Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Fever

 So what'll it be - Red, Yellow or Blue?

I know that my blog is not one for politics and you've probably been hearing enough about the elections as it is but I figured that on today of all days I couldn't not mention it.

The 'Great Election' is drawing to a close tonight and after all the gobbledygook policies, promises and 'politician speak' we've been hearing for the past God-knows how long, it's finally time to for us to decide who we believe. What team are you on? Whoever you vote for, whatever the reason, it's important to vote full-stop. It would be silly not to use your voice if you have one right? And also, as a mate at work said the other day, you can't go complaining later on if you didn't vote in the first place.

Image courtesy of the Sky News Blog

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

My Irish Love

A photographer, like a painter or an illustrator, creates an image intending to evoke a response in the person who views it. The degree of the response will vary of course, from the ‘huh, that’s interesting’ to the ones when your head cocks to the side and really makes you think. They might change your perception about a subject or inspire you to go and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Recently I’ve been inspired by an Irish photographer, Hugh O’Malley, whose work has a dual effect of calming me and bringing out my cheeky side (speaking of cheeky, I caught my 3-year old nephew scolding his pants calling them ‘cheeky’ a few days ago. Now the fascinating thing wasn’t him calling his pants cheeky – ok so it wasn’t the only fascinating thing – but more of where he learnt the word ‘cheeky’ from! I digress...) 
These pictures are from a test shot Hugh did portraying a woman who’s strong yet soft. There’s a vulnerability to her and the fact that she’s in her underwear brings this out even more. But in her eyes, especially in the picture with the fur stole where she’s looking directly at the camera, lets you know you can’t mess with this one. The feel of the pictures brings to mind a song by Jordin Sparks, a line from it reading “just ‘cause I think of you in bed, don’t let it go to your head”. Anyone else want to prance around London in just fur and HUGE hair after seeing these pictures?

Monday, 3 May 2010

Princess Grace

“There hasn't been such a demand for a girl since (Ingrid) Bergman. She's a lady without being starchy - that's how they dub Grace Kelly" quote from the article - New Queen of Hollywood.

I might not have been alive during her time, and in fact she had sadly passed away four years before I was born, but having lived in Philadelphia for a while I like to think that we might have crossed paths spatially, if not temporally. Before Grace became Princess Grace of Monaco she was a Philly girl – born and raised – and started her acting career at the wee age of 12 starring in popular MGM movies including 14 Hours, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief and High Society alongside Bill Crosby and Frank Sinatra. MGM costume designers Edith Head and Helen Rose kept Grace looking stylish in all her roles and Helen also designed Grace’s dresses for both the civil and traditional marriage ceremonies to Prince Rainier III. Interestingly a sub-plot of the movie High Society, Grace’s last, paralleled her own forthcoming marriage to the Prince – imagine the media frenzy when the queen of Hollywood as she was dubbed became actually royalty. Back to the wedding; David Evins made matching shoes to go with her dress for the civil ceremony dress, she wore jewellery from Van Cleef & Arpels and smelled of Fleurissimo, the exclusive scent made for Grace by perfumery House of Creed. Wedding presents from the Prince? But of course. The wedding must have been quite an elegant sight as even the Prince designed the uniform he wore himself. Speaking of her wedding day Oscar de la Renta said she gave a new meaning to the word icon and described her as an ageless bride.

Now, these wedding dresses might have been the last outfits made for Grace by Edith or Helen, but it was far from being the end of a stylish Grace (or the last time a dress was made for her full stop. She was loved by designers and wore dresses by the best couturiers of the time – Balenciaga, Marc Bohan at Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy; lucky girl). Grace Kelly was a style icon before she became a princess, and even up until she died she still inspired modern day fashion. I could go on for a lot longer about the details of her wedding alone, and that only lasted for two days, let alone the rest of her very fashionable life. Princess Kelly continues to be a standard for beauty, grace and style and the exhibition at the V&A celebrates her life looking through her fabulous wardrobe.

Grace Kelly, Style Icon. Now at the V&A until 26th September 2010

Pictures are courtesy of Grace Kelly Online and from Tom Tierney’s Grace Kelly Paper Dolls in Full Colour.