Alesha Hickmans Interview and Article
Updated: May 28, 2021
Alesha Hickmans is a photographer based in Bristol, with a background of work ranging from live music photography, to capturing the glitz and glamour of runways at New York Fashion week. Alesha has been intrigued by the fashion industry for some time now, but this is one of the first instances she has set her mind towards creating her own narrative within the fashion world.
“I’ve always loved the idea of fashion week, watching hours and hours of YouTube videos on vogue and behind the scenes of big fashion houses like Burberry, Jacquemus etc but I never thought it was something I could be a part of.
From this I started looking at fashion photography and loved it, the sets, models, styling, I just found it all kind of mesmerising to be honest.”
This project originated with the idea of creating a modernised version of Enid Blyton’s ‘The Famous Five’. With the goal of reinventing the iconic characters so that the story was more inclusive, eliminating aspects of the old stories that we now recognise as being wrong, such as racism or misogyny. Alesha began by recreating the characters into who she believed they might be if the books were written today, and she worked with two stylists to turn her characters into a reality. This is one of the aspects of this work which makes it a unique take on fashion; rather than the work being centred around the outfits on show, these images tell tales of the individuals wearing them too. The project delves into discourses of youthful expression, whilst considering how important fashion can be to enable this in today’s society.
“The clothes we wear really make up our identity, and I think now more than ever, young people use fashion to express their individuality and have that voice in them heard.”
These photographs don’t just rely on stunning models and striking outfits, the locations chosen by Alesha are the perfect backdrop, working seamlessly with the subjects to create powerful imagery. The coastal location is a fantastic continuation of the narrative of youth; the waves crashing against the stone-cold rocks and the harsh cliff edges, both speak volumes about the contrast between youth and the society that can be a struggle to find place or purpose within. This aspect of the work is particularly poignant at this moment in time, as the divide between generations is something that seems to be growing larger, thus making these platforms of expression like fashion even more important.
Another exciting aspect of this project is that it has no finalised ending. These characters can keep growing and evolving in further work if Alesha chooses to continue their development, and this will be fascinating going forward. It would be great to see more of these individuals, with whatever potential stories that could come alongside them. As fashion is an ever-changing entity, how will these characters develop their own styles and personalities in the future?
Thank you to Alesha for sharing her work, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for both this project in particular, and all of Alesha’s future endeavours. Some more images from this project are shown below.
Article by Frankie Haworth