Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Autumn Almanac








I know it may be a rather obvious statement, but the majority of clothes featured on this blog were designed for women. Unsurprising since most of my most posts feature myself or friends, and besides I’m not much of a tomboy – not being particularly inclined towards the ‘boyfriend’ look (or maybe that’s just down to never having had a boyfriend to steal clothes from!)
However, when it came to styling my friend Krishan for my first male fashion shoot, I was surprised by the amount of masculine clothes my drawers and wardrobe yielded. I came across countless men’s jumpers and shirts, alongside a rather fetching set of vintage scarves that belonged to my granddad. My mum did even better than me; thrusting a dashing tailcoat at me that she’d unearthed from some dark corner of the house.  

I had always seen male style as somehow lesser – restricted in terms of creativity and self-expression. Why focus on trousers when one can have pick of the tea-dresses? And yet, what about suave Harris Tweed jackets? (Yes, I tend to employ the kind of terminology used to describe Don Draper when writing about masculine style.) And how about the silk pyjamas and red and yellow silk paisley dressing gown I wear with relish when I want to emulate Boris Lermontov from the Red Shoes? Perhaps I have finally discovered the appeal of clothes belonging to the opposite sex. Menswear gives the chance for deep focus on cut, colours and shape. Attention is drawn in to details. It can be classic, and often refreshingly simple. Savile Row has a reputation for a reason – what could be more satisfying and full of longevity than a bespoke suit? And at the other end of the spectrum, in day-to-day wear I’m positive that men’s jumpers are more comfortable than women’s.

And so, it was both a challenge and a delight to style my friend Krishan for my first attempt at male fashion photography back in autumn. I took my cue from the colours outside, and was pleased when my willing model turned up in a perfect pair of mustard trousers. These were used for every outfit – demonstrating the potential that one item of clothing holds for re-styling. I made a moodboard ahead of his arrival, filling it with studious looking boys reading books in awe-inspiring libraries, and other figures tramping across the grounds of Oxford. I think Jack Kerouac was in there somewhere too. It was hard to find the kind of images I wanted though. Perhaps part of my initial relegating of male style to the ‘slightly boring’ category was a consequence of many of the male editorials I’ve seen. Naturally, this isn’t true of everywhere (the Burberry adverts are of course exempt), and maybe I just need to research the field more.

My theme was “Well-dressed intellectual” – using clothes taken from my usual sources. The jumpers, jackets, scarves and even the fireman’s coat were a mixture of second hand and vintage (or sometimes both). The trousers and converses belonged to Krishan, although I provided the riding boots. My mum kindly drove the chair to a nearby lake, and it looked almost comical as it sat on the jetty. The light was a miracle – the kind of tones that characterise autumn, and that we don’t see enough of. And my favourite condition (intensely bright in the foreground with storm clouds in the background) even made a cursory appearance. Autumn, with its feeling of change, was an appropriate time to explore a new type of style – and who knows, I might even try a blazer and jeans at some point...

37 comments:

Lydia said...

Krishan!!! First, he's a doll. How gorgeous is he?! Does he model in real life, because he totally should.

You did so well styling him!! I am also just recently coming to appreciate men's fashion. I have a friend who is obsessed with it and I never saw the appeal, but my boyfriend has been interested in becoming more fashionable, so I've been helping him and appreciating the craft more.

I LOVE that shot of Krishan looking through the apple tree (the last one). The scarf is just too perfect here.

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Krishan looks charming and I just adore his face. Such defined cheekbones must be captured and shared. And the painterly scenery only adds to his masculine charm.
I'm sure the apples were envious of him;-)

Katrina said...

You did an amazing job with styling and taking photographs - I adore each one! Krishan looks so sweet really, and all the clothes really suit him as well. I myself used to be quite a tomboy myself back in school - yet now i only own one pair of jeans! only skirts and dresses for me please) but i guess it changes with me - at the moment i am craving to wear high heels with boyfriend style jeans, its hotness)

>'.'<

B. said...

I'm so happy to finally see a man being styled on a fashion blog! I've only recently found out that they are just as concerned about the type of shoe they were as the average girl.
B.x
wewantshops.blogspot.com
p.s. you styled him brilliantly, he looks stunning(or maybe handsome is more appropriate..)

Kate said...

Your house must be like Mary Poppin's handbag! You've styled him brilliantly, and of course it helps that he isn't exactly bad looking to begin with!! I love the boyish tailored look on girls with a feminine twist, and I love slouchy relaxed, more colourful jumpers and trousers on boys. I love those mustard coloured trousers! Amazing photos and once again a brilliant and unique post!
www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

Sandra said...

lovely blog!

follow you now :)

http://sandrasflashofinspiration.blogspot.com/

AVY said...

Very stylish.

/ Avy
http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

the nyanzi report said...

what a brilliant job you did!

Shophopper said...

Beautiful photography. The 4th (too bad some of the details are lost because of the backlight) and 6th picture are especially alluring. I'd love to see what you can do with a better lens.

As for the clothing, I'm not sure Boris Lermontov would fully approve - the frivolity of a photoshoot! What about the Arts? - but I think you did a great job. Very diverse, but still distinctly British. Some of it reminds me of Atonement, some of it leans towards Brideshead Revisited. But there's also a hint of punk with the sneakers and the last two are pretty preppy. (That scarf is amazing, by the way.)

What struck me most is the scenery, though. I'm always a little torn between city and country, but seeing your pictures makes me long for the countryside. Breathtaking.

Claire said...

such great photos, you are an amazing photographer!
xx
treschiccs.blogspot.com

Closet Fashionista said...

Wow you did an amazing job!! I love well dressed men! And I agree, a lot of the mens photoshoots I've seen are a bit boring, so these are such a nice change! :D The second is my favorite
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Natalie Suarez said...

very cool images! xx

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Angela said...

Love the autumn colours..

A x

The Lady Nerd said...

Men's fashion IS truly a tough nut to crack. It is interesting to note that it's only been in recent centuries that men have been relegated only to trousers and seemingly drab colours. It's amazing to look back in history and see the opulence that USED to be men's fashion (see 17th century France for example). In many cases, the men would go out of their way to procure more luxurious fabrics and strange adornments then the ladies. Whereas now, men are restricted to the same collared shirt, t-shirt, jeans, trousers, hoodie, jacket, or suit. That's it. It's a sad state, really. (And don't even get me started on the lack of tailoring these days! Gah!) So I always make sure I compliment a dapper looking gentleman. They must be encouraged! So good job with your friend Krishan. He looks swell. :)

Vix said...

Krishan is a very handsome man, I can imagine he'd look good in anything.
I do get rather excited when I come across vintage menswear and most of the male friends' (and Jon's) staple outfits come via me. Harris Tweed overcoats and jackets, Tootal scarves and cravats, kipper ties, felt waistcoats, 1970s dinner shirts, battered leather gauntlets and boots, braces and needlecord trousers, they don't make them like they used to. x

Zorian said...

Love the photos. The color palate that you chose works well with his persona. The atmosphere you created in of the photos is wonderful. I love the shot at the lake with the chair. The island photo with the cloud, speaks of cool fall colors, while his gaze seeks portends on the winds. Overall, he looks elegant, comfortable and is one with his world. Well, Done.

Pilgrim at Kerjacob said...

Love the photographs especially the one with the apples - the colours work so well.

Diane.x

EIGHT LONDON said...

What a charming fella, and kudos to you for a success of your first foray into menswear. I love that checked tweed blazer, I want to say 'Rupert the Bear' but I could be wrong in attemting to align my visual thoughts. Yet it seems so familiar somehow.

It is funny timing that you posted this as I have just been commisioned to cover the menswear shows in Paris this month and I realise I haven't considered menswear, least of all written about it, for quite some time. I will be doing much research over the next few weeks.

Personally, I am not very given to men's clothes. An oversized wool coat, an exaggerated collar beneath a fitted wool jumper perhaps, but that is about as far as it goes. I do wear a huge man's watch though, it has the effect of making me look...smaller?

EIGHT LONDON said...

Oh and thank you so much for recommending me on Flingly! I look forward to answering your question in my interview.

Imogen x

Rachel, Cold Knees said...

ooh I love how you've styled your friend here. I used to think along the same lines in terms of Menswear, but one of my friends is a designer of menswear with her boyfriend and comes up with amazing creations, textures and styles.
Anyway, quite the dashing photoshoot! xx

Tamara Díaz said...

Beautiful!!!:) follow me in: http://newsrevival.blogspot.com

Polka Princess said...

Well well well.....you style a man as wonderfully as you style a woman!! :)

But the star of the show, to me, remains the mustard trousers!!! <3

Isabel Rose said...

A gorgeous shoot, i particularly love the first and third photos!
frillsandfreckles.blogspot.com
xx

Izzy/Bella said...

I love these pictures! You're right: the light was miraculous. The colors just ping. I've also been wearing a lot of my boyfriend's clothes-- his white Hanes undershirts always look just right somehow with espadrilles and jeans (this when it was warmer). His sweaters of course are perfect. And now I'll have to grab his plaid scarf, which was a rare gift from me to him, and imitate this look on myself (perhaps I'll try it on him as well, poor guy ;))

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year!
Best,
Izzy
www.misadventuresofme.com

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

wow, great pics and what a handsome young man! brilliant styling, roz. i really like that great coat he's wearing.

sacramento said...

Fabulous piece of work, Rosalind.
Magnificent photos. My favourite: the last one, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
HAVE A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

the Citizen Rosebud said...

First off: handsome friend. Seriously some delicious eye candy. The styling and pictures are great- your talents never cease to amaze me, g-friend. I love the "intellectual" fashion, the mustard plaid blazer is something I'd love to find in my wardrobe.

Men's fashion is a whole 'nother world for me too. Recently I've been interested in how creative men express themselves in what seems like a more limited "style vocabulary." I've discovered that they have better details and quality to play around with, and that a creative mind will make great turns of heads in the right sweater, tie, blazer and shoe. Your photos of your handsome friend displays this observation nicely.

Happy New Year, my beautiful ami. Here's to your most potent year yet.
the Citizen Ro
sebud

Kelly-Marie said...

My goodness he is a handsome chap! The colours in these photos are magnificent and the sky just makes them so atmospheric and beautiful. You are so lucky to live so close to such amazing scenery.

The Foolish Aesthete said...

It seems your talent crosses genders easily. You've turned out a very handsome country gentleman! Interestingly, my idea of a well-dressed man always harks back to some image from a British period film, as yours seems to evoke! Beautiful colors in the outfits, accessories, and the autumn leaves.

Your description of "well-dressed intellectual" made me smile, reminding me of my parents packing me off to University in the UK. My dad insisted I needed a tweed blazer with elbow patches, just as he had sent off my older brother and sister years before (to the US). I never did get said blazer (and I kept imagining it needed a pipe to go with it), though I have a few tweeds in my wardrobe now! xxxx

Flis said...

How you have managed to style Krishan so expertly considering the lack of knowledge / experience you claim to have I do not know. I also think that the photography is stunning :) X

http://felicityotoole.blogspot.com/

Fashionistable said...

Bravo on your 1st male shoot I was very pleasantly surprised. I have always felt sorry for the boys too and their with their narrow range of styles. But I totally agree with your comment about cut. For them detail is key. I also agree that mens jumpers are way more comfy than womens. I am always stealing my husbands and before that Dads. Great shoot. Well done. Xxxx

karmucaycuquino said...

acabo de descubrir tu blog y me encanta
un besito desde
karmucaycuquino.blogspot.com
and
http://little-id.com/

adrielleroyale said...

I LOVE the 3rd and second to last photos although they are all fantastic shots. And my but you do have beautiful friends - he is very handsome! This was such a warm and beautiful post, perfect for brightening up the middle of winter. :)

Jelisaveta Djukanovic said...

Beautiful photos!

http://liberty-walk-sara.blogspot.com/

dusanabotswana said...

So nice of your mum to loan you some fantastic pieces & "play chauffeur"! I love the diff looks you created for your friend. you really did a great job playing w/ diff textures but sim colors for the sophisticated look. I think I never appreciate menswear either but you've certainly helped : ) and it wasnt freezing there when you did this shoot? i always think of it constantly freezing there this time of year.

Mat said...

i think you did a wicked job, great model choice, outfits (the colours and fabrics work really well together and keep things interesting) and the location seems grand too. love the fact that you think about these things to do with menswear. it's more restricting that womens but that's why men need to push it to stand out, giving it a bit of the old peacock culture

isa telaraña said...

It is not a sunny day and the light in this photographs is wonderful. I am sure I prefer to take photos than to be photographied; you are good at both. Congratulations to your friend also!!!