It is easy to say that there are a multitude of reasons I was drawn to photography but one of the strongest pulls I had, early in my career, was the rush of capturing something as it happens, sometimes before it happens.
The past two seasons of Saint Louis Fashion Week have provided me with the opportunity to visit this style of shooting in a way that I haven’t since my time working at a newspaper. So different than the runway show you sit on either side of, the backstage area has a certain chaotic energy to it. Hair dressers, make-up artists, stylists and designers move in a focused frenzy with models who, all the while, are trying to stay cool, calm, and collected.
It is truly something to see. While photographing, I’ve occasionally found the rhythm of it all and it does move in rhythm. It may just be walking from room to room, my lens from model to model; but the more I see and photograph it, the more it feels like a play. And most people only get to see the final act.
The First Two Acts
Scene: Saint Louis Fashion Week, Fall 2013. The Fox Theater, Saint Louis. The stage is clear, save for a few chairs, behind the curtain it is quiet and empty. Each climbed stair to the green rooms brings with it another decibel. In the hair and make-up rooms, some characters work furiously while others watch and wait their turn.
Scene: Saint Louis Fashion Week, Spring 2014. Saint Louis Union Station: Grand Hall. A not so subtle mix of modern shopping mall and turn-of-the-century architecture collide when entering the Grand Hall. There is a long parting of chairs through the center of the hall. An arcade along the north wall is draped with thick black fabric. A muffled bustling sneaks through the gap in the curtains in each archway. Inside, dimly lit figures move with varying vigor, costumed and concentrated.
Until Fall 2014, Cheers.