Serenity is a word that has been resonating over the past week - on both an international, and personal level. The events in Japan and now in Libya have been full of destruction and tragedy, with occasional moments of calm - like a tiny break in the clouds. In the face of adversity of this magnitude, I wish that those who are actually experiencing and living through the stories we see in the newspapers could be granted some form of serenity.
I was feeling rather serene when these photos were taken (nothing like a walk in the hills to vanquish revision stress), which is odd as the original inspiration for the outfit was a 'jolly hockey-sticks' style 1930s tennis outfit - not exactly an idea usually associated with peaceful pursuit! However, the clear blue skies and airy feel evoked nothing less than a sense of freedom - or maybe I'm just being too poetic.
The idea for this outfit started with the skirt - I noticed the emerald green pleats, like a bold peacock, among the many rails of garments at 'Bang Bang Clothing Exchange' in London. (I would link to their website, but they don't have one). I had about an hour to spare before catching a train home, and after making a round of the charity shops, I thought I might pop into this place. All that I can say is that I will return again, with plenty more money to spend! I think this skirt is vintage 'Browns Boutique'?
You know an item is special when you start planning outfit combinations in advance. What might I wear with this lovely length of linen, I pondered on the train. Perhaps that silk jersey shirt bought from a charity shop in the summer? Maybe alongside my white brogues? And the battered vintage brief case I found at a jumble sale?
This little dress up game in my mind passed the time comfortably, and when the ensemble made the transition from hypothetical to actual (the next day), I added a white silk sash, and lots of vintage badges down the front of the shirt. They are all sporting mementos, proclaiming exciting things like "Ladies tennis finals 1953" and "Hockey Championship". I enjoyed collecting brooches (I saw them as treasure) when I was little, meaning that they were my first foray into vintage jewellery.
My hair looks quite different, as it is has a middle parting (somehow this seems to reinforce the 'spiffing! What ho!' sporty image. Can anyone tell I used to love Enid Blyton books?) - a fading remnant from being photographed for a feature the previous day. My hair was styled by Tomihiro Kono, who, when he isn't creating bouffant flights of fancy, devotes his attention to making these incredible/ stunning/ breathtaking (choose according to your reaction) head props:
You know the over-used term 'visual feast'? Do you think it was created with his designs in mind? Maybe it is the delicious theatricality, combined with the Man Ray-esque photography, that made me gasp when I saw the lookbook. I'm not usually a fashion luvvie (similar to a theatre luvvie who proclaims that everything is "fabulous darling" and "a triumph my dear!"), but this did elicit a kind of 'Oh-my-gosh-these-are-amazing-I-want-to-wear-them-and-stare-at-them-lovingly-before-taking-photos-of-them-in-interesting-locations' reaction. If I ever pursue photography as a profession, I want to borrow some of these for a shoot! However, I think that these photos are perfect - just the right combination of lighting, model and stylised feel.