Saturday 8 May 2010
Dylan Jones: 'One of the sexiest things I’ve seen is David Bailey’s short film of his wife Catherine eating an egg'
SHOWstudio.com is 10 years old this year, a decade in which the photographer Nick Knight's website has showcased a wild assortment of interviews, blogs, videos, photographs and all manner of fashion-related tricky-dickery. It was one of the first sites to broadcast live from catwalk shows and fashion shoots, and offer access to the previously closed world of high fashion. It was original, sometimes clever, and people liked it. Which is why it's hung around.
Knight and I once collaborated on a portfolio of the 100 most important people in London. It was to celebrate i-D Magazine's fifth birthday, in October 1985, and we asked everyone from The Face's Nick Logan to the Alternative Miss World's Andrew Logan. It took a year to plan, six months to shoot, and, I would calculate, more than 1,000 phone calls to organise. We were also planning a book, to be published by Faber & Faber, containing the same images. For one reason or another (and probably both), the book never materialised, but the prints are still nestling in a plans chest in Knight's Petersham home in Richmond, Surrey, and will almost certainly stay there. We had concocted the idea with i-D's owner Terry Jones as an homage to David Bailey's Goodbye Baby & Amen, the photographic book that encapsulated the Sixties more than any other. Well, it was more of a direct copy, not least because Knight's portraiture at the time owed rather a lot to Bailey's classic black and white studies.
SHOWstudio.com is often a home for the esoteric and the decidedly wilful, but one of the most interesting (and sexiest) things on it is David Bailey's short film of his wife Catherine eating an egg, made in 2005. "It was just a funny little idea, a piece of nothingness," says Bailey. "In a way it was a throwback to Dali and Brassai, and it's kinda sexy." And kinda wonderful. Bailey's film looks like an ad, although what for, you don't know. Not that it matters. It also has a lightness of touch that is all so rare these days.
SHOWstudio could do with a bit more of it, but happy birthday all the same.
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'
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