Anna Bauer Goes Backstage
In the fall of 2007—long before backstage was a thing and the flash of a camera was as ubiquitous behind the scenes as it is on the runway—German photographer Anna Bauer received an assignment from The Daily and road-tripped her way from London to Milan to Paris, shooting models, stylists, and a host of other fashion types along the way. She used a large-format Polaroid camera and captured the industry’s central figures in spontaneous form—flagging down designers such as Raf Simons and models like Kate Moss (above) and Raquel Zimmermann (below) during quiet moments and approaching them with boldness, trepidation, and sometimes total naiveté. “When I shot David Sims, I didn’t know who he was,” she recalled at the launch of her book, Backstage, last February. The results are eye-catching—a collection of raw, oft-revealing black-and-white portraits of the people who make the shows run.
This Thursday, Bauer will show the Polaroids—many of which first debuted in Backstage—en masse for the first time at the Loewe store in Madrid. “It’s a selection of about eighty,” said Bauer of the images, which include stills of everyone from Alber Elbaz to Iris Apfel to Juergen Teller. “I’m really happy because the show is going to give them another life,” she added. The earliest Polaroids on view were taken when the project began in 2007 (a young Agyness Deyn, a sunglasses-clad Karl Lagerfeld), while the most recent, Olivier Rousteing’s, for instance (“He doesn’t know he’s in there, because I didn’t know how to get in touch with him!” exclaimed Bauer), were taken just over a year ago.
Bauer said she has thought about shooting another group of people, like musicians or athletes (“just another extreme kind of group,” she mused) in the same style. But, she reasoned, “It could never be like this. I think that’s part of the interesting thing about the project—the condensed nature of the industry. We all go to the same four fashion weeks and the amount of people is limited. It’s a very close-knit circle of people.”
Anna Bauer’s Polaroids will be on view from September 5 to November 3 at the Loewe store, located at Calle Serrano, 26, Madrid, Spain.