Saturday 26 April 2014

A Fashion Journal: Paris Fashion Week - AW14 Chanel Front Row

A Fashion Journal: Paris Fashion Week - AW14 Chanel Front Row

Today I'm finally addressing my front row images from AW14 Chanel and sharing with you some of my experiences from the show.  My last two posts looked at location of the show along with the actual catwalk images so if you've not already checked them out then please scroll down!

I love shooting front row and it's the buzz which I love to feed off while taking the images.  Now don't be under the illusion that it's an easy job, it can be a nightmare at times and it's easy for people to focus on the main subject and not think too much into whats surround the photographer i.e the crowds of people.  I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time when Rihanna showed up so I was able to jump into the crowd of the 6ft 'paparazzi' atmosphere.  Celebrities normally have about two body guards with them during a show and it's almost 2 against 15+ photographers and not all of them are as nice as me so their work is cut out for them.  Rihanna gave photographers exactly what they wanted and stood up and did some poses, and after that time she sat back down and laughed and went 'ok thanks guys that's enough'.  She was very nice about it and of course some photographers still carried on.

Next I had the pleasure of shooting Melanie Griffith and her daughter Stella who was so friendly and nice.  They can both be seen above where Stella is wearing SS14 Chanel (of which I love!).  I moved onto shooting Alma Jodorowsky, a french actress known best for her role in Blue is the Warmest Color (2013).  Her next film 'Kids in Love' is currently in post production and is scheduled for a 2014 release date so look out for that!  Next to Alma was the beautifully talented Elisa Sednaoui with the most amazing hat on.  Elisa is known for her advertising campaigns with Chanel, Roberto Cavalli, DVF (to name a few) and her long list of magazine covers from Elle Italia to Harper's Bazaar Latino America.  I used to be obsessed with her advertising for Chanel eye wear and I'm pretty sure I've still got a few of those spreads floating around somewhere.

I spent the next 10 minutes following Anna Dello Russo around the catwalk with a few other photographers which was an experience!  I love the composition of two above images focusing on her pink and white Chanel outfit in one and the other on the pink and white of the food in the 'supermarket'  The energy Anna gives off is infectious and it's easy to see why everything she touches turns into sheer brilliance.  A truly talented woman who gets it just right whilst having fun.

The final people I shot were the most intimidating and it was really all down to me being star stuck.  Many around me know I am obsessed with Keria Knightly from her films to her advertising campaigns with Chanel and my obsession is still very much there.  After shooting one part of the front row I moved to the other side and saw a group of photographers together.  This is a clear sign someone is worth shooting there so I approached and lifted my camera above the shoulder of someone to see who it was via the camera lens.  At that exact moment the man moved slightly and my eye looking through the lens and the other looking at the man both focused on Keria who was sat 1 meter away from me.  I almost jumped because my camera was zoomed in alot and i was so taken back.  Somehow I managed to get the photos in focus and I really had to calm myself as I was freaking out inside.  Keria was sat next to Mario Testino who really needs no introduction and her husband James Righton, who is a member of the London based group 'The Klaxons'.  I can't say for sure but I think James was wearing the same outfit he had on for their wedding, which wouldn't surprise me as Keria has worn her wedding dress for another occasion too.  I love this couple so much and I love that Keria was wearing SS14 Chanel Haute Couture (along with Rhianna) and they both pulled off the look completely whilst keeping their own unique style.

Overall the experience was overwhelming in the positive sense and it happened so fast that it hasn't really sunk in.  Chanel shows are always a whirlwind of emotions and it's taken me 2 posts to explain the different sides of the show which is saying something.  I think everyone secretly wants to own a Chanel handbag along with the outfit and going to the show feels like it's within reach and not in the literal sense!  So, with that in mind I wanted to share my images and story with you in the hope that you might feel some of that energy that I soaked up whilst having the pleasure of shooting during the AW14 show.  If you have any questions then please get in touch!
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Wednesday 16 April 2014

A Fashion Journal: Paris Fashion Week - AW14 Chanel PART 2

A Fashion Journal: Paris Fashion Week - AW14 Chanel PART 2

Today I re-vist last weeks post on the AW14 Chanel show with a new set of images and a new insight into the show!  Next week I shall post my final entry regarding this show and that will be my front row images, but for today, lets focus on the show!  I was one of the first people to enter this venue after the photographers had all taken their places and before the general public were allowed in.  I'm glad I did turn up so early as I was able to really grasp the concept that had presented itself in front of me, and I was able to walk freely around it without people getting in the way.  I was also one of the last people to be seated as I wanted to grab that final front row picture so that was strange too as I was so fixated on front row guests rather than anything else really!

The show has a mixture of songs remixed together and the main ones that stood out were Rhianna 'SOS' and 'Diamonds' and Lady Gagas 'Do What You Want'.  Such a strange and unexpected mix and use really.  Chanel typically does like to have live performances or use music in pop culture, for example AW13 used a remix by Daft Punk and we all know how huge they were in 2013!  In a similar context both artists are very relevant in pop culture just not the choice of songs.  There's nothing more exciting to hear music being blasted out while your standing in a huge room and I love it for the fact you hear the music in a different way.  I was thinking about this today actually while playing music on my iPhone.  The quality was awful and if that was the only way I listened to music then I'd think nothing of it.  However if I play the music with a pair of good headphones then I'm suddenly introduced to the track in a new way.  It's the same for clubs, in bars or in a concert.  I love that about music and how it changes every time you listen to it.

Back to the show now.  The two lines of red and yellow on the floor were indeed paths for the models to walk along, well, more like guidelines as after they did their main walk they were then free to wonder around doing what they liked.  I'm not sure how much of that I actually believe but it was really nice to see one model dropping something on the floor and two of them laughing about it.  Having seen models on the street and in street style pictures you realise just how energetic and fun they are (well what they seem to be).  It's funny because I never think 'oh she was the popular girl at school' i think no, your the quirky one and you actually have a personality which is more than can be said for the wannabe plastics.

There was no real symbol that the show had finished and that threw me too.  There was no final two by two walk from all the models and when I saw Karl I thought of it's finished...  I was kinda disappointed because that's my favourite part but I did like the way the announcer said something about the store closing and all the models left together through the checkouts.  It was an experience I don't think I'll ever have again and it was great to feel like you were part of the show.  Next week will be my front row images and after that then maybe a recap on AW14 as I do have some more images and stories to share with you.

Tags: chanel super market, chanel runway, chanel supermarket, chanel aw14 supermarket, chanel stage, chanel shopping trolly, paris fashion week chanel

Friday 11 April 2014

A Fashion Journal: Paris Fashion Week - AW14 Chanel

A Fashion Journal: Paris Fashion Week - AW14 Chanel

Just over a month ago AW14 Chanel was broadcast to the world in the most 'super' of ways.  Yes, the 'super' refers to the supermarket stage they created which was a sight to be seen!  Chanel is the one show that everyone wants to go to and I was one of the lucky people to receive an invite in the post.  Typically their invites come in the most beautifully written envelopes so I was taken by surprise when I opened the ordinary looking envelope with a computer printed address.  The invites always give a hint of whats to come and 'Chanel Shopping Center' on the front pretty much summed it up!

I arrived about an hour and a half early for the show at the Grand Palais and already the streets were an array of Chanel clothes and of course people head to toe in Chanel accessories.  As you walked in you were greeted by stunning guys in supermarket outfits which looked more like lab coats.  You walked under a giant entrance sign and then through the checkouts.  As you can tell the themes of red, blue and yellow were used throughout the staging and I thought it worked really well.  I was actually quite confused when I walked in to begin with because I was thinking ok... now where is the runway?  It took me a couple of seconds to realise that EVERYTHING was the catwalk which let me into thinking two things.  First, what a shame because the show wasn't a giant imposing space it normally is (although it was probably just as big as everything they've done before) and my second thought was I wonder what's going to happen.  This was kinda daunting as I wanted to shoot the show and front row so I really had no idea where to start.

The space was filled with nearly everything you'd find in a Supermarket, everything apart from things such as a freezer section and it kinda felt out dated in the good sense.  It started to look quite  Stepford Wives which was an idea they clearly had but didn't push which is a good thing.  It was an experience that was so interesting, and you constantly found new things and hidden Chanel logos on everything from eggs to brooms.

The best part? The fact nothing was really touched before the show.  People viewed all the different elements but not much touching.  Of course the trolleys around the place were just crying out to get a selfie with so they were actually interacted with!  I will talk more about during the show in the post dedicated to that but I wanted to note that models interacted with the various props around the place.  Once the show finished, people went crazy and started to rip open boxes to find things inside and try to smuggle things out.  Others made baskets out of various buckets they found and started to shop for real.  Once at the checkout people found out they couldn't buy anything, but they didn't go home empty handed (HELLO MAKEUP).

The funniest thing I saw was one woman eating the fruit then putting a HUGE bunch of garlic in her handbag...  It really did descend into madness and I would have loved Karl to make a tally of how much was actually successfully stolen. 
It looked like a zombie Apocalypse and I was kinda embarrassed by humankind...

Tags: chanel super market, chanel runway, chanel supermarket, chanel aw14 supermarket, chanel stage, chanel shopping trolly, paris fashion week chanel

Monday 7 April 2014

A Fashion Week Journal: AW14 New York Fashion Week: Anna Sui

A Fashion Week Journal: AW14 New York Fashion Week: Anna Sui

It's been nearly 2 months since Anna Sui showed at New York Fashion Week in the Lincoln Centre and time has absolutely flown by.  I've been so busy in the past two months that I haven't had the chance to share with you my shots from the show or from AW14 Chanel.  I will most likely split the show into multiple posts as I covered so much from fashions to celebs.

AW14 was filled with fur and it only became really obvious in Milan.  Here you can see a few examples of fur used and I'm so undecided about my morals towards it.  I did however see one guy wearing the most beautiful black and white fur coat so I let myself get carried away to thinking it would be in my price range.  I do love the look of fur, but I don't think I'd ever wear it, it takes a certain look and I dress too grunge for that.

Karlie Kloss, Malaika Firth and Joan Smalls were a few of the models that walked in the show including Natalie Westling (seen above with the bright red hair).  It's hard not to notice someone when their hair practically radiates out of the screen and it's most likely the reason behind me taking so many pictures of her!

I tend to see Anna Sui as it's at the perfect time for me to take a mini break.  Anna always shows at the end of each season late in the day so I'm always very grateful that I get the chance to shoot at the show.  This year bags were given out with makeup and body lotion which spelt amazing!  Not many people are aware that Anna Sui has a huge makeup and perfume range and I definitely recommended trying them out! I have an orange/red lipstick from SS14 and the packaging is so cute and it really does make the perfect gift for someone who loves makeup as it's not your typical 'square box' or 'smooth tube'.  It's very oriental and in keeping with the Anna Sui aesthetics and it really is a huge success.  Eventually I will use this lipstick in a makeup themed post but I've been too scared to even use it yet!  I always have that issue when I buy something new, and sometimes things never do get used which is a problem I need to overcome!

Sunday 6 April 2014

Diaries from a Vanity Nightmare - Taylor Swift RED Tour @ The O2 London

Diaries from a Vanity Nightmare - Taylor Swift RED Tour @ The O2 London

I've been a huge fan of Taylor Swift ever since 'Love Story' and I always remember seeing this video on the music channels along with Lady Gaga 'Just Dance'.  I remember this so well because I was thinking oh great another blonde ex Disney wannabe and to begin with I didn't like either of the artists.  Once I realised this wasn't the case at all (and that I shouldn't judge artists so quickly) I was a dedicated fan from there on.  Taylor Swift writes nearly all her songs primarily by herself and this really shows through in RED and I knew that a part of my experience would be missing from this album if I didn't see the show!

I tried to by tickets on the train to work one day but alas they sold out in seconds.  For weeks I had been addicted to watching her 'All too well' performance at the 2014 Grammys and I suddenly thought wait a second I'm pretty sure shes on tour right now... Once I looked I saw that she was preforming the next day, which was technically the same day as I bought these tickets at 2am in the morning!  The only downside was the fact I was flying to New York the next day after the performance and had to get up at 6am, but after much consideration I thought I'm going to bite the bullet and put myself into a situation that I'm not totally comfortable with.  I think everyone should do that once in a while!

I was really blown away at how amazing the show looked.  I really didn't expect all the set and costume changes and although at times I saw some Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana similarities in staging, overall it was so well put together, such an amazing night and Taylor owned that stage.  Taylor also puts her own twist on every night and actually speaks to the audience differently at each show.  It felt very intimate and after watching performances on other nights on Youtube I realised that it really was different each night, something you rarely see in artists live.  Before the show started, Taylor Swifts mum took her seat which was with everyone else who was seeing the show.  She took time to walk around the arena too and talk to people and get photos with them.  Sure artists parents attend some of their shows but they stay behind the scenes or in seats away from the audience so that was really nice to see.  Another thing that took me away was the fact Taylor lets people take signs with them to concerts and that's something I've never seen before. 

The set list was nearly the same for every show expect Taylor did make a few changes and had a few extra guests such as Danny from the Script on the day I went.  It was a night that was really all about the music and I found the whole experience very inspiring 

The main set list: State of Grace, Holy Ground, Red, You Belong with Me, The Lucky One, Mean, Stay Stay Stay, 22, Starlight, Everything Has Changed, Begin Again, Sparks Fly, I Knew You Were Trouble, All too Well, Love Story, Treacherous, We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.