The Chapman Bros. Shoot Claudia Schiffer to a Pulp

Harpers Bazaar UK employed Jake and Dinos Chapman who, with the help of photographer Michelangelo di Battista and illustrator Jon Rogers, produced this fantastic set for their November issue, which focuses on the always stunning Claudia Schiffer and features the supermodel in a variety of Grade-A pulp situations such as “Femme Fatale With Gun”, “Sexy Girl Tied Up and Being Threatened by Hand With Whip”, and “Sexy Girl Bound and Gagged Being Threatened by Ghoul”. I have linked the entire series after the jump, in standard, tiny Coilhouse image form but you should go here to see these in all their huge, scanned glory. I love them, but then, I’m a sucker for stuff like this. The pulp fiction thing. Not, you know, the sexy girl bound and gagged thing.

I’m gonna go now.

Via Super Punch who found them at Who Killed Bambi? who found them at My Modern Met and The Telegraph.

Mourning a Master of Photography

Irving Penn took the above photo of model Evelyn Tripp sixty years ago, in 1949. Penn’s photo below appeared in photographer Clayton Cubitt’s blog earlier this year with the caption “Irving Penn is 91 years old and he still kicks your ass.”

Many informative Irving Penn obituaries have popped up on the web over the past few hours – my favorite is this piece by the New York Times. There were many things I didn’t know about him! I was delighted to learn that, like me, he had the whole Jersey-Philly thing going on. His brother Arthur was the director of the film Bonnie and Clyde. Before falling into photography, he wanted to travel to Mexico with the hopes of forging a career as a painter. He joined the army, and worked as an ambulance driver.

Irving Penn lived an active, creative life, producing new work right up until his death. Let Penn’s legacy inspire us all, for this is the way that life should be lived. It doesn’t matter if you’re 70, 80 or 90: stay curious about the world, never give up your vision, and always continue to strive to do your best.

More inspiring images by Penn taken at various points in the past 60 years, after the jump.

See also: The Decline of Fashion Photography

Lost Marvels of Revolution-Era Russian Theater

Some excellent detective work by Ghoul Next Door has uncovered the origins of this 101-year-old photo. The stunning image was brought to our attention by guest blogger Angeliska, who writes, “I’ve become totally obsessed with this carte de visite depicting Maria Germanova of the Moscow Arts Theatre, costumed for her role [as the fairy] in Blue Bird. She is my perfect style icon, now and forever.”

Unfortunately, the photographs of the actors are all that remain of this 1908 premiere of Maeterlinck’s Blue Bird, produced by Stanislavsky. A descriptive play-by-play of the performance can be found in the 1920 book The Russian Theater Under the Revolution by Oliver Sayler (thanks, Google book search!), but all other images of this art noveau-inspired production have been lost to time, despite Sayler’s valiant attempts to preserve more for posterity, recounted in the book:

I asked Stanislavsky eagerly for photographs of scenes from “The Blue Bird” or else for the original designs of the scenic artist so that I might have them copied… the photographs, I was told, were not available – except those of the players themselves – for the originals had been made by Fischer, a German, and had been destroyed in the pogrom at the beginning of the war in 1914. And in the difficult times Russia has undergone since then, no others have been made. When I pressed my point and asked about the orignal designs, the firm, square but kindly face of my host carried a passing glance of embarassed modesty and then admitted that there were no designs. He had conceived them himself and had personally directed the artist, V. E. Yevgenoff, in the execution of the settings.

Yep, 1908 is definitely going to the top of my “If I Had a Time Machine” list. Craving more images after discovering Germanova’s fairy, I did a bit of searching on the Russian web and uncovered the images below (from an Ogonyok article about Blue Bird). After the jump, a full-body shot of Germanova looking like a pre-Raphaelite sorceress.

CP 1919 Woolen Cape

Other purists may throw rocks at me for saying this, but… REALLY, REALLY WANT:

(Via Darla Teagarden.)

MMMNNGGHPH. Browns, why must you insist upon torturing a grubby, low-rent gal like me with that ridiculous price tag?!

Related anecdote: A snarky acquaintance of mine back in NYC used to enjoy cornering club-going trustifarians who dared to don the “Unknown Pleasures” tee and making them squirm by demanding that they explain the image they were wearing. If their answer wasn’t knowledgeable enough to his liking, he’d trap them against the DJ booth and deliver lengthy lectures on pulsar theory, the film Stroszeck, or cocaine-in-a-condom drug mule death statistics.

(Annoying as he was, I kinda miss that dude.)

Zoetica Ebb’s BIOREQUIEM 5.0

We’re SO stoked for Zo today! After a year in aesthetic stasis, her personal website, Biorequiem, has finally relaunched with a gorgeous new look. Our favorite cosmonomad is a busy bee; she barely has time to initiate her patented Zobogrammatronic ambient energy battery recharge system, let alone find a spare moment to whip up sexy new design and code, so she enlisted Nubby Twiglet (our awesome Coilhouse Indie Ad Grid designer) and Star St. Germain to help her. And now the proud mama crows  “here it is – hussied up, blushing and ready to be sent out center stage with a brisk slap on the ass.” Huzzah.

You’ll find all sorts of goodies at Biorequiem 5.0. Art! Photography! Illustration! Memoirs! Bewbz! Chihuahuas!  Anthropomorphic cybercows! Go get some.

SwanHalsinnen by Tina Cassati

Model: Melina

We first mentioned photographer Tina Cassati in our homage to ruffs, and since that time she’s created tons of incredible work, which can be seen on her MySpace page if you add her. Cassati continues to use Photoshop more and more to create strange and exaggerated shapes for her models, and the results are sensuously surreal; take, for example, this recent set, titled SwanHälsinnen.  In addition to taking the photos, Cassati also fashions the headpieces – sometimes in the form of a post-production collage, other times in real life, recycling old clothing or crafting paper and flowers into sculptural adornments.

More images from this series, after the jump!

Model: Nina de Lianin. Hair, hat, etc: Tina Cassati.

Insectarium by Madame Peripetie

You know those insect-like Nina Ricci boots, recently immortalized in W‘s Bruce Willis/Emma Heming shoot? Above is a pair that makes those look like a pair of standard-grade Demonias. German company Kronier creates angular, futuristic shoes designed to challenge even the most poised high-heel connoisseurs. Recently, a pair of their shoes, along with other bug-like clothing from various alternative designers, was captured by photographer Madame Peripetie and model Jana Berlin in a shoot titled Insectarium.

More images after the jump!

Blouse: Dora Mojzes. Corset: Savage Wear.

Android Fashion by Yuima Nakazato

I don’t write about fashion on Coilhouse as much as I used to. Haute Macabre and Stylecunt have really stepped up to fill the niche for the kind of fashion coverage I craved when Coilhouse first began. That said, something about the work of Yuima Nakazato felt exciting enough to warrant a post here. “Futuristic” fashion may feel incredibly dated, but I never get tired of seeing impossible heels, transluscent garments lit from within by pulsing lights, and stylized metallic augmentations of the body’s contours. I’d love to see a collaboration between Nakazato and photographer Benedict Campbell.

Other than that, things are pretty quiet over here this week. Mer, Zo and I convene in San Diego tomorrow to plot your doom. Ross is once again safely locked up at the catacombs after being allowed a brief visit to the orthodontist, the alectryomancer and the local screening of Harry Potter. David asked us to expense an armored personnel carrier – not sure what that’s all about. Will sort it when we get back.

BTC: The Royal Ballet’s “Tales of Beatrix Potter”

Hey, can we all pool our resources and send fresh bouquets of snapdragons n’ dafferdillies to British ballet choreographer Frederick Ashton every day for the rest of his life? Seriously:

Piggy pas de deux! Jemima Puddle-Duck on pointe!

Must. Stop. Squealing.

The original film version of Tales of Beatrix Potter, shot in 1971, has twice been staged by the Royal Ballet, once in 1992, and more recently in 2007. The score –arranged and composed by John Lanchbery– delightfully interweaves melodies from old vaudeville ditties with more classical forms. The masks, costumes and production design are all so squee-inducingly adorable as to border on the demented. But it’s the incredible range of expression and dynamicism of Ashton’s choreography that brings beloved characters like Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Squirrel Nutkin and Hunca Munca so vibrantly to life. I’d give just about anything to see a production of this at the Royal Opera House. Here’s hoping it comes back sooner than later! Meantime, there are tons of clips to watch online, and a DVD to buy.

(Still squealing. Can’t be helped.)

Teddy Boys

The British Teddy Boy subculture is typified by young men wearing clothes inspired by the styles of the Edwardian period, which Savile Row tailors had tried to re-introduce after World War II. The group got its name after a 1953 newspaper headline shortened Edward to Teddy and coined the term Teddy Boy (also known as Ted).

So sayeth the neck-beards at Wikipedia in the entry for Teddy Boy, a sub-culture heretofore unknown to me. The article goes on to credit the Teddy Boys with helping to create a youth market in England, having been one of the first groups to identify as teenagers with a specific code of dress, perhaps only predated by the Scuttlers of mid 19th century Liverpool and Manchester. Scuttlers, as an interesting aside, were identified as wearing an eclectic get-up of:

[…] brass-tipped pointed clogs, bell-bottomed trousers, cut like a sailor’s (“bells” that measured fourteen inches round the knee and twenty-one inches round the foot) and “flashy” silk scarves. Their hair was cut short at the back and sides, but they grew long fringes, known as “donkey fringes”, that were longer on the left side and plastered down on the forehead over the left eye with oil or soap. Peaked caps were also worn tilted to the left to display the fringe.