Chinese New Year Chat

CNY

Happy Chinese New Year!

Lent has begun, and so has the auspicious year of the Ram/Goat!

🐑🐑🐑🐑

///

The turning 23 consolation party is over, as is the Valentine’s chocolate binge-ing cry-fest, and all I have left are several empty, depressingly essay-less Word documents and a flabby post Christmas body. Seems to me like this horrible mixture of Lent and CNY is as good a time as any to make some resolutions to knuckle down and to work hard.

Have a good year folks.

.

Advertisements

Taiwan: Fashion Houses 101

.

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.

.

.

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…

.

Third Floor Displays.

Dolce & Gabbana Taipei 101

.

Louis Vuitton Taipei 101

TOD's Taipei 101

.

Fourth Floor Giants.

.

Louis Vuitton Taipei

.

Dior Taipei 101

.

Burberry Taipei 101

The Fourth Floor Taipei 101

.

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.

.

.

.

.

Follow on Bloglovin

Sublime Creations: Maria Dragan Photography

‘Hide Me’ © Maria Dragan Photography.

Maria Dragan Photogaphy | Official Website | Vogue Italia 

.

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.

.

.

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.

.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

.

 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.

.

.

.

Follow on Bloglovin

All work is explicitly under © Maria Dragan Photography

Statement Shoes: China

razz china shoes

It has to be in for when?!

When I came back from China last summer and got a plea for the editors of Razz My Berries to submit something for their summer edition ‘Style and Drift’, I hadn’t picked up a 2B pencil, let alone a paintbrush for about two years. Still, I knew I wanted to draw something. But I was also terrified that two years of artistic hibernation would have killed all my paint-soaked brain cells. The article was written. The equipment was hauled out dusty and mouldering from my cupboard. I had a blank page in front of me, and I had to do something with it.

Razz Shoe 2 Cycling Beijing paint edit
Razz Shoe 3 - Great Wall paint edit

Razz Shoe 1 - Emei Mountain 3099m Paint edit

And OK, so it’s not some of my best work; I was clearly out of practice and evidently, I hadn’t worked up the knowledge of post-editing (which the wonderful digital age has provided us with) quite yet. Those lines were dragged out, kicking and screaming, by the stress of a looming deadline. But as a rough and ready, quick blast illustration of some genuine fashion articles from the streets, mountains and walls of China? I’m fairly pleased, actually! To top it all off, the magazine gave me the OK and took my work off to be formatted and edited.

Clearly the ability to draw doesn’t die, it just sleeps quietly for a little while, and is, understandably, cranky when you wake it.

Don’t let your creativity hibernate.

Get in there and poke it with a stick.

I promise the results will be interesting, if nothing else.

.

(I hope the bemused ladies who let me photograph their scandalous shoes are proud too.)

Follow on Bloglovin

Article written for Razz My Berries Magazine |Issue 12. Words and illustrations my own.