Blumenfeld Does It Beautifully

The last few sunny days of the season are upon us and my goodness it’s been a delight this year, I have looooved the summer! To make the most of the last days of summer I figured I needed to get down to London to finally take a peep at an exhibition that was nearly ending. So, off I headed under the sunny skies to have myself a day out! Somerset House is by far one of my most favourite venues for exhibitions, this small but perfectly formed exhibition of iconic fashion photographer Erwin Blumenfeld was in the east wing, the same place as the Tim Walker exhibition that I blogged about in January. It’s a great, simple, elegant and informal space, I always love visiting.

Erwin Blumenfeld, 1897-1969, a Berlin born Jew, moved himself to New York City in 1941 and fast became a prolific photographer of his time, formulating his own recognisable style of playing with colour, light and manipulating his images. Becoming part of the explosion of press in the USA at the time, Blumenfeld worked for many big magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Life, Look and Cosmopolitan. In 1950, he was the highest paid Photographer in the world. This cute and stunning exhibition focused on some of the archives that were found in his studio, he left hundreds and hundreds of old original transparencies. Deteriorated and faded from time, the images were digitally reconstructed for the exhibition and printed in colours believed to be the same as the originals. Amazing.

His work wasn’t something I was over familiar with before my visit, although on seeing his work you realise just how many iconic photographs from fashion history were down to him. I adored the exhibition, I especially loved seeing the old images close up and seeing women without airbrushing, a real refresher. Blumenfelds work was beautiful, I saw a humour and an abstract surreal element to them, they seem utterly timeless but yet startingly modern. A super, sunny afternoon at Somerset House. 


  1. Jean Patchett, circa 1954
  2. Grace Kelly for Cosmopolitan cover, 1955, dress by Oleg Cassini
  3. Exhibition view
  4. Variants of a photograph published in US Vogue, 1950, dress by Jaques Faith, model Evelyn Tripp
  5. Exhibition view
  6. Advertising photograph for Elizabeth Arden, undated, model Evelyn Tripp
  7. Variant of ‘Do Your Part For The Red Cross’ Vogue cover, 1945
  8. Published Red Cross Vogue cover, 1945
  9. Variant of Vogue cover, 1953, dress by Traina-Norell, model Nancy Berg
  10. Published Vogue cover, 1953

The exhibition has now ended but visit Somerset House for details of other exhibitions.


Fashion Fantasy

‘Really, I only photograph what I love’ ~Tim Walker

Tim Walker’s fashion photography is stunning. The sheer beauty of his work fascinates me endlessly. I got to Somerset House just in the nick of time to catch his Story Teller exhibition at the end of its run. And boy am I glad I did. Absolutely gorgeous. Known for his surreal, fantastical and fairy tale imagery, Walkers work leaves me drooling. He never fails to play with our concept of scale and imagination. Over sized props, doll like models, dreamlike surroundings, childish, fragile and softly eerie, the narrative in all his work is what makes it stand out from other fashion photography. His work has an echo of the photographer Cindy Sherman, whose work I also love. This exhibition was like escaping into a wonderland for a while, room after room, plain white with wooden floors, filled with magnificent props and the most perfect display of his work. A much better space than the Valentino exhibition which I visited elsewhere in Somerset House.There were also a few short films of photo shoots, the most adorable was the doll one, with a fuzzy dreamy haze and Jewellery box music soundtrack. When I try to choose my most favourite images of Walkers, I can’t, there are way too many, and he has photographed Miss Moss many times too which makes choosing even harder. Here are some images of his that I love the most, and some shots of the props that were at the show. Divine.

Tim Walker, Kate Moss, 2012

Tim Walker, Spitfire, 2009

Tim Walker, Swan, 2002

Tim Walker, Giant Doll, 2012

Sugar crystalized roses and cream, photographed by Tim Walker, 2010

Tim Walker, Giant Snail, 2009Tim Walker, Mechanical Doll, 2011

Tim Walker, Pastel Cats, 2000

tim Walker, The Dress Lamp Tree, 2002

Tim Walker SpitfireTim Walker Swan CarriageGiant Doll


  • Kate Moss by Tim Walker, 2012
  • Blue Spitfire by Tim Walker, 2009
  • Swan by Tim Walker, 2002
  • Giant Doll by Tim Walker, 2012
  • Sugar crystallized Roses by Tim Walker, 2010
  • Giant Snail by Tim Walker, 2009
  • Clockwork Doll by Tim Walker, 2011
  • Pastel Cats by Tim Walker, 2000
  • Dress Lamp Tree by Tim Walker, 2002
  • Spitfire prop at the exhibition
  • Swan chariot prop at the exhibition
  • Giant doll prop at the exhibition

Visit Somerset House for details of up and coming exhibitions.

Life is Beautiful says Mr Brainwash

Sitting on a London bus the other month, my eyes were caught by the face of Kate Moss, huge billboard size, pop art style Moss. I made a mental note to head back to Holburn to photograph it one day soon, and that day came last week. I knew from investigating, that it was the work of Mr Brainwash to advertise his first UK show. As far as I knew the show ended in August, so I headed up there with just the expectation of seeing a larger than life Miss Moss, and nothing else. Lordy how my heart leapt when I saw that the show was still on, and it was free. Yipeeeee.

Mr Brainwash, (moniker of Thierry Guetta) delights and intrigues me. Parisian born, he was living in LA running a vintage fashion store whilst having an obsession with both street art and making amateur films. Most famous for being in the Banksy film ‘Exit through the Gift Shop’, Brainwash has always been clouded by controversy… he an elaborate prank of Banksy’s, is he Banksy himself unveiled, is he just a Banksy copycat? I like the fact that through a film that started out as a documentary about Banksy; street art’s most notorious and secretive character, a new street artist was created and is now more accessible and talked about than Banksy himself. Sceptics may debate that Brainwash only got where he is via Banksy and that he has very little to do with his own art except for the initial ideas, which are merely carried out by his creative team. This, is modern art, I like it, millions around the world like it, and Brainwash himself says he is “Banksy’s biggest work of art.” In a way he subverts the very genre he is a part of as well as art from the past. He takes iconic pop art and defaces it into a new message, he takes classic, fine artwork and puts the faces of modern icons in place of the Royals. He puts art that is meant for the street into an organised indoor area, he has moved street art on and offered it to the mainstream. Some may think his work is pretentious but I think it is the complete opposite. The show is free, you can take photos till your hearts content, there are no titles or wafty explanations, the artist himself is there to chat with and the art is just there for you to look at. End of. Of course I also love that Kate Moss features heavily in his work.

The old sorting office is the perfect location for this show, the massive bare industrial space looks ace littered with his pops of colour and humour. Oversized installations, stencil work, galleries of icons and Mr Brainwash himself was there on the day I visited, a great atmosphere was evident. The uplifting slogans and the bursts of colour that this show prescribe are perfect for an autumn day in London, I was having a particularly frowny day when I visited and it put a sense of cheer right back into me. Yay.


 The exhibition was reopened due to popular demand in October 2012, until further notice.

For more information check out;      and


A Prim & Proper Exhibition

A delighted gal was I, when my shop Prim Vintage Fashion was asked by The Forum in Norwich to dress the set for an upcoming exhibition! Jubilee Journalists, in the Fusion Digital Gallery at The Forum, showcases the Diamond Jubilee as seen by Norfolk’s younger generation. Over 30 young people received journalism training from The Eastern Daily Press, BBC Radio Norfolk and BBC Voices in a Norfolk County Council organised venture. The resulting films, stories and images are then projected on the huge digital screen that wraps around the walls inside of the gallery.

To add a little extra to the exhibit, I was asked to display a selection of dresses which would have been typical of young women in 1952 when the Queen took to the throne. I spent a fair while stressing about how best to show the era, short dresses, long dresses, daywear, cocktail gowns….I am pretty fussy when it comes to showcasing my shop and my style, but alas, when I arrived to dress the mannequins the dresses I had planned were too small for the slightly larger than described mannequins! So after a very quick rethink I opted to show 4 versions of the same classic 1950’s silhouette. Knee length dresses with nipped in waists and full skirts, lovely! 3 brightly printed cotton ones, I like the clash of the patterns next to each other, and one prom style sugared almond pink dress, so, although not the dresses I originally planned, the exhibit adds a pretty cool extra dimension to the work on the screens, without distracting from it. I ruddy adore dresses and putting them on display, my favourite part of owning a shop is the window displays, so taking part in this is a real big Yipppeeee!

Jubilee Journalists is free and is on until 25th August

Dresses from Prim Vintage Fashion

Dresses in the Basement

Ooh. My.

Such utter loveliness tucked away in the basement of London’s Selfridges!

Throughout the Selfridges summer celebration of all things lovely and British, they are showing a most adorable vintage fashion exhibition in their Ultralounge, which is tucked away in their basement, it’s so beautifully quiet and tucked away I felt like I had stumbled across a secret magical land of dressses….dreamy indeed.

This Britannica exhibition is curated by Judith Clark, a well known figure in the world of Fashion and Museology, she currently lectures on the Fashion Curation MA course at London College of Fashion…. her knowledge is massive.

This exhibition is small but most perfectly formed, it’s really dark, and lit to perfection, focusing on silhouettes and the lines of the clothing. It consists of seven installations inspired by 3 issues of British Vogue. In 1951, Vogue brought out a special ‘Britannica’ issue which was so popular they issued it again for the following two years in February, covering both The Festival of Britain and the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The issues looked specifically at Britishness, post war style, culture and Britain’s ability to embrace old traditional style with a fresh nod to the new. In February 1951 Vogue put on a fashion show in Selfridges which then went on to show in other cities in Britain, oh my, imagine how lovely it would have been to see that! These simple wearable patterns sketched in Vogue could be imagined in any fabric and so were considered applicable to many shoppers. The Coronation colour was named Champagne Pink, it would be used again and again to celebrate our ‘English Rose’ Princess Elizabeth.

The exhibition is seven mannequins, each in a scene, seven ‘living pictures’, each figure wearing one of the Vogue patterns, made up in a grey colour as they were first sketched. This exhibition is so enchanting, it’s like you stumble across a hive of gorgeousness and calm where time stands still, hidden under the rush of central London. This is so expertly styled, the dark shades of grey with splashes of pink are perfect, and the clash of quirky hats are by Stephen Jones, I’m not generally a hat gal, but crikey, these designs are amazing and a perfect dash of modernity. In the centre of the room is a large 1950’s stylised clock face, as a reminder of the formality of the early 50’s, dresses are wholly appropriate to certain times and places.

Each outfit shows a different time in the girls day…the first is her at 10am in a grey swing coat holding a silk scarf…

…the second is her gazing at a mannequin in a shop window in an amazing slim skirted suit which has velvet detailing…..

…the third scene is of a presentation of Vogue patterns in a department store…this dress is a heavy wool fabric with embroidered thistles and crowns….

….the fourth shows her at 5pm at a cocktail party in a full skirted dress with black polkadots….this is such an amazing dress, they all are, but this one looks especially beautiful in the spotlight…

…then we see her at 8pm going to The Ball in a regal, full length strapless, sparkle encrusted gown…

…the sixth scene shows her at an urban gallery in a great coat and trousers with a head scarf…

…the last is a country scene where she wears a wool check swing skirt and knitted top…

This exhibition is a small masterpiece, the styling, lighting, colouring and the clothes themselves are just plain beautiful. 1950’s fashions are timeless in their appeal, they just ooooze femininity and are always a shape women are drawn to, every single look in this exhibition translates to todays fashion and could be worn onto the streets above and look nothing but current, Vogue always gets designs so right.

This exhibition is on until 24th June 2012, it’s gorgeous, free and will fill your belly with pure gleeeee!