Shooting male fashion photography can often be quite a restricting experience. For her latest project, Britt Lloyd has collaborated with Martine Rose's bold designs to change that.
Arriving in Seven Sisters, North London, to shoot Martine Rose’s Autumn 2017 fashion collection, Britt Lloyd was greeted by a human chain around the local Colombian market. Unbeknown to her, local residents, market traders and weekend shoppers had organised a demonstration to defend this historic part London’s Latin community, which is threatened with redevelopment – something which became an essential element in the resulting photographs.
“It has such a strong sense of community,” explains Lloyd. “People were so accommodating and there was this feeling which has been lost a little in London. In Seven Sisters, people have lived there for 20 years. They know their next-door neighbours, they know the area, they’ve run their business there for a long time. It’s more than where they live: it is their home.
“It was another added emotion which showed how much the market meant to all these people,” she adds. “There’s nothing more community-driven than building a human chain.”
This community was also a key inspiration for Martine Rose, who grew up in the area and presented her collection in the market. The clothes are a testament to the cosmopolitan mix there, and each garment draws on a personal experience there.
“The idea was why don’t we go back to the market and put these clothes back in their home, back where they came from,” says Lloyd. “We went and looked at the space – you walk in and it’s everything about it, the smell, the people, the colour, everything in there just hits you at once. It is something that has had a very strong impact on Martine.”
Lloyd is first assistant to the celebrated fashion photographer Nick Knight and works on various projects at his SHOWstudio portal, and says she relished this opportunity to work on a men’s fashion shoot. It’s an area she’s particularly interested in, and one which she feels is ripe for expansion. “Menswear is growing more and more – but while the fashion is growing, I don’t necessarily think that male fashion based photography is growing as quickly with it,” she explains.
“A lot of the photography has a similar overarching theme, the images have quite a similar aesthetic. If you look at female fashion photography by comparison, there are so many different ways that people approach it. I think menswear photography isn’t catching up with that, it’s still quite narrow.”
Shooting this collection, she was guided by the vibrancy of the clothes, using them as the starting point for finding her locations. “Colour was a very strong subject throughout, so we started with the bold colours of the outfits and then went around the market to find a spot where they fit,” she says. “With the model, I wanted to let him be put in the situation and feel it. I didn’t want it to be unattached and that he didn’t belong there.”
The final zine, Don Pedro, was put together by Ditto with the Machine-A boutique, and includes quotes in which Rose explains why North London inspires her, and snatches of her conversations in the market. Despite Lloyd’s experience at SHOWstudio, where she’s worked for the last three years, she believes this project needed to be made in print.
“Being presented in a zine, with a mixture of graphics and texts, I think that combination enriched my images and Rose’s references,” she says. “I think print publications like this feel more genuine.”
Don Pedro is available now from Ditto, priced £15.