Monday, August 3, 2020

meet Craig MacLeod … the lensman

As you will read Mr. MacLeod is thankful and grateful to Instagram for those that the platform afforded him of meeting and working with…. Me being one of them except that I can never sing the praises of Facebook loud enough as it surely broadened my web of creatives… despite it having fallen out of favor in recent times.
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Craig, when I approached him some time ago, was open and generous and more than willing to accommodate my wishes for a non-paying project that I was working on for a swimwear brand…. For me, this speaks volumes about a person’s being as well as his professionalism and drive in a world of bloated egos and over rated creatives. Yes, he came through with flying colors and certainly has come a long way since that time.
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So, now you and, well, me too, get to know a lot more about the man who hold s the camera and this interview is long overdue so without further ado ... meet Craig MacLeod in his own words: 
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Jeffrey Felner: Let’s first speak about how you started and why?
Craig MacLeod: I moved to Southern California in July, 2014. The move saw my profession change, from working as a commercial business lawyer to becoming a self-trained freelance photographer. I’ve always had a passion for photography and had been using it as a way to stay creative whilst still in a legal career. 2014 was a now or never moment to start as a photographer!
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JF: How do you go about selecting your models and how does it affect your work if you’re not given your choice and why? 
CML: I shoot mainly creative people rather than people who are professional models, e.g. actors, musicians and dancers. Often these people approach me or I may approach someone if I find them interesting. 
When working with professional models, they are cast to play a role within my conceived notion of storytelling or that of the creative director, so the relationship is similar to that I imagine of a director of an actor. It usually doesn’t affect my work if I’m not given a choice of model. However, if I think a model doesn’t have the right attitude for a shoot, I will make sure I am heard!
With non-professional models such as creatives they are often concerned with how they look and how they are perceived; It is a very intuitive approach on each shoot.  A good or even a great shoot requires clear communication and absolute trust between everyone involved. 
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JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would they be and why?
CML: I would pick 5 of my favourite photographers and make it a fantasy dinner as some are no longer with us:
Sarah Moon - her photography mesmerizes me, so gorgeous and dreamy; Dennis Stock so he could tell me everything about James Dean; Duane Michals, who I met once and is brilliantly funny and indiscreet; Herb Ritts because he is one of my inspirations as mainly self-taught as well; and Andy Warhol so he could take a polaroid of us all.
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JF: Okay lets speak of the internet; Instagram models, how has it influenced your work and  would you  say it is for the better or has it become a hindrance in that everybody who ever stood in front of a camera thinks they are a model and everyone with a camera thinks they are a photographer?

CML: Instagram has been instrumental in helping me start out as photographer. Moving from Scotland to the US without knowing anyone it has been a great tool for me to meet other creatives - I feel I’m very much at the start of my career as a photographer and have nothing but gratitude for the people I’ve met via Instagram who have collaborated with me.
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JF: Do you have any mentors or idols who have influenced or influence your work and why? Whose work do you admire most and why?

CML: Mark DePaola; He’s shot numerous Vogue covers and tends to shoot wide open lens, existing light, no flash - which is how I like to shoot. He gave me a reportage opportunity of behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. Early references are critical to me - whilst studying the History of Photography at the University of California, San Diego I became particularly drawn to the works of Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. Later references are important to me too - such as Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, and Peter Lindberg. I’m a fan of international cinema - particularly the 50s, 60s and 70s. That often influences my work.  Also, having grown up in Scotland in the late 80s, I was - and remain - obsessed with style magazines of that period such as The Face, Arena, Blitz and I.D.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Celine men’s spring 2021


From the Vogue.com review “As a designer with a lifelong obsession with layering youth references of the past into his work, Slimane was in his element, finally being able to riff off the energy—and the wardrobes—of a live subculture…. Hearing that this pileup of pieces that might’ve been found on a kid’s bedroom floor is not exactly what grown-ups perceive as the output of a luxury goods house would be music to Slimane’s ears.”
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Well, here’s my take ... Hedi you need some help ... a therapist maybe as you are no longer young and no longer designing for kids … this is Celine where a denim “Levi” jacket is $3500, a logo tee is $375 and a pair of jeans is $770. So Hedi my fragile friend who the fuck is buying this pile that you presented for spring 2021. Sadly, it reminds me of a designer who is struggling with arrested development and might even more sadly be compared with Jeremy Scott who is also obsessed with the skate boys and the fact that he is no longer 22.
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Aside from that, there are just a few other issues like we are living thru possibly one of the worst times in the fashion business or any retail business for that matter and I highly doubt there are many men who can afford this that will actually want to look like this. I usually pick apart the casting as being too young for the clothes but here it’s not a case of miscasting it’s more of a case of how many trust fund baby boys are there in the world?
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Lastly, Hedi, the collection comes off as rather tone-deaf to the times and has no cohesive thread to the women’s in terms of the client or look so Hedi WTF are you thinking? Maybe Monsieur Arnault will have to  remind you that your job is not only about feeding and satisfying your ego!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

NORMA KAMALI RESORT 2021

Designers take note…. Norma Kamali has withstood the test of time and weathered the tsunamis of fashion by staying true to herself and to her brand. For me, Kamali is a shining example of why and how a brand succeeds. She has never wavered, never strays far from her original concept and always looks fresh. The saddest part of it all is I believe she one of of the most under rated designers especially in the world of American designers and possibly on an international stage as well.



The photos speak to it... it is pure 100% Norma Kamali and while she may not have a business that is 100s of millions of dollars I will take her head and shoulders over so many who received unworthy hype and press whose primary concern is selling anything other than clothes!



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So here are 117,00 more words to make my point!