Beautiful Photography

Mr Peter Lindbergh (1944) is the epitome of a rebellious spirit. He single-handedly changed the face of fashion photography, pushing boundaries and setting new standards along the way. The world-renowned German pioneer received his education in the early 1960’s at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts, where he nurtured his admiration for Vincent van Gogh. Relocating to the French village of Arles for a year, he literally walked in the Dutch painters’ footsteps. A move that reveals not just mild affection but true passion.

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After moving to Düsseldorf in 1971, Mr Lindbergh switched his focus from painting to photography. He quickly made a name for himself, joining news magazine Stern along with fellow photography rebels Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin and Hans Feurer. It was around this time Mr Lindbergh developed an unusual sense of individuality, revolutionizing fashion photography with his timeless, cinematic images.

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In the glamorous universe of VOGUE, Vanity Fair and W, he became known for his humanist approach and the idealization of women. It is the responsibility of photographers, he said, “to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.” I assume that includes pink birds with bowler hats…

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Mr Lindbergh launched the careers of supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford, all beaming with youthful joy on his famous January 1990 VOGUE UK cover. To this very day, he continues to be a force of nature redefining the standards of beauty in the fashion world and beyond. A rebellious spirit with an unusual character, indeed.

Beautiful Pink Fashion Trend

Pink has been #rebranded. Once a symbol of dated gender binaries, pink is now the color of powerful optimistic statements — Trump-shading pussy hats, shapely, multiethnic Barbie dolls, a cosmetics company that values realism over illusion. Those of us who cast aside our bubble gum pink paraphernalia the moment we grew old enough to shop for ourselves — and those of who still loved the hue but grew sick of the vaguely offensive “girly girl” associations — now have reason to reach for our rose-colored glasses.

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Beautiful Color Red

Being Valentine’s Day I have the color red on my mind. On Valentine’s Day, red is everywhere.

red-caveCave art paintings of Lascaux in France

If any color can stake a claim to be the oldest, it is red. We’ve been seeing red since our neolithic days. It is the most primary of primary colors – the very blood in our veins is red.

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So how did red become the color of love? 400 years ago in 17th-century France, red was a color of power. Red was always a color associated with palaces, with Versailles, in fact Louis XIV put a little red into every step he took. He was a man who was very proud of his legs. Known as having gorgeous legs and he wore all kinds of fashion that would show them off. Louis wore knee-length tight pants and beautiful silk stockings. His heels — which were quite high for a man — were not just red, but scarlet.

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Red was an expensive color in 17th-century France because at the time, the dye was made from a little bug found in Mexican cactus, the cochineal. Soon nobles all over Europe were painting their heels red. Red was chic, flashy… and expensive.

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Nilda and Acopia women dying yarn red

These white bugs produced a potent red dye so sought-after by artists and patrons that it quickly became the third greatest import out of the “New World” (after gold and silver), as explains Victoria Finlay in A Brilliant History of Color in ArtRaphaelRembrandt, and Rubens all used cochineal as a glaze, layering the pigment atop other reds to increase their intensity. A non-toxic source for red pigment, the cochineal bug is still used to color lipsticks and blush today.

The bottom fell out of the bug market in the middle of the 1800s, when synthetic dyes were invented. Previously, red was only for the rich who could afford the expensive insect dye. In some cultures, the privilege of wearing red was reserved exclusively for the powerful. When you saw someone wearing red in Japan or Italy, the person was of high status.

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Toulouse-Lautrec – The Box with the Golden Mask

Today Red has many faces and is the color of extremes. It’s the color of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure. Our prehistoric ancestors saw red as the color of fire and blood – energy and primal life forces – and most of red’s symbolism today arises from its powerful associations in the past.

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Felix Vallotton – La Chambre Rouge

Red can be a naughty color — red-light districts and bordellos. It is both the color of Satan and the color of the Roman Catholic Church. Red is often associated with divinity; medieval and renaissance paintings show Jesus and the Virgin Mary in red robes. Red is for happiness — Indian brides get married in red saris. Red for good luck — the one-month birthday of a Chinese baby is celebrated with red eggs.

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I’ll leave it with this though. In 1888, Vincent Van Gogh wrote that he “sought to express with red and green the terrible human passions”. Ancient, complex and representing extremes – red is nothing if not passionate. Perhaps Van Gogh would have seen red, should he have lived long enough to see the reds in his paintings starting to fade away.

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Vincent Van Gogh – Field of Poppies

 

 

 

Beautiful Architecture Meets Color

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What do you get when you mix Architecture, Symmetry, Minimalism, Fashion, Friendship and the most Perfect Color Palettes? An ongoing image series titled Other On, produced by two talented photographers – June Kim and Michelle Cho.

There is a strong sense of duality at play in all of these images – although perfectly composed and deliciously captivating, a heightened sense of intrigue and drama is achieved thanks to the subjects who almost always have their faces turned away from the camera. Add to the mix some pretty epic architecture and you’ve got yourself a killer photography series that will stay in my mind long after the ongoing internet vortex sucks it away from my screen.

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Beautiful Green

As today is St. Patrick’s Day it has me thinking about the color green. It’s not my favorite color but I do love nature where it’s everywhere, some people wear it very well and when it comes to interiors it has a quiet, moody feel about it. So I guess it all depends on the context in which it’s used. As I researched the color I came upon some beautiful renditions. Happy St. Patrick’s day to all who celebrate. For those who don’t, enjoy some fun trivia about Green.

The Meanings of Green
Since the beginning of time, green has signified growth, rebirth, and fertility. In pagan times, there was the “Green Man” – a symbol of fertility.  In Muslim countries, it is a holy color and in Ireland, a lucky color. It was the color of the heavens in the Ming Dynasty.

Today’s greens can be found in a wide range of objects: pea soup, delicate celadon glazes, emeralds, wasabi, and sage. The English language reflects some strange attributes: Would you rather be green with envy, green behind the ears, or green around the gills?

Global Meaning of Green

  • Green is universally associated with nature.
  • Green symbolizes ecology and the environment.
  • Traffic lights are green all over the world.
  • In China, Green may symbolize infidelity. A green hat symbolizes that a man’s wife is cheating on him.
  • In Israel, green may symbolize bad news.
  • In Japan, the words for blue and green (ao) are the same.
  • In Spain, racy jokes are “green.”

Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride
by Jan Van Eyck , 1434
The bride in this Renaissance masterpiece wears green as a symbol of her fertility. She is slouching in imitation of pregnancy, thus indicating her willingness to bear children.

In Celtic myths the Green man was the God of fertility.
Later in the millennium, Early Christians banned green because it had been used in pagan ceremonies.
Nevertheless, as evidenced by Van Eyck’s 15th Century wedding portrait, the color green was the best choice for the bride’s gown because of its earliest symbolism.

Of note is the continued symbolism attached to the color in the latter part of this century. Anyone who chooses a green m & m (an American candy which contains an assortment of different colored chocolate sweets) is sending a somewhat similar message. Green has been reinterpreted by late 20th century American culture to signify a state of heightened sexuality in this specific situation.

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Jan Van Eyck: The Arnolfini Wedding, circa 1435
Jan Van Eyck: The Arnolfini Wedding, circa 1435

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Beautiful green velvet furniture
adds a quiet moodiness and softness
to a room.

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Some people wear green very well

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…even in nature