Ⓒ Roxanne Lowit.
Model behavior, good and otherwise, she caught it all – Roxanne Lowit is a pioneer of behind-the-scenes fashion photography as we know it today.
In finding great moments, Lowit is particularly proficient. Her background in textile design became her backstage pass when she was invited by designers to photograph completed garments before their shows. Eventually word got out that Lowit’s images were something worth publishing, and in 1978 she was contacted by Annie Flanders from the SoHo News. “… Next thing I was on the top of the Eiffel Tower shooting with Yves Saint Laurent and Andy Warhol.”
“For the first 10 to 15 years I was the only one shooting backstage at all the shows. I had no credentials to begin with but quickly realised that that was my métier, that’s what I found most fascinating.”
In those heady days on the 80s fashion scene she was always there, stationed in the fray, ready to catch the fanfare, frivolities and outright excess as it happened. “It was phenomenal,” she recalls. “We had the Supermodels and all those designers who loved the Supermodels.”
“It was so much more creative back then. You didn’t need a name at the end of the runway to know who it was you were watching.”
Linda Evangelista gleefully pouring a glass of champagne, a cigarette wedged between her teeth. A hot-off-the-press baby Kate Moss tonguing a young John Galliano. Mickey Rourke chilling on a chaise longue, one arm draped casually around Donatella Versace. Regardless of who they are, or the state they’re in, Lowit’s subjects seem invariably at ease in front of her lens, thoroughly immersed in a moment of diversion, and in many cases almost unaware of her presence.
“Looking back I think my favourites are the ones where the people just enjoyed having their picture taken – they were just having a good time. That’s really when I can capture something great.”