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Fancy A Quick Rank?

So the billboards of East London and pages of Dazed & Confused have been recently been asking us if we ‘fancy a quick rank’? Witty yes, but when emblazoned across one’s press bag, walking through Liverpool Street station suddenly becomes slightly uncomforting with the suited yuppies probably wondering why a ‘w’ has been replaced with an ‘r’. No typo here though, Rankin, undoubtedly one of the most desired photographers of modern times is currently holding a pretty huge retrospective of his work at the Truman Brewery.

Rankin_Live_London_August_2009 073

Definitely worth the £10 entrance fee, this broad representation of his work lays to rest any myths that the ‘notoriously arrogant’ photographer only shoots celebrities. Early works teach us about Rankin’s first move into photography where his inspiration from Weugene Smith and Don McCullin encouraged him to pick up a camera and experiment with a documentary style. Snapping guys from the street, Rankin soon began to discover his talent for bringing out the raw truth in people and allowing them to feel relaxed in front of the lens.

This quality has subsequently led him to photograph some of the biggest names in social and popular culture including, Ian Brown, Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn, Elton John, Kate Winslet and even HRH, The Queen. Of course some of his iconic Kate Moss images are included in this show but also unique projects such as his ‘Congo’ collection for Oxfam charity. Globalizing an image of people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rankin shot portraits not of hunger and suffering, but of real people expressing their unique character.

Promoting understanding, connection and action his images continue a reflection of what it is he does best. Many leap at the chance of being captured by Rankin himself, which is what makes this exhibition that little bit more special. A Rankin Live section allows you to get a glimpse of the man in action, as successful applicants from across the country get their quick Rank. Fancy yours? Head down to the Truman Brewery before the 18th September.

Filed under: dazed and confused, don mccullin, east london, Kate Moss, London, ranki, rankin live, truman brewery, weugene smith

The Costume Institute Gala 2009 – or was it 1989??

Fashion works in cycles. Designers are frequently ‘inspired’ by the past and take trends of years gone by and work them into their current collection. The old ’20-year rule’ (what was en vogue twenty years ago will be on trend today) seems to be a popular, and in this case, an accurate theory. A glance at the S/S 09 and A/W 09 catwalks told us that there is one major era that designers are channeling – the 80’s!!!

So it was not surprising that at the ‘Oscars of the Fashion World’, the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute Gala, it was hard to tell which decade this Gala was actually taking place in. Many celebs chose to honour host Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and Madonna were amongst those wearing his creations. Now let’s just talk about Madonna for a moment….. IS THIS A JOKE??!!

(l-r: Marc Jacobs, Kate Moss, Madonna)

Not many people can get away with wearing a look exactly as it appears on the catwalk, not even you Madonna and this Louis Vuitton outfit is harder than most to wear. Someone thirty years younger would even have trouble carrying off such an outfit…unless they were a hooker. She brought her young lover Jesus, in their first public date. Is she only seeing him so they can be ‘Madonna and Jesus?’ I think so.

The whispers about Kate single handedly spearheading the turban trend, in a wonderful Stephen Jones creation, proved to be correct and in my opinion she pulls it off.

Here is a small montage of some of the fantabulous gowns on display on the night, although you’d be forgiven for thinking Anna Wintour was throwing a ‘Wedding Singer’ themed extravaganza:

(l-r: Leighton Meester, Anne Hathaway, Claudia Schiffer, Twiggy, Agyness Deyn)

Personally, I have always been a fan of the 80’s, there is many a sequined jumper and shoulder pad in my wardrobe and I do like the way that all these women (except the aforementioned Madge) look, Leighton Meester particularly took a style risk and I think it worked.

The ladies below played it a little safer, Anna always does pull out the stops for her Gala, for a lady with such a strict – some would say uniform – fashion style, it’s nice to see her venture out of the comfort zone, here in a beautiful monochrome Chanel dress.
Posh was actually quite boring compared to the other dresses on display and the fact that she was about 17 shades of orange darker than anyone else there didn’t help her case.

(l-r:Mary-Kate Olsen, Victoria Beckham, Anna Wintour, Ashley Olsen)

(l-r: Karen Olsen, Jack White, Rihanna)

Tuxedo’s were not confined only to men at the Costume Institute Gala but Jack White did bring some rock star chic to events while accompanying model wife Karen Elson. Let’s take a moment to mention Rihanna, who wore the bravest outfit and looked amazing. It’s her first public appearance since her domestic violence issue and she definitely returned to public life with a bang. Rihanna has been on the fashion radar for a while, she has the right attitude to carry off really edgy looks. She makes Beyonce jealous.

So this years Gala did not dissapoint. Risks were taken, some with success, others, not so much but even those who didn’t get it right proved far more entertainment than the usual parade of black dresses that we see at big ceremonies.

Filed under: Agyness Deyn, Anna Wintour, Anne Hathaway, Ashley Olsen, Costume Institue Gala 2009, fashion, Jack White, Karen Elson, Kate Moss, Leighton Meester, Madonna, Marc Jacobs, Mary Kate, Met Ball, Rihanna

Anna Wintour and Kate Moss…

…have a lot in common. Apart from the obvious fashion icon staus, the most enviable wardrobes on earth, a billlion fabulous gay friends and sunglasses, sunglasses, sunglasses. The other thing they share is their shunning of the interview spotlight. Neither lady is quick to sit on Oprah’s sofa and discuss their life, they prefer to play the elusive reclusive card, and it seems to have served them well as they have both been at the top of their game for eons. It also makes watching clips of them talking more special as you know there’s not many of them in existence by today’s celebrity standards. If we’ve learnt a fashion lesson here, then it’s less is more – but only in some circumstances, obviously there are other times when an obscene amount of necklaces is exactly what’s needed to complete a look.

Here’s Anna talking to legendary American interviewer Barbara Walters:

And here’s Kate talking in between modeling her first Topshop collection:

Filed under: Anna Wintour, fashion, Kate Moss

Kate and Justin and Marc.

The new issue of American Vogue celebrates Anna Wintours annual fashion bonanza – The Costume Institute Gala, held in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is a who’s who of the fashion world and far more fun to look at than an awards ceremony, where everyone plays it safe, people who attend this Gala are not afraid to make fashion statements. The Costume Institue puts on an exhibition every year and Anna throws a launch Gala to celebrate this, the theme this time is The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion’, so expect to see models from every era in attendance.

Here’s a pic from the aforementioned May 2009 issue of Vogue which features a stunning shoot by Annie Leibovitz with Kate Moss, Justin Timberlake and Marc Jacobs. But what’s the link you might be thinking? Well they are all hosting Anna’s fantabulous Gala! Firstly, I understand Marc and Kate being there but I don’t like the idea of Justin being considered a serious player in the fashion industry, due to his William Rast line……no.
Also, Kate Moss, hosting an event? Talking into a microphone? Surely her talents lie in not talking? Hhhhmmm, we’ll have to wait until the event on 4th May to see how this one pans out. I don’t doubt it’s gonna look good though, and let’s face it, that’s all that matters.

Filed under: Anna Wintour, Annie Leibovitz, Costume Institue Gala, fashion, French Vogue, Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Museum of Modern Art, photography