Hello from a budding feminist fashion photographer :D

Hello Susanna, and Sonnet,

We had a chat a few weeks ago on the phone, Sonnet recommended I contact you after I spoke to her at her Glamour of Italian Fashion curator’s talk. I’ve just booked my ticket for your Horst P. Horst curator’s talk which reminded me to send you this email…

So yeah, if you remember I would like to organise a meeting about feminism and fashion photography. Perhaps you’re familiar with Caitlin Moran’s How to be a woman, specifically chapter 11, I get into fashion where she recounts the horrors of her fashion shoot …

Well yes anyway, how I’d like to get you involved…

So I’d like to thank you Susanna, for your idea of organising something a little more open and invite a few other speakers and members of the public. Perhaps even something along the lines of a cafe scientifique [1] – I’m not so keen on those traditional formats where a line-up of 4-5 speakers go on and on at an audience 🙂 Whatever the format, I’d be delighted to involve you in this and Sonnet too. I’m planning on inviting some other Fashionistas and Feminists, sounds like a riot eh! 🙂 🙂 I’m thinking about sometime in the late summer early autumn. As for where it’ll be held… well that’s what I’ve been thinking about over the last few weeks…

As part of my plan to pursue this concept of feminist fashion, and specifically my ambitions as a photographer of such, I realised that it would be a great thing to set up a photo studio specific to the pursuit of feminist fashion. Then it occurred to me that it needn’t be only a photographic studio, it would also be a fantastic opportunity to sell clothes in a veign similar to the old kensiongton market (do you remember it?) by feminist designers, here’s just one (kinda extreme) example that springs to mind: [2]

As you can tell these are all very loose ideas at the moment… I have a somewhat infamous [3], one might even say “disobedient”, reputation of making use of empty buildings in central London. I’ve long had my eyes on one large building opposite the old commonwealth / new design museum on Ken High St… I have spoken with someone from Minerva (the property company who own it at the moment) and am just about to follow up with them now, to ask nicely if we can use it for a few years while they get their planning applications etc sent in, rather than resort to those squatter tactics of my youth 😀 I’m sure that it’d be a great help in negotiations further down the line if it were possible to get some form of endorsement from the Victoria & Albert. I’m planning on approaching other institutions as well..

Well, thanks for taking the time to read this somewhat rambling email, I know I’ve gone off at several tangents but I trust you get the gist of what I’m getting at, which, in case you haven’t, is essentially this:

Please let me know if/when you might be available between late August and October to participate in one of the opening discussions of a feminist fashion laboratory.

Kind regards,

Simon McAndrew.

[1] http://www.cafescientifique.org/

[2] http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24589-from-genocide-to-african-catwalks-how-rwandan-women-are-building-their-lives-and-the-fashion-industry

[3] http://www.vogue.it/condenet/pages/sfogliabile.aspx?id=2010-10-20#page=78a

Last week I had a brainwave: I’m going to start a new section on my blog where my sent emails double up as blog posts, in fact I’m considering giving up emails all together… This will be the first such email, I’ll only include your reply at your specific request, however subsequent messages sent from me are likely to make your reply (or lack thereof) intuitable (intuitable: is that really a word? 🙂 One could allude to the confluence of private/public spheres but I’d never be quite so pretentious! 😀 😀


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