Balenciaga’s latest collection is giving us a sample of that adorable alleged candid fashion photography. Accidentally illustrating a moment that happened to take place right before the photographer’s eyes and then unmediated-ly – as much as possible, of course – delivered to us. It is a nice story, of course, but this ideal remains a distant and questionably valid one if we take into account all that a fashion shoot entails and all the intricate workings behind it and post editing that takes place.
The ‘real/reality’ pretension is thus ‘obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue’, all terms describing an absurd claim, but nonetheless, one that aligns itself to the general raw, minimalist aesthetic that dominates fashion photography at the moment. However, why should we strive so desperately to portray everything so uncooked? Conveying a feeling is surely important, but as far as fashion photography is concerned les vetements – no pun intended – should play the leading role, and not an innocent bystander (right image) whose only part there is to give out the unmediated impression, that is obviously counterfeit. Or add up to the comical effect.
Does it really help out the clothes in anyway or contribute to creating a general pervading mood, storyline or emotional overall tone ? Or give out a strong visual impact ? I believe it doesn’t and the excuse that it’s artistic just doesn’t justify the ‘blurriness’, indistinctness concept that shapes it. So, is this too crude, rough or flagrantly unprepared for fashion photography at its highest level, which first of all should hold its focus on the… fashion pieces ?
And then just let the vibe flow there on, not the other way around : by trying to make up a false one and serving it to us abruptly… while loosing the essential along the way.
Photographer: Mark Borthwick.