“Fashion Has Changed my Life!”

Photo of Jess, courtesy Jess

Photo of Jess, courtesy Jess

To look at Jess and me is to see two very different people. Jess is a 16 year-old high school junior with an edgy look of youth and fearlessness. I am a 56 year-old woman in the middle of my life, with a less-than-edgy look but a strong desire to push boundaries. The thought that the two of us can connect on any level is questionable. But then it happens. We start to speak. Jess tells me how fashion has changed her life and given her confidence and courage. And Jess tells me about her ritual of selecting her clothes for the next day the evening before. And then I knew that we have a lot more that connects us. I knew that we are not bound by our ages or our appearance or life experience. I knew that we are, in fact, soul sisters. Because like Jess my clothes are my salvation and the most important way I express myself. And because I also pick out my clothes the night before. I asked Jess about her story of expression and evolution  …

I never thought very much about fashion until the 7th grade. That was the year that I started to window shop with my best friend and she and I began to play with clothes, and have fun dressing up. That gave us both a feeling of confidence. Freshman year of high school was tough for me – I was very shy and didn’t have many friends. But something happened in my sophomore year that changed my life. I started taking a fashion class at FIT in New York; this class made me think that fashion can change what you think about yourself. The teacher talked about the importance of clothing and self expression and I began to believe it. I started to dress up and experiment with my style. I began to dress  for school and to get compliments about my choices. It was such a nice feeling … Continue reading

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“I don’t retouch anything”

 Wing and a prayer: Amber Valletta wearing Helmut Lang, New York, 1993. Photograph: Peter Lindbergh/Courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery

Wing and a prayer: Amber Valletta wearing Helmut Lang, New York, 1993. Photograph: Peter Lindbergh/Courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery

The cosmetic companies have everyone brainwashed. I don’t retouch anything.” ~ Peter Lindbergh

Next month, 71 year-old renowned fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh will have an exhibition of his work, “A Different Vision on Fashion Photography,” opening in Rotterdam. The Guardian’s Tamsin Blanchard interviewed Lindbergh and addressed why he does not follow the cosmetic industry’s standard of beauty and perfection. Says Lindbergh, “I don’t retouch anything. ‘Oh, but she looks tired!’ they say. So what if she looks tired? Tired and beautiful.’”

Lindbergh’s natural and truthful approach to photo-storytelling is awe-inspiring. How I wish I could be in Rotterdam this September and see his work up close.

 

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When Photographer Goes Behind the Lense

Niki Taylor, photographed by Chris Craymer - via Harper's Bazaar

Niki Taylor, photographed by Chris Craymer – via Harper’s Bazaar

Chris Craymer, London-based photographer, who specializes in fashion, beauty, and portrait photography, decided to go beyond the photos and interview his subjects in his new book,  From the Heart. The results were surprising and brought a new level of meaning to his relationships and a complete portrait of the individual. Among the people he interviewed was American model, Niki Taylor, with whom he had worked for several years, and who was a great source of inspiration to Craymer. In an excerpt from his book, Craymer describes the essence of Niki: “Niki is often thought of as the quintessential all-American girl—sweet, confident, open and energetic—but I am intrigued by her as a woman whose life has been full of huge career accomplishments and extreme personal challenges … I’m most moved by people who face huge struggles and persevere, through force of personality and will and strength.”

I had read about Niki’s life and tragedies, including the loss of her younger sister, and her debilitating car crash, and I am moved by her will to go ever-forward. I am intrigued to know more. This sounds like a book I want to read! I’m buying it!

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Sophie’s Choice

Sophie in her red!

Sophie in her red!

Sophie and I just met, and I am lucky that she will be shooting the images for my blog. Sophie is a gifted photographer, a high school senior, and a blogger. And she and I share a passion for fashion, self expression, and red lipstick! Sophie shared with me her dreams for the future, why she became inspired to express herself the minute she started high school, and why red is her new favorite color 

MKG: Were you always interested in fashion and photography?

Sophie: Ever since middle school I have loved the idea of being able to dress anyway I liked. I watched my older sister get ready for high school every morning, envious of her creativity and individuality, as she put an outfit together. When I started high school, I instantly fell in love with creating an outfit, and for the first time I enjoyed going to school, because I felt good in my skin, because I had discovered my personal style. It was then that I realized how much I loved fashion and that I wanted to be involved in the industry in some way. During my sophomore year I took my first photography class, and fell in love with creating pictures and watching film slowly develop.

MKG: What inspired you to start, The Adventures of S? What is your intention for the blog and how long have you been blogging?

SophieI started my blog, The Adventures of S, in 2013, because I felt that I had something unique and inspirational to offer. Through my blog I want to show that you can dress however you like as long as you are always happy with what you do. I also stress the idea that ‘Confidence is Key, with weekly inspirational posts, illustrating that when you are confident anything is possible. Continue reading

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On the street

The New York Times, September 16, 2012
On the Street, Bill Cunningham

Today is Sunday. That means The New York Times Style Section and On the Street with Bill Cunningham. On the street today? Women’s shoes. Bill is 83 years old and is still going strong as the quintessential fashion photographer. On March 16, 2011 there was a documentary about Bill called Documenting Bill Cunningham New York. Here is a trailer for the film. I think it is interesting to watch it now, at the close of NY Fashion Week. And while the city was saturated with images of the shows, both inside and out of the tents, life on the street goes on through the eyes of Bill Cunningham – an original and a maverick. Because as Bill says in his own words, “I’m not interested in celebrities with their free dresses. I’m interested in the clothes.”

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