All posts filed under: Fashion

Max von Gumppenberg and Patrick Bienert’s Harlem Street Fashion

Originally from Munich, Germany, photographic duo Max von Grumppenberg and Patrick Bienert have been working together since 2007, producing campaigns for designers such as Valentino, Miguel Adrover and Hussein Chalayan. Two years ago they moved to New York, where they found themselves drawn to Harlem and its rich artistic heritage. “Spending time walking around the area and meeting people who live there was very inspiring,” they say. The result is a project which they named after the district, shot with a model but given a gritty, documentary feel. “We asked Drake – a model and actress – to be part of the project, to find the right balance between reportage and fashion,” they explain. “We took these images where Harlem connects to Central Park and tried to capture authentic moments and the social landscape.” The project also includes several candidly shots of passersby; in one image a seated woman is seen from behind, for example, while in another a woman walking down the street is shown from the waist down. It’s an unusual approach but one that’s often …


Still from A Bout de Souffle

Breathless cool: the enduring influence of the Nouvelle Vague

The Nouvelle Vague began, more or less, with Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (1960), and it came in a rush. Upstart and “arsehole” Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a man in motion. On the run and racing off in a stolen car before his female accomplice has time to get in with him, he speeds down the motorway, cursing anyone who dares slow his breakneck pace. Michel embodies a fugitive brand of modernity, too fast and fleeting to pin down, so even Godard’s innovative editing is jumpy and restless – and yet he will come crashing to a halt in Paris, while he waits on his American lover Patricia (Jean Seberg) to decide whether she will move on with him to Rome. Patricia wants to stay and to finish her studies – and yet far from representing the stasis of the past, she is in fact younger than Michel, sports a thoroughly modern hairstyle, and wants her own independence, rather than to play a pre-written rôle in Michel’s story.


© Olivia Rose

Olivia Rose’s Boy London

“This is one of my good friends Dapper,” Olivia Rose points out, as we pore over the many strikingly wistful close-ups that fill her portfolio. “He was arrested for carrying a corkscrew, for which he was going to open a bottle of wine. He went to prison for that! Oh, and this is Terry. Look at his double grill. His son’s name is Terry, and his dad’s name is Terry; he’s such a sweetheart, you know. He likes dancing to Haim.” Rose is not one to shy away from the complex realities that exist within her work. The male-orientated portraits feature not the faces of your typical pin-up, agency model, but real lads and men, fresh off the street. Her repertoire of male muses originate from all walks of life; drug dealers, gang members, young London lads off of the local council estate – you name it. They have all been captured by Rose’s lens. She is leading a new wave of photographic talent who, frustrated with the fashion industry’s stagnant stereotypes, are breathing life …


© Nick Knight

Showstudio – Nick Knight’s digital fashion concept

Digital fashion started in earnest in 2000, when photographer Nick Knight launched The site hosted the first-ever live fashion show the following year – a project called Sleep, in which nine models, dressed by stylists, retired to separate rooms in the Metropolitan Hotel in London for a night’s sleep. At midnight, viewers started logging in to watch the models on webcams as they tossed and turned, becoming gradually more unkempt. Knight then captured stills from the footage and uploaded them – pixellated stills, from which viewers could see form, colour and texture, but no definition. It was considered one of the most exciting fashion photography concepts in modern times. Before our phone interview, I watch Knight on a live stream editing photos from a Victoria’s Secret shoot. “I started shooting today on a [medium format camera],” he says, “then gave up and started shooting on my iPhone because I just couldn’t get the sensitivity to light. The iPhone 6 is incredibly sensitive to light.” For Knight, the image is never about the technology …


Harley Weir – fashion’s hottest property

“I discovered Harley on a blog shortly after she’d left university,” says Chris McGuigan, who founded photography agency Mini Title three years ago. “She hadn’t been commissioned much and her portfolio was still quite raw, but I could tell she’d be a star.” He’s talking about 26-year-old Harley Weir, one of the agency’s earliest signings and now fashion photography’s hottest new talent. Weir graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010 but really broke through in 2014, with back-to-back commissions from big names such as AnOther, i-D, Pop, Arena Homme+, Dazed & Confused, Bottega Veneta, Armani and Maison Martin Margiela. She’s been working so hard, in fact, she’s thinking about taking time out to “get back to what I first fell in love with”. “It can be difficult to keep sight of yourself when so many other people come in to play on commercial jobs,” she says. London-born Weir studied Fine Art and taught herself photography, using Flickr to showcase her work and initially dipping her toe into music photography before the fashion world came calling. …


Bara Prasilova – Evolve

“Sometimes I forget to breathe when I’m working on a shoot,” says Bara Prasilova, who doesn’t consider herself a fashion photographer, though much of her livelihood comes from commercial and fashion shoots. “There’s often total quiet on the set when I’m shooting an editorial for a magazine.” She plans each shot with near military precision: carefully storyboarded or sketched beforehand, Prasilova even makes some of the props herself. “The shots are often prepared for several hours,” she says. “Clothes, hair and make-up are arranged within one millimeter accuracy, and I discuss every detail with my stylists.” Prasilova almost never improvises, she says, and because she isn’t “saying anything urgent” in her shoots, the results tend to be static and calm. “I don’t often work with emotions; what I value is perfect lighting, focus and technical perfection.” Yet Evolve, the series that won Prasilova the Hasselblad Masters 2014 in the fashion and beauty category, is fraught with emotion, albeit in the highly stylised, meticulous manner in which Prasilova approaches her work. The series examines the delicate, often fragile threads …


Working Process

“Alexander McQueen’s exceptional collection, the most ambitious we have seen this season, was as much a slap in the face to his industry, then, as it was a brave statement about the absurdity of the race to build empires in fashion,” wrote The New York Times about the designer’s Autumn/Winter 2009 collection, which he presented in Paris. “The clothes he sent out were a parody of couture designs of the last century, spoofing Dior’s New Look and Givenchy’s little black Audrey Hepburn dresses, as well as their reinventions by new designers at those companies in the last decade – himself included. It was a bit of a Marie Antoinette riot, poking fun at all the queens of French fashion.” For McQueen, who is quoted as saying that the entire business was “such a cliché”, the goal with this particular collection was to show how quick the turnover in fashion was. “There is no longevity,” he told The New York Times. That was in March 2009 – a year before he took his own life at his home …


"Sans titre", Cover, 2015. Image © Jeannie Abert, France.

Hyeres looking at you

The shortlist is out for this year’s International Festival of Fashion & Photography in Hyeres, including ten photographers drawn from across Europe and beyond. This year is the 30th time the festival has taken place, and publisher Gerhard Steidl took part in a high-profile photography jury that also included: Anne Cartier-Bresson, director of the Atelier de Restauration et de Conservation des Photographies de la Ville de Paris (ARCP); Jean-Luc Monterosso, founder and director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; and the photographer Sølve Sundsbø. The shortlisted photographers, who were drawn from more than 700 entries, are: Jeannie Abert, France; Sushant Chabria, India; Wawrzyniec Kolbusz, Poland; Evangelia Kranioti, Greece; Sjoerd Knibbeler, Netherlands; David Magnusson, Sweden; Filippo Patrese, Italy; Thomas Rousset, France; Polly Tootal, United Kingdom; and Oezden Yorulmaz, Germany. The shortlisted photographers’ work will go on show at the Villa Noailles in Hyeres from 23 April – 24 May, and will be invited to present their work to the jury in person at portfolio reviews during the festival weekend, 23-27 April. The festival …


BJP Staff