I've been so excited and also nervous to show you guys these photos I shot for Chanel in Havana, of the Resort 2017 collection. I've never felt comfortable thinking of myself as a photographer (and still don't- something about it just makes me feel like a young girl trying on her mother's shoes) but getting these rolls of film back after my trip made me so happy and I don't think I've been proud of my work in a while. It might have nothing to do with my photos, as prosaic as that sounds, but having been in Havana Cuba with a bunch of great hardworking people for Chanel was insanely inspiring and I hope some of that energy somehow reverberated into my film camera because it was that magical. It was so surreal being in a city that is still living its history- something about the streets of Old Havana has stayed with me and I'm not quite sure how to put that into words. I'm so lucky to have spent a few sweaty and exhausting but unforgettable days with Angela (model and actress from Hong Kong) and the crew- thank you Olga and Chanel for letting me tag along to the city that time forgot. More photos to come.
Angela Yuen shot by me on a Canon AE-1 in Havana Cuba, wearing Chanel.
Hidden in the outskirts of Paris and cloaked in the guise of a uniform, nondescript row of buildings are the ateliers of the names Maison Massaro, Maison Lesage, Maison Lognon and Maison Michel. I was lucky enough to visit on my trip with Chanel with Angela last month (You'll be seeing much more of her in the coming posts) and discover the artistry that humbly produces extraordinary works of art for Chanel.
In Maison Lognon we arrived in pleat heaven. The place is stockpiled with rolls of cardboard that secretly house yards of fabric that have been pleated to perfection. Nothing is quite as satisfying as seeing a piece of tulle pressed between the templates and come out an accordion of intricate proportions, and trust me when I say that my description does the process no justice. I managed to catch this on video, so I'm excited to show you all that once its ready.
In Maison Michel (whose name probably rings a bell or two) we witnessed the crafting of one of their signature wool cat ear caps and how the shape of the hats (all made by hand) were moulded into seamless forms, from the boater to the panama.
In Maison Lognon we saw a room filled with wooden moulds of very famous feet and lusted over the shoes that graced the runways of Chanel. The atelier is quiet and its artists work at an industrial pace but their masterpieces are nothing but intricate and perfect, from the leathers chosen to the stitching on the sole.
Maison Lesage is the home of François Lesage's embroidery and the famous Chanel camellia flowers. Everything from feathers to sequins (to LED lights) are assembled by nimble hands and its hard to imagine the hours that go into making a large fabric seeing as even the camellia flowers take more than two hours on their own to bloom.
I can't begin to describe how grateful I am to have peeked behind the scenes, and the visits have heightened my appreciation for the hands that create the couture we have seen over the years. I'm excited to show you guys more photos from the trip, but bye until then!
It's always been a source of frustration for me that I haven't done enough on social media to support charitable causes, which is why I got pretty excited when asked by the Hong Kong Cancer Fund to support their Pink Revolution campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October- and all I had to do was put on my new favourite vintage boiler suit.
In Hong Kong alone, 1 in 17 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and it is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Pink Revolution is Hong Kong's largest and most comprehensive breast cancer awareness and fundraising campaign, and I think it's really critical to stress the importance of regular breast checks and support for the Fund's free breast cancer care services to support those who are fighting through it. If you're from HK, you can sponsor a Pink Recovery Pack sent to the bedsides of those who have just undergone surgery, and find more ways to support the Fund on their website including dressing pink on Friday October 21st.
I found this bubblegum pink dream of a jumpsuit in a vintage store in London but let's be honest, I would find any excuse to put this on. Join me on the 21st and bust out your favourite pink dress/jumper/accessories etc. to show your support for the cause :-)
My jumpsuit is vintage, and my shoes are from Axel Arigato. Photographed by my mum.
If you'd like to show your support for the cause on social media, feel free to use these hashtags:
I wasn't really sure how to share my photos from my trip to Barcelona in a way that would do the city any kind of justice. I didn't take too many to begin with, but I fell in love with Barcelona in a way that perhaps can only be conveyed through a complete sensory experience; red wine and some kind of tapas + sunshine and salt water + all of its beautiful colours + good spanish guitar if I'm going to be all Vicky Cristina Barcelona. But alas I can't do that (yet) on this website (quite frustrating, as everyone thought we would have flying cars by now and all i want to do is share my food with you guys) so I'm going to have to accept the limiting parameters of a blog and post these here for now... I guess they'll do :-) More on my trip as well as recommendations for food/drink/hotels/sightseeing etc. will all be posted with my digital photos, which my computer won't let me edit yet because of a disk problem. In the mean time, have a lovely weekend!! Let's all pretend we're in Barcelona eating seafood and swimming on the beach together.