Style confessions... Photographer Alison King
What are the five key items in your wardrobe at the moment?
I love my snow boots from TK Maxx. They are seriously handy for location shoots so my feet don't get cold, and I also love my old, well-worn-in Guess jeans. I bought a red snakeskin-print skirt from Betsey Johnson in New York years ago, and my octopus Rock & Republic necklace came from www.styletonic.ie — I wear it a lot. My favourite tee is a Katharine Hamnett ‘Love’ T-shirt.
? What are you wearing today and how much did it cost?
My old blue denim jeans fromPortabello market, which were a bargain at €20; my aforementioned black snow boots from TK Maxx, €25; and I’m wearing a T-shirt from H&M which cost €10.
? How would you describe your personal style?
My style is casual and nonconformist, although if I have to impress a client I throw on a long camel cashmere coat to cover the evidence of this. Occasionally my clothes make my friends laugh and my socks never match. Sometimes, as I am about to head out the door my boyfriend will say, “You're not wearing that, are you?” Thathappens regularly actually. I could easily wear snakeskin with leopard print and a military jacket without thinking it through.
? Where do you shop for clothes — online or the high street?
For online shopping, I really like www.styletonic.ie. I also love stores such as American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and TK Maxx. I usually go to the Dublin flea market, which is on the last Sunday of every month in Newmarket and has great vintage clothing, and I like going to the Bernard Shaw car boot sale. The stuff is great and the atmosphere is a lot of fun.
? What are your favourite fashion destinations?
I was born in London, which has many glamorous associations but it was the 1980s, and from looking at photos I spent a lot of time in dodgy shell suits and cut-off denims. I went to school in Brighton where, in comparison to London, the style is very laid back, which I loved. I spent some time living in New York which I really enjoyed and stylistically it is fascinating, because there where so many looks or tribes. As a fashion destination my absolute favourite would be Italy; I love the Italian style and culture.
? What are your favourite, books, magazine, museums and films?
I obsess over art and photography books; I have so many I've started making extra bookshelves to hold them all. I buy LOVE magazine by Katie Grand, Dazed, AnOther and Purple, which is great as they show so much skin in the shoots and it has a beautiful feel to it overall. I haven't been to a museum since I was a child. As far as classic films I love The Labyrinth.
? What are the five most popular tracks on your iPod?
From David Bowie it would easily be Heroes,Jean Genie and Changes. Elbow's The Bones of You and The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver are also very popular with me.
? A classic black dress — how do you make it yours?
My current favourite black dress is Kate & Ava's recent design on Styletonic. It has symmetric triangles on the shoulder. I would match it with black faux tattoos on my wrists, Alexander McQueen Armadillo python ankle boots, and can I have an Espresso Martini from Ely wine bar to complete the picture?
? Who in celebrity culture do you think dresses well and why?
Daphne Guinness personifies a creative and intelligent side of glamour, although sometimes it can be a bit conceited.
? Do you follow trends?
Yes and no. My look updates itself with the twists and turns in my life. A year ago I was working for Image magazine full-time as production coordinator, so I wore dresses to the office. Now I'm a freelance photographer and I'll often find myself on location shoots in freezing cold weather, so my daily wardrobe has to include warm layers and often gloves. Once the working week ends and Saturday night rolls in, I ignore practicality and the beautiful dresses come out.
? What inspires you?
As a photographer, I daydream a lot and I see visions of things which I then try to reproduce through my
camera. I'm a Reiki master and do past-life regression, which can inspire creativity. I also find inspiration from other photographers I have assisted, such as Stuart Weston, and I always check out Nick Knight's Showstudio (www.showstudio.com).
? What do you do in order to feel and look your best?
I feel good when I'm working. I also swim every day. I look my best when I'm in love. I photograph a lot of weddings. I'm a total romantic and believe people radiate and look amazing when in love.
? Has working in fashion made you more aware of your image?
Nobody really cares what I look like on a job as I am behind the camera. Ironically, the longer I've been involved in fashion the less I care about how I look. Saturday night is a different story, though.
? How can we mere mortals make sure we look our best in pictures?
Be happy, fall into a daydream, hold your chin away from your neck, look away from the camera, pretend I'm not here and let me see your soul.