photo shoot

Vogue Does Fall Fashion

Vogue Does Autumn, the artyologist

Have you ever won anything in a contest before? I recently won the most ridiculous thing ever. On Instagram, my sister tagged me in a giveaway that Blanche Macdonald Centre (which is a beauty school) was hosting. The prize was a copy of Grace Coddington’s book “Grace: 30 Years of Fashion at Vogue”, so even though I doubted that I would win it, I entered, because the book looked amazing. (Grace Coddington is the creative director at Vogue magazine.) When the school contacted me, to tell me that I had won the giveaway, I was so confused at first, and then shocked! This book is a really unique and exciting look at Vogue’s photo spreads over the first 30 years of her work there. (from the 1970’s to 2002, when it was first published).

I sat myself down almost the minute it arrived to page through it and ooh and ahh over the swoon worthy pages of fashion spreads. So many of the styles and photographs included in the book are so timeless that although they were taken in the 1970’s and the 1990’s, you really can’t define when they were taken simply by looking at the photograph. Some of the photos look as though they could have been taken in 1930, or 1950. That is one of the things that I love about classic fashion- it never really goes out of style. I think that many of us vintage lovers can relate to that! Anyways, that was a little aside there. That wasn’t what I was planning to say at all. Now back on track: What I was going to say is that I was so inspired by some of the photos, that I decided to try for a Vogue look for my next photo shoot.

Some of the key characteristics of fashion spreads, and the reasons why I love looking at haute couture photos, is because they tend to have such a dramatic look to them. They are an art form. Sometimes the focus of the photography isn’t even on the fashions or garments at all, but instead on creating a beautiful image. The photos often tell a story, whether it is a general theme, or, as I learned by reading the book, sometimes an actual story told through the photographs. (Such as, “A movie star from New York hires a taxi driver to take her to Hollywood. They fall in love somewhere around Palm Springs.” That was a sweet one featured in the book.) Often fashion shoots are a juxtaposition of disparate ideas. Floaty, dreamy, romantic fabrics that would look at home in a woodcutters cottage, are instead taken with a harsh and decaying, industrial backdrop. A sweet and innocent outfit, has a sinister edge to it. Pretty pieces are styled to look almost overdone. Unrealistic clothing is shown, that you could never actually wear in real life for reasons of practicality. Desolate, barren areas, devoid of life, and harsh shadows all work together to create an artistic and impactful image that really stays with you.

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

I decided to take a couple of these ideas, and incorporate them into my photos. I used the harsh, bright, midday light to give a dramatic feel, and took advantage of the “desolate” field right next to us. (Oops- now you know it isn’t really desolate! This is actually the same field from my last outfit post, but after they harvested it.) I thought that it would be a perfect background for this dressier, more tailored outfit I wore to church a couple of weeks ago. The outfit contrasts more with this background, than if I had been wearing a casual “prairie” look. I don’t have a story behind these photos though, so I guess I’m not quite ready to be a part of the creative team at Vogue, but it was quite fun to do anyways!

I guess the only real story behind these photos is that it marks the momentous occasion of my first fall outfit! This is one of my favourite autumn hued 1940’s style dresses (actually it is from the 80’s/90’s, but works perfectly as a vintage styled piece), that I have been dying to wear since last spring when I put it away, and I was also so excited to bust this velvet blazer out of the wardrobe again. Paired with a black straw hat (as winter time is a’coming, and I’m not sure how many more times I’ll wear straw this year. I mean, technically I could wear straw in the middle of blizzard if I wanted to, but it is nicer to wear more winter appropriate wool etc.) and of course, my favourite black Mary Jane shoes that go with everything, and my new/old medallion ring I got at a the thrift store last month. And of course, you can’t forget the bouquet of wild oats (which are weeds here, by the way), to complete the look.

I am really looking forward to this season, and am so excited to wear all the sweaters, coloured tights, wool skirts, and darker hued clothes that I haven’t worn in months. How about you? Are you looking forward to fall fashion? Also, do you enjoy looking at haute couture fashion photography?

Outfit Details:

Black Velvet Jacket: Hand me down from a coworker

1980’s does 1940’s dress: Thrifted 

Black and Gold Belt: Vintage, Gift from my mom

Shoes: Miz Mooz, This style doesn’t appear to be available anymore, but they have other similar styles

Hat: Vintage

Ring: Thrifted

Earrings: Several years old

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

A Limited Knowledge of Alice’s Wonderland

A Limited Knowledge of Alice's Wonderland, The Artyologist

To be completely honest, I don’t really know anything about Alice in Wonderland. I have never read any of the books by Lewis Carroll, I only watched the Disney movie once when I was a child, (and was promptly scared by it) and have never watched any of the newer versions for the same reason. This quote, pretty much sums up my knowledge of the story:

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

A Limited Knowledge of Alice's Wonderland, The Artyologist

However, despite the fact that I don’t really know anything about the story, I have seen several Alice in Wonderland inspired photo shoots before, and they have always been rather fun and surreal, so I thought it would be fun to do one myself, and I even had a vaguely Alice inspired outfit to wear. (And my sister had a fun saturated setting on her camera that she was wanting to try out.) I actually had to Google “Alice in Wonderland” to see what it all entailed, before I could do the photos. (I also learned, via that search and from snippets of my memory, that the story involves a tea party, talking flowers, a potion and a rabbit with a clock.)

I decided that this most recent sewing project would be a good “Alice” inspired outfit to wear. This is another skirt made with the same technique as my dutch wax, black floral, and recycled bed sheet skirts. (Definitely a tried and true pattern!) I find them to be so versatile for summer, that I decided to make another out of a remnant of denim I’ve had for a few years. I used to have a dress made out of this cute fabric, when I was 12, and the remnant leftover from that dress was so small, I could never squeeze enough fabric out of it to make anything. However a gathered skirt was the perfect choice. There was just enough fabric to get a gathered skirt, suspenders, waistband and a button placket up the front instead of a zipper this time. (Just so they wouldn’t all look exactly the same!) There was only about a 10″ x 6″ square of material left over. Definitely a stash busting project!

With the outfit ready, I added in a potion bottle necklace, a miniature teapot tchotchke, a clock, an oversized teacup, and “talking” pansies. So, here is the result of my limited knowledge of Alice’s Wonderland.

Outfit Details:

Skirt: Sewn by me

Peasant Blouse T-Shirt: Owned it for years

Shoes: Miz Mooz, This style is no longer available, but they have similar styles.

Bottle Necklace: Thrifted

Headband: Handmade, bought from a local boutique

A Limited Knowledge of Alice's Wonderland, The Artyologist

A Limited Knowledge of Alice's Wonderland, The Artyologist

A Limited Knowledge of Alice's Wonderland, The Artyologist

A Limited Knowledge of Alice's Wonderland, The Artyologist

A Limited Knowledge of Alice's Wonderland, The Artyologist

1970’s Flower Child

1970's Flower Child, The Artyologist

I’ve already mentioned before how my sister Sarah and I love to dress up in costume and have photo shoots. These pictures are from earlier this spring, when an area of our yard was just covered in bright yellow dandelions. (Thus I thought that I should post these pictures before autumn arrives!) Dandelions are such a love/hate, as they are so pretty and bright and cheery, and yet they are such a menace in your garden! We decided to make the best of the weed situation, though, and do a photo shoot, as the flowers were just begging to be used as a backdrop for photos. We decided that the 1970’s was a perfect inspiration, as it would give that “flower child” vibe the era is so famous for.

I don’t usually dress in the style of the 1970’s although some of my clothes definitely could be styled that way, and some of my vintage is 1970’s, while I often style it to look even older. It’s interesting how pieces of clothing can be styled one way or another to create a completely different look each time. It all lies in the accessories. These are the same pants that I styled to look 1910’s/20’s here, and I have worn them many times this summer, as they are extremely comfortable and cool for hot weather.

These outfits turned out a bit more “modern” than the 1970’s probably would’ve been, but they are definitely inspired by the era. I love how the photos turned out; the only problem with them is that the sun was so bright and hot that day, that we almost got heat stroke! Oh well, the sacrifices we make, right? 😉

Outfit Details: 

Shirt (on me): Thrifted

Tunic Shirt (on her): Thrifted

Harem Pants (on me): From a local store, imported from Thailand

Hat: Owned for years

Scarf: Vintage, handed down from my Gramma

Jewelry: All vintage, thrifted, or as a gift

Shoes (on me): Franco Sarto, from a few years ago

Shoes (on her): Toms, this colour not available anymore, but here they are in turquoise!

1970's flower child photoshoot, the artyologist

1970's flower child the artyologist

70's flower child the artyologist

Sarah does the 70’s so well she could be the poster child for the era.

1970's flower child photoshoot the artyologist

in the grass 1970's photo shoot the artyologist

1970's photoshoot the artyologist

She looks like an advertisement for Free People. 🙂

1970's flower child photoshoot the artyologist

1970's Flower Child the artyologist

Outtakes: Volume One

Outtakes: Vol. 1, the artyologist

The last couple of photo shoots around here have been rather dramatic (thunderstorms, moviestars, lady spies, Jane-Austen-like flower gathering), but lest you get the wrong idea and think that things are always staid and serious and elegant, I thought I would share some outtakes. Believe me: the photo shoots on this blog are the furthest thing from serious most of the time.

My sister takes a lot of the outfit photos for me, and she is great at it too, but really the best thing about having her take the pictures is that it gives us some time spent together goofing off and being silly and just having fun together. She is really great at just clicking away and capturing all sorts of hilarious moments. I’ve gathered quite a few, since starting this blog, and some of these photos are just so funny, I couldn’t keep them to myself. So, in case you get the idea that I go around like some glamorous vintage model all the time- um -nope- it’s just me, being silly, and here’s the proof.

Do you think that they have silly outtakes on professional photoshoots? Or do you think they remain serious and on task the entire time? I wonder. . . 🙂 Do you have silly outtakes?

the artyologist, outtakes

That’s our little dog Sukie on the right, who sometimes sneaks into frame 🙂

not a ballerina, the artyologist

After many failed attempts to emulate the graceful moves of a ballerina, I realized that I am not a ballerina. . .

mary poppins outtakes, the artyologist

I had read about trick photography, where you jump with your feet flat, to look like you are floating. I couldn’t resist holding the umbrella to give a Mary Poppins look. I just crack up every time I see this picture. And I promise that I was not actually crabby in the picture on the right, though I look like it. . . 

tea party outtakes, the artyologist

outtakes, the artyologist

outtakes, vol 1, the artyologist

vogue photoshoots outtakes, the artyologist

Such silly faces to pair with such tailored outfits. . . 

Ready for Poiret’s “One Thousand and Second Night”

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

If I have a “windblown” appearance in these photos, it is because I was. This was the fastest photoshoot in the history of the world, as we were literally racing to beat the thunderstorm rolling in! I live in rural Alberta, in a farming community, and in the summer that means that you are surrounded by either canola or grain- this summer the majority of fields are canola. As the blooms have just opened, and the landscape is a gorgeous sea of yellow, I wanted to take advantage of it, and get some photos in the field. Unfortunately this summer we have received an extraordinary amount of rain. For my readers in other parts of the globe, this is normal I am sure, but for us we are not used to this amount of rain. It has rained almost every day since the Victoria Day weekend, interspersed with periods of sunshine. This is great for the garden, but not so great for other things, like getting photos for the blog 🙁

Last week, I was thinking about which outfits would be good to coordinate with the canola field. (I am sure that is a sentence that has never been spoken before in the history of man. I don’t think farmers usually worry about how their outfits match their fields! “Bloggers- doing new things every day!”)

Anyways, I decided that I really wanted to get some pictures of these amazing harem pants I got earlier this summer, and I thought that they would stand out perfectly against the canola. I wanted to evoke a 1910’s/1920’s Paul Poiret’s One Thousand and Second Night Ball feel with my outfit, so I paired the pants with a slightly Edwardian styled pin tucked blouse, black Mary Jane shoes, and lots of sparkly jewelry and a headband. With a parasol as a prop this turned out to be a 1910’s styled outfit. (I say “prop” as obviously a paper parasol was not needed in the brink of the approaching rainstorm!)

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist, Portrait and Road with Canola

Thus, I had my clothes chosen, and the sun was shining, which was a rare occurrence, so I got my sister (who loves makeup and is an aspiring makeup artist) to do some a modern 20’s makeup. (As much as I love the look of 20’s makeup in vintage photographs of movie starlets, it does tend to make people look like racoons in this day and age.) She was more than happy to do so, and came up with this lovely gold shadowed eye.

By the time the makeup was done, and I had finished getting ready, we went outside only to find that in the half hour or so, the sun had vanished behind a bank of clouds and a storm was rolling in- and quickly too! But, it wasn’t raining quite yet, so we jumped in the car and raced down the road a 1/4 mile to get to a good spot for photos. We battled the wind, we could see the lightning in the distance, the farmer drove by in his tractor (probably shaking his head at the crazy person dressed up in a “costume” taking pictures) and there were a lot of outtakes owing to hair being tossed about- but at least I wasn’t wearing a circle skirt! Then the images would’ve had a distinctly Marilyn Monroe vibe to them. . . 😉

Sorry this is a rather photo heavy post, but I really couldn’t whittle the number down, as I love how they turned out! At first, when we raced out the door, I was sad that the sun was gone, as the canola is so vibrant in the sunshine, and yet, I love how the towering storm clouds and the perfect lighting you get before a storm, gave such a brooding depth to the pictures.  I think they really capture that Art Nouveau, exotic feel of Poiret’s fashion style, with an almost painterly appearance. This outfit deviated so much from what I normally wear, and yet I love it. This might just be my favourite outfit shoot so far!

What are the craziest circumstances you’ve ever taken photos in? Would you wear harem pants? What do you think of Paul Poiret’s 1910’s styles?

 (I will have more about on the history of harem pants later this week, by the way, so stay tuned for more!)

Blouse – thrifted

Pants – imported direct from Thailand (that’s all the tag says)

Shoes – Miz Mooz

Jewelry – Necklace from years ago, Bracelets from Ten Thousand Villages

Headband – Handmade, from an old necklace and vintage buttons

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

Ready for Poiret's Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist Road with Canola

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist Art Nouveau inspired

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist Art Nouveau Style Harem Pants

Ready for Poiret's Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist Canola Field

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist Portrait and Art Nouveau Inspired

Ready for Poiret'sn "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist Canola and Portrait

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist