Sunday, 13 January 2013

Week 1: Centre Pompidou

Pompidou Centre
For my very first shoot, I decided upon the Centre Pompidou – a cultural complex in Paris’s 4th arrondissement. One of the many reasons why the Pompidou is great is that it is right next to the Marais, which has to be one of my favourite bits of this wondrous metropolis. Formerly a  largely Jewish quarter, this area has now –bizarrely – become known as the city’s gay district. It is busy and vibrant and fun, full of vintage clothes stores, Chinese jewellery shops, lively bars and cute cafés. What better place to humiliate myself than one filled with fabulous, arty people and in close proximity to a cosy café into which I could hurl myself if it all simply got too much?
Umbrella Pompidou Centre
Jacket - H&M

Red Gloves
Gloves - Accessorize

                Never having done anything even vaguely like this before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’m not really the model type, you see, being 5’3’’ and a bit...well...smiley. I presumed it could go one of two ways; either I would get in front of the camera, giggle like a small child, half-heartedly strut around and then say “I’m cold let’s go home”, or turn into a Carla Bruni-esque vixen, smoulder professionally at the camera for 15 minutes then say “I’m cold, let’s go home”. As it was, neither of those things happened.

Red Pencil Skirt H&M
Skirt - H&M


My joy of a roommate, who I have somehow convinced to help me with this, was transformed before my eyes from a bouncy bundle of barely-controlled energy, into a female Mario Testino. “No, don’t jump like that, it doesn’t work”, “Stop spinning, you just look like you’re flailing desperately”, “move to your right so you block out that van/graffiti/small dog”. It was, however, still cold. Very cold. Extremely cold. COLD. About 4° Celsius to be exact, which was probably a good thing because it helped distract me from the total embarrassment of having to pose like I meant it, wearing inappropriately colourful clothing, in front of strangers. Thankfully (sort of) it was also raining, which not only kept most of the tourists at bay but also gave us the perfect grey sky for the shoot.

Plastic Bracelets H&M
Bracelets - H&M


                Opened in 1977, the Centre Pompidou was designed by a team of architects, (including Englishman Richard Rogers, who is also responsible for the Millennium Dome) in a futuristic style which was virtually unseen at the time, especially in such a historic part of the city. This style made the centre iconic and so it was important that my outfit was as visually reminiscent of the building itself as possible.

Earrings + Necklace - H&M

I went for bright primary and secondary colours to match both the pipes which cover the outer walls of the centre and much of the vivid and multi-hued modern art which lines the walls within, and I added Perspex jewellery to go with the vast network of plastic tubes which form the façade. Take the escalator up through these tubes to the fourth and fifth floors you will find not only the Musée National d’art Moderne, but also some of the most spectacular views of the city.

Top - H&M

 This plastic theme also came in handy with the rain and so I carried it on with the plastic-coated bags, hilariously touristy umbrella and the bubble-wrap headpiece.

Tights - Accessorize, Shoes - Modatoi, Bags - Cath Kidston

Umbrella - Tourist Shop near Hotel de Ville

This headpiece was partly inspired by Giorgio Armani’s Spring-Summer 2013 collection which features a rather interesting viscose-covered (and therefore waterproof) linen hat and while I am not personally skilled enough to make a replica, I figured I could try to make something in a similar vein.

Front and Back of Headpiece
Clip - Boots

What’s more, the first time I ever went to the Pompidou they were selling bubble-wrap hats so I thought it might be a suitable homage. The result is a sort of 1920s turban thing , I think it worked quite well – it certainly kept my ears warm!

Stravinksy Fountain
Each figure represents a theme or song by composer Igor Stravinsky.

                The multi-coloured ensemble was put together to reflect not only the appearance of the centre itself, but also the colourful nature of the area. The Place Georges Pompidou is almost always full of street performers, mime artists, dancers and clowns but, thankfully for me, they too are scared off by the rain! So, first shoot down, 33 to go and I think it went rather well. Thoughts for next week: be bolder, be braver, and possibly incorporate thermals into the next shoot...



  1. Quel honneur to be the first to comment!!

    I didn't even realise that the head piece was bubble wrap until you mentioned!

    Looking forward to next week!

  2. This. Was. Molto. Buono. I would like your head piece please. x

  3. And where did you get that bubble wrap from, hmmmmm?! Good blog missus, look forward to the future editions!


Go on, leave a comment - you'll make my day!