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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Le Magazine Issue Four, Le Femme Fatale, Shoot No1, Fatale Instinct

It is has been a long time in the making but earlier this week Le Magazine Issue Four, Le Femme Fatale, finally went live. I had the absolute pleasure of working with some incredible creative people on this issue of Le Magazine. From the photographers, to the make-up artists and hairdressers, the models, the art directors and of course the designers whose wonderful garments were the basis for my vision. And then there was my writers and interviewee's who will need an entire post of their own!
So lets start with the editorials. It is an honor to have seen the editorials of this issue bloom into full blown theatrical visions.
Early in the piece I knew this issue had to channel something brave because fashion has been bolder and braver than ever of recent. (See the opening page feature, The Marriage of the Fearless Femme and The Modest Mistress) as soon as the theme Femme Fatale was decided, I knew I wanted a shoot with boys in it, this issue needed to be all about the girl who wears her men as well as she wears a garment!
So the first shoot we worked on was Fatale Instinct, early in the piece our photographer James Broadhurst, a Le Magazine favourite, bought the idea of the movie Fatal Instinct to the table and Sharon Stone quickly became our muse for this shoot. Her modest style masked the raging femme fatale hidden underneath, who lured men to their death bed with her beauty.
Her intelligence and power was another thing we felt we needed to command, these are the elements of at the core of every woman and the one's who know how to command them are the one's that become unforgettable. The final element of the shoot was the idea of directly contrasting the modest exterior and the bold interior of this woman, so her provocative corset wearing alter ego was born.
Eilika from Viviens Model Management was the perfect girl to embody this complicated character. From the moment we said, "Fatal Instinct and Sharon Stone," she was transformed! Keith Archer from Strobe Hair and Corrine Grbevski performed the physical transformation and our first femme fatale was born.
Shoot number two, Lolita-Lights Camera Blossom and our amazing face to watch and cover girl Alexis Whelan are coming soon but for now enjoy, Fatale Instinct.

Core of Heart My Country- With thanks to Linda Jackson

As I mentioned I had the pleasure of working with many incredible creative people in the making of Le Magazine Issue Four, not least of all Australian fashion icon, Linda Jackson.
Linda worked with us on a special Le Projet for this issue, sharing her fashion story from the early days with paper cut outs and a singer sewing machine, to her days with Jenny Kee and the iconic days of Bush Couture.
She loaned us some of her amazing garments from her journey and together with Katie Pashley, Marnie Simpson from Chadwicks and Lisa Sciberras we turned them into a modern day multicultural extravaganza, with a touch of pop culture thrown in. Neon binding belts, hand painted stockings and vintage jewel brooches were our recipe for bringing these iconic garments into the future with their symbolic multiculturally binding nature at the heart.
It was an absolute honor and pleasure to work with Linda Jackson, she is a true icon with a humble heart and a deep pure passion for the beauty of her country and the traditions of many others.
After the shoot was done and dusted another very amazing woman emerged from the photos, my best friends mother Merilee who tragically passed away in an accident earlier this year. Without hesitation the team gave their love and support to the idea of dedicating this shoot to Merilee Whish. From my childhood years into my adulthood my fondest memories of Merilee are her brightly colourful clothing, neon running suits, brilliant scarves just like Linda's and tribal like garments layered one on top of the other. Merilee had such a vibrant spirit, just like Linda and it was a pleasure for me to honor both of them with this shoot, Core Of My Heart My Country.
These are the images, immortalizing two amazing women in a modern way through the amazing eyes of Katie Pashley, the hair and make up of Lisa and the energy and physical beauty of Marnie.
The message, be colourful, be bold be vibrant, be pure in your expression of natural beauty.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Le Magazine Issue Four, Le Femma Fatale, Shoot 3- Mistress of Mystery

Mistress of Mystery was the result of a whole lot of different things falling into place. The first was what I like to call the "Modern Materialistic Marie Antoinette." I wanted to play with the idea of modern excess in a way that was subtle but not over the top and our marvelous photographer Hamish Ta-me had been playing with the idea of doing a shoot on Sydney's Oxford St. at night by the light of ad. billboards.
Somehow the idea worked a modern Marie caught in the bright city lights of materialistic ads thrusting messages in the faces of passes by on one of the busiest and most eccentric streets in Sydney.
Then another character came into play, I was researching 'femme fatale's' and the name that seemed to keep appearing was Mata Hari. I had never heard of her before but once I started reading about her I became infatuated with her oriental burlesque style and her intriguing escapades,multiple disguises and controversial death. It was completely clear why her name is one of the names most commonly associated with the infamous, 'femme fatale,' character. Have a read for yourself.
The story was complete, showgirl style headpieces, metallic dresses and bloomers, cotton undergarments, bras exposed for all to see and ultra modern costume jewelery, "pimp daddy," is the new diamond necklace. All thanks to Snog the Frog who really deserve a post all of their own!
Our model, Emily Keily, from EMG models, with her doll like bone structure was the perfect person to play our modern Mata Hari, Mistress of Mystery.
And the rest is history...or is it?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Le Magazine Issue Four, Le Femme Fatale, Shoot 2, Lolita-Lights Camera Blossom

Lolita-Lights, Camera, Blossom came from the idea of flowers. Nothing says spring/summer and femininity like flowers. Then we found our face and the story grew from there. Alexis Whelan is one of Vivien's Model Management's newest gems, the day after I booked her, after having had my eye on her for months, her father rang me. Very unusual, I got a little fright when he said who he was, I thought I was about to receive some lecture, she is only fifteen after all, but no her father was ringing to tell me that, if I wanted to interview Alexis as our Face To Watch "I should know she has had a very interesting life...she grew up on yacht!" Yes Alexis spent her childhood sailing round the world on a yacht, learning different languages and attending school in foreign countries including Africa and Spain.
I was intrigued, suddenly my one page interview turned into two. "Ask her about the time we nearly sank and the time we nearly got robbed by pirates," he told me. I did. Read the full feature to find out the details.
On set Alexis was so mature, not like a fifteen year old at all, a little timid at first but keen to give us her best and the transformation was amazing. She went from being a school girl to a young beauty and when her hair was swept back for the final shots..well she turned into an elegant woman and suddenly, Lights, Camera, Blossom turned into Lolita-Lights, Camera, Blossom because Alexis was like a fifteen year old woman!
The most delightful moment of the whole shoot was when we explained to her that part of the concept was the idea of today's self made models, so she had to hold a camera and pretend to shoot herself and just like that Alexis came out with, "oh you mean selfies," and we all laughed, there was the fifteen year old girl!
This was our sugar sweet, butter wouldn't melt in my mouth femme fatale, flowers became overt nipple adornments and the idea of a garter poking out from underneath the sweetest dresses, sometimes covered in flowers bought on a rapture of high school nostalgia from me. For the days when I used to wear thigh high stockings under my long dull gray skirt, somehow knowing I was wearing them made me feel a little more daring. Alexis completely understood.
Ampersand Bookstore in Paddington was the perfect location for the end of the shoot, all the books and old world charm captured the intelligence of a true femme fatale and the elegance that lies at the heart of every female.
Tim Kindler was our talented photographer for this one and Michael Halader and Ashleigh Croker pulled off our Brigitte Bardot meets Audrey Hepburn make-up and hair transformation respectively.
Enjoy the photos and don't be afraid to wear a few flowers!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tangent Issue Four- Digitopia

Digitopia is my latest styling venture for Tangent Magazine and although there were no real people the principles were exactly the same.
This project went through many stages of creative conversation before it eventually came to life. There were changes in approach, changes in story board but at the end of the day the objective was always the same to create an artistic shoot, that lept off the page, featuring the best of the best in Digital Prints from SS1011 and equally vivacious accessories.
The process of bringing it to life went something like this...First there was the process of selecting the dynamic prints that would be the second skin of the beautiful figures drawn by Annika Wester and then there was the all encompassing task of finding the accessories to make a truly 'psychedelic' look- as per the brief.Finally Tangents very talented art director Lloyd McAlister and I sat down to the chore of putting it all together et voila!It was a great project to be apart of and the outcome well...it speaks for itself.

To see Tangent Digital Unlimited Issue Four in Full go to http://tangentmag.com/fashion-magazine/tangent02.html

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mouring the Magic

This week when I was asked to write the couture wrap up for Tangent, the very thing that normally fills me with butterflies and gets me chatting away like a nutter, I'm so inspired, my mouth went a little dry....what was I going to say?

Last week I blogged about the opening show, Christian Dior, which had the aforementioned positive affect on me. After that I went strangely silent no? Well that wasn't the end of the goosebumps but they were few and far between.

The Givenchy show had by far the most "paralyzingly amazed" effect on me. Every dress carved the body (literally) in detail. Lace, satin, silk, porcelain and pearl and crystal beading created their own skeleton on top of a skeleton. The collection managed to surpass the gothic notion that could easily have enveloped it and instead settled somewhere in the realms of ethereal beauty. 

The other show that awed me was Mr. Invisible, Maison Martin Margiela and again it was the detail that got me. Recycled lizard, snake and crocodile clutches dismantled and patched together into whole garments. Genius. The effect was a coarsely captivating textural collage of detail.

And the rest well this is the part that leaves my mouth dry...the rest was little more than amazing ready to wear. Beautiful tailoring, a few flurries of extravagance, a little bit of theatricality, but nothing to leave you weak at the knees.

The couture runways are something I look forward to like many others as a chance to be inspired by the awesome power of the human imagination, to be awe-struck by the detail and care that is so absent in our fast paced lives today, to be wooed by romance, to be transported to another world where the magic that flowed within us so freely as children is a real life force at work again. Needless to say this couture lover was more than a little disappointed.
Read my full wrap up here

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My very own love affair with Mrs. Jones

A few months ago I stumbled across an article about London designer Fee Doran and her charismatic wearable costume/couture label.
The article was discussing the iconic costumes she had created for big name musicians including Duran Duran, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, The Scissor Sisters, The Killers and many more. It also unveiled her collection for Oxfam and I thought anyone who can make such artistic yet wearable and totally left of centre stylish garments from people's left overs is someone worth finding out more about!
This week I shared what I found out about Fee Doran with Tangent Magazine. We discussed everything from her latest collections and collaborations to her own outrageous style and her child hood hero Mr. Benn.
This was an education itself, being before my time, I had never heard of this imaginary little man and his fantastic costume inspired adventures, but now that I have I think I kind of idolize him too.
Fee's charismatic charm is as overt as her designs. She is certainly a lady to look up to in terms of creativity, personality and a fearless expression of both.
Read my full article here

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Floral magic at Dior

I couldn't let this show slide by without publicly expressing my love for it. Diors Fall haute couture collection was ironically the spirit of spring. Girls appeared on the runway looking like lavish bouquets of colourful blooms in every colour and size.
Galliano's colour palate was superior to that of mother nature herself, dresses and skirts were imbued with graphic floral prints or soft graduating rainbows of colour.
The Dior runway was like a prism in the sunlight, each piece generated it's own dizzying pattern of colours creating a hypnotizing effect.
Skirts shaped like tulips wafted out onto the runway stealing the show from the signature Dior silhouettes.
Raffia belts tied it all up and milliner Stephen Jones topped the look off with head gear reminiscent of florists wrapping.
The whole show was like a wonderland of floral magic, a true vision of beauty, just as fashion should always be.
Dior will be a hard act to follow this season!

Image Source http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/F2010CTR-CDIOR?page=2

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Master and The Miss

The Master and the Miss was a photoshoot I did with the very talented Miss Anastasia Blades (who has since left me for New York,) back in May. The rest of our team consisted of Kaori Harigae, who did the hair and make up and Kirsty Macphail from Viviens who was our model.
The concept of The Master and the Mass came about whilst Anastasia and I were having coffee in a French cafe, we were throwing ideas up in the air and this one landed with a loud thud, we knew this was the shoot we wanted to do.
My brain immediately started speeding away and before too long I had a shopping list consisting of paper doilies, pink body paint and white bandages.
I commandeered my very talented friend and milliner extraordinaire Wendi Nutt from Philadelphia Philpot Millinery to make me some gorgeous paper doily hats, ( you are going to hear more about this very multi-talented woman very soon,) and began looking for garments with a showgirl meets ballerina look.
The night before was a frenzy of bandage shredding (very therapeutic if you have ever had a bad day) and wrapping and layering on the body.
On the day we incorporated the pattern of the edge of the doilies onto Kylie's eyes and decolletage to add a strong textured feel to the shoot and I wrapped the bandages around her upper body and lower arms. The hair was teased and rolled and just kept getting bigger and bigger until we felt we had our very own aristocratic showgirl ballerina.
This shoot was all about the attention to detail in the layers and carrying those details through to the make up and skin.
At then end of the day Anastasia and I were both exhausted but elated. For me, this shoot was not inspired by a specific concept or mood or emotion, although they were all part of it, it was very much about a girl and watching my little Miss come to life was an insanely enriching experience and to this day she is still dancing strongly in my mind and I hope she will dance on in yours too.WORLD top, SOPHIA JOCELYN corset, MISS UNKON tutu, SNOG THE FROG tutu worn underneath, WORLD leggings, MINTY MEETS MUNT shoes, PHILADELPHIA PHILPOT MILLINERY hat, SNOG THE FROG bow tie

GAIL SORRONDA dress, SALLY JONES bra worn underneath, WORLD leggings, MINTY MEETS MUNT shoes, CHERRY MORRIS necklace and brooch, Make up artists own headpieceMISS UNKON scarf, ZAMBESI tops worn underneath, MISS UNKON leggings, CHERRY MORRIS belt, MINTY MEETS MUNT shoes, DE COCO COLLECTABLES gloves, Stylist’s own briefs, Make up artists own headpiece

SALLY JONES bra, WORLD skirt, SNOG THE FROG bow tie, TOM GUNN shoes, DE COCO COLLECTABLES gloves, Stylist’s own stockings, Make up artists own headpiece
BEC AND BRIDGE bodysuit, SALLY JONES bra worn underneath, SNOG THE FROG tutus, TOM GUNN shoes, MINTY MEETS MUNT heart clip, Stylists own stockings, Make up artists own headpiece
RACHAEL CASSAR dress, MINTY MEETS MUNT skirt worn underneath, SNOG THE FROG white tutu worn underneath, MINTY MEETS MUNT stockings, MINTY MEETS MUNT shoes, DE COCO COLLECTABLES gloves, PHILADELPHIA PHILPOT MILLINERY hat, Stylists own bow tie worn as belt