Saturday, 18 April 2009

The Rankin Outfit

There are times when nothing really happens around here, and then, out of the blue, BAM, they all come crashing down on you like a bloody snowball. Yesterday was one of those good avalanche days. And all because I took a leaf out of that Yes Man book (saw the film on the flight home), and, well, said yes when people asked.

So, ladies and gentleman, I'm taking part in the Rankin Live exhibition - the one where the man himself photographs 1,000 people as part of a project to document the faces of Britain.

I was a chance I casually jumped to two days ago when I was lazily browsing facebook. One of his assistants asked via his status for volunteers, and I said "whaddahell. I'll go". The email I got back said *dress to impress*, and as with everything else, I only thought about the outfit minutes before getting out the door (not saying this is a good thing. I don't like planning outfits ahead, and because of it, most of the time I make the most horrendous mistakes, if that exists at all). I chose, as usual, vintage leggings, my favourite Kurt Geiger boots and vintage hat, and an old Levi's top that I had no idea I had - but since London's chilly spring hasn't killed the last of a tan I brought from Thailand, I thought I might as well show it before it's gone.

I shouldn't have worried, because as you'll see in the next picture, the man himself wasn't too impressed with my choice of outfit, and chose to sit my in a chair and do a closeup.

So, the experience itself. The photoshoot took place in his studio/office, which is part of the whole Dazed & Confused / Another HQ. I was one of 30 other people who was being shot on the day, and showed up in batches of 5 every hour. I had done a bit of make-up and well, brushed my hair, but it was obviously not enough as I was sent straight to hair'n'make-up to fix the bad job I had done. They chose to hide my hair under the hat, which I thought was a wise decision, increased the eye-lashes, and off I went.

I had no idea what to expect from Rankin, as I had never seen him apart from a profile image of him hiding behind a camera, so I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed my boots made me tower over him (I'm 5'1. I never tower over anybody, even if I wear platforms). He had a cheeky, very lad-like sense of humour, making fun of my accent in between bad dirty jokes that made his team laugh nervously. I wasn't intimidated, but slightly taken aback - it might be just me, but I find a little strange people who use bullying tactics to put people at ease.

The guy is obviously good, though. He takes between 5 and 15 minutes with people, until he finds his models' best angles, and then lets everyone choose their favourite shot - although he does push you to choose his own favourite. In my case, he liked a closeup with my hair big and flying all over the place, claiming he made me look like the "Penelope Cruz of Brazil". Terrible.

So I chose this one:

This and 999 other images are going to be part of the Truman Brewery show in the summer in much bigger proportions than the small print I got - and the ironic thing, I'll probably be the ONLY Brazilian in it.

But that was just the first part of the day. Something else happened later on, but I'll continue on the post above.