The beautiful and the glammed
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It was the photographs that Gavin Bond, then a fashion student in London, had taken of the dancers at the Lido de Paris cabaret that first caught the eye of a celebrated fashion editor. A photography gig at Vivienne Westwood’s 1993 show ensued. Before long, Bond was “part of the family”, one of the only photographers allowed to remain in the mid-show chaos after everyone else had been shooed out.
“I was this unassuming 22-year-old kid,” Bond says of his early acceptance, “this guy who was, for whatever reason, not intrusive.” From that first show, Bond’s 30-year career has seen him photograph backstage scenes from Chanel to Alexander McQueen. A selection will be on show at London’s Hamiltons Gallery, and in an accompanying book, Being There.
The images document an era of creativity and heightened glamour that produced some of the industry’s most iconic figures. Bond captures Valentino Garavani, his sleeves rolled up, putting the finishing touches to an outfit; Linda Evangelista rushing out of a fitting in a blur; Karl Lagerfeld spritzing a model’s bouffant into place; Yasmeen Ghauri being laced into a Christian Lacroix corset, the hands of famed corsetier Mr Pearl just visible. “It was like a piece of theatre,” recalls Bond. “The shows back then were so decadent, so lavish.” Wigs are piled high, cigarettes and glasses of champagne abound.
Gavin Bond: Being There is at Hamiltons Gallery, London, from 17 September to 29 October, hamiltonsgallery.com. Accompanying book at £75