the backstage diaries
Project info

The backstage diaries
Every story must be “accomplished and perfect”, i.e. it has to have unity of action: beginning, execution and an end. At least that’s what Aristotle said in his Poetics. More than the nice clothes and models what strikes me in the fashion shows is this odd theatrical dimension: all the action is finalized to the accomplishment of the fashion show; no time or space for diversions. Models, photographers, hairdressers, stylists, make up artists, even the public seem to lose their private identities to become actors of a common plot. In the beginning the story is slow, everybody seems to be just waiting and there’s a vivid sense of something that has to happen; then the action suddently becomes hectic and frenzied, to usually end in a ritual of triumph and liberation. Fashion shows also respect the principle of unity of place: they all happen in the backstage, a closed and abstract place, a non place which looks similar everywhere in the world. Unity of time is strictly respected too: a few hours for the set up, a few minutes for the show. Milan, Paris, London, New York, different clothes, different models, different photographers, but the shows resemble and they all tell their own story. A bit like Greek tragedies.
The backstage diaries collects 5 years of shooting in the backatages of Milan, Paris and New York. All the images have been shot on assignment for magazines such as T -The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair Italy, Max, A magazine or directly for fashion brands (Giorgio Armani, Campari, Moroccanoil). So far The backstage diaries have been internationally recognised with shortlist at 2013 Sony World Photography Awards; first prize at 2012 Invitationals of New York Photo Festival; silver medal at 2012 Prix de la Photographie of Paris; third prize in 2010 for the American National Press Photographer’s Association; first prize at 2010 London International Photography Awards.
Filippo Mutani, Milan 2014.