It’s not every day that a photographer who’s work is regularly published in the likes of NME magazine, calls you up and submits some work. It is, it must be said, even rarer that such work is a departure from the genre of photography that you would expect; but here we go. We at JAM are extremely excited to introduce the collaboration between Tom Martin and fashion designer Lindsay James, better known as Violet Flamingo.

Violet Flamingo may only be a year old, but it is most definitely a grown-up brand.  The magic happens in Littleborough, Lancashire, a modest setting for such bold designs. Lindsey, who is inspired by the elegance of the 1950’s and the delicate sensuality of vintage clothing, brings together voluptuous contouring and teasing mesh to produce some delicious couture pieces.. Lindsey’s focus is not on mass producing items, she is her company’s sole artist and focuses on creating beautiful, bespoke pieces for her clients.

Here, photographer Tom Martin has taken a break from shooting musicians, to lend his innovative eye and style, to showcase Lindsay’s talents. The location of Hebden Bridge, part suburban housing estate, part Wuthering Heights, made-for-TV drama backdrop, providing a perfect visual juxtaposition for the  glamour of the garments to stand out against. The model, Gemma Hayley Daubney, also had to put up with the cold, un- cooperative ducks and plenty of unwanted male attention, including one over-zealous individual with a serious zoom lens, in order to bring us this collection… so show respect, OK?!

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The results, though, are something special. The dress, in the bridge image, is completely reliant on mesh, yet it is utterly flattering and kisses the flesh like an extension of the body. Complex tailoring nips in the sleeves at the cuff, bringing the vintage feel back to an extremely modern design concept. The corsets in the images really steal the show; intensely complicated, each embellishment flatters the body. In the moors image, the sequins gather close at the waist, and then fan out like the feathers of a peacock. The outfits are definitely cheeky; with an obvious nod to burlesque and are extremely fetishistic. They are more than that though, they are crafted to be flattering and expressive.

Martin captures Lindsay’s style perfectly, the ‘Road Closed’ image in particular, embodies the ethos of the clothing; the idea of sticking two fingers up to what you are told to do and to wear and to be, totally comes across. Gemma looks mock horrified at the idea of being kept from going somewhere, anywhere, dressed to the nines in the most luxurious lace detailing and a partial corset. This playfulness, combined with the confidence, really sets things off. The final photograph has a slightly different tone, the lighting partially obscures the model’s face, allowing the shine of the corset to catch the eye. The street with the gorgeous moors in the distance doesn’t just create an interesting setting; it seems to emulate Lindsey’s designs, at once both feminine and wild.

Violet Flamingo easily has the potential to grow into a leading brand in bespoke clothing and the pride Lindsey has for her work comes through strongly in every piece of lace work, sequin and stitch. You can find a link below to Violet Flamingo’s online shop if you would like to peruse more of Lindsay’s work, as well as a link to the excellent photographic work of Tom Martin. We suggest you get clicking.

Images: Tom Martin

Designs: Lindsay James / Violet Flamingo

Model: Gemma Hayley Daubney

Article: Bryony Rae Taylor

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