Creating memorability in an image
So I was in London doing the collections for Italian vogue, quite a bit of time ago. About 20 odd years ago but this is a shot I remember well. And I was shooting at my old university in the sculpture school. And it was in the summer time and they had basically just had their end of the year show and I went into one of the big sculpture studios and against the wall, just by chance, there was a piece of black fabric. Just hanging there like a flag, that was just hanging there. And I had this beautiful Yohji Yamamoto dress and with a very well known model. I just suddenly, I don't know where it came from, I just got this idea. I think this idea of saying it again and again, you should be thinking the whole time, You should be analyzing things the whole time. So when I came in and I saw the flag, I just got this image of this particular dress that I'd just seen on this famous model, a super model. And when I brought her into the room, I actually put her behind the fabric.
So this is the shot. Now, of course the fashion leader said wait a minute, this is a super model, you can't hide her face, sort of thing. But of course, I was doing other shots, I said you'll see her face on the next page, sort of thing. And this was always a shot that I liked so the reason why I'm showing this is it's just the use of something that was there. An empty white studio with a skylight, this was shot on 4x5 film, it's natural light, a piece of black fabric hanging on the wall, but really the clever thing I did here was to put the girl behind it. If the girl was in front of it, it still would be quite a nice shot but, behind, it made the shot more severe, stranger, and possibly more memorable. And as I've said many, many times, memorability is a major factor in good photography. You have to remember that image, you have to say, well I remember that image. So this is really quite a good example of it. And the magazine naturally loved the shot. (upbeat music)