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Archive for the 'Femininity' Category

Beating Around the Bush

When three interns at Mother London were set the task of ‘rebranding feminism’ their directors may have imagined many things, but probably not ninety-three women’s nether regions on display in their East London HQ.

Project Bush is a photomontage of the brave ladies who stripped off for celebrity photographer Alisa Connan in order to make a statement about choice. How women tend their gardens is by no means the most important issue faced by women today, but it is synonymous with modern ideals and expectations. As such, the multitude of bushes on display were a symbol of what feminism speaks of today – an array of different choices, each valid in their own right, but, more importantly, chosen freely.

Project Bush cannot rebrand feminism or even define it, but it can present us with what we know already in a (conspicuously) new way.

The photomontage will be on display at Mother London’s HQ from 14-18 November.

New Heroines

Living in an age of Twitter, Tumblr, blogs and an ever growing array of websites for young creatives it seems an apt time to reignite some debate around the archive. Seventeen years ago, in 1995, Jacques Derrida published his book Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression in which he set about deconstructing this dusty subject. Exposing the notorious hegemony that traditionally encased the archive Derrida sought to uncover some of the functions of preservation. Does the archive serve to overcome the inevitable and looming fear of our own mortality – the Freudian ‘death-drive’? At the dawn of the Internet age, Derrida asked what affect, or threat, does technology impose on the archive?

In the years since Derrida’s book the online frenzy has certainly dwarfed any modest expectations of technology. The rapid takeover of social networking and the online diary (from Tumblr and Insagram, to Facebook and blog-posting) has opened a space for an entirely new writer and has offered a new kind of archive, a platform on which female writers are beginning to take centre stage.

Jacques Derrida, author of Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression (1995)

Female authors, journalists, thinkers, fashionistas and artists are using the Internet to publish discussions, writing, diaries and archiving what they do. This unsanctioned space has also been utilized to pose debates on interesting topics by important female figures. For instance, author Masha Tupitsyn used Twitter as a platform to discus her essays on love (soon to become a book), or Chris Kraus’ blog, Reality Sandwich, which frequently probes the heart of women’s topics as well as the inestimable number of budding fashionistas, artists and writers using social media to showcase their work.

Heroines by Kate Zambreno (2012)

Are these women transforming the stigma associated with female authors’ memoirs that have long been dismissed as “girls diaries”? Travel back to the pre-Internet age of Modernism and the memoirs of female authors, usually overlooked or reduced to the genre of “automatic” writing, have always stood at odds with the heroized memoirs and letters of Modernist male writers. A topic that writer Kate Zambreno has sought to investigate and expel in her recent book called Heroines.

Amongst the cast of female Modernist writers whom Zambreno has written of are Virginia Wolfe, Zelda Fitzgerald, Vivienne Eliot and Jane Bowles. A notably common characteristic of all these women being their apparent ‘madness’, the stigma that seems to be freely attached to many women writers of the time.

Vivienne Eliot (wife of T. S. Eliot)

Has technology created a new space in which women can write, record, review or publish their work and ideas freely? This new ‘archive’ has certainly acquired with it a new and more vocal female and, unchallenged, female creativity is flourishing in a global space that is only set to grow.

Timeless Tweed

There are few things about the descent into Autumn that I enjoy. Rainier, colder days coupled with a distinct lack of sunlight make for a tired feeling and tired looking few months.  The Autumnal onslaught did, however, lead me to a rediscovery of a timeless and historical fabric, tweed.

This native of the far-flung Scottish isles became a familiar favourite with the grouse-shooting folk of the early eighteenth century and soon became the staple attire for harsh weather. Steeped in history, tweed is an intricate blend of hundreds of different types of wool and the process has remained relatively unchanged for nearly two hundred years. Then, when Coco Chanel borrowed tweed, formally the fabric for the British gentleman, she transformed it into elegantly cut shapes and beautiful forms. Now tweed saw its rebirth in fashion, first in the 1920s, and then with inexorable fervor from the 1950s on.

Icons such as Jackie Onassis were the first to flaunt tweed and soon after the traditional tailors, Harris of Scotland and Daks, formally Simpsons of Piccadilly, injected some contemporary shapes into their patterns. Since Coco Chanel more and more female designers have taken to the fabric such as Sheila McKain-Waid and Stella McCartney and season upon season it seems to find its way into the shops…and not just as jackets or coats. Urbanears have recently made some Harris Tweed headphones and Nike have released their own tweed high-tops…

Certainly most topical is tweed’s feature role in Chanel’s Little Black Jacket campaign; this new, drooled-over and much hyped tweed jacket is also the central point of an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. Where you can see an eclectic mix of models, fashionistas, actors and writers sporting the piece…

Undoubtedly there is an imbued timelessness in this intricately woven wool that ceases to wear-off, excuse the pun. Practical, hardy and warm it has served as a shelter from the elements for elegant women for over a century.

Mary Pickford Cocktail

From left: Actress Mary Pickford and husband, actor Douglas Fairbanks; Mary Pickford cocktail from 1943

I just found this recipe on Gourmet.com, it’s the Mary Pickford Cocktail. I’m definitely going to try this out the next time I’m going out with my ladies. I don’t know if the drink was a favourite of Mary’s, or if it is just named after her. Anyway, I would definitely want to try and take a sip of it and see if it leads me back to the 20s. In order to make the drink you will need:

— 1 1/2 oz light rum
— 1 oz pineapple juice
— 1/2 tsp maraschino liqueur
— 1/2 tsp grenadine syrup

Mary Pickford was a silent film star, beginning her career in 1916, she became Hollywood’s first superstar and the highest paid women in the world. Pretty impressive.

Here is a clip from the film “Poor Little Rich Girl” from 1917, staring Mary Pickford or “Little Mary” as she was called:

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Naked Women

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I love to praise the female body in every aspect and the booty is definitely worth celebrating.

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Invented by the French automobile engineer (!) Louis Réard in 1946.

Continue reading ‘Bikini’


I know this post could easily get a lot of hits because of the subject. But – I must admit it – I have an obsession with breasts. But not in a typically guy-magazine-about-women-and-cars kinda way. I love real breasts. Here’s some of my favorite photos of beautiful women with beautiful breasts, boobies or what you prefer.

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