It’s a cold November morning in Oxford, and due to the national lockdown, I, like many others, am desperately trying to find ways to escape mundane reality, and my narcotic of choice is hardcore nostalgia. As freedom has been stolen from us, I find solace in letting my imagination run wild, especially through creating make-belief scenarios through stylised photographs.
For me, that has been a particularly effective 2020 coping mechanism as fantasy lets our minds travel when we physically cannot. I want to transport you to the summer of 1969, when fashion and life had no rules, in fact, the fewer the clothes and the more skin to skin contact the better. Taking these photographs helped me fantasize about where I want to be. Perhaps it is a type of creative visualisation – if you can dream up a scenario through photos, isn’t it almost as if you’re there?
The styling for this shoot was inspired by the 60s/70s babes at Woodstock, ironically I took inspiration from a festival that hosted 400,000 half-naked hippies, an idea that is hilariously unfathomable right now. Also, the combination of a suede jacket with nothing underneath, suit trousers and cowboy boots is a look that takes ‘powerful’ to the next level, you heard it here first.
Today, living in Woodstock’s parallel universe in which restrictions galore have been imposed on us, it is supremely important to indulge in day dreaming. Imelda Staunton said, ‘At the time of Woodstock, I was just 13, but I used to see these exotic hippy creatures and I did look on with envy. How could you not? In an ideal world, I would have loved to have been a hippy – but I might have been a bit strait-laced. It was my fantasy.’ Mine too, Ms Staunton. I hope you were pleasantly surprised that these photos were taken at 9am, in 7 degrees November, and I hope you can find ways to daydream, spark joy, and smell the damn roses, even in the darkest of days.