Fashion Designers Get Creative Under Coronavirus, Become Photographers and Difference Makers

Artists in all sorts of industries have been creating powerful, moving works under the confines of socially distancing. Now lauded fashion designers are expanding the scope of their own creativity in the new coronavirus normals.

In the absence of bustling work studios filled with massive teams to support their ingenious ideas, designers are stripping down to the essentials and getting savvy with how they are presenting their work, including adding photography to their long lists of talents.

Here are how some top fashion houses are adapting:

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2020 photographed by Nicolas Ghesquière
Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2020 photographed by Nicolas Ghesquière

Louis Vuitton artistic director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière directed and photographed the brand’s new Fall/Winter 20 campaign all on his own. The imagery was shot in Ghesquière’s photo studio in Paris with close friends, artists, athletes and models – a cast including Léa Seydoux, Marina Foïs, Noémie Merlant, Akon Changkou, Stacy Martin, Dina Asher-Smith, Lous and the Yakuza, and Sora Choi.

“I thought it would be interesting to extend my work to photography, to follow through to the end of the creative process and give the collection its final punctuation,” Ghesquière explained. “In this portrait gallery, everyone is there for my own personal reasons, and I liked discovering new connections with people I knew already.

“I also wanted to bring unity to different aspects of the House, a circular vision of what happens here. To give a timeless aspect to creations that are very anchored in the season. For me, moving into photography came from a desire to reflect the feeling we share when we’re working on a collection.”

Valentino Resort

Valentino Resort 2021 collection photographed by Pierpaolo Piccioli
Valentino Resort 2021 collection photographed by Pierpaolo Piccioli

In lieu of a crowded runway show, Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli enlisted his close and equally chic friend Mariacarla Boscono to model the brand’s Resort 2021 collection. The designer shot the collection himself on the beach of his hometown of Nettuno.

Piccioli defined his look after hours of quarantine introspection and drawing to hone his new collection. It is all about “radical simplicity,” which is shown in the poignant and cool photoshoot full of natural light. This lets the clothes and nature speak powerfully for themselves.

Valentino Empathy

The recently unveiled Valentino Empathy campaign tapped top global celebs and friends of the fashion  house. Each portrait was taken by somebody who the notable figures have been spending time with during the coronavirus pandemic. The result is one stunning collection of wildly different but emotionally interesting photographs that convey the sentiments of the times and the gorgeous craftsmanship of the collection.

The list of stylish celebrities donning pieces of the Fall Winter collection includes Anwar Hadid, Christy Turlington, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Turlington, Laura Dern, Naomi Campbell, Rula Jebreal and more.

In lieu of paying these notable dream models, Valentino will be making a donation to the Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital in Rome for COVID-19 research.

We may be bracing ourselves for a Fall filled with more uncertainty, but we do know that inspired creatives will no doubt continue to turn their own confined lemons into some seriously beautiful lemonade.

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