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.
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?
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
Earrings: Several years old