14 April 2011










All props and Union Jack blazer, Kate's own.

After my Granny recently brought out some photos of my great-grandparents, whom I had never seen before, and Kate unearthed her Grandpa's RAF uniform, it got me thinking about heritage, in particular British heritage.  Shooting in the glen of the River Almond in Perthshire, wearing Michael Godwin's uniform and a petticoat my Mum wore as a bridesmaid, Kate and I tramped up and down in the mud, carrying fishing rods, teddy bears and all manner of 'British' stuff we've inherited from our families, talking about Brideshead Revisited and the Royal Wedding. Kate's Grandpa's uniform was so beautifully made, it made me wish my own grandparents had kept more of their own things and their parent's things to hand down. I'll have to be content with the photographs, and the few but incredible stories my Granny can tell of my great-grandparents, May and James, and their lives spent between Inverness, the Falkland Islands, Honduras and Uruguay, and the long ship journeys that took them as far as Ceylon and China. 
'It's not about looking back, it's about looking forward' is what we're always told. But without looking back, and far enough, how can we know where we came from? I never had the chance to meet my great-grandparents, but I can look at them and not only see my own image, but also recognize perhaps my taste for exotic travel and in particular theatrical dressing. My interest in fashion and costume had always seemed like it had come out of nowhere, until I saw this picture of my great-granny dressed as a Turkish page in the 1930s. So, that's heritage. If only she'd kept the turban...




the nyanzi report said...

Simply the best post I've read all day.

- D - said...

I love discovering things like this, and just like to say that you really look like your great grandfather :) xx


Lola said...

WOW, these are awesome!x

Blonde hair, Blue jeans said...

those pictures are editorial worth! amazing!
the first one with the union jack reminded me of kate moss portraited by testino


danniekate said...

these are absolutely incredible pics. i'm amazed :) xx

polka dot said...

I'm with David - and Daniela- and the others. This is just SUCH a rich post: and I can't believe your mum let you take her wedding dress slip and traipse thru the mud in it (presumably you waited til you got to your destination before putting it on: but I love the image of you wearing it whilst traipsing).

Do I have your permission to take one of these shots and use it as a sidebar stamp to click to this post? Kind of 'post of the week' thing?

To think I just stopped by to say thanks for the 9 toes comment. I'll be revisiting this in the days to come: it is a gorgeous shoot. Actually I'd like to work with you on some things that might be coming up.. (cryptic) xox

Roz said...

Imogen, I have to echo the sentiments of others here and say how much I enjoyed both looking at the photos, and reading your post.
I am often inspired by family heritage both in my style, and photography, and I love the way that you have interpreted the idea of the past. The contrast between the delicate slip and the military jacket works beautifully, as do all the props. Oh & you look very striking! I love the lush colours of the wood.
I can definitely imagine having long talks about Brideshead revisited, and possibly about tea parties too!
The family photographs are amazing. One of my favourite things to do is sort through the boxes of faded sepia photos of various generations - although I haven't come across any turban clad women as yet.

Kit said...

Imogen, you look amazing in the shots and amazingly photogenic you kinda remind me of Kate Moss's old editorial shots with ID, Face or Dazed.

Inverness huh? So far away!!! My relative owns a Chinese takeaway up there.

Lucy said...

wow incredible! Cant believe your friend had all those lovely bits and wow to those vintage memorabilia! Bring on the Royal Wedding!!

Soccer Mom Style said...

What a fantastic post.
When I immigrated to the U.S. the things I brought with me in a suitcase were family photos. Some of them 100 years old.... They truly are priceless to me.
Are those pom-poms on your great-granny's shoes?? Love them!

Blackswan said...

ahhhh these photos are sublime! amazing, strong distinct concept and theme - it's wonderful to see how one source of inspiration (being family photos) can conjure up such vision and see that executed in a professional-like photo shoot! LOVE LOVE LOVE how you styled each of these looks, my favourite would have to be the petticoat and army jacket ensemble - all the green moss, nostalgic gaze and modern touch of your pink dipped hair makes certainly takes this look to the next level! editorial quality no doubt!

again, i've enjoyed reading through your posts - haven't really come across a blog in while that has drawn me in as much as yours!

x Lauren

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