Thursday, August 29, 2013

Erwin Blumenfeld at the Somerset House

Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969) a Berlin-born Jew immersed in the European avant-garde, immigrated to New York from occupied France in 1941 to become one of the world's most influential fashion photographers.

During this boom period for the American press, he worked for some of the most exciting and vibrant magazines: Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Collier's, Kaleidoscope, Photography, Life, Look and Cosmopolitan. Although torn between the demands of his clients and his own artistic aspirations, Blumenfeld nonetheless succeeded in putting forward his own immediately recognisable style indebted to his European roots: a play of colours and light, manipulation of the photographic substrate, repeated motifs, truncated figures and audacious framing.

In the Blumenfeld archive there are two types of colour photographs; the original transparency film 'positives' and vintage published material such as magazine covers, features and adverts made from these. No colour photographic prints exist from the Blumenfeld Studio.

Handling time , heat and light, have all damaged Blumenfeld's Kodachrome and Ektachrome transparencies of the 1940's and 50's, and the prints displayed in this exhibition towards the original tonality of the transparencies. This process of colour reconstruction was undertaken through digital means with technical and subjective intervention by those responsible kept to a minimum in order to reveal Blumenfeld's original treatment of colour.

"I was an amateur - I am an amateur - and I intend to stay an amateur. To me an amateur photographer is one who is in love with taking pictures, a free soul who can photograph what he likes and who likes what he photographs. By that definition I am an amateur, so that is the definition that I accept.

Currently I am absorbed in magazine and advertising illustration, and I remain as true an amateur than I was at ten. The wonder that the camera can really reproduce anything shown to it, still astounds me; and I am strongly determined to show the lens a more exciting, dramatic and beautiful way of presenting life" Erwin Blumenfeld, Popular Photography 1948

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Club to Catwalk at the V&A Museum

Not one of V&A's best exhibitions but not something you would want to miss either. It is pretty hard to curate anything to outstrip David Bowie's legendary-for-the-first-three-months-sold-out exhibition this year. That was the most insightful exhibition and reflection on British/global culture by far, with all of its subdivisions (music,art,fashion,etc). I know I shouldn't have and wasn't allowed to, but I just couldn't help myself, I think it's the adrenaline... but I somehow managed to take some snaps (blurry and moved) to immortalise fragments of 'Club to Catwalk'. I will say no more and show no more because you need to go and see and judge it for yourselves, but this is a little bit of what you can expect:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Christopher Shannon SS14 - London Collections Men

"Summer in Berlin flows from one fragmented moment to the next. Parties go for days - not nights. On a cyclical loop, kids time travel and teleport through the city and from one moment to the next, from Thursday till Monday, taking short breaks in between. They link up online and come together for fleeting moments and carnal connections only to dive back into the anonymity of their hedonistic caves.
It's quite frowned upon and often forbidden to take photos inside the clubs in Berlin, most weekend party pics that surface are of the pre-party or the come down."
I've left Christopher Shannon's SS14 collection to be the one to close down my LCM chapter. I don't quite know why I've done this, but it just seemed right. It wasn't a coincidence that Shannon presented his latest collection on the last day of LCM, all the big names usually do (following the over-used motto of 'saving the best for last'), that is because, to put it in Dazed's words : "Shannon had already stolen the show" from underneath Burberry's nose and return to London.
Yes people, the glimpses that you can already spot are real; we had an avalanche of glittery hairdues, shiny and opaque PVC shorts, micro flower prints in shapes of shirts and underpants (something that reminded me of Laura Ashley's prints, but later on read that they were made out of Liberty art fabrics)  and some pretty cool looking over-the-boot sandals, is what I guess I can call them. All to be topped off with super electric colours and heavy zebra-print outfits. We were trippin'... in a good way.

Here you have it, a collection inspired by the club scene of Liverpool and Manchester, later on, to be taken out and explored in Berlin...