‘For decades, he has faithfully compiled runway representations of contemporary fashion in all of its variations.’
The history of fashion photography has focused more on its styles and aesthetic trends than its uses. There is no such thing as fashion photography in its own right, worthy of appearing in the fashion magazines and the all too rare books devoted to the discipline. Up and downstream of the ‘composed’ variety there exists a broad range of uses, unchanged since the 60s, in which reportage and documentary serve as a tool, a medium and an outcome for seasonal fashion.
As more and more fashion shows began happening after the 80s in the major creative and fashion market centres – Paris, Milan, New York – the number of fashion show photographers grew considerably.
Sprinkled around the salons in the 50s, invited a day later than the clients – given first rights to the new collections – and scattered anarchically around improvised catwalks in the 70s and 80s, photographers are now faced with unflappable mannequins whose presentation of the style of the moment they have to catch for their various magazines.
Guy Marineau is among those who have been travelling the world since the 70s and pinning down collections from one season to the next. After a spell with fashion publishers WWD and W at the Fairchild Group in Paris, Marineau moved to Condé Nast in 1986, working out of Vogue‘s Paris office. Collection after collection, season after season and from haute couture to ready-to-wear, he continuously produced fashion and show images that went out to the world in print and on the Internet. Working with all the fashion houses from the most famous to the barely emergent, he has accumulated an enormous store of images, documentary material that nonetheless represents a history of contemporary fashion.
For the first time ever, via the Guy Marineau archive, an ideal juke-box of the most momentous fashion shows of the last four decades is on offer here, in order of the most crucial showings by each couturier and designer.
Olivier Saillard, exhibition curator.
Executive producer: Le Tambour qui parle.