Monday, 23 February 2009

My new career as a fashion icon? Kasia Chlasta

Racing back from lunch, about to have a photo op!
Photo copyright Margaret Sharrow, 2009

I was coming back today from lunch with a friend in town, when I was accosted on the School of Art steps by second year student Kasia Chlasta. 'Can I borrow you for a minute?' she asked, brandishing her camera.

It seems she is now doing fashion shoots and commentary for the Courier, Aberystwyth University's student magazine. 'I really like what you're wearing!' she said. 'Can I take your picture?'

This morning I had been having vague misgivings about my outfit (trousers too busy to go with non-plain top, another laundry crisis looming, time munching on and time to go, etc.). Generally I feel as if when the Idea that Being Fashionable Is Good was being handed around, I was dreaming away on another planet. If there was an opportunity to write a book called 'What Not to Wear, by the Person Who Is Wearing It', my publishing future would be secure. On the other hand, to the extent that I espouse a style, I suppose it could either be called 'out of time', or more charitably, 'vintage - but not always'. Still, I am known for my hats. I enjoy my hats. 'Hats are me!' I quipped, when she asked for a quote.

Kasia did take good photos of me. This project is an adjunct to her usual work, which incorporates fashion, albeit a range of more alternative fashions that tend toward corsetry and bondage with doll-like figures incorporating extreme, one-step-back-from caricatured body modifications. I'm afraid I can't turn my head towards the magazines she uses for source material without closing my eyes for safekeeping first. Her detailed, illustrative paintings are executed, intriguingly, on corrugated cardboard, giving them a rough and ready quality that juxtaposes with the delicacy of her rendering. Books wrapped in brown paper, for anonymity? Such evocations are out of date in times of omniavailability of internet porn and magazines like Nuts on the lower shelves - but, perhaps like my sense of style, her images of doll-like women have an odd charm about them.

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