Paris Fashion Week 2019
So it’s Paris and it’s the Fashion Week.
I was asked to cover the Fashion Week in a street style fashion photography way.
First show attending: Christian Dior!
I took my camera, some lighting equipment with a couple of lenses, my one and only battery and a memory card. I walked from my place to Musée Rodin having a strange feeling of calmness and anticipation at the same time. I was so curious about how things go down in this kind of shootings. There are always those details and tips that no one will tell you nor will you find written in books or online; I was so damn curious about the logistics of fashion shootings on the streets. Where should I stand? Will the people be willing to be photographed? Will they pose? Is it on the catch? Too many questions!
I was getting closer and you could tell that there was something happening but it was still low-key. People surrounded the entrance of the Musee Rodin and the police was keeping everyone off the road. It was sunny but not too hot. There were people of all ages and styles. Schoolgirl teenagers, fashion lovers, people from all over the world, middle aged people, professional photographers , amateurs, bloggers, official press photographers (a lot of photographers!), filmmakers, people with notepads taking notes of who was wearing what… it was crazy!
Colors, make up, beauty, perfection, charm, sloppy styles, eccentric, ordinary, classic, accessories, shoes, bags and brands. A lot of brands. I had to understand, to see what was happening and how I was feeling in order to shoot, and everything was so new, so I had to see, see and see! But then these are such extrovert events, ideal for photographers, almost in need for them and that is such a freedom for us.
So I just started doing my job. I decided that capturing people arriving by car in front of the entrance was a waste of time for me. Not interested in fighting for a quick shot without choosing any lighting conditions. So I focused on people arriving by foot or by the metro. The metro station was just around the corner, the light was intense and vivid, and the wall near the station was perfect as a background.
The métro exit was like a weird mouth from where the face of my next picture would pop out. And it would be a surprise. Man or woman his outfit was going to be a choice, an affirmation, with référencies in périodes, trends and styles. I think this is when I finally understood fashion for the first time. I actually think that it has almost nothing to do with clothes and their value of use in society, the same way haute cuisine has nothing to do with the need for food. It took me all this time and a runway show (my first) to understand what was obvious for me in the photography industry. Photography is not a tool of representation, reproduction and measurement of objects as people were thinking in the beginnings of photography. It’s a mean that uses its forms to express points of views of our world and it’s perplexity. That’s what fashion and haute couture is. But I couldn’t see it because of the element of the social utility and value of use that clothing has at the same time!
It seems that it has more to do with the fictional part of those needs than the realistic ones. That’s why I think it has more in common with the industry of the fiction, the cinema industry, and that’s why it is such classist. I couldn’t realise all that at the moment, I was just feeling attracted to the possibilities all around me and the means of creating images. And that’s such an intoxicating feeling. Every person arriving was a persona, a statement. And that was super exciting. And even if haute couture is so classist, the fashion week as an event, in outdoors anyways, it was extremely popular. You could be anyone, wearing anything. I think the road itself is more democratic and tolerant regarding appearances for those already there. So paradoxical and so strange but at the same time so fit for the event that celebrates clothing creations.