Anoushka Probyn is 19 years old. She is British and lives in London, UK, where she is completing a one year Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. You can contact Anoushka by email at Anoushka.firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @anoushkalila. See more of her work on Anoushka Probyn’s Portfolio.
Anoushka, what is the background of the work you submitted?
For the final unit of my Foundation course I chose to look at the opulence and eccentricity of the 1920’s. I researched how this period was influenced by an influx of different cultures triggered by the acceleration of worldwide trade. Alongside popular Art Deco prints of Western tradition, Oriental and Egyptian designs were commonly seen in fashion, illustration and architecture. This combination resulted in decadent designs and luxurious fashion. Theatre was also an important element of the 1920’s ambiance as silent films and the Ballet Russes (the Russian Ballets) became all the rage. With this project I focused on exotic designs and a sense of theatricality.
My research was conducted through visits of the V&A and British Museum collections. This lead me to create my own prints inspired by a mishmash of influences, weaving together Egyptian symbols with Japanese floral designs and Art Deco geometry. My final images were inspired by photographs of the 1920’s, in particular the Ziegfeld Girls by Alfred Cheney Johnston, which combine exotic backdrops with props to create dramatic portraits. I tried to emulate this style to convey the decadence and excess the 1920’s.
What inspires you creatively?
I can say I am influenced by my surroundings: I live in London where museums and art galleries, fashionable people and beautiful architecture are plentiful. My favourite place in London is the V&A; there always seems to be a new room full of artefacts to discover. It is so easy to get lost amongst all the ancient tapestries and precious china!
Your favourite film?
I’m a big fan of Hitchcock so I would certainly think of Psycho, ultimately however nothing can beat Some Like It Hot. Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are just fabulous!
Your favourite music album?
My favourite album of all time is Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA. It was my first Springsteen album. I have been hooked since I nicked it from my parents’ collection. I saw Springsteen live last year – now in his 60s he still has so much energy, a living legend!
Your favourite Video?
Eugenio Recuenco is an amazing Spanish fashion photographer and filmmaker who really pushes boundaries. I love his cinematic style and unusual ‘plots’. His wacky themes between reality and fantasy often have a slightly sinister subtext. This short film he create for Loewe is a favourite of mine: the visuals are spectacular and the characters elegant.
Your favourite websites for inspiration?
For fashion I look to Liz’s blog Late Afternoon; it always looks so classy and well put together. When researching a project, Pinterest is my first port of call as with so many beautiful images to inspire me. Finally Trendhunter makes it easy to search fashion shoot archives.
What do you think is hot or new in the world?
For a while now I believe that, partially in response to the recession, fashion is retaliating against the decadence of the last decade. Though the models are still gorgeous and the clothes luxurious, glamour is no longer de rigueur. A decidedly anti-fashion feel abounds. This is illustrated by more arts-driven features in fashion magazines such as Pop, as well as the recent proliferation of grungy 90s looks publicised by the fashion industry and seen on the street. It seems that as the economy remains unsteady, fashion is keeping a low profile with ‘un-trends’ in vogue.
What does Fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is the hard fought and little yielding battle to eradicate the armies of Uggs, Abercrombie and jeans clad girls who line the streets worldwide. It’s a tough fight but creativity will prevail!
Your ideal Fashion Project?
Whenever I have free time, I like to tinker with website coding. I would love to launch a fashion website devoid of the industry angle or the personal feel of a blog. I would love to find fellow fashion enthusiasts to collaborate with on such a project. A solid group of amateur stylists, makeup artists, photographers and journalists could create some really spectacular content.
How do you imagine your future?
I’m still holding out for an approach by MI6 for work in a James Bond capacity, but until they realise my worth I’d love to be part of an established multi-platform fashion brand or publication in a creative role, such as Fashion Director. However with the constant evolution of the relationship between fashion and technology it’s impossible to pinpoint a particular job – in ten years time fashion will be consumed in entirely new ways not currently imaginable!
Your ideal internship?
I’m considering taking a year out before continuing education at degree level, so I’m on the lookout for work experience within the industry. I’m interested in working on fashion concepts for marketing, promotion and communication, in a magazine or digital medium ideally within a company with standing in the industry such as Vogue or Net-A-Porter. However I would also be happy to get experience with a smaller up-and-coming company, where I could be more involved in the process.
How much scope is there for manoeuvre between specialities within the fashion industry? Can you do several things, such as journalism, styling, illustration etc, or is it recommended to stick to one specialisation and focus on excelling in that?
What do you think? Why not tell us in the comment section below.