Look for the purple lining
Catherine Griffiths on another link between fashion and photography

 

As a graphic designer in the late 1980s, working my career in London, I used my first ‘real’ camera, a Ricoh SLR, to take fashion snaps that pitched fellow designer Fiona Fry and me into a ‘Best Dressed Designer Awards’ feature in Design Week (December 1990), writes Catherine Griffiths.

The feature – ‘Dressed to Kill – Design’s Sartorial Stars Show They Mean Business’ – also included a Coley Porter Bell designer doing a Brando, Newell & Sorrell in evening wear sophistication, and Rodney Cooper, the winner, in Armani.

CHG12-DWcover

Looking now at Cooper in the DW spread (below, three pics beneath the headline), suited and suave, his floral shirt a window to the autumn garden he occupies, it’s more Paul Smith who leaps to mind, given his association with photography, than Armani.

Fiona and I went for 1960s chic. We posed on a rooftop in our first ever credit card acquisitions: Fiona in elfin haircut and flats, I in thigh-high, black leather lace-up Martine Sitbon boots from Jones in Floral Street.

CHG12-JONEScard

The shots were on colour film, processed as black and white prints. Slow exposure, extreme angle, our cues were taken from i-D, Blitz, The Face (see ‘Birth of The Face’ and interview with i-D founder Terry Jones in Eye 30) – cult literature we aspired to in our practice as nascent graphic designers. Thierry Mugler’s book Photographe in which he portrayed women as ‘victorious, strong, sensual and sexy’, took centre stage on the shelf in my London flat, its cover a daily reminder of how I wanted to be.

Two decades on, I use and wear a Leica D-Lux 5, snug in its classically styled brown leather case. It is an accessory, essential to my waning self-curated image.

Leica and Paul Smith are an apt pairing, both highly styled, yet restrained. Try a pair of Men Only lace-ups for women, quietly decorative in soft inky line, or gaze at his Spring/Summer collection (‘modern, masculine aesthetic for women’) to know that a Leica in its limited edition case slung across the breast or over a tailored jacket shoulder, would make the ultimate accessory.

It’s right that the camera should enjoy the pleasure of fashion, as with Paul Smith for Leica. If I were not building my studio right now, I’d swap my steel-cap boots for Men Only’s and spend the money on the light grey, mock croc embossed leather case lined in luxurious purple.


 

Eye Blog, published Monday, 12 March, 2012

 

Memoir in style, this is a snapshot, edited to suit the conditions. More to follow.


 

04 writing & critique


A meditation
Sir Ian Athfield, 1940 — 2015
by Catherine Griffiths
Architectural Centre, NZ
April 2015

A Playlist : CG >> CG
by Catherine Griffiths
DPAG Late Breakfast Show, NZ, Aug 2014

Body, Mind, Somehow: The Text Art of Catherine Griffiths
by Gregory O’Brien
Art New Zealand #150, NZ, 2014

Nothing in Mind
by Chloe Geoghegan
typ gr ph c, Aug 2014

typ gr ph c in Strips Club
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Strips Club journal, Mar 2014

In the Neighbourhood
by Catherine Griffiths
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Interview by Heath Killen
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FF ThreeSix
by Catherine Griffiths
Typographica, Mar 2013

A note on the D-card
by Catherine Griffiths
Apr 2013

Shes Got Legs
by Lee Suckling
Urbis, NZ, Jan 2013

Truly, No Idea
by Catherine Griffiths
for Flash Forward, Desktop, Australia, Nov 2012

Look for the purple lining
by Catherine Griffiths
Eye Blog, UK, Mar 2012

Q&A TBI
The Big Idea, NZ, Jun 2011

Shots in the air
by Catherine Griffiths
Eye Blog, UK, Jan 2011

John & Eye
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign 110, NZ, Jan 2011

Quite a Blast
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign, NZ, Jan 2011

Inner-City Modality
by Mercedes Vicente
ProDesign, NZ, Aug 2010

Beautiful World of Typography
by Catherine Griffiths
excerpt from a talk, Govett-Brewster Gallery, NZ, Jun 2009

For the record
by Catherine Griffiths
Introduction to TypeSHED11, NZ, Feb 2009

Locating Our Feet
by Catherine Griffiths
Threaded, NZ, Oct 2008

Notes on Feijoa
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign, NZ, Apr 2007

Life in Italics
by Helen Walters
Print, New York, Sep-Oct 2006

Writing by Types
by Justine Clark
Artichoke, Australia, Apr 2003

 


Look for the purple lining
by Catherine Griffiths


Eye Blog, Mar 12, 2012

related links

www.blog.eyemagazine.com


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