Lewis Leathers by Marcus Ross

Rain kept me away from Marcus Ross’s private view at Lewis Leathers yesterday. An exhibition of portraits celebrating the loyal fans of Lewis Leathers, each photograph was shot with a Polaroid 195 camera, using way-past-its-sell-by-date 665 negative film. (more…)

Masters of Style at Somerset House

My favourite images from the launch night of Master of Style. The exhibition was curated by Colin McDowell and celebrates the advertising imagery of Italian superbrands. McDowell invited Prada, Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni and Gucci to nominate the campaign images that meant most to them and explain some of the stories behind them. (more…)

Karlheinz Weinberger

Next season is looking to welcome a much-needed upbeat, disco-dazzling theme if all the YSL, Studio 54 and Bowie glam rock references are to be believed. I’m well up for a bit of disco-luxe in my life but equally I appeciate a grungy, mis-spent youth undercurrent. Which is generously being supplied by one JW Anderson. I was glad to see The Fashion Editor At Large’s post-LFW blog post on the young designer, where he discusses the influences for his SS11 collection – namely acid trips, young love and the work of photographers Willian Gedney and Karlheinz Weinberger.

Although Gedney is a new name for me, Weinberger is not. Like Joseph Szabo’s pictures of teenagers in the 70s/80s and Joseph Sterling’s studies of adolescents in the late 50s, Weinberger’s images of 1960s Swiss biker kids have had a wide reaching influence amongst contemporary photographers, fashion designers, stylists and other creatives. You can see why can’t you?

One of my favourite Corrine Day images for Vogue has the unmistakable imprint of a Weinberger classic…



The highly collectible Karlheinz Weinberger book published in 2000 is now fetching silly money on Amazon but thankfully Rizzoli is on standby with a new 200-pager, Rebel Youth, set to launch in March 2011. Maybe we’ll get an exhibition as well?

Malick Sidibé’s powerful portraits

Malick Sidibe chemises
How glad am I that I made it to the Malick Sidibé exhibition before it ends on Friday (16th April)!* The show of black and white portraits starts with a display of ‘chemises’, mini prints that serve as a kind of cataloguing system, one of the highlights of the exhibition.
Malick Sidibé chemises
Sidibé started taking pictures of local Malian merrymakers in 1960 when Mali became independent from France. They had just discovered luxury shops and western fashion and would dress up to the nines to have their outfits documented. Everything was about fashion and style, from the record sleeves they held in front of them to the way they held their cigarettes.

Sidibé would trawl from one trendy club to another all night snapping his subjects and then print in his lab until the morning. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the clubbers would stop by to see the results and generally hang out. They would also pose at ‘Studio Malick’ for more formal portraits. The loveliest part of this story is that to this day, Sidibé’s studio is still set up and the locals continue to stop by for a photo session. If you get the chance, do hurry to the exhibition this week (133 Oxford Gardens, W10, 07979 422000, 11am-6pm,

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Disneyrollergirl; last two images from Italian Vogue. (Double click to enlarge)
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*UPDATE: The Malick Sidibé exhibition has been extended for two days until Sunday April 18th (11am-6pm).