On the eve of the New Zealand Fashion Museum's Intellectual Fashion Show being held at the Gus Fisher Gallery from the 8th - 21st October, Creative Director Rose Jackson takes you behind the scenes of the collaborative photoshoot with Hayley Theyers Photography and Glory Days, featuring models Ruby Von Rifle and Velvet DeCollete, which will be included in the exhibition.
The story of this collaboration actually begins long before I was approached by Doris de Pont from the New Zealand Fashion Museum to be part of the Intellectual Fashion Show.
Glory Days decided on a "TEXT" themed issue for December 2015 - perfect for summer holiday reading (in the Southern Hemisphere at least). We originally approached Eleanor Catton to feature as our lead cover story but we were unable to secure an interview with her, so we had to go back to the drawing board.
Like so many times when you own a magazine and have a deadline looming, you have to think very quickly on your feet of plans B, C and D and so we did a speedy brainstorm around who would be an interesting female author to profile. Around this time there were loads of Anais Nin quote-spirations floating around the internet but we wondered if anyone today would know Nin and what her darkly erotic life was really like. While we were researching her, we found some sensational images of Nin shot by renowned New York based photographer from the 1960s, Marlis Schweiger and that sealed the deal. We had to get hold of those images and explore this unique woman's life in a deeper way than just posting some throw away quotes on our Facebook page.
I won't go into further detail about Nin - that's what we created the TEXT issue for - but we were thrilled when, following publication, we had a photographer, Hayley Theyers, approach us and ask to collaborate on some images inspired by Nin's writing. One of the best things to come out of Glory Days is the amount of interesting creative people we have connected with over the years and it's led to some very rewarding collaborations.
Once we found the perfect models, Ruby von Rifle and Velvet DeColette, to give form to Hayley's vision and Nin's writing, we had a shoot in the former psychiatric ward of Carrington Hospital (now Unitec's Auckland campus). The feminine energy and sensuality in the studio that day was palpable and I can still feel the power of the two women - flawless dream-like marble statues come to life and draped in silk - revealing their luminescent skin in the darkness for Hayley's lens.
When Doris asked if I would like to be part of the Intellectual Fashion Show, I was very humbled and the first idea that came into my mind was to use one of the images from the Anais Nin shoot. Creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum and I wanted to share the opportunity to have work featured in the Gus Fisher Gallery with a group of talented women.
The concept for the show was inspired by artist June Black, who held an exhibition also titled the Intellectual Fashion Show in 1959. It included paintings, ceramic wall sculptures and a provocative commentary, presenting the concept of an ‘intellectual fashion house’ framing fashion and "costumes" as a powerful tool for self expression and as armour to protect the self from the rigours of daily life, social hypocrisy and cultural expectations.
In 2016, the NZ Fashion Museum approached various artists and designers to create a response to the series of "costumes" that Black had outlined and explored in her exhibition. I decided to go with the "costume to extend exalted moments".
You will have to visit the show to see how this costume was expressed, but here are a few behind the scenes shots to tempt you along to the Gus Fisher Gallery from the 8th - 21st October.
"There is only one true costume to extend exalted moments in and that is one's skin".
I asked Hayley to share her thoughts on the background and inspiration for the photoshoot...
When I saw that Glory Days had written an article in their magazine about one of my all time favourite writers, Anais Nin, I was inspired to make a series of images based upon her erotica. I started reading Anais Nin when I was still a naive and inexperienced teenager, and her sensual writings played a role in shaping my own sexuality. I‘ve always been a bit of a dreamer, easily lost in erotic reveries".
“Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” - Anais Nin
I approached Rose, who found the models for me. They suited the project perfectly as they both have a timeless beauty about them. Rose is experienced in makeup, hair and styling (she has an exquisite collection of clothing) and was able to bring a 1920/30’s aesthetic to the pictures.
The shoot was a pleasure, both models are comfortable in their skin and they know their bodies well, they know how to pose and took direction easily and naturally from me. This image is part of a series that we are working on together and which will be exhibited in its entirety at a future date.
To view more of Hayley's work visit Hayley Theyers Photography at www.hayleytheyersphotography.nz