Every September, the pageant of Fashion Week takes place in New York City. It is by turns (and, often, simultaneously) ludicrous and fascinating, an exhilarating carnival revolving around the need to see and be seen. Apart from the by-invitation-only runway shows, an unofficial, ongoing runway also takes place outside the Fashion Week’s gigantic ‘tent’, on the grounds of the Lincoln Center arts complex.
In this series, I tried to capture something of the atmosphere of this parallel street fashion show. Part of what fascinated me was the symbiotic relationship between the Fashionable People and the throngs of photographers hovering around. Typically, a model (or wannabe model) would be asked to pose, and then a crowd of photographers, all standing in almost the same position vis-a-vis the model, would start taking pictures frantically like maniacs. I was amused and stunned by how none of these photographers seemed to mind that all of them were taking more or less identical photos of their subjects – not to mention the artificiality and fakeness, the lack of real life, of most of these posed pictures.
So my challenge was to try to take more real, spontaneous pictures in an environment that was doing its best to make that impossible; an environment that was, in its essence and raison d’être, engineered precisely to promote artificiality and prettified, frozen appearances.
I hope that looking at these photos gives you the illusion that you were there too.