This season was a strange one because it felt like I hadn’t stepped foot in London for years (despite heading to London fairly regularly). I don’t quite know what it was, it just felt… different. But alas, I was excited to be back and I was ready to see some shows.
Day 1 of LFWM and, as always, it’s fun to make an entrance. And so that’s exactly what I did. With some vintage flares, gold penises on my jacket and a huge fucking cape, I was on my merry way.
Now, I don’t know what particularly inspired me with the outfit, but I’ve been feeling a lot of love for of flares recently. Yes, you heard that right. Flares, the 60’s/70s trousers that look like something you’d see The Bee Gees in. I don’t know where my sudden fixation came from, but I just suddenly started buying them. I now own at least 5 pairs in different spans, fabrics and colours. They all look lovely with my cuban heels. Yes, I also love cuban heels. Maybe I was born in the wrong decade?
The cape, as you would probably expect, divided opinion. Though the attendees of LFWM appeared to be enjoying this oversized accessory, some folks on social media didn’t. A photograph of me heading to a show at 180 Strand appeared on the New York Times fashion segment’s Instagram account (@nytimesfashion) where they appeared to be enjoying my look. However, some of the commenters felt I bared some resemblance to Harry Potter or a Jedi. I’ve left some of the comments attached so you can get a feel for the vibe.
I’ve got pretty thick skin, obviously, or I wouldn’t be brave enough to wear half the shit that I do. These comments were relatively tame and did give me a good giggle. And that’s the point, fashion should be fun! It should be debated, discussed, humoured and enjoyed.
Cape: Vivienne Westwood
Blazer: Vivienne Westwood
Penis Chain: Vivienne Westwood
Tartan Flares: Vintage
Tie: Vivienne Westwood
Shirt: Calvin Klein
Glasses: Ollie Quinn
Cuban Heels: Asos
As usual, this post is a little delayed, but hey! Another season of London Fashion Week Men’s is over. And although the grandiose thrill of LFWM – formerly London Collections: Men – is slowly dying out, the sheer joy of seeing phenomenal clothes/accessories from incredible designers is still there.
Now, maybe I just sound like a bit of an old crank harping on about ‘the good old days’ but honestly, there’s a change to the menswear season in London and though I do welcome change, it’s not one that I’m particularly enjoying. Now, this season, the days were shortened from 4 to 3. So, I thought because the past few seasons have been dwindling a little with the business of the days after designers have pulled out, this for me meant that by removing a day, a jam-packed schedule would be back on the horizon… Sadly not, it felt as sparse as it did before but hey, it meant that my feet weren’t as sore from running around London.
This season I thought it was about time that I brought a camera with me. I mean, why not, it’s not like I have a degree in photography or anything 😬. A few seasons ago, I decided to take a quirky approach to shooting street style with a FujiFilm Instax camera. Like last time, I thought I’d go with the good old polaroid format rather than a DSLR and so that’s exactly what I did.
You may remember from my previous post that I bought myself a rather peculiar polaroid. I bought the Polaroid Taz Cam, a rare 1999 edition in collaboration with Looney Tunes. And with such a strange looking camera on my arm, I would be a bit of a dullard if I didn’t buy myself some swanky film to go with it. Of course, I bought myself the ‘Coloured Frames Edition‘ film And just look at how beautiful it is!
Anyway, I feel like I’ve rambled on long enough, I promise to try and be a bit more punctual with the other posts. I will have some more coming soon. I’m currently in the process of buying a house so I’ve been a bit preoccupied with blogging (but this year I aim to get into it more, so please bare with me).
But enough about the humdrum backstory of my personal life, on with the shows!
Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It takes you back to happiness of yesteryear and makes you think of the “good ol’ days” when life was simple and you didn’t have to worry about mortgages, debt and what Donald Trump is going to say next.
In fact, nostalgia is quintessentially ‘on trend’ at the moment. With brands such as Ellesse and Tommy Hilfiger making prominent comebacks in the fields of fashion, the remastered Crash Bandicoot trilogy storming its way onto the PlayStation 4 some 20 years after its original release and vinyl records reviving people’s love for music without feeling like you have to be a keen-eyed collector. 35mm cameras are proving to be popular with young folks again more so than the expensive digitals counterparts.
And 35mm isn’t the only format of camera that’s making a resurgence. Instant film cameras are kicking back to a time-gone-by. I’ve had a FujiFilm Instax camera for a while now and I absolutely love it. You may remember that I’ve done a series of street-style photography on Instax film while at London Fashion Week Men’s. But I’ve always wanted to shoot on actual square-format Polaroid film. But while Instax works out at around £1 a shot, Polaroid has always hit into the £2+ per shot.
But I have finally taken the plunge! After seeing the new OneStep 2 i-Type Polaroid advertised online, it brought back my childhood lust for the iconic camera of my youth. So I went online and purchased a camera… But not actually the new one that I had intended on buying. In fact, I actually bought a vintage camera from their website that hit me with a double serving of total nostalgic proportions… I bought the ‘Taz Cam‘.
Granted, it’s not a discreet and tasteful Polaroid camera, but why the hell would I want that?! By now I think you’re all aware of my love of all things a little bit quirky and this camera is the epitome of quirky!
This reclaimed vintage camera is nothing short of magical for pure Looney Tunes nostalgia. This camera was made as a limited run in 1999 to honour the iconic cartoon character. Though you can still pick them up on various websites such as eBay and Amazon, the Polaroid website has a very limited few that are available for purchase, most probably a higher price tag than buying from other second hand sellers but Polaroid gives all its stock tests and refurbishments to make sure every nook and cranny is working to perfection.
Inspired by the world’s most infamous Tasmanian Devil, the Polaroid 600 Taz Edition (affectionately known as the “Taz Cam”) is easily the most weird and wonderful camera Polaroid ever released. Produced for a short period in 1999, it turns the Polaroid 600 into Taz’s head, complete with teeth and tongue on the inside. If you’re the type of person that likes to stand out, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The exterior is sheer childhood heaven. When the camera opens you see the tongue and teeth printed around the lens. The shutter stands out with a bright yellow plastic button (that matches the yellow camera strap) and a beautiful big red rubber button at the end featuring concentric circles (much like the “That’s All Folks” circles from the Looney Tunes credit design.
If you’re wanting to reinvigorate your love for vintage photography and instant film cameras, a Polaroid will always give you that orgasmic sense of sheer joy. Pair that feeling with the Taz Cam and you’re ready to take on the world, one merry little step at a time!
Now, if you’re wanting another fun little treat to go with your new cartoon camera, I would definitely recommend getting the Colour 600 Film ‘Colour Frames Edition‘ to give an extra burst of vibrancy to your images.
You can also buy black & white film with the coloured frames from the Polaroid Originals website.
Now go forth and spread the joy and have fun snapping some old school images on the quirkiest/craziest/silliest camera in town!
Thank you everyone for continuing to follow my escapades. 2015 is looking to be an incredibly exciting year for me (more details in the coming future) and so I thought I would do a brief rundown of my 5 most viewed posts of 2015 so far.
I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with Oliver Greenall. After seeing his (incredibly unique) face in various ad campaigns and runway shows, I knew I needed to photograph him at some point. I was drawn to the shaggy hair, hammerhead shark eyes (his words) and his Mick Jagger attitude in photographs.
After talking with a few friends, I figured it would be more exciting to dress Oliver up to get some variety in the shots and so we headed down to meet the gang at Thomas Farthing. What started off as a few street style shots soon turned into a mini editorial using a variation of props and a copious amount of beautiful gentlemen’s attire.
Once we had finished the shoot (which was already starting to turn a few heads), we unchained the large penny farthing and wheeled it down towards The Old Crown Pub (over the road from the Old Sorting Office where Oliver Spencer was getting ready to show) and had a nice pint which followed with a lot of photos and me taking Oliver to watch his first ever runway show.
Interview with Oliver Greenall
You normally walk in shows at LC:M, what was it like watching your first fashion show?
It was actually quite bizarre. The show seemed to last a lot longer. When you’re walking in the show everyone is in a state of mild panic as you’re having to change as quickly as possible and something usually goes slightly wrong whether it be a case of missing shoes or even a whole outfit.
What has been the most bizarre modelling job you have done?
I did a shoot for Essential Homme in Berlin which was pretty weird. We started shooting at six in the evening and didn’t finish until 3.00am. I was naked under an open coat at about two in the morning when a random pair of Canadians wandered into the studio with a bottle of wine and asked if they could watch. That was a bizarre moment.
If you could be the face of any brand, who would it be and why?
I like a nice suit so it would be cool to be the face of a brand like Dolce & Gabbana or Dior. And I know everyone mentions it but it would be nice to be the face of Burberry too. Could I just be the face of every brand while I’m at it?
How would you describe your personal style?
I’d say it’s quite rocky (as in musically, not geologically). I love a good hat. I’ve had long hair since I was about ten years old so hats help to mix things up a bit. Long hair can get really tedious after a while…
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I’d still like to be alive. That would be a good start. I’d like to have written and directed at least one feature film by then. Orson Welles was only 25 when he wrote, produced, directed and starred in Citizen Kane. I’ve got five years to make my equivalent of what many people consider to be the greatest film ever made. I’d say that’s a fairly good challenge.
A huge thank you to the guys of Thomas Farthing for support with the shoot, use of clothing and of course, letting me sit on the penny farthing.
I strongly suggest you have a look at the Thomas Farthing website, you will find some absolute treasures, and if you’re in London, definitely go have a look in the shop (you can’t miss the giant penny farthing)!
Photography: Harry J Bartlett
Model: Oliver Greenall
Assistants: Robert J. Railton, Oli Chiswell and the Thomas Farthing team.
I had the pleasure and the privilege to stay with my brother from another mother this Summer while I got in deep with the job hunt.
I met Sam Way at London Collections: Men a few seasons back at the Topman Design collection and then a night of skanking and slut-dropping at the Superdry after party.
Sam is a great model and a brilliant musician (so I would strongly recommend checking out his music, his new single Bucketlist is a treat, and so I thought I should tick of a little task on my list and photograph the man himself).
I hope you like these quick little polaroids