Kirsty Mitchell – photographs from the Garden of England

Kirsty Mitchell - About Wonderland - Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake

If you are a photographer the web is an ideal place to share your labours of love – that is assuming your site gets found among the endless virtual real estate that is the online realm, and then that the ever updating Google search algorithms treat you kindly. Because with a very modest digital camera pretty much anyone can set up shop online as a hopefully-professional photographer. And digital cameras of a very high standard indeed can be purchased on quite modest budgets such is the advancement of digital photographic technology. But a high-resolution digital camera and a web-site will only get you so far – to stand out from the pixelated crowd you need art and you need a distinctive vision. Kirsty Mitchell

Kirsty Mitchell certainly has vision. I especially enjoy the staged scenes of dissipated women among the twilight flora – both as one, as nature. It is not all nature though – human-made paraphernalia strews itself in some shots but in the main hauteur-horticulture pervades.

Kirsty Mitchell is from Kent in England – Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England’ – so perhaps then these scenes are inevitable. On her website she explains a background in art and fashion – photography being a relatively recent artistic endeavour following an illness in 2007 causing her to retire her fashion career. Her fashion internships were at the design studios of Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan– what designers to be interned to! As well as a gallery of her work her photographs can be purchased from her website store. Finally she presents a diary of her work. With photography words are not really that necessary? You reader will have a different response to her work than me, and even if we are of similar mind (which really is doubtful!) the pictures will still say far more than any words I could write about them.

Kirsty Mitchell Dryad

Dryad

This post then is a humble pitch for her work – to go and see for yourself. Unlike some photography blogs which present watermarked and near-thumbnail images, on this blog the photographs are available to see full-screen, fully saturated. I present a smattering here which also can be viewed in greater size if you click on the image. What do you think? Does she stand out from the sound of the crowd?I stated that I think she has a distinctive vision – but does she have art?

Kirsty Mitchell The White Witch

The White Witch

Kirsty Mitchell A Most Beautiful Death

A Most Beautiful Death

The 18th Century Back in Fashion – Grand Trianon Exhibition

Thierry Mugler RTW 1992-3

Thierry Mugler RTW 1992-3

Pierre Balmain 1954

Pierre Balmain 1954

The 18th Century Back in Fashion is an exhibition at the Palace of Versailles’ Grand Trianon showing now through to October 9.

This exhibition in their words ‘presents in a poetic confrontation costumes from the 18th Century and masterpieces of haute couture and fashion design from the 20th and 21st centuries’.

An online brochure is available detailing the exhibition in full – the pieces included and the rationale behind them.

The emphasis here is on the French 18th century and its influence on haute couture since that time to the present day but an influence out of France, to the rest of Europe and the World.

Vivienne Westwood 1996 Les Femmes Collection

Vivienne Westwood 1996 Les Femmes Collection

Christian Dior 2011

Christian Dior 2011

Britain is represented perhaps unsurprisingly by Alexander McQueen and by Vivienne Westwood – you can relive their 1990’s haute couture creations again if this time not on the catwalk but the magnificent surroundings of the Grand Trianon.

Also featured are other haute-couture modern luminaries such as Karl Lagerfield, Balenciaga, Azzedine Alaia, Yohji Yamamoto, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Christian Dior – and more.

In addition to the gallery of fashion on show to be experienced is the museum space itself – The Grand Trianon and its Gardens, and The Cotelle Gallery.

Fashion accessories are not neglected either – removable lace sleeves, fans, gloves, clutch bags and shoes. And of course jewellery. All on view like the costumes themselves in these grand palatial rooms.

The exhibition is open every day other than Monday from noon to 6.30pm – very civilised hours! And if you are a European Union resident and under the age of 26 you go free.

As said there is a brochure which includes photographs of various pieces but this is no substitute for seeing them life-sized, though I don’t suppose we will get to touch them!

It is a fascinating fashion survey – of how fashion has changed over the last three centuries yet in other ways not changed at all.

18th Century - French court dress

18th Century – French court dress

Azzedine Alaia 1992 Spring Summer Ready to Wear

Azzedine Alaia 1992 Spring Summer Ready to Wear

Womens Tennis courted by British Fashion

Ana Ivanovic in Williamson

Following my Saturday afternoon rambling post regarding women tennis players on court in heels I thought about this venture between the Women’s Tennis Association and the British Fashion Council which is hung on the hook of this being Wimbledon’s 125th Anniversary and which was launched at the now annual Richard Branson Launch Party at London’s Kensington Rooftop Gardens, Thursday June 16.

British Fashion Designer luminaries such as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Hussein Chalayan were commissoined to produce pieces for the more curvier and athletic figures of the top-ranking globe-trotting tennis player.

This article in Vogue lists and provides photographs of all the designs.

A number of which were from Alexander McQueen including Britain’s own Laura Robson and Wimbledon 2004 Champion Russia’s Maria Sharapova. But these are definately the works of Sarah Burton and not the man himself – I like Sarah Burton’s work but are we losing the original McQueen Aesthetic?

Li Na sporting Giles Deacon and Gina Couture

Current World Number One, Caroline Wozniacki, featured in my blistering reverie post yesterday, is modelling a black Stella McCartney dress.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova sporting and with David Koma

Favourites of mine – and I mean dresses not tennis players! – included Matthew Williamson’s salmon coloured corset dress modeled by Swiss World Top Twenty Tennis Star Ana Ivanovic (who also shares her birthday with me – though I should add not year or even indeed and alas decade!).

David Koma’s two-tone dress for another World Top 20 this time Russian tennis-star Anastasia Pavluychenkova also made an elegant and stylish impression.

Current French Open Champion China’s Li Na was recipient of the most adventurous outfit wearing a Giles Deacon print dress and Gina Couture shoes.

The aim of this sporting-fashion union was to feature British designers, raise the off-court profile of the stars of women’s tennis, and further extend the link between the sport and fashion. With a desire expressed to extend further the links between fashion and sport with the London Olympics of next year a focus for this.

I welcome this and look forward the next sport to receive its high-fashion make-over.