What happiness looks like

(images by elaine constantine)

Elaine Constantine was first propelled into the public eye by her editorial 'Sarf Coasting' in The Face (1997), a fashion story about a bunch of girls having a good British day out in Brighton. Since then she has contributed to both American and Italian Vogue as well as photographing several huge advertising campaigns for the likes of Levi's and Diesel.
At the time of its publication, 'Sarf Coasting' was hailed as a new and refreshing alternative to the grunge fashion offerings of the decade and i think it still does the same now, harking back to the simpler things in life, like a celebration of childish pleasures and hanging out with your mates.

My sister Bex was the first person to alert me to the amazing Mancunian photographer when she was doing her dissertation a few years ago and the picture of the three girls riding their bikes has stuck with me ever since. I just love the raw happiness of it. There's a kind of fundamental, earthy enjoyment on the faces of each of the models that almost verges on hysteria, which makes me smile every time i look at it. Enjoyment, pleasure, upbeatness and excitement are all concepts i link with her work and their bright colours reflect these concepts wholeheartedly.

My highest commendation of her work can only be that whenever i unearth an unseen Constantine photo i think the same thing - 'this is what happiness looks like'.

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