I know this post, like many, is woefully late but I was on holiday when the press preview happened and didn’t get my act together very quickly afterwards, so shoot me. Anyway, I finally got around to seeing Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You To Love me at Somerset House last week and it came close to genuinely rendering me speechless. Obviously the fact that I adore his brand of high fashion meets pop culture more than pretty much anything but even if the idea of combining couture with congealed caviar leaves you cold I urge you to give it a try anyway, Aldridge is truly a camera toting genius.
The allure of Miles Aldridge’s work lies in it’s inherent contradictions; beautiful yet brash, unsettling yet compelling, a heady blend of luxury and debauchery served up in saturated hues which only add to the feeling of excess. From a fashion photography perspective – and please do bear in mind, my experience extends to reading lots and lots of magazines and generally spending more time on the editorials than anything else AKA I’m no expert – it’s perfection. The composition, the lighting, the choice of model and the way she’s styled, exquisite. But then something’s always off, and that’s what stops you looking away. Whether it’s an element of haute trashiness – think Vegas plus Russia plus a rotting lobster head or broken egg – undertones of subtle social commentary, irony or vulgarity, there’s an inherent fucked-up-ness to it all that takes it beyond the realms of “fashion photography” and truly makes it art. Domestic rituals, social customs, religion and even the mundane likes of obsessive tanning are transformed from mundanities of everyday life to hyper real yet troubling images… With the help of exquisite garments and the world’s most talented models of course.
I’d better wrap things up before I go and give you a blow by blow of the whole exhibition but seriously, go and see Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You To Love Me as soon as you physically can. On the surface the images are bold, bright and arresting. The more you look at them the more everything is – or perhaps isn’t – deeper, darker, more humorous and not what it seems. On until September 29th so get yourself there toute suite!
Love Ella. X