.

Sunday, October 9

CARVEN SS12

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Carven Spring/Summer 2012 appeared to me as if Catherine from the film Cruel Intentions met Margherita Missoni, and they went on a Gap Yah together. It was certainly a fun, young and enviably leggy  show to watch. Read my full show report with more photos for Notion Magazine HERE.

All photographs my own, please credit accordingly.
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