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ABSURDITY ON THE BEACH: WEARING SIMON AND MARY

February 14, 2018

Photographer: Aldrin Klaase

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

Wardrobe: Nevernew Vintage | Props: Dukes and The Dolls

 

When I put on my hat, I can be whoever I imagine to be. Whether I wear it to a design meeting sharp and poised, or spontaneously go out partying, it’s the one item of clothing that announces my presence and make me feel confident. This is exactly why I decided to collaborate with my favourite hat brand, Simon and Mary.

 

 

Photographer: Aldrin Klaase

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

Wardrobe: Nevernew Vintage | Props: Dukes and The Dolls

 

 

The idea of a photo shoot came to me when I attended an exhibition opening earlier in the month. In her work, Sarah Pratt made reference to “the juxtaposition of the unexpected and the absurdity of dreams”. She arranged figures related to the same subject matter in a composition that would usually not be found together to create an awkwardness. It intrigued me and I wondered how this could be explored in a different medium or style.

 

After some thinking it dawned on me that conceptualizing a photo series with hats, was the perfect way to explore this a step further. I personally believe that Simon and Mary’s hats are timeless, regardless of the shapes and styles being associated with a specific point in time. They are designed with utmost precision and attention to detail. It’s the way that the stitching is visible on the edges and the bit of shimmer on the circular plate depicting their logo that makes it so special.

 

Photographer: Aldrin Klaase

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

Wardrobe: Nevernew Vintage 

 

 

The hats dictated the wardrobe and we began experimenting with vintage clothing. One Saturday, Aldrin and I spent several hours hopping from one shop to the next to compare different looks. Eventually, we came across a gem called Nevernew, located in Observatory. Browsing through the rails of second-hand clothing gave us insight as to what exactly we wanted to achieve in terms of visuals and mood.

 

Walking down Main Road was like getting into a time machine. I became aware of the concentrated vintage culture and began wondering how all of this would look like in a different, unrelated environment. One that was not Victorian in architectural character or had old record players on the sidewalks.

 

Photographer: Aldrin Klaase

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

Wardrobe: Nevernew Vintage | Props: Dukes and The Dolls

 

Eventually, we found a beautiful shop called Duke and The Dolls. The shop had all the items needed to give birth to the idea of the unexpected and absurd. My eyes scanned over old telephones and lamps with silk screens. There were classical bird cages and old bread tins and other items with names I cannot even recall. All that was left now, was selecting a place to make the magic happen.

 

Using the beach as the location came very organically. It made sense to use a muted, natural environment with a clean background, an unobstructed landscape to emphasize the hats . In doing this, the focus remained on the subject matter and made the props seem completely out of place, strengthening the idea of juxtapositions and contrasts.

 

Photographer: Aldrin Klaase

Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet 

Wardrobe: Nevernew Vintage | Props: Dukes and The Dolls

 

 

The result was a series of pictures depicting a domestic story on a very natural stage. Vacuuming the beach and making landline calls from the ocean seemed preposterous, but in a quirky way we had achieved the same humour as the artist’s work.

 

Very easily the hats became the focal point in all the images. The photographer captured the essence of each style and brought it to life by focusing on shape, texture and colour. Not only did they enhance the narrative of the vintage, but strengthened the contrasts of ‘strange on the beach’.

 

_________________________

 

To see more of Simon and Mary go to:

Facebook: @SimonandMary.Millinery

Instagram: @simonandmary 

 

Nevernew:

Facebook:@nevernewstore

Instagram: @nevernewstore

 

Duke and The Dolls:

Facebook: Duke & The Dolls

 

A note of thank to Dominique Paronitti and Raquel Rodrigues who helped with the styling, directing and getting up way too early on a Sunday morning.

 

 

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