During her placement year, our good friend and long-time 1 Granary family member Julia van IJken has been travelling the globe. Having assisted Vestoj’s Anja Cronberg in Paris for several months and currently working with visual artist and photographer Katerina Jebb, it is safe to say Julia is steadily developing into a professional herself, since her first days on Fashion Folio. Before her journey began and Julia left the country, she got a group of CSM friends together for her Fashion Communication and Promotion project, the brief of which was: Make either a music video or do documentary photography.

“I think 40% of my class did documentary photography projects. One girl about her local Lidl – honestly really good. Another girl went to the motor race track a couple of weeks in a row and photographed there; another befriended her local council estate youths and documented them. Video-wise, one girl discovered this random salsa dancing place on Holloway Road, which turns into a place for Asian women and their English partners on Sunday evenings, and she set that to music.”

In a style different to her classmates’ photojournalistic explorations into council estates and budget supermarkets, Julia’s piece revolves around the simple and immediate beauty in human spontaneity. She put people on the spot with a slightly taboo topic: ‘What makes you feel sexy?’ We reversed the concept and asked Julia some questions of our own…

Swimmers & Gang – Sexy from Julia van IJken on Vimeo.

What makes you feel sexy?

Fresh sweat and great conversations

What main thing makes another person sexy?

Intellect and lust for life

What song has the most sex appeal?

Maggot Brain – Funkadelic

Shaggy or Sean Paul?

Sean Paul

How do you come up with ideas?

I think they crystallise slowly from life

How do you occupy yourself during long journeys?

Podcasts (This American Life!), taking secret pictures of people

One of the most difficult projects you’ve done?

Maybe this video: I had to film 20 people in two hours, make sure no one knew what was going to happen before they entered the studio, and then the batteries of the five different cameras I was filming with kept running out…

Who is missing from this video?

Olya Kuryshchuk!

 Words by Honor Cooper-Hedges

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