THOM BROWNE: FALL/WINTER 2014

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Thom Browne does not put on a simple fashion show. His shows are an experience. Something rarely found in New York, that one would see more commonly during Paris’ Couture week.

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My third time seeing one of his collections presented  is something I’ll never forget.
I arrived backstage relatively early, at the tail end of the hair and makeup test. It’s always fun to see a preview of what’s to come, hours before the show is scheduled to begin. As usual, the beauty looks for this season did not disappoint.

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Jazz Age Lawn Party: Summer 2014

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The Jazz Age Lawn Party, held two weekends a year on NYC’s Governor’s Island, is my hands down favorite “Summer in New York” event to attend. This year, for the first time, I went in both June and August.

I still had a blast, but my first visit in June was very hot, and the event seemed weirdly overcrowded (a first in the many years I’ve been attending). Yesterday’s event was much more laid back, and the weather was pleasant– making it even easier to run around and capture so many amazingly dressed guests in all of their finery. With a few breaks to sip champagne and picnic with friends of course.

Needless to say, if you ever have the chance to attend— GO. This is one of those words cannot do it justice type of gatherings. So I’ll just let the images do all the talking from here.

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Lynn Yaeger

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Katie Gallagher: Fall/Winter 2014 Backstage

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Katie Gallagher is a designer who I’ve followed since nearly the beginning of her career. Season after season, she impresses me with her continual growth as a designer and artist. Few other young designers in NYC so accurately conceptualize and transition a theme or idea into a clothing collection.

For Fall 2014, Katie’s collection Wonderland was inspired by abandoned amusement parks. The idea of “childlike details” and decay transitioned into details like giant hair bows worn by models, and worn in details of the clothing.

Her shows also feature one of the most symbiotic relationships between a collection’s theme or inspiration, the actual clothes, and the beauty looks worn by models. A process aided by working year after year with such strong creative team, consisting of MAC Director of Makeup Artistry Romero Jennings, and Catwalk by TIGI’s Global Creative Director Nick Irwin.

This season, Nick Irwin developed a look that “juxtaposed sleep transition into natural texture.”

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Adam Selman F/W 2014

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Before every fashion week, I scour the internet searching for new designers to feature on this blog. Pouring through “designers to watch” lists, checking for interesting looking brands on instagram, and googling every unknown name on the fashion calendar is regular procedure for me.

One designer that caught my eye –based on the bright disco inspired eye makeup his models wore for the SS14 show– was Adam Selman. The clothes? Just as eye catching. And then I discovered he was Rihanna’s costume designer and friend. Yes, that Rihanna. Soon it all made sense.

Backstage, bright colors and playful patterns of the FW14 collection once again commanded my attention. I always personally prefer bright, fun, or edgy makeup on models (neutral beauty at a fashion show is boring!), and this show did not disappoint.

One of the first things I noticed: The nail art. Or rather, finger art:

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An updated take on a french manicure, Nailing Hollywood nail artist Madeline Poole painted half of each nail with Chanel Nail Colour Polish in Black Satin. The henna inspired finger art was drawn on using Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black.

Hair stylist Duffy, using ORIBE products, created a loose, Snoop Dogg inspired braid to compliment the 1990’s slant of the collection.

 

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ROSIE ASSOULIN F/W 2014

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I went in to the Rosie Assoulin show not knowing much about the designer other than she was developing a strong reputation for evening wear, and that she’d earned a place on many “designers to watch” lists over the past year. What I found when I arrived completely blew me away.

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Reflections On A Copyright Violation

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Just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who has read, shared, or discussed my copyright violation story. The number of people who’ve seen it, and the support I’ve received has been amazing.

As I said before, I debated posting about it at all. After a lot of thought, I decided opening a discussion on copyright issues, and showing exactly how something as simple as lack of image accreditation can directly harm a photographer or artist was more important than just staying quiet. I don’t believe people should be shamed out of sharing a negative experience, whether it’s a copyright violation, or something much much worse. The same people who victim blame are usually the same ones who perpetuate much of this negative behavior in the first place.

Everyone has an opinion on what happened to me and the photo in question. Good and bad. Some believe I “asked for it” since I didn’t watermark my photos (as if those can’t be removed?). That it was my job to insure the photo had a credit (I asked, multiple times). Or that I was ruining my career even publicizing my experience (I believe my work and worth ethic speaks for itself).

The fact remains that at the end of the day, someone did something wrong. Purposely or not, a simple omission caused a chain reaction that led to a photographic train wreck. My work was “stolen” and ended up published by a large amount of media outlets without credit or compensation. Something which, in case anyone forgot– is actually illegal.

Worth noting is the fact that I’m not the only one in the industry that this type of thing has happened to. See the Humans of New York DKNY case for a more highly publicized case.

It’s my hope that my negative experience brings this issue to light. And maybe just maybe the next celebrity/model/regular old person who decides to share an image that’s not theirs, on instagram or elsewhere, will stop and think “I should probably credit this” before hitting that publish button.

Thank you for reading,

Rachel.

And don’t worry: I’m not quitting photography anytime soon. ;)

What Happens When a Supermodel Violates Your Copyright

This post is something I’ve struggled with for months, and debated even writing. But it’s time to share my story, and explain why I’ve been absent.

Basically, the short version is Karlie Kloss improperly used one of my images. It showed up on her instagram account last September, without credit. (Point of reference: many of the images before and after mine are credited.)

As readers of my blog will know, I shoot as a house photographer for Oscar de la Renta’s social media accounts and Pinterest page. On September 10, 2013 I took this photo of Karlie Kloss taking a “selfie” backstage at the SS14 Oscar de la Renta show:

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No other photographers were in the makeup area at the time, guaranteeing this was an exclusive shot.

When I got home, I posted it as part of my daily “sneak peek” show recap.

The next night, backstage at the Anna Sui show, I approached Karlie and showed her the image on my phone. She seemed very excited, and mentioned how much she loved it. When she asked where she could find it, I gave her my business card with my blog’s address.

A few days later, Karlie instagrammed the image, leaving out a photo credit.

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Not knowing any other way to get in touch with her, I commented on Karlie’s instagram hoping she’d see it in the sea of many many other comments. After a few days, she did, writing me an apology for not crediting me initially.

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By that time, 14,000 people had liked the image. That’s 14,000 people who would have seen my name attached to it.

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Flashback: Chanel F/W 2010 Ad Campaign– Behind the Scenes

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The past few weeks after NYFW ended, I’ve been sick more days than not. (Really sick.) Due to feeling so under the weather, some of my recaps have been delayed a bit. So what better time to do a flashback Friday post celebrating the four-year anniversary of one of my favorite shoots ever: Behind the scenes of the Fall/Winter 2010 Chanel Ad Campaign shoot, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

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The original post is still to this day my highest viewed blog post ever. The photos went on to be featured in a handful of international fashion magazines, which, to put it simply– paid my rent for a few months that year. I’ll never forget my day on set, and how it ended with me meeting the man himself, Karl Lagerfeld. If only more brands did such fun ad campaigns right on the streets in NYC!

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OSCAR DE LA RENTA Fall/Winter 2014

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One of the shows I look forward to the most each season is Oscar de la Renta. I photograph a lot of shows, but every time I attend an ODLR show, I feel like I am truly witnessing something magical, rarely seen on the runways of New York Fashion Week.

As with the last few seasons, I arrived a few hours before the show to photograph the backstage preparations (and the show!) for the official Oscar PR Girl Pinterest page. Seeing how much care and detail goes into every aspect of the show is always pretty amazing. Not only are the clothes and models beautiful, but the little things like how the hair and makeup, accessories, styling, and even music all come together just blows my mind.

Below, some (ok, a lot!) of my favorite moments from show day:

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This season, models showcased a unique choppy hair style (custom trimmed wigs!).

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Gucci Westman preps Karlie Kloss for the show.

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SNEAK PEEK: FALL/WINTER 2014– NYFW DAY EIGHT

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Sass & Bide

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