2012 July

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Welcome to ” My Story So Far”.

This is the beginning of an exclusive photographic insight into how i became who I am today, from not only being a lover of fashion, but a lover of hair and all things clothes wise, plus how I learnt to tame, preen, and enhance my naturally curly locks (my hair skills back then were no thanks to my mother, who use to comb it as straight as possible into a side parting until it dried straight and I was convinced I had straight hair until one day I said I wanted hair like Doyle in the Professionals played by British actor Martin Shaw and could I get my hair permed – I actually wanted to look like him generally – to which the reply came, “you’ve got naturally curly hair, you don’t need a perm”.

See Martin Shaw as Doyle from The Professionals, below

Photobucket My mother has poker straight hair and for years i was stuck on the idea she was jealous of my curls hence the reason she would tame them away, it turns out she just didn’t know what the hell to do with them (bless her!!!)    

So today I’m catapulting you straight back to 1979 when I was 12/13 years old. This is me in Guernsey on a camping trip with my local Youth Club. The reason I’m not going any further back in time is because on looking at older photos of myself I realised that my dress sense was decided more by my Mother than myself and it was around this age that I was developing my own style, so I consider it to be far more interesting. I may post a collection of pics of me from a very early age, should the demand arise…. 

Fashion Observations: Check out the burgundy tank-top! The top of my Afro comb poking out of my right back pocket! My haircut known as “The Birds-nest” ( I was nurturing it into “The Doyle”….)!! The beginnings of bum fluff on my top lip!! The boy next to me with his Ski jumper on- his particular one had reindeer on it!! The blond boy in the background with his red Adidas tracksuit!!

Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaats the 70’s (well, almost the beginning of the 80’s too) !!

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This is my first ever editorial photo shoot, it was shot by Corinne Day for The Face magazine in 1994. The images in this shoot, especially the mohawk with the pink ends launched my career in the fashion industry. 

From this I was then booked for my first shoot with Italian Vogue, and was asked to replica the image with the pink ends.

We did one picture of the model lying on a sofa. When Corinne asked her to move her leg she didn’t respond. We thought she’d fainted, but it turned out she’d fallen asleep. Needless to say, her modelling career was a little short lived. 

On putting this post together, I’ve just realised I was dip dying 18 years ago! 

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NEIL MOODIE’s OLYMPIC PREPARATION

With the London 2012 Olympics literally hours away, we’d like to present to you this specially made Moodiementary about Neil’s preparation for the Games of his life. 

Tipped to win his 1st ever gold, he’s spent years preparing, training, straining and dieting. This documentary takes you on the journey he’s been on from his days of picking up his first racket at the age of 3 and quickly creating a style of serve never seen before and never copied. This is also the first in sight into his tempestuous relationship with his first coach, who slowly went mad under Moodie’s own nose. He was known as the man of many lenses, but Moodie knew when it went one lens too far!!!!!

Ladies, gentlemen, youngsters and delinquents I give you…….

The Long Winding Road to the London 2012 Olympics- Tennis with Neil Moodie!

**Neil Moodie would like to thank Elmwood Tennis Club, Holland Road, NW10  and Babaolat, Slazenger and Sweatz Vests which he genuinely uses as part of his exercise regime and tennis kit** 

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Welcome to Moodie Thoughts. I’m not a journalist or a writer ( and have never claimed to be) but the idea with Moodie Thoughts is for me to tell you about things that move me, shake me and just generally inspire me. I hope I won’t bore you and please excuse any bad grammar. I did pass my English Language and Literature final exams at school, (known as “O LEVELS” back in the day) so I’m hoping that will stand me in fairly good stead, even though it was over 20 years ago.  I did do a grammar and spell check on this beforehand but i write how I speak so hopefully you’ll enjoy what I’ve written at least.

My Interpretation Of Beauty. ( Thanks to Lucien Freud) 

In May 2012 I managed to catch the last late evening opening of the amazing Lucien Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London. 

It was at 10pm and I thought maybe I was too tired to take it all in, plus having seen one of his previous exhibitions in London, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to see that I hadn’t seen already. 

I’ve always been a fan of his work/art and the first time I saw it in its full glory I was mesmerised by the intricate detail, and the special connection he had with his subjects or the objects he painted. 

This new exhibition blew me away.   Not so much with the work I hadn’t seen before, but down to the pure fact that this was much more of a study of various people throughout his life and his fascination with them, provoking him to paint them.  (The fact that it was at the portrait gallery was a clue I guess- derrrrr!) They were from all walks of life. One in particular I was and still am fascinated with being Leigh Bowery who I would regularly see doing the whirling dervishes in the many clubs I frequented in the 80’s and 90’s. I distinctly remember his first ever performance of “The Birth” at Kinky Gerlinky, which took me a few days to figure out if I thought it was genius or not. I decided it was, due to the pure preparation he must have put in to create this performance. 

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Moreover I was fascinated by the interpretation of what Freud was painting.  These in depth paintings of his lovers, friends and family not only show the psychological drama but his amazing observational skills with the use of unexpected colours to show off peoples skin tone and body contours, in whatever light he painted them in. 

Various shades of dusty Greys and murky greens were used to depict skin tone and the closer I looked at the paintings the more beautiful they became to me. I suddenly had a mini realisation (is that too over the top? But that’s how it felt! ) The super old clichéd saying “ Beauty Is in the Eye Of The Beholder” was becoming the most apparent I had ever felt. 

I’ve always loved raw, unexpected beauty! Working with Corinne Day when I first went freelance, I was introduced to a beauty I knew existed but couldn’t remember any fashion magazines I would buy, ever championing it. Corinne loved imperfections and individualisms and through her early photography she pushed that through as part of her documentary style.  (A prime example- Kate Moss’s crooked teeth and slightly bow legs) 

Following the recovery from her brain tumour,  Corinne’s work evolved as she returned to taking fashion pictures.   She started to digitally re-touch her pictures and slowly people were pointing out this wasn’t what they expected from her and they weren’t convinced they liked it as much as her earlier rawer work. 

During her absence from fashion photography, fashion imagery had taken a turn into retouching overload and we were suddenly seeing celebrities and especially fashion models looking hyper real.   Corinne found this to be weird in the beginning hence her initial dropout from fashion but on her return she decided to embrace the retouching world taking the stance of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”.  I don’t think she was ever comfortable with this decision but it was something she didn’t   really have the energy to fight against for a second time. 

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As I’ve continued to work in the fashion and beauty industry, a certain type of beauty has drawn me in, that isn’t so real anymore and not interested in imperfections. But on seeing the Freud exhibition I was reminded that beauty is not just about “perfect” beauty. In fact the more imperfections there are the more beautiful it is. As much as I love my job and the people I work with and for, I think I will always question, “What is beauty?” My early hair work was always based around reinterpreting and pushing the boundaries of beauty, and I’d just like to thank Lucien (he suddenly feels like a mate of mine…….. ) for reminding me to continue to do that.  

The `Lucien Freud Exhibition is showing in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas as of July 1st 2012 – Oct 28th 2012

http://themodern.org/contact/press/modern-art-museum-fort-worth-presents-lucian-freud-portraits-july-1-october-28-2012

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British born model Lily Donaldson was scouted by Select Model Management in 2003. 

The great niece of Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood and the daughter of  photographer  Matthew Donaldson, Lily rose to quick fame as a top model of her own accord, landing campaigns for Jil Sander, Dior, and Burberry. 

In 2009 she was named as one of the top 30 models of the 2000’s by French Vogue . 

Following a serious horse riding accident in 2011, Lily has made a full recovery and is once again gracing the pages of Vogue with her distinct British look.  

I’ve worked with Lily on many shoots since she began modelling. ( See pics above- 1 from Corinne Day, 1 from Tom Craig, and 1 from Jem Mitchell)  We’ve been on numerous fun trips together, the most memorable one being last year to the Swedish Island of Gotland for British Vogue. We stayed at the Hotel Furillen that sits on a former limestone quarry. Its an eco friendly, minimalist hotel that from the outside you cannot tell whats going on inside. Built from local materials and designed to blend into its surroundings, Lily and I agreed, its the place to go for total solitude to write your autobiography.  It barely gets dark there so you have to remember to block out all the light, and they have bikes to borrow so you can wander off around the island, oh and the food is incredible too.  All in all quite an experience. 

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP.

I wanted to go to art school. I loved to draw and paint but i also liked the idea of either being an archaeologist or an architect.

HOW DID YOU END UP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW.

I was scouted in Camden town, at the market with a friend of mine.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IF YOU WEREN’T YOU?

My mum! 🙂

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

On a plane…

and between NYC and London.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN YOUR CITY WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would slow NYC down a little bit!

WHAT ARE YOU INTO RIGHT NOW ( MUSIC, FASHION , ART,  FOOD)

Food. I really love to cook and to eat, one of the best cities to eat is Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE BESIDES WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Jamaica! Jerk chicken everyday 🙂

WHAT MUSIC WERE YOU INTO GROWING UP – ARE YOU STILL INTO IT NOW?

Reggae, Neil Young, Bob Dylan…still into it 🙂

WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNER THAT YOU WOULD WEAR?

I love Vivienne Westwood because aside from her obvious talents for design, she’s a really inspirational character.

WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO NEXT?

Peru!!

Check out the Hotel Furillen website by clicking here.

NEXT TUESDAY’S Q & A IS WITH THE NEW HAIRDRESSER EXTRAORDINAIRE ON THE BLOCK,  JAMES PECIS

Port Eliot Festival Saturday 21st july- Styling Session Day With Stephen Jones

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So today was the Bumble and Bumble Styling Session day in collaboration with brilliant Milliner Stephen Jones.  Based on the amazing paintings in Lady St Germans House, by Sargent, Van Dyck and Hogarth, Stephen first sketched each person on his chaise, having being inspired by the persons resemblance to anyone of the paintings. We then interpreted this into real life by recretaing the hairstyles he had sketched.

Some of those lucky enough were then photgraphed by genius fashion photgrapher David Sims, who happened to be located right next door to the Bumble marquee.  (These incredible sketches and photographs will be shown at a later date via Bumble and Bumble- I will let you know in the near future when and where you can see them).

In total, myself and my team created 32 looks from 10am – 6pm. Here’s a small selection of people I managaed to snap myself, in between doing hair.

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Bumble also created a limited edition of their coloured powder sprays especially for the festival. Again, inspired by the paintings and guided by Stephen the colours they created were Mint Green, Peach, Pink and Lavender.  I’ve  attached some photgraphs of people who were at my braiding masterclass the day before where, after braiding their hair we accentuated the plaits with the use of these coloured sprays.

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I’m hoping, as do a lot of people who had the spray put into their hair, that Bumble and Bumble decide to add these limited edition colours to their permanent range. We LOVED THEM!
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