Learning to love you more -Photograph a significant outfit

I’ve blogged about Miranda July’s art assignment website, Learning To Love You More before. When I made my encouraging banner I had no idea it would end up in an exhibition in Middlesborough, however that’s what happened. The fab Nicky Peacock curated a huge LTLYM exhibition using all different assignments from the website. You can see the pics here including my ‘Worry About It Later’ banner adorning the exit. 

There’s a chance there may be an opportunity to see the exhibition again, I’ll let you know when it’s confirmed. In the meantime, I love this assignment called ‘photograph a significant outfit’. The task is to “remember exactly what you were wearing during a recent significant moment (something that happened in the last six months). Lay out what you were wearing on the floor, as if you are dressing an invisible, flat person. Stand on a chair or table and photograph the clothes from directly above. Send in the photo, along with the importance of the day.”

The following photos are taken from the site. As some of you enjoyed the Photographer’s Gallery’s Can’t Live Without It exhibition, this is in a similar vein. The point isn’t what’s in the outfit, it’s more about the emotional significance of the event. The stories that accompany the pictures are well worth reading and some are absolutely heart rending. But the pictures are utterly charming as well. And an interesting way to photograph outfits. I love it!

A short conversation with Liz and Terry de Havilland

Shoemaker Terry de Havilland surely needs no introduction. From helping his father with the family cobbler business in the 1950s, to shodding London’s counter culture in the ’60s and Primrose Hill’s finest in the noughties, he’s still doing a roaring trade in sky-high wedges. Now he’s on a mission with his wife and sidekick Liz, to get his teeth into the mens footwear market.

DRG: How did we get to the point of 6 and 7 inch skyscraper heels?
TERRY: I think this has come about because fashion has declared that women are allowed to wear really high heels without being accused of looking like hookers. The fuss Gwyneth Paltrow caused when she uncharacteristically stepped out in all those high heels a couple of months back was pure genius in terms of publicity.

DRG: What’s the appeal of heels?
TERRY: Once you get used to wearing heels it’s very difficult to give up the height that comes with them. Being taller is very empowering. The Venetian courtesans back in the day used to wear chopines that were up to 24″ tall. They were a sign of wealth because the women couldn’t venture out in them unless they had two footmen to support them.

DRG: What’s your take on all these revivals – wedges, platforms, etc?
TERRY: I’ve been designing shoes for almost 50 years now and I’ve seen heel height fashions come and go. This era is very reminiscent of the 70s. I made some ridiculously high wedges back then which were about 9″ high with a 6″ platform. I put a government health warning label in them. I made them just because I could. I never expected anyone to buy them, but they did! At the moment the most popular shoes from my bespoke range have a 7″ heel with a 2″ platform. Now I’m on a mission to get the boys back into cuban heels.

DRG: Ah, the Archie Eyebrows line. That’s the mens boots I saw that you’re also scaling down to women’s sizes…?
LIZ: Yes, we’ve got two heel heights in them now. The ladies ones are nearly ready, I just wanted to make sure that the last was nice and comfortable before I made them.

DRG: Are you still doing my Alison Mosshart gold look-alikes then?
LIZ: Of course we’ll be doing the ladies cubans in gold. The beauty of it is that we’ll be getting the components in so that we can make the specials here in London. In other words, you’ll be able to come down to the studio and pick your style and your fabrics in much the same way as we make our custom made Terrys at the moment.

DRG: Where are you selling the Archies?
Liz: Archie Eyebrows is much more backstreet than high street. We’ve just set up a shop within a shop selling the line at Sir Tom Baker, 4 D’Arblay St, Soho . You’ll love the shop, Sir Tom Baker is a total nutter and a brilliant tailor. Check out his website. We also stock Stephen Jones hats. It’s a modern slant on a classic gentleman’s outfitters, or as our lawyer calls it “an out man’s gentle fitters”…

‘My granny’s died’

I’ve spent the last two days styling up-and-coming models and working with a new assistant who I shall call J. She’s not really an assistant as much as a trainee assistant but so far I’m quite impressed. She spent yesterday pre-empting my needs (the golden rule of being an A-plus fashion assistant student), ironing without burning and interviewing models. The project is a commentary on wannabe models and their aspirations. So far the models have included a girl whose favourite model is Tyra Banks (‘she’s nice and she looks nice’), another whose parents don’t mind her modelling ‘but would rather I’d played handball as a career’ and a third whose dream job is ‘a shoot with a horse’. But the majority of our time was spent hanging around waiting for the photographer to finish faffing with his lights and polyboards. So I was pleasantly surprised when J turned up on day 2. From past experience, when the job isn’t all fun and games it’s not uncommon for the assistant (read: work experience) to call in the next day claiming ‘my granny’s died so I won’t be coming back in’. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not unsympathetic when grandparents pass away but it’s surprising how common these granny deaths are when someone is on a less-than-exhilerating work placement. When I worked on a magazine, we had three of these ‘my granny’s died’ phone calls in three months. The point is, if the job isn’t shaping up to involve parties, free swag and interviewing celebs then by all means share your concerns, give us a chance to put things right or even make up some other excuse. But please, don’t trot out the old granny cliche. Believe me, we can see straight through it!

JFK Jnr and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy

While searching online for mens runway pics as research for an article, I came across this GQ editorial by Carter Smith. It celebrates the classic American style of JFK Jnr, funny because I was just talking about him and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy to D yesterday.

Considering they were such an It couple for their short time together, it’s remarkable that you rarely hear any reference to them any more. Now the 90s minimalist revival is peeking through is it time to channel CBK again? Here’s some eye candy to whet your appetite…

All pics are of JFK Jnr and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy except the second one which is by Carter Smith from GQ.