The Return of a Forgotten Highlight in the Equestrienne Calendar
Camaraderie, poise and a healthy dose of Dutch courage were the order of the day when 16 women with nerves of steel took on the Leicestershire countryside for the inaugural Bernard Weatherill Diana of the Chase Cup—the first recorded sidesaddle race to be held since 1921. “Originally I was interested in point-to-pointing but I realized you couldn’t ride them sidesaddle so you might as well organize your own race,” says jewelry designer Philippa Holland, who hatched the plan for the steeplechase after when former Formula One driver Brian Henton invited her to host the event on his farm. Although this equestrian art nearly died out after the Second World War, it has recently undergone a revival with social media serving as a platform to galvanize and unite enthusiasts. Apart from Holland herself, competitors included seasoned riders such as Martha Sitwell, the face of Royal Ascot, and eventer Fiona Davidson. “It’s the combination of glamour and bravery,” says Holland. “You don’t
want to be trotting around being judged for your turnout—you want to be
galloping across country brave as anything and looking elegant at the
same time.” The race, drama and romance that photographer Linda Brownlee captured was ultimately won by Navan-based entrepreneur Susan Oakes, who also set the record for side saddle high jump in July last year.
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The Art of the Close Shave Demonstrated in Fashion Filmmaker Bart Hess' Sexy Short
The seductive curves of a toned figure are slowly unveiled by the ultimate seamless shave in designer, animator and photographer Bart Hess’s sleek new film. Inspired by the aerodynamic forms of swimmers currently battling it out in the Olympic pool, Hess was aided by a pair of human shavers manipulating a two-meter long blade in turning a mechanical act of grooming into a strangely hypnotic performance. “What is important to me in my work is a sense of estranging,” admits Hess, who added the white bar in post-production to compound the uncanny feel of the film. “I want to show the spectator an image that may not be recognizable right away.” Collaborating on textiles with designers like Ann Sofie Back and Iris van Herpen, and sculpting unique outfits for photographer Nick Knight’s editorials for AnOther Magazine and US Vogue, Hess is known for his experimental treatment of materials, like the 15Ib slime dress created for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album and video. “Normally within my work I am looking for the limits of a material,” says Hess. “But in this film I was looking for the limits of the shaving ritual by scaling it up to include the whole body.” Here, Hess takes NOWNESS beneath the skin of his shoot.
STATS FROM ON SET
Studio Bart Hess, Canalstreet, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
One male model, one director, one cameraman, and two shavers.
Amount of shaving cream used
Cuts from shaving
Body surface covered in foam
Amount of hairs shaved during the shoot
Closeness of shave
Supermarket b-brand shaving-foam; one tiny pair of Speedos to avoid cuts to the more sensitive body parts.
Manipulated real-life shaving sounds.
Two-meter-long metal blade.
Olympic record to beat
21.3 seconds (men's 50 meters freestyle).
Potential health hazards
Choking on the foam (luckily the model was a swimmer so he could hold his breath).
Director's motivational speech
“You are brilliant! Let's do that three more times!”