These portraits are part of the ‘Powerful Morning Energy series - a backstage fashion photo-Zine produced annually.
Fashion week is fantastic fun. It is exhausting, often aggravating, sometimes upsetting, and always beautiful - not quite like anything else. Everyone who works behind the scenes is in the same boat – 5am call times, 2am finishes. You get to know people quite well, and you often see them at their most testing moments.
I am always looking to produce images that don’t fall into the standard ‘backstage photography’ category. Just before the Cottweiler show at London Fashion Week, I shot Myles. His gaze was strong and arresting; I knew straight away that I wanted to photograph him.
Shooting backstage at London Fashion Week, I’m often looking for interesting, ambient light to work with. With Myles I tried to create a sense of mystery by under-exposing to create a silhouette-effect, with just a pop of flash into the eyes to lift them up.
‘Powerful Morning Energy’ is as much about the places as the people. Brands stage their shows in beautiful and extravagant spaces around London, but the backstage areas aren’t client facing. This makes them fascinating. Cables dangling, lights flickering - models often having their make-up and hair done in kitchens, stuffed into tiny hotel rooms or the back office of a Mayfair gallery. It’s hot. There’s hair spray everywhere, and maybe a Helmut Newton print on the wall.
There’s nothing quite like it – weeks of preparation for fifteen minutes of beautiful, elegant theatre – a moving gallery piece, a graceful veneer over the absolute chaos backstage. And it happens every season.