Saturday, 27 August 2011

Friend Friday: These Are A Few of My Favourite Things

This week we are having a Visual Friend Friday which is being hosted by Ashley Getting Dressed.  The assignment went like this:  "We're doing an upclose and personal look at a favorite clothing item. Instead of just photographing it as part of an OOTD post, show us the little details, the things you can't see from a far-away shot." 

Well ladies you've come to the right place for being shown all the little details of what someone wears as this blog has a fair chunk dedicated to the photographing of just that.   I have made taking an up close and personal look at the things I have in my wardrobe at close range through a camera lens a bit of a speciality. It is how The Taxonomy of My Wardrobe started out - me photographing my clothes and waxing lyrical about the devil in the details.  It has branched out since then but capturing the details in photos is still what gives me the most satisfaction.

I don't really have a single favourite clothing item.  But I am certainly attracted to clothing and accessories that have beautiful or unusual details to the point where it is obsessive.  So here is a selection of photos lifted from previous blog posts.  Warning - picture heavy post!

What I find interesting is how inanimate objects can be elevated to objects of desire through photography. This possibility is the premise of what most advertising relies on in order to sell us luxury goods. There is the approach where you drape it over a beautiful model and the viewer is tricked into imbuing the object with the desirability of the model. Or there is the approach of drawing out the beauty of the object itself.  There are photographers making good livings out of photographing the sparkle of diamonds, the curve and sheen of cars, the polished machinery of timepieces, the glossiness of paint, the contents of a bottle of expensive alcohol in order to lend them a crystalline clarity.

Part of this blog's purpose was to see if I could work similar magic taking photos of my own clothing and accessories to make them seem more desirable to me.  To advertise them to myself I suppose in order to quell the urge to shop!  It hasn't worked - once a sucker for beautiful things, always a sucker for beautiful things.

I also try to see in my own photos if I can be as egalitarian as I can and make an inexpensive item like a necklace from H&M...

...look as desirable as a designer necklace.

I like to celebrate what attracted me to a piece in my wardrobe in the first place, for instance I like taking interesting prints on fabric up close up as if they were a print on canvas or silk ready for framing, treating them as a work of art in themselves.  Prints are a big favourite to a detail lover like me whether they be prints in monochrome...

...or vibrant colour...

...or with three dimensional elements like draping thrown into the mix.

There is so much beauty to explore visually in the texture of luxurious fabrics and finishes.   The fine workmanship of lace...

...the slippery softness and sheen of silk...

...the intricacy of embroidery, the shimmer of sequins...

...daintily punched patterns in buttery suede, like a secret braille I can run my fingertips over when I put my hands in my pockets...

...then there is all the textural interest of fur, feathers and skins like leather, suede and all the faux imitations and alternative fabrications that, by miracle of weave, surface finish and dye, trick the eye into seeing the spots of a leopard, trick the fingertips into feeling the short brushed hair of ponyskin.

I like the idea that you could build up a picture of a woman by looking at the pieces she has chosen for herself in her wardrobe and seeing what attention she pays to the details. What do the embellishments we look for and are attracted to on the garments we love tell people about us, our tastes, our aesthetic preferences?  Are you someone who literally wears their preferences on their sleeve?

I clearly am someone who enjoys feeling decorated, like a present tied up with bows and string!

But I also like the stealthier approach of wearing items with hidden details that only I know about until they are revealed.  As a result I hanker after interesting linings in jackets, coats...

...and even bags.

I also enjoy taking pictures of clothes outside the context of me wearing them, just as objects in their own rights having a visual impact wherever I might happen to find them.  I like to allow myself see them as alternative things to just clothes.  A vintage top hat as a house ornament....

...a jaunty jacket as a car accessory and travel companion...

...and beautiful shoes as something to admire over morning coffee at the kitchen table.

Then again maybe I just think about it too much!


  1. What beautiful pictures. Love so many of these pieces.

  2. Love the lace and the shoes.
    have a grand weekend.

  3. What divine details! That jewellery drawer compartment is delectable. Like you I love the hidden details as much as the exterior, that's why I'm a sucker for a woven vintage lable or a flashy lining. x

  4. Beautiful post! I love your comment about starting a blog to advertise your clothes to yourself. I definitely wear my preferences on my sleeve.

  5. "A sucker for beautiful things" -- There are worse things to be! This was a lovely feast for the eyes, and beautifully composed.

  6. You have loads of lovely things. I am besotted with your top hat. the Citizen Rosebud

  7. Such wonderful photos - you make everything look so beautiful - that H&M necklace looks expensive! :) xx

  8. Beautiful pictures, beautiful things. :)

  9. Loving this post. Its such a great idea to revisit the reason you bought certain items or what attracted to you them initially! (I also really enjoyed your 7 days of wardrobe cleaning, hilarious!)

  10. Oh, V, what beautiful photos.. I should be writing now and I've whiled away a lot of time looking at this post. Kicking myself that I didn't read what last week's FF challenge was - I'd have loved to have done it. Actually, weirdly, my Thursday night post was pretty close:

    I wonder if I could sneak that in? : )

    Are you coming to London this FW? I'd love to finally meet you. Enjoying catching up on your blog on this cold wintry August day.

  11. Such a beautiful bunch of pictures) SO much love in your wardrobe <3


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