Hitchcock heroines

Today sees the opening of ‘I Only Want You to Love Me’, a retrospective of the work of London born fashion photographer Miles Aldridge. Launched to coincide with the book of the same name, the exhibition highlights Aldridge’s bold use of colour and glossy yet dark images of women. Part Hitchcock heroine, part airbrushed Vogue model, Aldridge references both cinema and photography, citing film director David Lynch and fashion photographer Richard Avedon as influences.

I am a huge fan of these surreal, almost plastic looking shots, and the large scale on display is an assault on the senses. Aldridge’s female models – and he only really shoots women – often appear troubled, vacant or distressed, and there is a clear cynicism towards the perfect Stepford wife imagery that dominates advertising. This he feels, is something most people can connect with – “I think that’s why my work is collected and enjoyed,” he said. “It’s not black and white though – we don’t exist within an evil empire. It’s complicated. The world is a strange and troubling place and we live in the middle of it.” Stunning, glossy images that belie a deeper, darker message, this is thought-provoking fashion photography at its best.

231280_W_P_r16_f9

Miles Aldridge – The Rooms, 2011

Miles-Aldridge4 - Chromo Thriller 2012

Miles Aldridge – Chromo Thriller, 2012

Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love me runs from 10th July – 29th September 2013 at Somerset House
http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/miles-aldridge-i-only-want-you-to-love-me

20 years of Hugo

Ah! Hugo by Hugo Boss. If, like me, you have fond memories of the ever-popular fruity fragrance you may be interested in finding out more about the brand behind the bottle. Today sees the retail reveal of the Hugo 20th Anniversary Collection, featuring 20 key pieces with a striking red, black and white palette.

The collection has been unveiled to coincide with the anniversary of the Hugo line, launched in 1993 as a range with a more unconventional, experimental edge. With clean lines and minimal detailing, this understated collection includes patent ankle boots, a scarlet two-piece suit and a graphic monochrome blouse. Stunningly simple and easy to wear this is the ultimate capsule wardrobe. I’ll take one of each please.

In store today at http://www.store-uk.hugoboss.com and http://www.selfridges.com

NB. Furthermore, to coincide with this year’s anniversary, on 31st July London’s Saatchi Gallery will be hosting an exhibition entitled Hugo: Red Never Follows. Featuring the work of 20 urban creatives, the exhibition will comprise of video installations, murals and light features all inspired by the spirit of Hugo. The perfect avenue to champion your new graphic garments.

Hugo: Red Never Follows will open to the public for free from 31st July until 1st September.

Bold Blumenfeld

This Monday’s musings are of an arty disposition. Last week I popped along to Somerset House to check out Erwin Blumenfeld’s fashion photography exhibition. These images are simply stunning & despite being more than 50 years old, feel so modern the only thing giving away their age is the clothing.

Born in Berlin & from humble beginnings, Blumenfeld scaled the heights of fashion fame to become a leading contributor to US Vogue & Harper’s Bazaar in the 40s & 50s. The techniques displayed in these photographs could be easily created on Photoshop today, but the marvel is this was a time of film not digital, & Blumenfeld utilised frosted screens, clever lighting & even water to create some of the burnt-out, blurred & striated shots. You can see the inspiration of Man Ray in his work, whilst other images reference his colleague Cecil Beaton, both more famous but none more talented.

Keep an eye out for the image of Grace Kelly, the Chesterfield cigarette campaign (which feels almost naughty in this era of smoke-free advertising) & the iconic beauty image shown above. A superb & unique exhibition, I defy anyone of an arty inclination not to come away feeling truly inspired. & best of all it’s totally free…

Until September 1st, http://www.somersethouse.org.uk