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Tim Walker's 'Snow Queen'


Keeping my reputation up of leaving things to the last minute once again, I finally got round to seeing ‘Tim Walker: Story Teller’ before Somerset House closed its doors on the recent exhibition. For those who were luckily enough to see the enchanting images of the fashion photographer, Tim Walker, you will understand how mesmerizing and inspiring this exhibition was. And to my surprise, it wasn’t just a selection of his work that was up on offering but as well as the elaborate props used in his photography such as the swan boat featured in ‘An Immaculate Tale’ for Casa Vogue October 2010 or the chilling 15ft doll that chased Lindsey Wixon in ‘Like a Doll’ for Vogue Italia January 2012. Yet it wasn’t just that; mixed with sketches, scribbles and quotations, Tim Walker gave you a small glimpse of what it is like to be inside his mind. A dreamy, enchanting fairy-tale state of mind that inspires. 

I remember my fifteen year old self with a brain that only wanted to absorb anything to do with fashion, finally plucked up the courage to ask my mum to buy me my first issue of the so-called “fashion bible”; Vogue. Before I was to shamefully embarrassed to ever ask as I walked past the magazine aisle, taking down Vogue from the top shelf and quickly flicking through it. But the 2009 March issue of Vogue was different; there was something about Lily Donaldson sitting gracefully on the cover but with piercing eyes as if she was luring me in to tell me to buy it. It was then when I first met the beautiful work of Tim Walker. Although there was two editorials for my young eyes to feast on by Walker, it was however his ‘Snow Queen’ that truly marked a defining moment for myself. I was mesmerized by each image featured in the editorial that I had to (which I never like doing) carefully rip each image out to have it stuck on my bedroom wall.  Although not one of his most popular editorials, there was something particular in these images that sparked my already growing love for the fashion industry into something much more meaningful. “Enchanting, ethereal, playful and bold… Enter a world of pure fantasy, where a fairytale princess – the embodiment of ancient mythology’s Three Graces – vies for attention with magical swans…” was the tagline for the editorial and it was a world that I wanted to enter and never to leave. Words can’t really explain what it was and why it was this editorial that led me onto the path to the fashion industry but I do know that it is an editorial that will always stick in my mind as well as have a place in my heart. A friend that accompanied me on my visit to the exhibition said that it is a great honour and privilege to see Walker’s work from photographs to sketches to props all in one room. I couldn't have agreed more. 

Photo's Courtesy of Tim Walker and British Vogue

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