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Trojan Women

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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Conversations (1)

  • Franco De Rose
    Lovely sport- almost as great as playing POLO

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  • ON REPLAY
    ON REPLAY

    Sleepwalking in the Rift

    Cary Fukunaga Directs an East African Love Story For the Luxury Label Maiyet

    Against the arresting backdrop of the East African bush, Haley Bennett portrays a young woman at a crossroads in life in this daring film by the critically acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga, commissioned by the distinguished fashion brand Maiyet. “We showed up in Africa with a one-line idea of what we were trying to do,” says the young auteur, whose cast and crew spent three days in Kenya. “It was really experimental in that sense.” Maiyet founders Kristy Caylor and ex-human rights lawyer Paul Van Zyl’s decision to shoot on location in Kenya falls in line with the company’s mission to cultivate business and craft in unexpected place, wherever there is genuine skill. The result plays with the conventions of movie advertising: this is a trailer with no feature attached. Instead, Fukunaga created a 30-minute series of short vignettes featuring the Maiyet Resort 2013 collection, to premiere in London this week. After receiving the directing award at the 2009 Sundance Festival with his debut feature, Sin Nombre, the 35-year-old American filmmaker took on the latest adaptation of Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska with Michael Fassbender. Set to a sweetly evocative score, this recent work sees actress and singer Bennett forge a tender connection with her ranger guide, played by Swedish actor Fares Fares, as they explore lush new environments. The intensive process of filming had its own immersive, cinematic moments. “On our first or second day there, a herd of giraffes started charging us,” recalls the director. “It was so beautiful that we filmed it until we realized we should probably get out of the road.”
    (Read More)
  • MOST SHARED IN SPORT
    MOST SHARED IN SPORT

    Swimmer Shaved

    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 

    Location
    Studio Bart Hess, Canalstreet, Eindhoven, Netherlands.

    Shoot duration
    Ten hours. 

    Cast
    One male model, one director, one cameraman, and two shavers.

    Amount of shaving cream used
    Twenty-eight cans.

    Cuts from shaving
    Five.

    Body surface covered in foam
    2.1m².

    Amount of hairs shaved during the shoot
    Approximately 24,000.

    Closeness of shave
    0.0001cm.

    Wardrobe
    Supermarket b-brand shaving-foam; one tiny pair of Speedos to avoid cuts to the more sensitive body parts.

    Sound effects
    Manipulated real-life shaving sounds.

    Shaving appliance
    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!”

    (Read More)

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