Tuesday 20 March 2012

Book Review: Ed Fox - Glamour from the Ground Up

Last Monday Alex and I were going to London to see a show.  We haven't been into the capital in ages so decided to make a day of it, starting off with a browse around the sex shops of Soho.  It's fun to actually see toys in real life and have a good play (in a non-sexual way of course!) with the display models and things, but the highlight of area for us is one particular bookshop - Soho Original Books.  We've been there a couple of times before and always find that they have a great selection of erotic art and photography books (also lots of other books too, not just sex-related).  They're also very reasonably priced, we purchased three books, all of which were cheaper than their listed price on Amazon.  If you're ever stuck for something to do around London then it's definitely somewhere I would suggest popping in to.

Whilst browsing, one particular book caught my eye - Ed Fox - Glamour from the Ground Up.  It is an A5 sized hardback with a gorgeous glossy cover featuring Dita von Teese in stunning bridal lingerie, complete with stockings, a suspender belt and voluptuous veil. As our wedding is hastily approaching, I have a heightened sense of awareness to anything wedding related at the moment.  Also I have a bit of a thing for stockings - these two things combined on the cover made certain that I gave it a closer look.

I flicked through the pages in the shop and immediately liked what I saw.  Beautiful photos of beautiful girls.  It was reasonably priced at only £10.99, so I decided to invest.

I'd never heard of Ed Fox until I came across this book, and had no idea that he was a foot fetishist, or that this was the primary focus of the book that I had just purchased, I had just been attracted by the stunning photography.  I leafed through it some more whilst sitting in a park enjoying a rare bit of sunshine - and finally the foot thing hit me.  Having never considered myself into that kind of thing before I was pleasantly surprised by how these images were starting to make me feel.  I love his compositions, the feet more often than not are at the fore-front of the picture, with other interesting things going on behind.

It's a Taschen book, so is of course of brilliant quality.  It has lovely glossy pages, which either have a single photo on each or are a double page spread.   There's a few pages at the front explaining a bit more about Ed Fox himself in English, German and French, but other than this the whole book is just a portfolio of his photography.  It also has what they call a "panic cover", if you turn the outer cover inside out it makes it look like a boring plain book on laws of England.  This idea is great in principle, but doesn't work so well in practice.  I was so excited about having a browse through my book on the train on the way home, but unfortunately the train was really busy (why?! It was half 11 at night on a Monday...) so I attempted to change the cover round to have a browse.  It was quite tricky to get it to stay in place because of the folds, and I didn't want to re-crease them too much for fear of damaging it.  So I would say the cover is more of a novelty than anything else.

The book also comes with a DVD which has two sections on it "Pretty Nice" and "Pretty Wrong".    Both of these sections are, what I would class as, more hardcore foot fetish material. "Pretty Nice" has four short films with more of a sensual feel to them, whereas "Pretty Wrong" has another four short films which are, well that.  I didn't buy the book for the DVD, in fact, I didn't realise it had a DVD until after I bought it.  I have watched it, but it's not really my thing, so I don't want to pass too much judgement - I'm sure for you serious foot fetishists out there it would be well worth a look.  There is about three and a half hours of content on it.  

Obviously whether or not you like this kind of thing very much comes down to personal taste.  Check out my Tumblr to see if I like similar things to you.

Looking back, maybe I have been a bit of a fan of feet for longer than I thought.  I have lots of photos of my own feet... and have enjoyed looking at foot photography for years.  But I've always considered my relationship with them platonic.  If you'd have told me a year ago that I'd be wanking over a foot massage I would not have believed you.  Maybe it's just that I've never had them presented to me in such a tasteful sexual way before, I don't know.  But what I do know is that I will be getting the follow up book to this very soon!  If you're into feet - get it.  If you're not into feet but enjoy erotic photography - try it, the foot thing isn't too obvious at first glance, and the photography is stunning.
My feet in the bath.
He Says:
I normally find the process of buying erotic books a bit of a hassle. Online there is a lot of choice, and reasonable prices, but actually selecting books is very difficult.  Tastes in erotic art and pornography are hugely personal, not to mention the fact that there is a lot of dross out there. Conversely, going to shops with a decent selection can be tricky and more expensive, but at least you usually get more of an idea of what you are actually buying (wasn't really the case with this one though.  Lucy picked it out, I had a quick glance and thought it looked nice, so we bought it).

Panic Cover
Why bother buying books at all then, there's plenty of both erotic art and explicit pornography freely available on the internet to suit all tastes (an idea of my personal tastes can be found here). Firstly, we are complete book nuts; our book shelves are overflowing, and although I'm sure a Kindle would be useful, I would not be able to bear not owning a hard copy of everything as well. The other reason is context. Although a lot of content is available on the internet, it is mostly isolated and disjointed. I am really interested in the history of sex and sexuality, and like to know the motivation behind the pictures I am looking at.

(Finally) on to the book.  Lucy has described most of the technical elements.  In my view the quality of the photography is very high, and the shots are well composed (but I am no photographer). About one third of the images have feet as their primary focus. These tend to be of the au naturel variety, as compared to say in boots or covered in food (or, ummm, what else sounds like a good fetish?). The pics are mostly in colour, with a few black and white shots, and tend to be fairly direct and hardcore.  There are also quite a proportion of shots of girls with toys, if this is something likely to appeal to you/turn you off.

What this collection lacks in my book (apologies) is text. There is a brief introduction and interview with Ed Fox by the peerless Dian Hanson of Taschen at the start, but that's it. Many (Lucy included) won't mind this, and it does of course mean more room for images. All the models featured are listed alphabetically at the back.

Overall, it is a reasonably priced book with high production values. There is a nice diversity to the selection, and, most importantly, it turned me on with repeated viewing. 


  1. I'm not done reading the review but I just had to comment. I AM DAMN JEALOUS OF YOUR PHOTOS. lol Either of you work as a pro photographer?

    1. Aww thank you so much! Really glad you like them! No, neither of are pro photographers. I take all the photos, and have been in love with cameras, well for all my life really. Got my first SLR last September and have been playing around with photography more since then. I'm loving having the blog as a bit of an outlet for some creativity! I've still got a lot to learn though, looking forward to getting into it further.

      Lucy xxxx