Inspiration: Viviane Sassen

I have neglected this site for so long. When I started The Style Factory my main intention was to write articles, create stories and document it with pictures, but I no longer have time to write, and it would be terribly sad to see my blog come to an end for that reason alone.

Perhaps I’m taking a break from writing, but still love imagery and music, they have always been my main source of inspiration, and so my blog returns! I will be blogging more from now on, continue to showcase songs or playlist, and photos of all things that catch my eye, inspire me and influence my work as stylist.

I am not a writer, am just really enthusiastic about sharing what I find beautiful and interesting.

Today I want to share some images from Viviane Sassen‘s work. Her use of  colour and geometric shapes, and art and fashion combined create such striking photos, she is more than a photographer, she is an artist, one of many whose work I admire and find divine.

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Fashionable Alice

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Alice is probably the most iconic character having transitioned from a children’s book heroine to muse of many influential artists; film and art directors, fashion designers and stylists, who have reinvented her look over and over again.

The new exhibition The Alice Look at V&A Museum of Childhood marks the book’s 150th anniversary, It explores Alice’s wardrobe from follower-of-fashion to trend-setter through a selection of illustrations, several editions of the book, videos and garments. I found very interesting to see the evolution of her outfits over the decades in all the different publications of “Alice in Wonderland”by Lewis Carol, also in rare editions of the book in other countries.

I enjoyed the exhibition, but I would have liked to see more garments inspired by this iconic character, such as the Vivienne Westwood A/W 2011 Collection,  and the dresses designed by John Galliano for the “What you waiting for” video by Gwen Stefani. The concept for the video is “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland”and “Through the Looking Glass”, and the outfits and styling are incredible. In 2011 Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland the costumes are also very interesting and beautiful.

 Alice Liddell  has strongly inspired fashion and will continue to influence contemporary and future artists, and be a famous character  among generations to come.

 Vogue Shoot by Annie Leibovitz with Natalia Vodianova as Alice Liddell in 2003.

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Gwen Stefani in What You Waiting For video in 2004.

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Mia Wasikowska in Alice In Wonderland movie by Tim Burton 2010.

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Anne Hathaway in the Alice in Wonderland movie.

Anne Hathaway in the Alice in Wonderland movie.

Vivienne Westwood A/W 2011 Red Label Collection.

Vivienne Westwood A/W 2011 Red Label

Wild Bluebell women fragrance by Joe Malone launched in 2011, inspired by Alice.

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Window Display at the Temperley London  store in February 2015 during Fashion Week, to launch their A/W15 collection.

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 The Alice Look exhibition at V&A Museum of Childhood runs until November 1st.

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I am only happy when it rains

I always  think of London as a cold, grey and wet City, it is exactly why I love living here so much.

Today was cold and rainy, and to me it was the perfect weather to go for a walk along London Bridge Pier and take  some pictures.

It was  all about shape and texture,  I also played with my camera settings to get faded and dreamy-like images,  some of these photos could almost be watercolour paintings.

I hope I captured some of the beauty the lovely winter lays over London.

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Happiness…this way!

It was Sunday morning, I did the usual thing when I woke up, checked Facebook. I scrolled down my newsfeed very quickly and the only thing that got my attention was one status; How to find happiness? It made me think about my personal happiness and inspired me to write this post.

Sometimes we lose motivation, get bored of our lives or what we do, make bad decisions that take us to a dark road, or we simply we face difficulties that consequently change our outlook on life. When we are in that state of mind it is easy to forget what being happy feels like, but the turning point is when we realise how short the days are, how quickly time is passing us by and here we are, spending our existence being miserable.

It is simpler than we think to switch that button on our brain to feel hopeful again, we just have to take baby steps and think of all the small things that make us smile.

How to find happiness? Well, I wish I had the right answer, but to me you find it when you decide to open your mind and appreciate everything around you, people; friends and family, and living; enjoying every day. When you wake up early enough to see the sunrise and all the amazing pinks and yellows in the sky, or when you read a book that totally changes your perspective on life, wearing your favourite outfit, listing to a beautiful piece of music, being in a room full of your loved ones, or even writing in your blog that has been forgotten for several months.

We live in an extraordinary universe, but we sadly spend too long with our eyes shut.

I take pictures of anything I find beautiful and inspiring, of what I love and appreciate about my every day life, and when I feel down I have these images to remind me how lucky I am for having such beauty around me.

This is how I find happiness!

A Beautiful Sunset, Lisbon

Reds and yellows in the sky

Sunflowers in Columbia Flower Market

Columbia Flower Market

My Sunday Morning

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A powerful message, a man standing in the middle of the street giving away his art.

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Berlin

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Wearing quirky sunglasses

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A cafe in France

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My Friends

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Sophie’s magical house in France

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Randomness

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Arty Shows

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The Sky

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Winter

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Montmartre, Paris

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Happy Notes, “The Paul Smith’s Exhibition” in London

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Surreal Places

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A candy sky in the early hours

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Yoga by the Sea

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Mexico City

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Being Playful

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Beautiful Architecture

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Dressing Up

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A Full Moon

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Live Music

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Interactive Art

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The Colour Pink

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A walk at night along the Southbank

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My Nephew

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London

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Into the Dark

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Paul Morrissey, Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin and Tim Buckley.

I was looking at some images of the 1960’s music scene for an article I wrote for  Airport-Magazine  next issue, in fact I was looking at the photo above while listening to one of my playlists in Spotify when Golden Arrow by Darkside came on, suddenly my mood changed, this song and the photo made me think of other obscured songs, talented artists whose lives might have ended in tragedy and troubled souls.

I thought of Pink Floyd instantly because Darkside’s music reminded me of some songs by the group, I even wondered whether the name Darkside and their experimental sound was inspired by “The Darkside of the Moon” by Pink Floyd, but anyway, that’s a different subject. I then thought of Syd Barret, who was Pink Floyd’s original lead singer but  left the band in 1968 because of his mental illness.

Then Janis Joplin came to my mind, the 60’s queen of psychedelic blues who sadly died in 1970, also Hendrix, who died a couple of weeks before Janis, and then of course  the troubled soul of Jim Morrison.

As  I continued to listen to music, depressing but beautiful songs I searched for imagery that represents the mood I’m in,  although some photos don’t related to each other they all bring nostalgia and even sadness, a dark and uneasy feeling, which I find in Diane Arbus  photography.

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Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett

Pink Floyd in 1970

Pink Floyd in 1970

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Janis Joplin

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Jim Morrison on stage in 1968

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JIm Morrison

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Jimi Hendrix

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Glastonbury Music Festival in Pilton, Somerset, [Circa. 1960/197

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Mia Farrow by Diane Arbus

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Twins by Diane Arbus

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Flower Girl Wedding 1964 by Diane Arbus

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Diane Arbus

What Happened Next on Miles Aldridge’s Photography

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How to Catch a Thief 1955

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A few days ago while watching Alfred Hitchcock’s How to Catch a Thief  I found myself thinking about the extraordinary career he had, he was the master of suspense and had a very distinctive editorial style, the way he framed shots to maximise tension and the unpredictable, the violence, crime &  twisted endings of his films were his trademark, he also had an obsession for  blonde female characters as the leading role.

As a child I used to watch Hitchcock’s TV series every Monday at midnight while my parents were in bed, I was only 7 but I got hooked instantly and as I got older I continued to watch his films. I’m only one of many fans who loves and admires his work,  he has been a major influence to many artists and not only in the film industry but also in photography.

Miles Aldridge is an English photographer, he has been producing incredible imagery for over 13 years, he has done fashion editorials for Numero, The New Yorker, Pop, Chinese Vogue, American Vogue, Vogue Russia and especially Vogue Italia, in which his work has consistently appeared since 2000.

There is an element of Hitchcock’s style in Aldridge’s photography and Miles himself has openly said the acclaimed director has been a source of inspiration for his work, I believe it is his predominant use of  glamorous and beautiful women, an obsession which Hitchcock had, or perhaps it is the feeling that’s captured in his rich and colourful photos, a sensation that something disturbing or chaotic is about to happen, just like in Hitchcock’s films.

There are two exhibitions of Miles Aldridge’s work in London,  I Only Want You to Love Me at the Somerset House until the 29th September and Short Breaths, at the Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery until the 28th September,  It would be a shame to miss them.

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Cabaret, Vogue Italia 2006

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Diva, Numero 2005

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Dance Study, Paradis 2008

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Lie Wen for Vogue Italia, February 2011

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So Poetic, Vogue Italia 2006

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Le Manage Enchante, Numero 2007

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Immaculee, Numero 2007

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Home Works, Vogue Italia 2008

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A Dazzling Beauty, Vogue Italia 2008

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Dinner Party, Vogue Italia 2009

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A Precious Glam Num.2 2011

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Cat Story, Vogue Italia 2008

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Blooming, Vogue Italia 2007

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Miles Aldridge

In Couture but I’m a Rebel

May is being without a doubt a crazy month for me, no time to blog is rather frustrating but I had to do a quick post on this, simply because I had to express how much I love this shoot in Vogue Paris May, it’s the clothes, styling, model and concept all combined.

As someone who has spent most of her 20’s dressed and influenced by the 1980’s I obviously appreciate the greatness of the punk movement and early 1980’s fashion in every shape and form, it was created by and aimed to rebels, such as  the one and only, Vivienne Westwood. I also do love what followed up, garments covered in gold and silver  sequins, pad shoulders, wild hair and list goes on.

This shoot has so many elements from that era, punk, rock & roll and glam and the beautiful Freja Beja Erichsen works each look so well, my favourite are Zuhair Murad’s gold and white feather cape and Margiela’s all in silver, sadly I wasn’t mad on the cover, purely because when I think of couture, punk and rebels I have a more fierce cover image in mind.

Vogue Paris May…you rocked this month though.

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Atelier Versace

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Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda

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Iris Van Herpen Couture

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Valentino haute couture

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Zuhair Murad Couture

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Giambattista Valli couture

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Maison Martin Margiela ligne Artisane

Vogue Paris May Cover

Vogue Paris May Cover