Taiwan: Fashion Houses 101

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We’ve done the Taipei 101 many a time on our travels here in Taiwan, but for this outing, it’s the Fashion Houses in the 509m, bamboo styled building that are doing the business of being breath-taking.

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There’s certainly no expense spared in this complex of 101 floors, and the Fashion Houses of Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, TODs and Burberry certainly take this to heart and I’m drooling over the lavish and intricate window displays of the stores on the third floor with delicate floral backdrops, lush green cactus landscapes and hot-pink, candy-stripe balloons… That is, until I see the bejewelled and sparkling exteriors of the displays on the fourth. It’s worth walking around to appreicate the stores: they’re works of art – as well as powerhouses generating billions of dollars per year purely in attire for us to prance around in a feel pretty (or so I assume it feels to own any of these brands…). But, all joking aside, it’s a delicious rendering of advertising, and if it weren’t for the hawk-like, black-suited attendants intimidating my little self in the doorways, I’d probably take a couple of shots inside with my phone… As it is, I’d probably better not…

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Third Floor Displays.

Dolce & Gabbana Taipei 101

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Louis Vuitton Taipei 101

TOD's Taipei 101

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Fourth Floor Giants.

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Louis Vuitton Taipei

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Dior Taipei 101

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Burberry Taipei 101

The Fourth Floor Taipei 101

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It’s not just me however, who’s got the iphone out to do some gorgeous building papping, the locals are definitely into it to, and as I stroll around the twisted floors of shop after shop, there are people everywhere, from all over the world – posing for their photos in front of the public image of these global brands. It’s a powerful message for the effect that this kind of advertising has, that within what was once the tallest building in the world is housed these commercial, luxury brands that inspire such reverence and desire that couples will pose in front of their gleaming doors – no half-naked models required, Abercrombie.

I mean, please, even the food court is fancy, with its clever, light-dispersing wine glass chandeliers.

A little pretty architectural and advertising planning sure goes a long way.

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Sublime Creations: Maria Dragan Photography

‘Hide Me’ © Maria Dragan Photography.

Maria Dragan Photogaphy | Official Website | Vogue Italia 

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When I first met Maria two years ago, I was still a jittery fresher in the first term of University; then I was taken aback by that chance meeting with a determination you rarely see. I knew right then that not only did she know exactly what she wanted, but that she would chance every angle and opportunity to get there. Although relatively large for it’s size, in the small photography scene in Exeter I kept bumping into her work, so it’s simply an utter shame on my part that I haven’t taken the chance to write about her photography until now. For those of you who are afraid of writerly bias, I only ask that you to look at her work – I can promise it’s breathtaking.

Operating in the competitive, digital and world-wide market of the 21st century is no walk in the park for any industry, and no one, ever, said it’s easy to fulfil creative dreams of becoming a fashion photographer. But something of this heady mix of creativity and technology has brought Fashion and Wedding Photographer Maria Dragan from the quaint, South-West England city of Exeter to the attention of Vogue Italia, and having had the privilege of working with her this June, it’s not hard to see why.

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Maria’s a small, whirlwind force of ingenuity and competition on set; anything and everything becomes a tool for communication – and maybe it’s no mere coincidence that, being trained in Journalism: she has an eye for a good story. There’s nothing impersonal about her work either. Despite implications that in commercial modelling the model is merely a white-blank tool, that the make-up artist is only there to serve a purpose, there’s nothing of that sense of distance in Maria’s work. The result of taking part in styling, make-up artistry and really getting to know the model? The air on set could ignite with collaborative energy. Watching her work, it’s hard to believe anyone could be so relaxed even under what is obviously a serious dedication to the right shot; that I can only put down to taking real joy in your work.

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 If you, like me, want to see more of Maria’s stunning work check out her Facebook or Twitter!

I’d keep your eyes on this one, folks.

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All work is explicitly under © Maria Dragan Photography

Fashion (+) Illustration (=) Bliss

There’s something wonderfully paradoxical about fashion illustration as the endpoint of an artistic process. Clothing of the fashion circuit has it’s genesis in the same  medium as the conclusion of these’s artist’s works; for these artists, the illustration is the piece. Hana Müller and Sabine Pieper’s illustations both capitalise upon and play with their relation to the fashion development process; Pieper’s in her use of material like swatches on a designer’s board, Müller’s in her focus on a character creation that harkens back to the good old process of branding.

The Seductive Monochrome:

You may know her better from her online presence as Myltan from days of old, but Swedish fashion illustrator Hanna Müller is moving up into the big corporate world of art and exhibiting from 11 May – 14 July 2012 at Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion. Working in aquarelle and ink (and always by hand) her smooth lined illustrations are simplistically and rather stunningly, beautiful. Granted, it helps that her subjects are model-esque figures clothed in a style blatantly aiming for high-fashion, but her soft, muted-tone shading and barely-there use of colour strikes a cool and sophisticated balance in her work.

Stalk @ http://loudmajor.com/myltan/

The Colour Explosion:

Sabine Pieper, also exhibiting this May with Müller, works in fashion and illustration from Berlin, and her mixed media creations are a sensual experience to kill for. Abstract and leaning heavily onto the art side of illustration, her work is an eclectic haven of rich colours, fabric, thread, and photographic manipulation. Her Vlisco ‘Delicate Shades’ campaign, 2011 [read more about it from her interview] showcases the exceptional innovation of her work and having established herself in commercial world, as well as making the foray into print, Pieper is moving swiftly up on the illustration circuit.

Stalk @ http://sabinepieper.com/

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What a beauty to behold… Ladies and gentlemen: paint me green, I’m dying of creative jealousy. x

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China: Flowers, TUESC

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This wouldn’t be my photoblog if I didn’t stick in some photos of flowers.

How beautiful are these pink beauties?

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of taking photographs of them.

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