Monday, March 31, 2014

Monochrome stripes - Andreea Bogdan

This was the only street style shot I took at the Vogue Festival. I just love it when fashion looks effortless and wearable. I have no doubt that Andreea looks like this any other day of the week. There is something so frenchie about her look - the hair, the dress, the shades... it just works!

Monetizing the blogosphere... or who killed Street Style

Last Sunday I went to a talk on "digital media in fashion" which took place during the Vogue Festival. It mainly revolved around fashion brands using social media as a promotion tool. I guess the talk must've achieved its purpose because it definitely got me thinking (which is not an easy task for me on a Sunday morning)....
About 5 years ago when I found myself at fashion week for the very first time, everyone wanted to shoot street style. Scott Schuman was already a celebrity and Susie Bubble would still stop to pose for photographs. London fashion week was full of peacocks (of the east London variety) and Paris was.. well.. its incredible self. 5 years on and everything is still more or less the same except that street style and the digital revolution have been monetized to the nth degree. Instagram followers are bought, every outfit post is tagged and cookied, books have been published and bloggers have moved into the brave new world of agency representation.
Lately I've found myself growing increasingly cold towards street style. The reason being – it stopped being ‘street’ a long time ago. Both personal and street style blogging are now by-products of carefully cultivated marketing strategies. It is normal practice for an A-list blogger to pop into the showroom before the show and choose an outfit. It is not shameful and it is not frowned upon. It has become a norm. Street style photographers fully aware of this, still continue snapping away outside the shows, and those photos are then sold and re-sold to digital and print publications and only a very lazy photog has not yet jumped on this bandwagon.
My ‘light bulb’ moment happened when I was showing my blog to a fashion-conscious but blogless friend of mine for the very first time. She pointed at a photograph of a well-known stylist that I had taken in Paris and asked “do you actually like what she is wearing??” I looked at the photograph and realised that in actual fact I did not like that outfit one little bit. It was not my style, it was not something that I would ever wear or aspire to. Why did I take and post that photograph in the first place? Because that stylist’s name is ‘googled’ a lot and every time I posted a picture of her on my blog, it increased the traffic through search engines. It didnt even occur to me that I was losing the integrity of my blog by posting rubbish that even I wasn’t that interested in. I then decided to give personal style a go and post a few outfits, with all the tags, cookies and bells & whistles. Turns out – not really my thing – I am not really that interested in my mugshot being plastered on the internet in 900x300 resolution and lets face it - I just don't have the commitment required.  Instagram is already doing a brilliant job at satisfying my daily narcissistic cravings.
I find it quite interesting how much blogging has evolved in the last decade. These days it is almost like ‘do it as a career or go home!’ People are no longer interested in a half-ass*d visual diary. They want a blog to look like a professional publication. Perhaps rightfully so, perhaps not. I personally used to quite enjoy Tavi’s DIY approach to blogging even when she was already on the cover of POP magazine. I find it fascinating that these days almost every punter you stop and ask to photograph on Brick Lane will ask you in great amount of detail what the photograph is for, when it will be published and if they could have your business card….and all of this is before they even agree to have their photograph taken!
Perhaps if I made money blogging I would have a different view on this matter. Perhaps my opinions stem from ignorance. I simply don’t know…What I do know is that things tend to become boring when they become predictable and I can most definitely tell you that right now the blogosphere is turning pretty darn boooooriiiiiing!     
So like with any evolution I guess the big question is…where to from now?! Will babies soon be born with an instagram and a twitter account and a 1,000 followers ‘welcome package’?? xx   

Test: Jordan Ebbitt

Model: Jordan Ebbitt (D1 models)
Make-up: Grace Gray
Styling: Tommy Pang

Friday, February 14, 2014


When it comes to Valentine’s Day,  I have an amazingly consistent track record of being single. In fact, if I had the same consistency in any other part of my life, I would probably be a big deal by now in one way or another…. When I say I am consistently single on Valentine’s Day, what I really mean is - this is going to be my 29th Valentine’s Day as a single! That statistic is actually quite astonishing considering that it’s not exactly a drought situation or hasn’t really been a drought situation as such for at least the last 4 years (since I moved to London pretty much). So taking that into account it is really quite astounding that year after year, when it comes to matters of heart, I still remain a complete amateur. Year after year I mistime my relationships so that NEVER EVER do i have a date on the day when Hallmark ODs on steroids. 

The excuses are endless - he lives in a different country, he leaves to move to a different country two weeks before THE day, we have a fight (one of many) and that night in a nightclub he manages to meet his next girlfriend (best news EVER!), we decide to take a break (didn’t think that one through very well did i now…), I leave the country the night before to go back to London because Valentine’s day happens to be on a Monday and I have to be at work. Just for the record - all of these scenarios actually happened with different people so it’s not a one big dysfunctional relationship (phew!...that would have been worrying). Oh and btw for those of you who have never been to a nightclub on Valentine’s day… believe me when I tell you that it is the most desperate of the most desperate nights compared to the other 364 days in a year. Don’t do it! Just don’t!

The remainder of my Valentine’s days have been spent either trying to ignore the whole thing or rebelling against it with my other single friends (normally consists of a dinner and one too many drinks, followed by…. you guessed it! a nightclub!). 

This year I have come to a conclusion that Valentine’s Day is actually an evil holiday… because no holiday is ever meant to make you feel bad…Thanks for reminding me that I’m single - like Facebook doesn’t already excel at that on daily basis! I mean, we don’t celebrate a Skinny Person Day because that would make people feel bad about themselves, neither do we celebrate Blonde Day because that wouldn’t be very fair either…so whoever that marketing genius was who decided to bring back VDay would definitely be crossed off my Christmas list! Fact.

This year I have decided not to acknowledge the day at all - except I’m pretty sure that my lovely friends think I have gone a bit mental because I have declined all invitations to “singles” anything… no dinners.. no drinks… no rebelling!! 

I am expecting a lovely bunch of cupcakes tomorrow though - outcome of tactically negotiating down from a bunch of flowers that my BFF was intending to send along with my one and only VDay card that I get from her every year… without fail! Now THAT ladies and gentlemen is what I believe they call true love :)         

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fringe benefits....

  This test was also shot last year. I made the "dress" from two sets of fringe curtains which I ordered from Amazon. The PVC cape is actually a skirt from a vintage shop.

Our model that day was the lovely Bethan from Oxygen and make-up was done by my favourite Maria Papadopoulou

(for some reason blogger decided to change the colour of all my photos post upload....the whole set is meant to be a little bit more magenta-ish... sometimes blogger has a mind of its own i swear)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

80's flashback...

A couple of random shots from a workshop I attended last year. The workshop was originally inspired by the work of Helmut Newton, however to me this is more of an 80's flashback and makes me think of Madonna circa Vogue and Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistible. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ulyana Sergeenko outside Chloe - Paris, September 2013