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Capturing Haute Couture: New Art by Landon Nordeman

Untitled, Haute Couture (from the Out of Fashion series) by Landon Nordeman
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($1,200) 

Landon Nordeman has shot everything from the Westminster Kennel Club dog show to the RNC, but it’s his work photographing the inner workings of the fashion world—and the eccentric collective encircling it—that he’s perhaps best known for.

Since New York Magazine enlisted him to cover fashion week in 2013, Nordeman has been backstage and behind-the-scenes at an incredible spread of esteemed fashion events around the world. In October of this year, Damiani published Nordeman’s first monograph, Out of Fashion—a collection of some of the most compelling images that have emerged from his work shooting the fashion world. It was subsequently named one of Time’s Best Photobooks of 2016 (we’re not surprised, the book’s a real stunner). It’s from this winning tome we plucked today’s eye-catching edition release: Untitled, Haute Couture (from the Out of Fashion series).

Though notoriously cyclical, fashion revolves around the idea of newness—a perfect source of inspiration for an artist like Nordeman (so fitting, in fact, it’s almost surprising this hasn’t been his main muse all along). The images in his book are bespeckled with fashion illuminati, but unlike much of the photo documentation of these storied displays of design, Nordeman’s fashion show photography is not about the celeb factor or the obvious tableau. Rather, this artist has an eye for the unexpected.

Nordeman seems to have a sixth sense for spontaneous drama. He gravitates toward liminal spaces and ephemeral moments. He draws attention to only his chosen details, spotlighted by his bright flash or uncovered by his clever composition. Today’s edition is no exception. The close crop eliminates distraction, taking this isolated instance of visual theater out of its no doubt chaotic context.

Nordeman’s keen observational skills (and quick trigger finger) have always impressed us. Our earlier editions with the photographer are indicative of this same skill set. He pursues pops of color, balance and contrast, play of texture. Capturing impromptu synchronicity and the poetry in specificity are particular strong suits. Just take a look at today’s release—the juxtaposition of diaphanous pleats and voluminous crimped coiffures, the enthusiastic color clashing.

His outsider’s outlook reveals an unfamiliar side of Fashion with a capital F, full of gesture, expression and wit. Nordeman’s work is highly perspectival, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “There are times when I’m very consciously making a picture and other times when the picture happens in front of me,” he said. Today’s release—an image Nordeman captured while cramped in a crowd—was one of these seize the moment opportunities. “Whatever you can see, you have to just believe that something can happen there”, he told us. As art collectors, Nordeman’s faith in photographic possibility is our good luck.

P.S. Hoping to give art for Xmas? Be sure to get your order in by tomorrow, the last day to nab unframed art for guaranteed delivery by the 25th. 

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200