In the words of her friend Arvida Byström, London photographer Valerie Phillips always shoots “with the nerve of a photographer who just got their first camera.” Her most recent book, Another Girl Another Planet, is a personal collection of treasured pictures made with her many female muses throughout the course of fifteen years, including Byström, who lovingly penned the foreword.
Phillips has forever lived in the pursuit of what she once called “playful bravery,” which abounds in the pages of this candy-coated volume. All the “girls” included in the book, some famous (Sienna Miller, Florence Welch, Alice Dellal, and Daisy Lowe) and some obscure, are painfully, heart-stoppingly cool.
They’re like the older sister or babysitter you always wanted but never got. They’re the big girls all little girls dream of growing up to become.
Phillips’s world is one where visitors are free to love My Little Pony, animal stickers, candy necklaces, and all things that glitter in total earnestness, without a trace of irony. Another Girl Another Planet is Phillips’s ninth book but the first to feature many girls spanning a period of many years.
The book is a joyful one, but it would be a mistake to classify it as pure whimsy. Through her many protagonists, Phillips in turn reveals the most vulnerable parts of herself. She is cutting right to the tender quick of what it means to transition from girlhood to womanhood, and for that reason, the work is as intense as it is fanciful.
A tip: the book is best read while listening to Another Girl Another Planet by The Only Ones, the song from which it borrows its name. The book launches October 18th at Claire de Rouen Books in London. Find it here.
All images © Valerie Phillips
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