The Dark Side of Fairy Tales

What is it about fairy tales that make them so damn appealing? There is the obvious psychological jurgun of using them as a way to escape your own reality but what about when fairy tales become dark and gruesome and far more unsettling than reality itself already is? Some of my favorite photographers of all time are fantasy driven creators who bring a hauntingly intoxicating and enchanting twist to the all too over-played Disney fairy tale. When Tim Walker and Kristen McMenamy collaborate there is something completely untapped and poetically raw about their work. Their mermaid on land series had me searching for breath as each image tugged at my heart strings and strung a melancholic chord. 

Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare

Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare

Laura Makabresku

Laura Makabresku

The same thing goes for Polish based photographer Laura Makabresku.

Some of you may already be aware of this atmospheric artist who creates solemnly striking fairy tales with the click of her camera. Often accompanying her photos with actual fairy tales that she writes there is always death or loss in some way or another involved in them. I have never been a suicidal person nor do I support anything like that in any way shape or form I can't help but get lost in Makabresku's imagery. Each frame is like a Romantic painting pulling references from mystic symbols, surreal aesthetics, eroticism and death. 


My photographs are like screenshots from beautiful but cruel fairy tales. Their narrations are not straight. Images that appear are more like feelings that come during a lecture of an old folk-based story – full of witchcrafts and retributions. The structure of my works is similar to the structure of a dream where natural tendencies of collecting and organizing impulses and motivations coincide with irrational clashes of objects and feelings. Isolation and wounds are closed into patterns, uneasy and artificial orders – visual spells created in order to divide beastillness from humanity and dreams from horror."

- Laura Makabresku

"Laura Makabresku condenses the fairy tale into a frame. One stage on which everything plays out. There is a heroine existing between the worlds. Beautiful and dark. Her sexuality fluctuates between girlish erotic fantasy and the extreme instincts of nature. In a childish way she is fascinated by death. Her land is inhabited by animals, monsters, people in animal masks, objects—all of them of equal status. The world’s orders tangle together. Death in this land is liberating, a kind of good dream into which we tumble, searching for eternity, and which exists within us as constellations painted on the heroine’s body. The motifs and scenes are repeated. Themes are repeated obsessively. It all exists outside of time, everywhere and nowhere, never and always, in the seventy-seventh land. And eternity is just as cruel as death."

From curatorial text by Magdalena Kownacka "The moon is for adults only“

All photos are the property of Laura Makabresku 

Spring is Here

Yes ladies and gentleman, it's official, spring is here! Trust me when I say I think everyone is quite ready for it (the winter has been rather daunting on the locals up here). After a shoot I was supposed to photograph got postponed on Saturday I decided to take full advantage of the bright sunshiny day and get lost in Prospect Park. I ended up literally getting lost for a good half hour and stumbling across this gem of a location. I couldn't tell you where it is other than somewhere within the vast location of Prospect Park but if you find yourself in that area this week before the dandelions all get plucked or wilt away look for a very large ditch with lots of cut down tree's and there you will find Spring. Of course on the first unofficial day of spring I decide to wear all black but that is besides the point. Moving on.....may your week be as lovely as this past weekend and a very happy spring to everyone!

Timeless Fashion { An Interview with Vanessa Adeeko}

For the past week the weather in New York has been beyond glorious. It turns out that glorious weather has enchanting effects on me as I have been finding myself fantasizing about ways that I can get my hands on a centaur and have him canoodling with Aphrodite deep in the echelons of Central Park. London based designer Vanessa Adeeko seems to be on the same trip but instead of only fantasizing she has made her dreams of the surreal into the form of a timeless clothing line under her self titled brand.  Also inspired by mythology and nymph like creatures Vanessa has created a clothing line that is for the woman that is more than one thing. That finds her strength in being multi-faceted, bold and age-less. Though simple upon first glance the more that you study Vanessa's clothing the more you notice the immense amount of tailoring and intricate detail that goes into it making each piece feel personal, something that I consider to be essential in every piece I bring into my life. After meeting Vanessa in New York during her pop up shop in February and another coming up in London on April 14th Vanessa took the time to answer a few questions and shed some light on why she thinks real design should have soul. 

How did you get into fashion design?
My grandma taught me how to sew and bought me my first machine, she shared lots of her old Vogue patterns and magazines. I have always been interested in fashion design. I decided to go to London college of fashion to see if I could learn a bit more.

I always wanted to start a company. Working for other fashion designers gave me a lot of insight into the business side. I enjoyed this side as much as I enjoyed creating and figured if I could get the right people together as a team supporting me I could build a viable business.

After graduating from fashion school, I knew what I wanted to do but decided to do freelance for a while to learn the business of fashion and to refine my own aesthetic. I had been working for fashion designers and tailors in London for a while. I was encouraged by a client to put together a small range and I decided to launch a label that provides evening wear  made personally for them as opposed to throwaway clothes that have a 6 month shelf life.

All of your dresses and suits are very angular and focused on the tailoring. How important is a well tailored dress or suit to you as a designer?

Yes there are sections that are angular.  I was inspired by the masculine aesthetic  and the sharp lines on Zaha Hadids  guangzhou  opera. The dresses and trousers I have gone away with most of the seams.  I’d gone off my thesis of how to get clothing fitted untraditionally. You can create different lines, when you experiment with different tailoring techniques.  I’m thinking about how the lines will offset the others to enhance and sit well on the body.

Describe what positive vibrations means to you and how does that find its way into your designs?
Positive Vibrations to me is a mindset. I remind myself of this everyday. It is about creating the things that you want to exist. 

Your clothing is all made with environmentally safe materials. How do you hope to bring environmental awareness through your label?

By working closely with UK mills. I can visit the factory for the day and see what is going on. I can also have my own input in what methods they are using for my materials. It is a timely and stressful process but in the end I have something that I feel proud of because it is sits with my beliefs.

You once described the collection photos on your website as a way to represent the soul leaving the body of the model. Why is that important to you?
I was really inspired by the process of a persons essence leaving there body. I wanted to try to show this through using double exposure photography.

Is fashion art?
Yes they are part of the same body. I think the process of designing and making is an art form. Fashion is culture. Art is culture.

Can you tell us about some upcoming projects Vanessa Adeeko is working on?

After New York last month. I am working on my new pop up  in London 14th April. Similar to what I was doing when we met in New York but for 8 days this time. It will be my way of shedding light on what I am trying to make here in London. 
You can watch part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtHYsp19DuM&feature=youtu.be

If your brand could be worn by any mythological creature who would it be and why?

Probably 'Phanessa' who was a male-female deity of light and goodness. The name means "to bring light" or "to shine". Phanessa was a first-born androgynous god/goddess of light. In Gods, Men and Monster it wrote that because of Phanessa's centuries-old battle with Chaos the creation of birds took place as a result.  

Every morning the first thing I do is…. 
Watch  CNN at 5 am and then I go to the park.

My most recent dream was about….

I don’t remember any of my dreams.

If London were a drink it would be.....