Sunday, 18 November 2012

at the treehouse

Milena’s clothes have been a big part of my life since her collections began. I have walked, danced, worked, dreamt, travelled, practised yoga and attempted to dazzle in her t-shirts, dresses, snake belts, scarves, vests, sheepskins and shawls. The pieces never go in or out of fashion they just exist in their own individual dimension and they always feel special. Because Milena is so meticulous about every stage of the design, sourcing and production, each piece has it's own story and journey. The beautiful scarves and ponchos from AW12 are all made with organic angora and wool. The colours are made from plant dyes. The look and feel of these shawls have a powerful yet subtle effect on all the senses.. mine makes me feel glowing, protected, superhuman.

I recently went down to visit Milena near the forest where she now lives. She has been used to me taking pictures of her over the last eleven years so it was good to photograph her again, catch up, drink coffee, walk and have a sneak preview of the dreamy and beautiful SS13 collection (more of that soon).

She also very kindly answered some questions for me – thanks Milena!

Do you have a routine and if so how does it help you?
I have a studio at home, and can spend days without speaking to a single soul (not including cat and plants). In order to keep sane and focused I try to do things that help me break my daily routine and get me away from the computer, like visiting the allotment and running amongst the nearby fields. I also tend to the compost heap which I have become quite maniacal about, fixing its nitrogen levels with my pee, amongst other things.

Since living in the countryside I cannot count on the coffee and chat with a friend which is so vital for the sanity of every creative person, so all these activities keep me kind of grounded, and help me limit my daydreaming to just about a couple of hours per day.

How has moving out of London changed your working process?
Living in the countryside hasn't quite changed my work, but it has added a layer. I have been working with natural pigments for a while but I am now learning where they come from, what part of the plant, how to extract them. it's not a skill that I will be able to apply to production for obvious reasons, but it's nice to think of my work as an opportunity to learn and connect with nature.

What three things can you not live without?
Yoga, music and making.

Who would be your dream customer?
A Eurythmy dance group.

What inspired this collection?
I just wanted to make huge comfort blanket type shawls to wrap myself into. I wanted the fabric to have a serious good vibe and I worked with a man that breeds rabbits on the Himalayas and then gets local women to spin the yarn and hand weave the fabric. The dyes are all natural and grown in the wild, and it was a pleasure to mix and match the colours in my patchworks.

What is your favourite piece of clothing right now and can you tell me why?
Baggy 501s. I love wearing them with heels, flats, clogs. I wear them to work in the garden and to go out. uhm, maybe I need new clothes.

And finally.. do you have a thought for the day to pass on?
Eat more vegetables.

See more of Milena's work and inspirations here and her shop here

Sunday, 11 November 2012

LFW Daily

I shot a series of portraits for The Daily during London Fashion Week. Here are Simone Rocha and JW Anderson power housing away just round the corner from me in Hackney.. Simone is so cool, another girl it would've been fun to bunk off school with.

Grimes for Twin VI

I shot the wonderful Grimes for Twin magazine. I wanted to show her tough yet feminine side and let as much of her personality come through as possible. I collaborated with stylist Michele Rafferty, hair stylist Selena Middleton and make up artist Annabel Callum. Michele explains the shoot perfectly in an interview in Twin: "My thoughts about Grimes' look was that I wanted to get away from the ethereal thing she often seems to have going on. I wanted something tougher and cleaner and also a sense of fun. I wanted her to be the coolest, hardest girl at school. So she's a kind of grebo skinhead mix! She's the girl I would've been bunking off a maths lesson with." You can see the shoot here These are some out takes...

Inca Awe

Blogging went on hold for a bit as this little person has been busy growing...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Sublime Regis

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Planning Palms

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Photographs I wish I had taken #2

Bruce Davidson trained like an athlete to enable his Subway project, knowing that he would be spending hours every day carrying an armory of heavy cameras. The images capture the labyrinth of the New York subway in the 1980’s. The sheer logistics of this series might have been a deterrent in themselves as the subway was prohibitively dangerous for passengers at this time, let alone for a photographer carrying a host of expensive equipment. Couple that with the sheer bravery of approaching strangers in this hostile environment and having seconds to capture something of their essence on film and you start to appreciate the genius of these images, were the beauty of the pictures not testimony enough in themselves.
The trains hurtle around the metropolis,the time of day and seasons change, monuments are seen from different viewpoints. The pictures are a mixture of dreams and nightmares, a celebration of joy and humanity, life and death and a reminder of the oppressed and rejected. The claustrophobia of the carriages is redolent with charged sexuality, body odors, emotion, human interaction and alienation. The subway is the great leveller.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Paul Smith polaroids

I shot the SS12 lookbook for the Paul label of Paul Smith

Friday, 6 January 2012

Photographs I wish I had taken #1

Jeff Wall Pawnshop, 2008

Like the overlooked song that creeps up on you in the shower or the book you have to re-read as soon as you get to the end, this image keeps nagging at my senses. When I saw it as a huge print at White Cube it pounded my brain like a pinball, lodged, then disseminated like a roman candle.
Walking around East London this morning I had discarded Christmas trees on my mind. Then when deciding to photograph a window full of crisp boxes the Pawn Shop came booming into my consciousness.
I love the muted colours of this photograph. The distanced empathy of the artist, the uncertainty between reality and artifice.
The impeccable construction.