Fashion photographer obsessions: Tim Walker

I have A LOT of obsessions with fashion photographers, I’ve blogged before about the work of Cecil Beaton who I could go on and on about I have a huge thing for Norman Parkinson (who there is an exhibition about in Bristol at the moment) and also a soft spot for David Bailey.
Today I often find that modern photographers don’t fill me with the same sense of excitement as those in the past, although there are a few photographers whose work I absolutely adore (Demarchelier and Steven Meisel for example) Although there is one photographer whose work never ceases to amaze me and fill me with awe. Tim Walker.

Walker was heavily inspired by Cecil Beaton in his work, which I think might be one of the reasons I love his work so much. You get that same sense of light frivolity from Walkers work as I find you do from Beatons and some of the images have really clear references to Beaton. Unlike other photographers working now Walker doesn’t directly copy set ups of photographs, rather takes inspiration from past images as some of these images show (I’ve referenced originals that these remind me of where I can)

Walker has dynamism and imagination like no other photographer, I don’t think I’ve seen a single shoot by Walker that hasn’t intrigued me, he has an ability to create narratives from images that mean words aren’t necessary.
I’m just going to share a few of my favourite Walker images, I could have probably chosen hundreds but I kept myself down to a “budget” of about 20!
I tried to keep a loose theme to these images. Magic. All of these images have a sense of warped reality, and the unreal yet completely real at the same time. These suggest some of Walkers greatest abilities with proportion and props. I have to say actually that Walkers interior shot are just as good as his fashion shoots because of his amazing arrangements.

Vogue Italia September 2010
“High Style”
Model: Malgosia Bela
Photographer: Tim Walker
Styling: Jacob K.

W October 2010
“Where Troubles Melt Like Lemon Drops”
Model: Karlie Kloss
Photographer: Tim Walker
Styling: Jacob K.
Three Guinness heirs (seated) in the Blue Room of Leixlip Castle, their ancestral home, in County Kildare, Ireland—Tom Guinness, Jasmine Guinness, and Violet Ogden—flanked by family friends and neighbors Georgina O’Hagan and Poppy Lloyd.
This image really reminds me of Cecil Beatons shots of Charles James’ dresses

Vogue Italia February 2009
Fairy Time
Unknown models

The Make up here is so reminiscent of Biba make up. The last image reminds me of the image of Mrs. Conde Nast wearing a Fortuny dress with its ethereal pose

A Magic World

Vogue Italia January 2008
Models Alice Gibb and Olga Sherer

Vogue UK April 2008

Soldier, Soldier won’t you marry me?
Ph: Tim Walker
Model: Karen Elson
Fashion Editor: Katie Phelan
Hair: Neil Moodie
Make Up: Samantha Bryant

Vogue Italia November 2008 ed.

“A Private World”
Model: Sunniva Stordahl
Photo: Tim Walker

Vogue Italia March 2010 – From Supplement
Lady Grey
Photo: Tim Walker
Models: Stella Tennant, Imogen Morris Clarke
Fashion Editor: Jacob K.

Quick F.Y.I here Stella Tennant is actually the great niece of Stephen Tennant of the bright young things!

Walkers scrap book. Now I want to make a scrap book!

Weirdly, my all time fave Tim Walker image. Which is strange because a) it doesn’t feature any fashion and b) because it cats.

A little excerpt taken from the Guardian about the image:

“A lot of people get confused when they see this image. They think it was done by computer, but we actually took pigment powder, mixed it with talc to get the right ice-cream pastel colours, and brushed it into the cats. 

The owners were two proud members of the Persian cat club. I can’t remember how I found them, but they turned up in a van, covered in cat fur, and stood breathing down my neck as I took the picture. We were worried about putting all that powder into the animals’ fur, but they said: “Oh no, they absolutely love it.” The cats were such vain creatures – they adored being touched and pampered. 

Dream and Magic
Vogue Italia August 2007
Model: Stella Tennant

White Mischief
British Vogue, May 2011 –

Iris Apfel: The ultimate Geriatric Starlet

Today I’m sharing another of my style icons. Iris Apfel. What can I say? I hope when I reach 90 i might be even just a tenth as cool as her! The title of this post Geriatric starlet refers to Apfel’s own description of herself. Superb!

“Mrs. Apfel is the discerning curator of her own wardrobe. Sorted and stowed in a vast nearby warehouse, that wardrobe incorporates pieces commemorating high points in her life. “She’s a great storyteller,” said Mindy Grossman, the chief executive of HSN. “Every single thing she wears, she remembers a story behind it.”

Apfel claims to not be a collector despite her vast wardrobe. Which was epitomised in a comment made in an article for the guardian “Some people own such valuable clothing they would never dare to put it on. This is anathema to Apfel. There’s one lady who lives in the Midwest who has about 15,000 pieces. She once wanted to show Apfel some of her collection, and when she took out “this divine Geoffrey Beene dress”, Apfel said: “Oh my God, you must have had so much fun wearing it!” The woman was horrified. She said: “Wear it!? This is part of my collection. You don’t wear your collection!” Apfel said: “In that case I don’t have a collection.”

(this was so crazily relevant for my current project into wearing historical dress it got me very excited!)

Apfel’s prowess as a fashion icon was demonstrated in 2005 when The Met museum held a retrospective showcasing some of her vast wardrobe. (I highly recommend the book rare bird of fashion that accompanied the exhibition, it has some sublime images of the garments). Mac also dedicated a range to her with super bright colours recently!

If you love the Iris’s style check out this wonderful piece written for the New York times where Apfel and some other super stylish New York ladies discuss their style.

 To me these ladies really epitomise something about vintage style- and something about fashion itself. Fashion should be about having fun, wearing what you want to wear and dressing in a way that is an extension of your personality!

Michelle Harper: SERIOUS style crush

Today I want to introduce you all to my current style crush: Michelle Harper.

What can I say? I adore Harper’s style which mixes vintage and couture garments, re-interpreting and re-accessorising them to create completely new looks, often with crazy over the top jewellery. There is just something about her that means how ever eccentric her outfits she still appears undeniably beautiful.

Harper was born in Columbia but grew up in New York and Europe. She said her sense of style was heavily influenced by her Grandmother. In terms of where she buys her clothes she stated, “I like Yves Saint Laurent, Dior by John Galliano, Lanvin by Alber Elbaz, Alexander McQueen, and Zac Posen. And I love vintage! For shoes, I shop a lot at YSL, sometimes at Prada, and, of course, at Christian Louboutin”  

Currently serving on the board of directors for FIT’s Couture Council, Tata Harper Beauty and Casita Maria, Michelle is a prominent and renowned fixture on the New York scene.”

I strongly recommend her tumblr which shows amazing images of herself and also tons of inspirational images too:

These images come for Harper’s tumblr.

Although this isn’t Haper this shows one of the jewellery ranges she often wear Yaz Bukey. This parisian brand creates some amazing pieces of plexiglass jewellery, i think i need some in my life!

Harper in a Yaz Bukey headpiece

Yet more stunning images of Harper:

Woweeee This pink creation by Victor de Souza(she wears lots by Souza and is often cited as his muse) almost too sensational for words

I’ll leave you on a lovely little quotation from Harper:  “Because nothing inspiring is flawless or perfect. It’s in the failures, the experiments, and the unique that I find the greatest joy.”