THINGS TO LOOK AT

Before I begin, remember my embarrassing incident involving a toilet and a builder? Well, this morning a builder watched through my window as I combed a wig in front of my mirror. Normal? Yeah, I thought so. Don’t know why he looked surprised.

Yesterday evening, just before leaving work, I had a sudden urge to go out. I was in London, the weather was great, it was a Friday and I’d had a long week. This weekend, however, the social landscape is a sort of post-university wasteland across which everybody has been scattered well beyond walking distance (e.g. Australia). So, instead of having a wild one last night I ate an inordinate quantity of falafel on the sofa with my sleeping dog.

*IRRELEVANT, GRATUITOUS STILL FROM PINK NARCISSUS BECAUSE I COULDN’T FIND ANYTHING ELSE AND WHY NOT*

I can’t complain too much, though, because last weekend I went to the wonderfully debauched panvestite wig-fest that was Miss Sink the Pink 2013. It was a beauty pageant for the weirder breed of drag queens, which, if you know me or have been on my blog recently, you’ll know is my idea of amazing. Ben Wishaw and Ollie Locke were both there to judge, looking totally incongruous with the huge amounts of glitter,  fish-netted flesh and multi-coloured polyester hair on show, but were probably dying to go mad themselves.

The whole night was one long fit of glitter-strewn laughter. My friends and I danced on vomit (which we took to be cous cous and praised for its power to lubricate our footwork), I had my face painted by a completely off-her-face makeup artist, we did some pole-dancing, watched a drag queen lip-synch to a song from The Little Mermaid whilst holding a dead squid, and my friend got her nipple out only for a stranger to immediately begin painting a glittery blue starfish onto it.

Much to my distress, nobody took photos of these goings-on, so you’ll have to use your imagination, which is probably more powerful anyway. In your head, the starfish nipple can take any form you’d like it to – that’s the beauty of storytelling. Here’s a rudimentary sketch to help you along. Pin the starfish on the nipple!

Untitled-1

In other news, I’m currently interning at the beautiful NOWNESS (it’s always written in capitals for some reason; I’m not shouting at you)  and luvvin it. Part of my job is researching art/design/culture etc, and I’ve been discovering so much beautiful stuff that sometimes I feel like my eyes are going to melt. It seems selfish to hold onto all that gorgeousness for myself, so here are a few golden cultural nuggets which you may or may not know about already:

CARMODY GROARKE

Kevin Carmody and Andrew Groarke opened their architectural studio in 2006, and they’ve already one a tonne of awards and landed big jobs such as the Frieze London gallery space and the Windermere Steamboat Museum. They also designed the private underground spa which I’ve pictured below (that’s a swimming pool A SWIMMING POOL), which is situated in the basement of a nineteenth century family mansion. Who else is practically combusting with jealousy? The only way I’ll ever be able to afford an architectural commission like that is if I become an international drug baron or a high-end escort. Possibly both.

Private home in Limerick, Ireland

Frieze London 2011

The Filling Station in King's Cross

The Filling Station in King’s Cross

UP THE ASSOULINE

Sorry, I couldn’t help but squeeze that vulgar wordplay in somewhere. Assouline is one of the many incredible book publishers that I’ve been discovering on my research quests. I used to think there was just Taschen, but it turns out it’s not always the best. Some other greats I’ve discovered include Morel, Mousse, Etude and Hatje Cantz. If their books were human they’d look like a young Joan Didion, perhaps. I intend to make the pilgrimage to the bookartbookshop down the road from my office very soon. Goodbye, money. Hello, high-end, heavy-weight, limited release photobooks.

cats 2 cats

PHILIP LORCA DICORCIA

The kind of fine art photography which really does make life look frozen and beautiful. Cringe. Give me a shout if you want me to write your press release, Mr. DiCorcia.

USED MAGAZINE

I didn’t discover fashion and art magazine USED at NOWNESS (SO MANY CAPITALISED LETTERS), but it is another recent discovery which I’m a bit obsessed with. I enjoy it mostly for the superluxe photography and perfect styling, but the heavy presence of Birkenstocks in the latest issue is great, as it confirms the fashion-worthiness of my own. I’ve had them two years. Ahead of the trend oh yeeaah.

Issue 5, issue 4

Issue 5, issue 4

Craig Lawrence, Charlie Le Mindu

ASGER CARLSEN

I was already vaguely aware of Carlsen’s work, having seen what he did for Garage magazine no. 4, but I didn’t know his name or anything about him. Turns out his black and white photographs, which utilise photo-manipulation techniques as a mean to distort rather than perfect, are pretty great. He released a book called ‘Worng’ with Morel Books, who I’ve already mentioned, which looks like a total dream.

MODEL FILES

Model Files is an online mockumentary series by fashion website V Files. I don’t really have anything insightful to say about it; it’s just great. You’ll recognise it’s slightly tragic protagonist, Preston, from the Asger Carlsen photographs above. I know that this is just a little Youtube series, but by the end of the second series it has reached absolutely genius heights.  Have a little watch — you’ve nothing better to do.

HOUSE OF ZEMBLA

2-horz

If you’ve visited this blog at any point during the past few months, you’ll be familiar with my increasingly monomaniacal obsession with drag and Paris is Burning ball culture. Please refer to this video of Friday night’s debauchery. Yes, I was that cunt wearing sunglasses in a dark corner of the club. I couldn’t see a thing, but boy oh boy, if you could have seen me you’d be all “who’s that beguiling, enigmatic, beshaded boy!? How do I penetrate his chic, expressionless exterior and get to know him?!”.

You might also be familiar with Exetera, the magazine which I will officially edit come September, taking over from the great and often late Max Benwell.

Are you enjoying all the links?

For the upcoming edition of Exetera, I finally managed to indulge my drag aspirations and lady myself up in front of the lens of the talented Felix McCabe. My botched attempt at makeup, involving budget high-street buys and an excessive amount of pink glue in my eyebrows, shaped me into a perverse hybrid of Marlene Dietrich, Marylin Monroe, Myra Hindley and one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s syphilitic prostitute muses. So, I decided to name my creation Myra Le Monstra, obviously.

REALNESS

#FISH

The photographs accompanied an article about the legacy of power dressing, called ‘Standing on the Shoulder Pads of Giants’, into which a managed to weave quotations from RuPaul, Simone de Beauvoir, and, every english student’s wet dream, Judith Butler. They were, respectively, ‘We are born naked and the rest is drag’, ‘One is not born a woman but rather becomes one’, and ‘In imitating gender, drag implicitly reveals the imitative structure of gender itself’. See, being fierce and vaguely intelligent are in no way mutually exclusive.

The Political Issue of Exetera is currently being printed and will be available for free in Exeter, and shortly afterwards online. Myra Le Monstra is unavailable for bookings; she broke a nail.

INSTAGLAM

Originally posted on the blog I run for Exeter Fashion Society

Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular forms of social media out there, and there’s more to it than gratuitous photos of salad and cups of coffee. We’ve become shamelessly addicted to stalking models on Instagram, so if you’re looking for some procrastination material and the chance to imagine a life lived through a succession of luxury hotel rooms and big-name parties, look no further than this list by the Fashion Spot, which provides you with every important model’s Instagram screen name. First, though, check out some of our favourites below:

CARA DELEVINGNE (caradelevingne)
Cara Delevingne is undoubtedly the model of the moment, as well as several prior moments, and many more moments to come. Check out her instagram for irreverent humour and notably non-model-like poses. She’s also the only model to Instagram a photo of herself with bird s**t on her forehead.

3

JOURDAN DUNN (officialjdunn)
She’s Cara Delevingne’s best friend, the first woman of colour to be the face of Burberry, and she’s one of the most in-demand models in the world. Therefore, she’s an absolute must follow. Also, she was scouted in Primark, which evokes a perfect rags-to-riches story.

9

JOAN SMALLS (joansmalls)
We love Joan Smalls, and so does the fashion industry. She’s been ranked the #1 model in the world since September 2012, and it’s no surprise why. We’ve been hooked since she became the first Latino face of Estee Lauder cosmetics.

2

COCO ROCHA (cocorocha)
Coco Rocha’s parents are both in the airline industry — her mother is a flight attendant and her father is a ticket manager — and she’s living the life of a real high-flyer. See what I did there? Thanks, Wikipedia, for the fascinating facts.

6

DREE HEMINGWAY (dreelouise)
Dree Hemingway is the image of health, and admittedly, we really enjoy her gratuitous images of salad and other wholesome delights. It’s inspirational when all you really want is a tower of indulgent brownies dripping with steaming melted chocolate…. and ice cream… and chopped nuts… and… okay, maybe just go for those brownies anyway.

4

SASHA LUSS (sashaluss)
Sasha Luss is a slightly lesser known model, but her Instagram account is one of the best. If it’s anything to go by, she really loves food, champagne and TV shows. Don’t we all?

90

MARK IZATT (mrizatt)
This rare beauty can be spotted around the Exeter campus sipping on black coffee and eating hun cal salads, wishing they were carbs. (Just to confirm, he also wrote this article and is featured ironically / in a desperate bid for more followers).

cats

Happy instastalking!

INSTASPAMMING

Unfortunately the only Apple product which I have the pleasure of owning is a battered 5-year-old ipod, so in an attempt to sate my incessant craving for instagram, I’ve hijacked my housemate’s ipad and created my own account. It’s time to take photographic narcissism to a whole new level. Hit me up @mrizatt.

#boobs

#popmagazine #feet

#supermodels

#k00ky

#k00ky

#houseoflabieja

#houseoflabieja

#popmagazine

#popmagazine

BOOKS FROM THE TOP SHELF IV – LaChapelle, Heaven to Hell

It’s been a while since I posted something for this series, so I turned to my bookshelf and a David LaChapelle tome that I’ve had for a couple of years, Heaven to Hell. It’s the third part of Taschen’s trilogy chronicling the photographer’s colour-drenched, totally nuts work. It’s one of my prize possessions, obviously, so I thought I’d give it a quick write-up. Here we go:

When I first got hold of Heaven to Hell it left me with some burning questions, like why have I never heard of this Ryan Phillippe guy before? Is Courtney Love ever not naked? and why is a fat lady in a pig costume beating up Pamela Anderson? These days it reminds me that no amount of plastic surgery is too much plastic surgery, everybody should be a little more like Amanda Lepore, and you just can’t have enough clashing colours in one photo EVER. It’s family fun for all occasions, and with my journalist hat on I’d say that it’s a razor-sharp critique-come-caricature of Hollywood culture, but I’m wearing my blogging-to-cure-boredom hat right now, so forget that part.

When I transfered these photos onto my laptop I thought ‘shit, I better take them again, in focus this time’, but fuck that, because you should all buy the book and see how amazing it is in person. There’s so much photographical meat to sink your teeth into. It’s the visual equivalent of eating a super-sized big mac meal with gold leaf on the bread and viagra in the coke, whilst naked and listening to a Crystal Castles remix of this. Don’t try and tell me you don’t want to do that.


Just in case you want to get all serious about this, here’s the introduction found on the inside of the cover sleeve:

“David Lachapelle. Controversial. Explosive. Thought-provoking. Arguably the world’s most famous living photographer, he has been breaking all the rules for over twenty years. ‘LaChapelle Heaven to Hell’ is the last chapter in a trilogy that started with the New York Times best-seller ‘LaChapelle Land’ (1996) and continued with ‘Hotel LaChapelle’ (1999), one of the most sought after and collected photography books of all time.

Celebrated as the Fellini of photography, LaChapelle has photographed personalities as diverse as Tupac Shakur, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Amanda Lepore, Lance Armstrong, Eminem, Pamela Anderson, Elizabeth Taylor, David Beckham, Lil’ Kim, Hilary Clinton, Philip Johnson, Paris Hilton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Uma Thurman, Kanye West, and Britney Spears, to name just a few.

While referencing and acknowledging such diverse sources as Renaissance art, cinema, the Bible, pornography, and the new globalized pop culture, LaChapelle has fashioned a deeply personal and epoch-defining visual language that holds a mirror to the face of our times, reflecting back both the sacred and the profane.”

Thanks for that, Taschen. You’ve saved me a lot of unnecessary paraphrasing.

The moral of the story is that Dave LaChapelle is pretty much god if you’re in the right mood for his ultra-confrontational style. Now, who better to sing me out than one of his leading ladies? (Okay, so this might be an excuse for another gratuitous dose of Courtney Love, but who’s going to stop me?).