As if having the desire to be back in Hong Kong was not enough – I just had to run into these images styled by budding young NYC fashion designer Ryan Jordan for the Any Old Iron boutique located in the Lower East Side. You all know how much I love NYC; the rush, the fashion, thrills and spills and not to mention the bounty of good looking gentleman. This shoot has all of it. Here are some of the images that struck me the most.
Titled “X-Treme Ends of Desire” the shoot focusses heavily on New York fashion’s mix of grunge, high and low end and is finished with true NYC signature. Designer Ryan Jordan also used dispoable photography to capture the fashion moments. He explains why – “Experimenting with disposable cameras has inspired his heart to take it to a form that removes itself from the tourist connotations. Shooting with a disposable camera pays closer attention to the relationship of your eye and the lens. Taking in the moment without having time to judge the photograph through a digital screen makes for some old school magic”.
Raw and unapologetic the shoot reminds us of a past where taking the actual fashion photograph was less about a glamourous, highly stylised moment and instead about the capture of a detail so subtle, think Man Ray and Cecil Beaton. Check out more of Ryan Jordan’s work here: http://www.ryanxjordan.com/
Photos courtesy of Ryan Jordan and Angeli Sion
Currently obsessed with this Japanese/Australian male-model-boy-wonder Sen Mitsuji. Yummmm. (They call this sticky rice syndrome). He is doing quite well overseas. Represented in NYC, Milan, Paris and Tokyo!!! You might have seen him recently in SS12 3.1 Phillip Lim Menswear on Style.com
You can read Sen’s blog here: http://meetsen.blogspot.com.au/
Photos courtesy of TFS and Style.com
On my days off I usually like to sleep. Maybe the right word is hibernate. I’m awfully tired most of the time and so the natural thing is to binge and then sleep. However today’s day off was different. Very different. After an emotional outpour of fury, frustration and fervor into my drawing book last night I awoke today with the decision to re-awaken my creativity. First it would happen by reconnecting with a creative equal of mine, Xiaohan Shen of Xssat and then a wander through the new Contemporary Art galleries of the AGNSW.
Conversations run like water when you talk with someone who is on the same wavelength as you. Xiaohan and I share a deep respect for intelligent design, especially in fashion. We appreciate concept and deeper thought and are rather unfazed by the glamour and the glitz that often pollutes the industry. After chowing down on gravlax and suckling pig, we continued to reconnect. Chatting about her current work for Vogue Australia, travelling plans, our ambitions and our love for a particular Australian menswear label – it felt right and good. The afternoon went on until it was time for us to separate and do our own things. (Xiaohan had some editing to do and I had to visit the new contemporary art galleries at the AGNSW).
In my student days I worked at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). My highlights there included working during the Monet and the Impressionists exhibition and the Paths to Abstraction exhibition – in retrospect both feel so long ago. Ever since I left it’s been rare that I have visited the place. In my complacency I too missed the recent Picasso exhibition but today I decided I needed to see new works set up at the new galleries. Some work included those by my favourite artists; Bill Viola, Christo and those I had never heard of but were awed by. Here are some images from today’s gallery visit.
Bodies of Light (2006) – Bill Viola
La Somnambule (1996-1997) – Rosslynd Piggott. Waat an amazing work using silk, fasteners and perspex! I loveit when “fashion” meets art!
Oh and I didn’t leave the AGNSW without a treat. The Gallery SHop was having a sale and I managed to pick up this book on Orientalism (one of my favourite movements in Art History), Delacroix to Klee for ten dollars! TEN DOLLARS! Score. Oh and I also wanted you to meet my new baby, Jean Luc of Givenchy descent 😉
So now that I have been inspired again I hope to be making more art and fashion shoots soon! Keep posted!
Boy meet world…boy meet Orri Henrisson SS12. If there is an Australian menswear label I would wear all day it would be Orri Henrisson. Light, devil-in-the-detail and ever so dandy his designs are often quite suited to the Sydney boy/man. Perfect colours and the right textures. Oh and I creamed over these fresh, so fresh SS12 campaign images!
Note: I only picked my favourite campaign images. Be sure to check them all out on the Orri Henrisson Facebook page!
A designer who you may have noticed has been quite prevalent in my recent styling work is, Orri Henrisson. Melbourne-based and menswear designer – Henry Ng is one of the few Australian stylemakers pushing the conservative envelope. His designs offer an authentic aesthetic interest and versatility that allows the Orri Henrisson man to be masculine without the ”huff & gruff” and blandness that is plaguing menswear as of late. Perhaps envelope-pusher does not suffice to describe Ng’s recent action. His A/W 11 campaign “challenges the gender divide in fashion without sacrificing the masculine nature of Ng’s designs”. I sat down with Henry over Skype to talk Orri Henrisson, life, mutual friends and this raved about campaign.
Dandy Sachs: I guess the question I want to ask is why? Why a female model in a menswear campaign?
Henry Ng (Orri Henrisson): “Fashion’s current zeigeist interests me…look at the hype surrounding Andrej Pejic who models for high fashion womenswear campaigns! It’s exciting! Such a thing was unheard of before but now it’s the defining look. I wanted my A/W 11 campaign to be in that zeitgeist. We were looking for someone who possessed those androgynous qualities when we were casting”.
DS: Genevieve is quite beautiful!
HN: “She is. Her strong features, especially her jaw stood out to us. We wanted someone who wasn’t too feminine but could also pass as almost masculine. I also love a blonde model”.
DS: Yes I’ve noticed that. Your previous campaigns also featured blonde models. Can you explain?
HN: “The blonde thing…why blonde…I don’t know but to me there is an aesthetic element to a blonde model. They look better. I feel as if they bring out the youthfulness of what Orri Henrisson has been about and what it is about. I know I’ll change though. I’m warming to the idea of beauty that is defined as not other but different. I’ve been looking at brunette models and even some ethnic models. (He hears my delight at this mention and smirks – Henry and I recently had two blogposts that discussed the issue)
DS: Oh okay. Is it related to anything else…perhaps why your label is called Orri Henrisson. When I first encountered your label I thought it was something out of marvellous Scandinavia. The “sson” is a dead ringer.
HN: He laughs, a cute laugh. We share a similarity I don’t reveal to him. “It was actually the name of my pet dog a few years ago. I was obssessed.”
DS: Obssessed with what?
HN: “Everything Scandinavian!!!! Scandinavian fashion, art, design, music and perhaps people. I guess that’s where the blonde comes into play. I’m interested in really clean lines and minimalism and how Scandinavians do this has really influenced my label”.
DS: I was about to ask where the campaign was shot…it reminds me of a Scandinavian beach.
HN: “We actually shot in Clovelly in Sydney. A lot of people asked me as to whether we had shot it somewhere in the wintry northern hemisphere and they’re quite shocked when I tell them a Sydney beach”.
DS: But the colours?
HN: “Just post-production”.
DS: I see. Something I also want to bring your attention. This is your…what umpteenth collaboration with a blogger? Why did you choose to shoot your campaign with a “blogger” instead of an “industry photographer”.
HN: “Again the zeitgeist. Bloggers they have a different perspective to what they see. Especially fashion. A fresher perspective. Something I haven’t seen. He stresses. I have worked with Xiaohan before. I love the way she sees things. She comes from a similar graphic design background as me and so I knew the collaboration was going to work”. The press coming off this campaign is also largely due to the blogging community”.
DS: Indeed it has. So what’s next season all about?
HN: Well I’m currently working on A/W12 …
DS: WOW! What is S/S 12 like then?
HN: Same vain…structured shirts, mixed fabrics, preppy and also quite sporty.
DS: And the next season?
HN: “A/W 12 is going to focus on colour in fine details rather than in blocks. It’s influenced by Futuristic wear – think Tron Legacy – and the sharpness of line. Again I’m re-working classic pieces such as shirting, overcoats and trousers”.
DS: Finally, between Sydney and Melbourne which city is ‘more’ Orri Henrisson?
HN: I would have to say Sydney. Sydney has an appreciation of luxury. Sydneysiders are more willing to spend and indulge in clothes they know come from hard workmanship. They also appreciate colour.
When our conversation concluded there was something that had left a lasting impression on me. Henry’s love for his label. A love that pushes him to this day to be a one man show behind almost all facets of his label. Fervent and vested in wanting to change the menswear landscape of this country. One couldn’t help but smile.
The campaign was shot by Xiaohan Shen of Xssat – someone who I have also worked with. It was styled by Henry and another blogger/PR maestro Matt Jordan (of Imelda fame). It’s an indicator that something is changing and change is always good.
There comes a time in your career when an important realisation occurs. You “get” things. You “get” it. Like you get that white people will only buy clothes if they see it modelled on other white people. And that white people will only buy high fashion magazines because they like to see other white people in it. And that token models of colour are just a white model’s accessory. What? Did I just say that? I did and I’m not taking any of those words back. Perhaps I’m young and I’ve only been in this industry for two or more so years, my experience may also be limited but how racist this industry is, is no surprise. It is however disheartening.
Under all the fluff this industry is wired into the capitalist system – it functions so as to make dollars. Billions of dollars! And if that means propagating a certain image – the white model – to earn the dollar, so be it. And this is where I’m crestfallen. I’m a person of colour who works and supports this industry that propagates such an image. What can I do to change it? I am ridden with guilt. Perhaps use more models of colour in my shoots? Sounds like a perfectly acceptable solution but the problem is where are the models of colour at the modelling agencies. Only a select few ever appear on agency websites and the more high profile the agency, the less models of colour. I ask myself, why? Most fashion production is no longer based in the “West” but instead in Asia or South America – yet how many Asian or South American models who have noticeable ‘colour’ appear in the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar or even GQ? And when they do they are reduced to something equivalent to an accessory or a prop in an ethnic setting where a white model has been placed.
So if I can’t request models of colour from agencies…why don’t I street cast and make my own niche agency featuring models of colour? Another question I have asked myself and answered – how big is the chance of this venture succeeding and earning income if the business profits because white people want to see white people wearing nice clothes. I, for one, don’t want to provide anyone with such false hope under the delusion that such a venture would succeed. Now I can hear you calling me a nihilist and someone who see the glass as half-empty. True but it’s better than investing in disillusion.
Then what am I trying to say – you ask. What I am trying to say is this: there needs to be a shift in the mindset of how we Westerners ‘consume’. Australia is first and foremost a country that belongs to its Indigenous population. For f**ksake, it should be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander girl in local Australian fashion designs gracing the cover of Australian Vogue every month!!! Also Australia from its earliest beginnings has always been a multicultral country, can we please reflect that in our fashion magazines, fashion weeks and fashion advertising campaigns!!? The disjunction between what we see in the fashion rags and what we see in the stores and the streets is tiring. Next (and more culturally diverse) phase please!
Now I’ve come full circle. Why I first thought about making such a post, frustration. Being men’s fashion editor at OnTheStreetsofSydney.com I’ve been in the process of casting for some male models for our upcoming editorial and the lack of colour at each agency I have approached has been frustrating. To put it roughly – I’m sick of just working with white faces. One’s creativity is stifled by the simple lack of access. Diversity breeds creativity. Whatever happened to it?
That is all.
Images are of Yifan @ eMg Models walking for Friend of Mine SS11/12. My favourite model who walked so many shows at this year’s RAFW.
Images credit: Stefan Gosatti at Getty Images AsiaPacific