Skirt Issey Miyake, Scarf Timothy John, Boots Chloe
For PJ Harvey, Patti Smith and Ann Demuelemeester churches have been a site of and location for creativity. Patti Smith had her first reading in St. Mark’s Church in New York City in 1971. This month she will be performing at the Vatican at the invitation of Pope Francis. Ann Demeulemeester designed a black and white dress with feathers for a 16th Century statue of the Blessed Virgin that can be viewed in the church of Sint-Andrieskerk in Antwerp. PJ Harvey’s award winning album, “Let England Shake” was recorded and performed in St. Peter’s Church in Dorset on a cliff top overlooking the sea. So for this photo shoot PJ Harvey is my muse and there is also a nod to churches as a site of inspiration.
PJ Harvey collaborated with both Ann Demeulemeester and Demeulemeester’s husband Patrick Robyn on the photography and the clothing for her album and tour “Let England Shake”. At the 2011 awards ceremony where she received the Mercury Prize (Best Album in England and Ireland) for the album, PJ Harvey wore one of Ann Demeulemeester’s most coveted pieces, a feather halo and a specially designed long black dress. The album, a collection of lyrical narratives of war, received great critical acclaim and also included a series of short films Harvey made in collaboration with photojournalist Seamus Murphy. The photos of Harvey dressed in black and feathers wandering through what looks like devastation are haunting and compelling.
There are days in the life of every woman when she feels dark and angry. Those are the days when I listen to PJ Harvey, wear “relentless” black and turn up the volume loud. Something cathartic happens and at the end of a listening session somehow I feel that justice has been served. Though many view her as dark, she is often funny if you get her jokes.