Archive for the ‘ Vogue UK ’ Category

Vogue UK April 2008 – “About A Boy”

When it comes to androgynous style in fashion, few could do it as well as Freja. In fact, androgyny became Freja’s signature look for several years until her hair grew long again.

The genesis for Freja’s androgynous look began in late 2007 when she appeared at the Spring/Summer 2008 season with a newly shortened haircut. It wasn’t until April 2008 however, when she emerged in two editorials in Vogue UK (the latter being “A Stroke Of Genius”, shot by Paolo Roversi) that the look began to take off.

One look at this and it’s easy to see why. From its basic premise, Freja takes the masculine styling of this editorial to new heights. Alternating between brooding and swagger, her poses are charged with an energy that is decidedly masculine. The expression of this masculine energy extends to Freja’s hands as well; in one shot we see one hand placed into a waistband; in another shot, a thumb looped into a pocket; in others she is playing with her quiffed hair.

However, the real key to the power within these images lies in Freja’s unyielding gaze – whether directed towards the viewer or not, it is a powerful expression of strength and poise – Freja is no shrinking violet here, nor anywhere for that matter. All of these elements express themselves most powerfully in the 5th shot – Freja is slightly reclined, jacket and shirt open, daring the viewer to challenge the validity of her expression of masculinity, with just enough vulnerability to take one’s breath away.

This editorial set a precedent for Freja to be styled in an androgynous way in the years following (for better or worse) but few come as close to greatness as this. In my mind this editorial is as powerful and seductive as Helmut Newton’s iconic “Le Smoking”.

It’s beautiful to watch in motion too:


Vogue UK October 2011 – “Tech Mate”

This as far from last month’s Flemish painting inspired editorial as you can get – a futuristic, stark-white studio shoot by Patrick Demarchelier.

Here, the emphasis is on clean lines, sleek forms and bright, almost unnatural colours. By pairing the clothing with robotic toys (the Transformers!), Chambers playfully highlights the futuristic aspects of the clothing. There is a lovely rhythm between Freja and the robot props – the figure-hugging neoprene shorts emphasise Freja’s lean body, much like the utilitarian limbs of a robot which are designed for function. The strikingly elegant coats are reminiscent of the veneer of machines, while the bright colours of the Celine and Blumarine pieces add further emphasis on the likeness between Freja and the brightly coloured robots. The shoes and accessories are quite futuristic too.

While I wish Demarchelier was a little more adventurous with the angles of the photos, it’s still a very cute and playful editorial. A thumbs up from me!

Vogue UK September 2011 – “Master Class”

On first look I thought this was refreshing – by which I meant in terms of styling and tone. I’m all about tone and this really tickles the pleasure centres of my brain. The predominantly black and white clothes make what little other colour there is really stand out – in this case, the blush upon Freja and Arizona’s cheeks and the beautiful buildings and cobbled streets of Antwerp. It is in these expressions of colour where we are reminded of where life truly is lived: in the faces of people and on the streets, not the clothes.

And it is in Freja’s face where the true beauty of this editorial lies. In the third and eleventh pictures there is almost an absence of self-consciousness; you can tell by where her eyes are focused – it’s as if the camera wasn’t there and we’ve just caught her in a moment.

To be simultaneously aware and unaware of the presence of the photographer and crew is no mean feat for any model. Freja’s ability to do just that only reminds me of how amazing she is at her job. (Not neglecting Arizona, she is wonderful in this shoot as well – but not quite on the same level just yet!)

Lucinda Chambers and Mario Testino have done an astounding job: by tying these clothes back to classic Dutch and Flemish paintings, Chambers has put the clothes in an historical context. This is further backed up by Testino’s photography, which mimics the light in those classic paintings faithfully: soft, cool light and deep shadows – while not ground-breaking it does the job perfectly. It certainly feels more challenging than his usual commercially-oriented work. A lovely editorial.