I had the pleasure to stay for a few days in London recently. While spending some time with my Londoner family, their typical sense of humour reminded of Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr’s “Only in England” exhibition. It explores the lasting influences of the too short career of British photographer Tony Ray-Jones on the developement of British photography since the 70’s and on Martin Parr’s work. Driven by the moto “Don’t take boring pictures”, Ray-Jones was fascinated by the eccentricities of English social customs and immortalized what he thought was a disappearing way of life. Full of melancholy and humour, his work impacted Parr’s rarely seen black and white photographs from ‘The Non-Conformists’ series. Known for his sociological and satirical point of view, Parr provided his own analysis of the modern life, documenting the social classeds of England.
Beauty Contest Southport, Tony Ray-Jones, 1967
Mankinholes Methodist Chapel, Martin Parr, 1975
Blackpool, Tony Ray-Jones, 1968
Brighton Beach, Tony Ray-Jones, 1967
Tom Greenwood cleaning, Martin Parr, 1976
Lobster has been a major source of inspiration for artists and fashion designers during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Its fame started with Salvador Dali, who compared young women to the orange decapod as they “get rosey cheeks when men would like to eat them” and imagined the Lobster Telephone, revealing the secret desires of the uncounscious. His collaboration with Eva Schiaparelli was eventually published – after breaking the rules of of good behaviour – in the British Vogue. Sexual, futuristic and quasi robotic, lobster has became a huge source of inspiration and is now considers as fun and quirky as it rides the trend of animals in fashion.
Salvador Dali, Lobster Telephone (also known as Aphrodisiac Telephone), 1936
Schiaparelli (collaboration with Salvador Dali), 1937
The New Yorker, 22 March 1958
Jeff Koons, Lobster, Château de Versailles exhibition
Lady Gaga wearing the Philip Tracey lobster hat, 2010
Alexander McQueen, Armadillo heels, 2010
Anna Wintour wearing a Prada dress at the 2012 Met Gala
Wildfox, Spring/Summer 2014 campaign
2014 was undoubtedly the year of selfe, a new word that became quickly a worldwide marketing concept. After focusing their campaigns on Italian families, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana launched the #DG Family project last October. The idea? Encouraging fans to post family selfies on the website dolcegabbana.com/dgfamily, a kind of new social media dedicated to the brand. Family is then reinvented: the generic D&G logo takes place in the pictures instead of the last name, creating a virtual and universal family.
Fairy tales have always been an important source of inspiration for designers, photographers and advertisers. No need to read Bruno Bettelheim’s “The uses of enchantment” to see that their references to childhood and their symbolism echo more adult behaviours. This year, the little riding hood has becoming a fashion icon, far away from the innocent fairy tales we used to read.
Red Valentino, Fall/Winter 2014-2015 campaign
Dolce and Gabbana Fall/Winter 2014-2015 runway
Alice and Olivia 2014-2015 Fall/Winter campaign
Nina Ricci 2012-2013 campaign
Vogue, September 2009
Spring has finally sprung. Holidays are around the corner and everybody tends now to apply strategies to get the most of this beautiful weather and their spare time. I live in a touristic place in Switzerland where I have the chance to meet a lot of people from all around the world. And with the 30 degrees we are having here at the moment, there is a queue in front of the swimming pool, the beaches are crowded as are all seeking the same things: sunbathing, eating ice cream and taking pictures in front of visited sights.
These scenes remind me of Martin Parr, a photographer that has explored the theme of tourists and their behaviours on holidays. According his point of view, “visiting sites is a modern form of pilgrimage and the resulting photos the ultimate price.” His pictures show the contradiction between the places we all know such the Eiffel Tower and the reality of actually being at an iconic site.
Martin Parr, Spain, Benidorm, 1997
Martin Parr, Miyagazi, the artificial beach inside the Ocean Dome, 1996
Martin Parr, Italy, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, 1990
Martin Parr, Thailand, Hua Hin, 2012