13.4.15

Paris Je T'aime by Steven Meisel and Grace Coddington










'Paris Je T'aime' shoot for the September Issue of Vogue US 2007, shot by Steven Meisel, styled by Grace Coddington 

I am in the midst of reading Grace Coddington's memoirs, a book I have had for a number of years now but have yet had the time to read. Although, before university I have the morning and evening commute to work to indulge my penchant for literature, 'Grace: A Memior' is a bright orange, hardback book that isn't the most practical on the over crowded Met Line. However, now I have the luxury of a three and a half week Easter Break, so I'm using this partly to procrastinate from the  two impending essays I have, but also partly as inspiration and, as will become clear with the above fashion editorial, as research. 

Grace Coddington is the Creative Director of Vogue US and was also, arguably, the stand out star of the 2007 film 'The September Issue' which followed the making of the 2007 September Issue of Vogue US. One of Grace's shoots that stood out to me was the 'Paris Je T'aime' fashion story. Shot by renowned photographer Steven Meisel, who mostly shoots the dark beautiful images for Vogue Italia his pictures are instantly recognisable and he has produced some of my favourite examples of fashion photography, the above spread included. 

The reason in particular that these images can be classes as research for my aforementioned essay, is that it is based on a twenties dress we are fortunate enough to have in our University teaching collection. The beautiful, yet decaying, nude silk dress covered in heavy glass beading dating back to the mid twenties is the object my essay is based on, and this tie period is one that fascinates me, not just in terms of fashion, but culture, art, architecture and society too. It is also interesting to note how much this period still influences and inspires fashion today, as seen above in the 'Paris Je T'aime' shoot. Grace states in 'The September Issue' that her inspiration for this shoot was the John Galliano Fall 2007 collection, which you can see in full here. Clearly, the twenties was an inspiration for the collection, and the creative direction of the show was beautiful - especially for me the hair and makeup, avant-garde at it's best and why Paris Fashion Week will forever be my favourite source of inspiration. 

Although this shoot and the Galliano collection is nearly 8 years old now, the influence of the twenties is still ever present in fashion, and could be seen to some extent in the Autumn / Winter 2015 collection of Giles, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen. The period embodies, to me at least, glamour, youth and fun as reflected in the fashions of the time, something that I can't wait to research and delve further into when I eventually get round to starting my essay.

Although the shoot is much longer than the images I have featured here, these are the ones that stood out to me most. I am really into a dark flapper look at the moment, which I think the above images portray perfectly. Dark lips paired with a soft grey eye and jet black hair, with black heavy outfits with the occasional hint of deep jewel tones and silver highlights. Honestly, my Pinterest is full of a hybrid of gothic, twenties fashion and beauty looks that I am yet brave enough to embrace. However, watch this space...

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