Thursday, September 20, 2012

Creative Process Journal: Fashion Images and McQueen Backstage by Anne Deniau

New York Times Style Section Page 8, Sunday, September 9, 2012
Photo by Anne Deniau
A red and white strapless evening gown by Alexander McQueen hangs on a clothes rack. The dress is reminiscent of a Dior's New Look with a skirt is so enormous that the dress takes up half the space on the rack. The dress is ready for the runway, waiting for the model who will wear this glamourous confection and fill it with life. A small head shot is visible on a runway log. Until then, the dress hangs like a disembodied form - the deep red of the bodice and skirt front reminiscent of blood. The high contrast of the lighting creates patterns of light and dark across the image, with the huge shadows from the dress filling more than a third of the frame.

The photo by Anne Deniau was featured in an article called McQueen Backstage, in Front of the Lens by Eric Wilson in the New York Times on Sunday, September 9, 2012. Deniau has an upcoming book called "Loves Looks Not With the Eyes: Thirteen Years with Lee Alexander McQueen".  These 400 images were compiled in the course of photographing backstage images for the designer's archives and publicity material.

What I like about Deniau's photo is how this singular image conveys life and death, glamour and gloom. The dress seems alive. The background is plain, and the lighting simple and yet this one image says so much. When I photograph the selected items from the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection for the Memories of a Dress Project, I want the images to be alive - to be more than dusty, old dresses.


Wilson, Eric. "McQueen Backstage, in Front of the Lens" The New York Times 9 Sept. 2012, S8. Print.

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