Patrick Demarchelier: Part II
Demarchelier is the photographer of the fashion world, so when an exhibition of his show comes around, you expect a crush of fashionistas to descend upon SOHO, the Staley-Wise Gallery to be exact. This was certainly the case, there were respected photographers there, handsome men, and beautiful women. There were also a lot of hats. Demarchelier himself however, was not there – had to be in Paris for their fashion week.
The works on exhibit were mostly large scale prints of Demarchelier's work. From the large scale prints, highlights included Diamonds, 2000, showing two silhouettes kissing around sparkling diamonds. Diamonds perhaps best sums up Demarchelier's style and aesthetic, beauty, unnatainbility, with the hint of sex always in the back of the viewers mind. The Christine Dior Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2011, 2011 series was beautiful, the colors more reminiscent of snow and ice than a summer collection, with a reflection of Demarchelier just visible in the window.
The best part of the exhibition was not the blown up Haute Couture, but the polaroids. Three groups of polaroids were on display: Relics of a time past; when shooting on film was still standard these intimate looks at both the subject and Demarchelier's process stole the show. The photographer would take a polaroid to check the light levels before making the final shots. Based on the subjects of the polaroids I date these back to sometimes in the late 90s, Leonardo DeCaprio is in his mid 20s, and Cindy Crawford is still a big deal.
The exhibition runs through November 30th, and is worth seeing for the polaroids alone, even if one isn't into fashion.
Review by John Hutt
Photographs by Tanya Kiseleva