Photographer Barbara Anastacio Toasts the Bouncers of Fashion Week
Come storms in Europe or blizzards in the US, solitary security guards form a barrier against stealthy attendees and devotees in Paris, London, New York and Milan. Barbara Anastacio sees their stillness as a performative act, and documented the black-clad figures in between assignments for T Magazine at shows including Céline, Saint Laurent Paris and Diane von Furstenberg’s 40th anniversary. “Although acting as monuments to discipline and order, the bouncers also hold the promise of imminent mayhem,” says the Lisbon-born photographer and filmmaker, who has captured dozens of fresh faces for Vogue’s Model Wall film series. “They are models on their own catwalk. Plus they always have the best fitted suits.”
Barbara Anastacio: I once asked a war reporter friend to cover me for a show and he said he had a hard time. As a photographer, if you’re shooting backstage, 90% of your work is about negotiating space rather than actually taking a picture. It's like rush hour in the subway except that everyone is going to the same place. So bouncers play a huge role in this "war zone" of photographers, models, make up and hair people, stylists negotiating space in a very short amount of time. I became interested in documenting their usually unacknowledged presence in this "territorial choreography.”
What were they like, city to city?
BA: If I were to generalize completely, I would say Paris has the most handsome; New York the biggest; Milan the toughest—and London the most polite.
How willing are they to be photographed?
BA: As a backstage photographer, the idea is to be as invisible to them as possible. If they see you it usually means you’re in the way. Don’t mess with the bouncers.
Rihanna’s Designer is Joined by Amy Sedaris for a Sideways Look at His Fashion Week Debut
A gaggle of models find themselves upstaged by comedian Amy Sedaris in this mockumentary filmed at Adam Selman’s debut fashion show at New York Fashion Week, Spring-Summer 2014. Selman enlisted his close friend, the Letterman regular and star of cult comedy Strangers with Candy, to play an in-your-face photographer, spoofing the traditional casting call. “Amy played that character from The Eyes of Laura Mars,” says Selman, also who also referenced the opening scene of Lipstick as further fodder for the antics. “I just wanted her out there taking pictures and doing her thing. But it was so great because her camera wasn’t even turned on.” No stranger to spectacle, Selman created stage outfits for Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and the Scissor Sisters before working with Rihanna and her stylist Mel Ottenberg. His foray into fashion via his eponymous line is a mash-up of boudoir sexy and streetwise inspired in part by retro Francesco Scavullo Cosmopolitan covers, and was designed with RiRi in mind. “It’s hard for me not to imagine her wearing these things because we work so closely together. We’re very simpatico in inspiration and design right now,” he explains. Meanwhile, his pal Sedaris, who frequently turns up on television in bespoke Selman, keeps his spirits high, so to speak. “The first week after knowing him I ordered 100 dress labels with his name on it,” she muses. “I knew I was going to ask him to make me dresses for the rest of my life.”
How did you and Amy Sedaris meet?
Adam Selman: We met on a Dolly Parton video shoot in Dollywood. I was dressing all the extras, including Amy, for the video. We instantly hit it off, while walking to the Chick-fil-A. After we came back to New York, I joined her craft club—we were called the Frayed Knots. It was really an excuse to get together and smoke pot. We then decided to do a crafts book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People.
What have you learned from working so closely with Rihanna?
AS: I think the best thing is to not become too emotionally attached to clothes. Especially with someone like Rihanna, who eats clothes. She does a lot of looks so it’s good to constantly be pushing.
Have you always been interested in fashion, even as a child?
AS: We grew up on a ranch in Texas, close to Waco, and I come from a very religious background. We didn’t have Vogue lying around. I would have to sneak it out of the doctor’s office. My mom taught me how to sew. My dad was a carpenter, which is actually very similar to a pattern maker. It was a very hands-on childhood, very creative. When I finally moved to New York I was like, “Ohhh, Versace.”
Mirte Maas Walks an Infinite Runway in Barnaby Roper's New Interactive Story
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Credits: 1. Leather dress by Givenchy, skirt by Ann Demeulemeester, top and boots by Rick Owens, cape by Araks; 2. Coat, dress and boots by Rick Owens; 3. Leather dress by Givenchy, hooded top by Ann Demeulemeester; 4. Hat and mask by Rick Owens; 5. Top, dress and boots by Rick Owens; 6. Dress and boots by Rick Owens.