Here's looking at you kids

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Leila Dear, 15

Taking my own photograph was odd. I do photography - my mother's a photographer - and it's normally hard to relax in front of the camera, so I was more relaxed with this because there was no one there. But I was also quite self-conscious because I was aware I was posing. I tried not to think too much about what I was doing and just be natural. I usually dress quite grungy although in this picture I'm wearing my mother's denim jacket, which is from San Francisco, and an Anna Sui red vest which was a present, but I'm not really into designer clothes. I did my make-up myself and my hair is cut in two layers and bleached at the end. I didn't realise this would be in black and white so it was a shock when the Polaroid was developing. I don't think much of my photo.

Inormally gently deride a magazine like Dazed & Confused, with its fashion shoots that try so hard to be edgy and directional. But this month's issue is quite different. Katy England has guest-edited 28 pages including three fashion shoots, one of which - "Mirror Image" - is shown here. England is contributing fashion editor of Dazed, creative director of Alexander McQueen and a stylist at Givenchy. "I could have done straight adult fashion, but I was interested to see what children would do if you let them take the reins. I didn't really know much about kids and I'm a bit saturated with adult fashion!" So, she and two others went out and about, found some real children in the street, in youth clubs and schools and asked them to turn up at the Dazed & Confused studio wearing what they were wearing there and then. (A couple cheated a little and changed for the photoshoot.)

In the studio, photographic director of Dazed Phil Poynter took over. They were put in front of a mirror so they could see what they looked like, with a Polaroid camera behind them. Poynter told them what to press when they were ready and then left them alone. "Some took a few minutes, others quite a while. But the strangest thing was that the children who came in were mostly quite nervous and shy. Then, when the Polaroid developed in front of our eyes, you saw another side to them completely."

What this shoot does, of course, is tap into that private relationship we have with the mirror. And the more I look at these photographs the more I love them and the glimpse into the world of youth it shows. Interviewing the youngsters also made me realise that no matter how old or confident we may become, the spotlight of the camera makes us all a little insecure.

Delia Taffler, 15

I love the red lipstick glamour of the Fifties, the pale faces of the Sixties and the hippie style of the Seventies. I forgot my red lipstick for this shoot so I couldn't do the glam Fifties pose I'd intended, so instead I went for a Victorian look. I'm wearing a baby-blue silk ballgown, with an over-layer of gauze from a Brighton retro shop . My Twenties earrings are from a junk shop and the Thirties diamante necklace was a gift. I change my look every couple of days - from glittery pink, to the Courtney Love "trashy princess" look. I love having my picture taken but usually I do a silly pose. This was great because I could see what I looked like in the mirror. I'm not mad on my school uniform because it makes everyone look the same. I change out of it as soon as I get home.

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