PRADA 96-98 FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK

PRADA 96-98 by Glen Luchford, a new book which celebrates the photographer’s trailblazing campaigns for the brand, starring Amber Valletta, Willem Dafoe and Joaquin Phoenix.

By Balthzar Malevolent

PRADA 96-98 FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK

The first advertisement by Glen Luchford for Prada was introduced to the world in 1996. For the brand and photographer, it was a historic moment, but perhaps, more importantly, for the broader fashion market. The evocative, cinematic visuals of Luchford broke the mould of the traditional designer campaign, helping to introduce a new age of bolder designs and larger budgets. The best example of his immersive flair is his most famous shot for the company, of Amber Valletta reclining in a boat on the River Tiber in Rome at dusk.

Now over two decades on in a new book from IDEA, the photographer's work with the company is being celebrated. In GLEN LUCHFORD's PRADA 96-98, readers are treated to a series of shots taken during the late 90's campaigns. It features portraits of Valletta by Luchford, as well as his work with Willem Dafoe and Joaquin Phoenix, both of whom worked as ambassadors for Prada throughout the decade. It is in the words of IDEA's publishers, “possibly one of the greatest fashion photography books ever made”.

An in-depth interview with Luchford, led by author and curator Lou Stoppard, is also included in the book, which sees him explore the inspirations behind the campaigns, as well as how much has changed in the years since their publication.

"What’s interesting is that if you look at the photography of that time it was very studio-based and lots of white backgrounds. And, so, I hadn’t seen anything in fashion that was so cinematic. That said, if you look back at pornography – magazines like Playboy and American Penthouse from the 1970s – there were a lot of photographers who were lighting in a very cinematic way. The lighting was very good in those pictures. But it wasn’t really being used in fashion. Helmut Newton would create scenarios, I suppose, there was a sort of cinematic appeal to these pictures, but they always had a different quality to them. But I really wanted to go the whole way and light it like a movie – smoke machines, all of that stuff. I remember when I did the first pictures being a little bit scared about them, but I hadn’t really seen something like this before. And when you look at something that’s new it can be quite jarring – I remember being worried about how it would be received. Amber kept looking at the polaroids and looking a bit confused – and I was making her sit for hours and hours on end. Whereas she was used to working with Steven Meisel or Patrick Demarchelier, where you walk in, hair and make-up are done and then you’re shooting – bang bang bang. Then, with me, suddenly your sat on your bony arse in a freezing cold boat in Italy for six hours while we were lighting the picture. She was so patient, but I could tell there was a lot of confusion. Luckily, at one point her boyfriend arrived on set and took a look at the pictures and said he thought they were great, which was really helpful for me – he was the first person coming in from the outside and looking at them with fresh eyes. I was very grateful for that."

– Glen Luchford

In other news, Proenza Schouler Fall 2020 ad campaign. Proenza Schouler unveils their Fall 2020 campaign that finds strength and thoughtfulness through an apparently simple minimalism. Street and fine art photography combine brilliantly to reveal unexpected complexity and expansiveness.

Prada 96-98 Fashion Photography Book
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