In January, MA Fashion commissioned acclaimed British photographer Anna Fox to document the building of the final year collections. Blink, a Lethaby Gallery exhibition, shares the results of this two-month project.
From construction and fitting to selection and final performance, Fox accompanied the process behind the scenes. “It’s one of the great things about being a photographer,” says Fox, “particularly in this case, because everyone was building up to a big performance. For one night only.”
Garments and process are reflected through Fox’s photographic eye and Alistair O’Neill’s curation. The results reveal intimate moments, incidental objects and momentary juxtapositions: “I’m trying to record things as they actually are. But, I do love the theatre of photography. It is both real and entirely unreal,” she explains.
Though Fox has preferred film photography in her previous work, the fast pace of this project pushed her to fully embrace digital. “I’ve never really taken it very seriously before, sometimes it’s been my back up. Suddenly I had to and I’ve found a way of happily working with my digital camera and that’s exciting for me.”
The foray into digital technology doesn’t stop there, a collaboration with Google Arts & Culture bring both the Jump 360 and Google Art camera into Blink.
Jump 360 was used to capture the catwalk show in February so visitors to the exhibition will be able to experience it as an immersive installation. Google’s Art Camera – originally developed to photograph the flat surfaces of paintings – has been used to document garments from the final collections in super high resolution. Using laser and sonar to aid focusing, the Art Camera takes hundreds of close-up images that are then stitched together to create an intensely detailed whole. Here, the technology is used for the first time to shoot clothes set on a stand, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the garments at unusually close quarters.
Blink, as Fox explains, is an experiment on the ways of seeing an object. The work of graduating MA Fashion students is reframed from multiple perspectives: from the many moments that build a collection, experiencing the intense action of fashion show to exploring the final garments in fine detail.
The private view, 11 April, was sponsored by Black Cow Vodka. MA Fashion will publish additional images on Instagram @mafcsm #MAFCSMBLINK