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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Tim Walker-In the land of Fantasy

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This photo was sneakily taken at an exhibition of Walker's photography, sets and sketchbooks at the Design Museum, Shad Thames, years ago when I had only just finished school. I see this letter as a sprawling 'statement of motivation', which introduces and explains all of Walker's vibrant madness and playful twist on fashion photography.

Tim Walker is a fashion photographer who often features in Vogue. In fact he has become part of the Vogue elite when it comes to fashion shoots and it isn't entirely ridiculous that I check each issue for his work before I spend my precious student pounds on it. Finding a Walker shoot fills me with a comforting sense of glee. I spend the month returning to his pages to explore the imaginative spaces of his sets, costumes and the story which usually weaves through his work.

Walker is a story teller who explores the limits and extravagances of the fashion world; inspired by fairytale, folklore and those magical suggestions of other countries and cultures we don't quite understand. He fills country houses with Lily Cole's red hair and giant fish, he dies the fur of Cats and paints elephants. He builds giant toys and spaceships and aeroplanes that subvert our ideas of the clean lines and meticulous attention to the details of clothing which we have come to expect from the pages of glossy magazines. With Walker it isn't about the clothes, but he is just so delectable, Vogue doesn't care!

Walker sells us a fantasy world that has come straight from his heart and his head, which is an integral part of passions and influences that come all the way from bedtime stories and dressing up as a child. And it is a fantasy that I embrace with 'glittering eyes' and avid interest. What will walker do next? Which country's folklore will he ravage? Which memory will he uncover and offer us? Look out for him in Vogue!

I remember coming out of that exhibition at the Design Museum with a sense of elation. I thought that I had never felt such a strong affinity with anything in my life. It was as if those photos were mine, as though they had come from my head as well as Tim's. Damn Walker for getting there first.

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