We Go Backstage at NYFW
Photographer Alex Singh captures the quiet moments behind the scenes.
As NYFW draws to a close and the well-dressed masses turn their eyes to London, we're taking a quiet moment to reflect on the week that was. Photographer Alex Singh went backstage at NYFW Fall Winter 2011, capturing the unorchestrated moments away from the glare of the runway.
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Scott Sternberg's label is synonymous with stagecraft. Thus, it was hardly a surprise to see Band of Outsiders' first show at New York Fashion Week commence with a flurry of male models descend from ropes to the runway in a practical demonstration of a collection inspired by seventies rock-climbers. The inspiration provided a perceptible, but never overtly literal, thread through a presentation that encompassed the three guises of Band of Outsiders? Band, Boy and Girl. Where Band and Boy spoke of a tailored utilitarianism, recent diffusion Girl found the right balance, blending athletic motifs with feminine drapes and detail.
While spectacle and showmanship is the essence of the typical Band of Outsiders presentation, here Alex Singh has captured the quiet, reflective moments prior to showtime. The subdued colour and atmosphere of Singh's backstage images demonstrates the luxurious texture and refinement that can easily be overlooked amongst Band of Outsiders' trademark theatrics.
In her Fall Winter 2011 collection, antipodean designer Karen Walker offered an oblique, vibrant representation of Northern industrial towns and the prime of seventies soul. Inspired by Dexy's Midnight Runners' album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, heavy wool coats and caps anchored chintz print floral skirts in floaty chiffons, a nod to the playful melange of work and play in seventies Northern England where workers still soot-stained from labour would hit the dance floor, irrespective of their working attire.
Singh's monochrome images accentuate the bleaker elements of Northern working-class themes explored by Walker, disguising the relief of sugary florals and soft femininity with images that instead focus on the masculine tones and angles that punctuate Young Soul Rebels. The photographs are thus as starkly defined as the Northern industrial personalities that were Walker's inspiration.
This season, Ohne Titel designers Flora Gill and Alexa Adams looked to the emphasized proportions of the spacesuit for inspiration. Tonally, the collection was an exercise in restraint, with occasional shocks of true reds and deep blues proving a distinct relief to the sea of greys. The restraint of the palette, however, worked to accentuate the textures and exaggerated silhouettes of a collection whose hero proved the interplay of wildly contrasting fabrics- the tactile weight of knit, velvet, leather, shearling and fur was lent a lightness with touches of silk and transparent organza.
In the monochrome of Singh's images, we are treated to a rather more literal interpretation of Gill and Adam's inspiration for Ohne Titel's Fall Winter 2011 showing. The unconventional interaction of textures and alien angularities are accented by the shadows brought by Singh's lens.
The Fall Winter 2011 outing for United Bamboo designer's Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham explored the conventions of menswear through distinctly masculine fabrics (tweeds and heavy felts were a staple) and tailoring that echoed the bespoke tradition. The inspiration was menswear, but the sensibility was purely feminine. Although steeped in classic work wear, playful details such as shearling accents and staples composed in offbeat colour combinations kept the collection interesting.
In a collection that took its queues from bespoke menswear, Singh's relaxed images of models preparing prior to the show is a welcome testament to the softness and wearability of a tradition in fashion that can often seem stuffy and austere.
Looking for more NYFW coverage? See what it's ACTUALLY like behind the scenes at Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Photography: Alex Singh
Words: Lillian McKnight