It was a meeting of minds. Both female. Me the svengali in my late thirties and my muse Sara a very grown up girl of eight. Sara loves dressing up and has an innate sense of style, a delightfully mischievous sense of fun and the limitless imagination of an artist. Being eight years old for her the lines between creativity and play don’t exist which is exactly how it should be.
I caught her before going off to school one morning and she asked me what I was going to wear for the day.
Mmm I am not sure I want to wear something really different I just don’t know what.
She thought for a moment then scrunched up her face and with some uncertainty suggested a wedding dress. She thought again. A beaming smile crossed her face. Then confidently nodding her head and flexing her eyebrows she said:
How about wearing this table?
She demonstrated carefully with her hands tilting them above her head slightly to one side before doing catwalk sashay shoulders to show how one would wear a small coffee table.
She said it partly in fun but there was also a serious intent to her unusual sartorial offering. It was not the precise literal solution to my predicament but in existential terms she had read my mind.
More Salvador Dali or Elsa Shiiaparelli than Gok Wang
The conversation stuck in my mind. It was exhilarating and so much fun to be a child again.
She demonstrated her flair for all things fashion numerous times in drawings, in inventive hair twists, and exceptionally artful accessorising. I have never before and doubtful may not again meet someone with such a fun and true sense of personal style as I understand it. Playful, creative expressive, and always fun.
These are photos from a shoot I did back in early October when we received a much appreciated blast of last minute summer. The dress is in a very fine navy blue wool crepe and is the work of talented vintage designer Irma Romero. The model is
Rebecka Mustajarv who maintained regal poise and grace while I was busy snapping. I chose Waterloo Park in Highgate for the location as it is suitably grand for such an elegant dress. Lighting was a challenge due to the unexpected sunshine but nevertheless it was a productive day and another hugely satisfying collaboration in the name of creativity and style.
These are my favourites…
Yesterday I spent the most marvelous afternoon working my butt off in the best possible way. My cousin Aisling graciously agreed to help me shoot photos of my brand new exclusive collection of vintage ladies clothing. No bribes were necessary as Aisling is a like minded woman.
She too loves nothing better than a good old fashioned game of dress up. Her other favourite activity is taking pictures of people dressing up. I really hit the buddy jackpot with this one.
As I waited for her to call to my apartment I did a rain dissuading dance and then pulled my tiny studio asunder in the quest for props, accessories and outfits for our creative enterprise. She was similarly inspired and brought with her all manner of fashion enhancing items in her kit bag.
Despite the unwieldy amount of stuff to lug and the intimidating workload I had set out for us we managed get through nearly all the looks by 5pm. The dance must have worked as we were blessed with glorious sunshine for most of the day.
We worked out a nifty system that involved us alternating the roles of model and photographer and then both of us changing our outfits behind the garden fence.
All the while I kept thinking of how great it felt to be 5 years old again. Surprisingly I kept hearing my mother’s voice saying don’t forget you will have to put all of it back when you are finished which I guess shows some evidence that I have matured a little.
It was just like those long passed rainy days indoors. Times when our Mom would encourage us to pull the whole house to pieces in the name of fun, freedom and self expression. She would put on the record player to help us create a mood. Rummaging is in my blood and has served me well. The delightfully satisfying activity of pulling strange and wonderful garments out from an ungodly mound and then trying them on is quite simply to me what makes life worth living. Prancing about in them for the day behind a camera with an eager accomplice makes it all the better.
I hope you enjoy the early results of what I hope and feel will be a lasting collaboration.
For information on any of the items please contact me on the Highgate Vintage Facebook page.