by Sarah Hayes
Tim Walkers imagery has fascinated me for many years, a true genius in story telling and without the superimposed effects created by software programs such as Adobe Photoshop; Walkers magical scenes are created by traditional stage design methods.
‘Mechanical Dolls’ is a fascinating fashion focused portrayal based on the book ‘The Mechanical Dolls of Monte Carlo’ I fell in love with Walkers series and ventured onto EBay to purchase the 2011 Vogue Italia issue that featured these glorious images. When the issue arrived I was not disappointed, the images where more stunning on paper than on screen and this feeling of nostalgia motivated deeper appreciation for the work in its entirety.
The series exemplifies fine art photography and the clothes become secondary to his subject matter and its visionary narrative. Each image enforces imagination upon the viewer, allowing them to become mystified in this playful world of characters that were invented in the eighteenth century.
Despite the distinctly beautiful props, fashion styling and set created by Walkers team; his use of ambient light really exaggerates the atmosphere of each scene that encourages soft shadows to echo the form of the models posing as the dolls. A visual silence generates through each room energized by the vacant stare of the unique doll’s and their expressionless pale faces.
Walker has an infinite ability to combine fashion with fine art. His images are more than describing a clothing line, he is firstly concerned with creating new fantasy worlds. This is inevitably why Vogue and other fashion publications continue to commission him for feature spreads within their magazines.
There is a short film to accompany Walker’s series (another skill set of the photographer) of ‘Mechanical Doll’s and it can be viewed using the provided link https://youtu.be/dlQWbnW1CoI
Walker, Tim. "Mechanical Dolls." Editorial. Vogue Italia No 734 Oct. 2011: n. pag. Print.