The fashion world is awash with colourful figures, but few are quite as kaleidoscopic as Julie Verhoeven. As both an illustrator and designer, she has cultivated a reputation for bold surrealism, her psychedelic look part and parcel of her work.
As the photographer Annie Collinge notes, "She's a genuine eccentric." Inspired by their mutual love of bright palettes, Collinge wrote to Verhoeven suggesting a shoot and, last Christmas, the pair hung out at Verhoeven's south London studio for a day of pictorial japery. "We decided to wing it and experiment. It was nice to do something just for fun," says Collinge.
Fun, indeed, is the resulting series, which is infused with a clownish spirit manifested in elements from harlequin-style outfits to face paints and props such as plastic lilies. Though set against such antic vibrancy is the suggestion of vulnerability (see her wistful expression to the left, or back-to-the-camera pose on the right). It's a dichotomy that Collinge believes reflects Verhoeven's personality: "I thought she might be really loud, but she's the most self-deprecating person you could meet."