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

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: 14

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.

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Abbey Lee Kershaw

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: 16

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!

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: 20

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Chanel Fall 2010 Ad Campaign

It seems like it’s been a year since I shot behind the scenes photos on the set
of the Chanel F/W 2010 ad campaign. Now the finished ads are finally popping up in fashion magazines! I suspect we’ll be seeing even more, based on how many different photo setups I saw Karl shooting. I’ll edit this to post more as they appear, but so far these are the ads that have materialized. (Most of what’s been released appears to be shots from day 1, before I arrived.) Side by Side comparison’s are shown in relation to what I shot at the same time, when applicable.

The Ads:


chanel,fall 2010,the greyest ghost


Ad scans via The Fashion Spot.

My interpretation:
Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: 75

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: 83

I’m really curious to see if they use some of the shots taken in the street. Those were by far my favorites, and I think the images where my shots will be the most similar to the actual ads! As always, you can see my entire photo set from the shoot here.

Chanel Ad Campaign: Grazia Scans

Finally received some PDF’s of my Chanel features in Grazia! I didn’t get one of the two page feature in Grazia UK, and the layout is a bit large for my scanner. So that one has to wait. But here are two of my four (yes four! Grazia India recently purchased a few images as well!) layouts:

Grazia Australia:

Grazia,The Greyest Ghost,Chanel,Karl Lagerfeld

Grazia Middle East:
Grazia,The Greyest Ghost,Chanel,Karl Lagerfeld

Early next week, I hope to get back to regular posting. I’m still in Indiana (actually snagging as much internet time as I can at Panera while I eat lunch) with no internet access other than my blackberry. While I’m online for a short bit, I wanted to say thank you to everyone for the kind words about my Aunt, who I came home to see. She passed away early Wednesday morning. I unfortunately didn’t make it down to see her in time, but other family members did. So thank you again for the sympathies, and understanding why blogging isn’t my main focus right now.
I’ll be back soon. ❤

The Greyest Ghost in Grazia!

As some of you may have read on my twitter, my behind the scenes photos from the Chanel ad campaign have been picked up by not one, not two, but THREE international editions of GRAZIA. One won’t be out until next week (GRAZIA Middle East edition), but two issues are out now, and currently available on newsstands in their respective countries.

There is a 2 page spread, and short Q&A with me in this week’s issue of GRAZIA UK:
Grazia,The Greyest Ghost
April 12th issue.

And another feature in GRAZIA Australia:
Grazia,The Greyest Ghost
(99% Sure this is the right cover!)

I haven’t had any luck tracking down the Australian edition. If anyone spots it, please let me know! Grazia UK is available in larger magazine shops in NYC– but most stock it a week after it’s initial release. I hear it arrives in stores Tuesday. I’ll be hunting down copies for my entire family! The images have drawn a LOT of interest. I’ve been a bit busy dealing with all of it and the may opportunities its provided. So excited to have my hard work pay off, and have some of my images published again!

Thanks Grazia!!

Behind the Scenes of the Chanel Fall/Winter 2010 Ad Campaign

After a day and a half of reading the twitter frenzy about Karl Lagerfeld being in New York City, I decided to head to the lower east side to see the spectacle for myself and shoot some photos. I almost didn’t go due to a prior engagement, but thankfully a few fellow fashion bloggers on twitter convinced me it was worth it, and I skipped my other event.

Lets just say it was DEFINITELY worth it. I not only met Freja and Abbey Lee, but also the Kaiser himself– KARL LAGERFELD!!!! But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself…

When I arrived on the set, the production had stopped for a lunch break. I found a bench to sit on and chatted with a few local store owners about the shoot. Most seemed pretty excited about it. After a short while, I noticed Freja about twenty feet away from me, smoking. Soon after, she went back to her trailer. And emerged with Abbey. They both went back and forth between two trailers about three times while I watched. Freja kept looking at me funny for taking photos (no one else was around at this point), but finally smiled:

CHANEL: Freja Smiles

CHANEL: Freja & Abbey Synch Up

While I was waiting for Karl to appear, I made a new friend:

I didn’t have to wait long though. After about five more minutes, a charter mini-bus arrived with Karl, his bodyguard, and more crew.


Once the models were ready, Karl got back in to the cherry picker, ready to shoot again.


Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Karl Lagerfeld

The first shot was Abbey on the fire escape:
Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Abbey Lee Kershaw



Furry boots, waiting to be used.

The second shot was Freja, walking down Orchard Street:



Karl approves.

His assistant checks the camera settings.


Abbey watches.

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Karl Lagerfeld, Abbey Lee Kershaw, and Freja Beha Erichsen
Freja comes closer.


While Karl photographs each look, a small army of assistants stand by, ready to be beckoned:

CHANEL: Makeup Artist
The makeup artist.

CHANEL: Stylist Assistant
Stylist assistant with alternate handbag options.


After the shot was complete, Karl and crew gathered around the monitor to see the results:
CHANEL: Crew 2

CHANEL: Karl Takes a Break 1
Karl takes a break.

The girls returned, wearing Chanel’s signature tweed:

I want this bracelet so badly!

When shooting resumed, Freja and Abbey posed together:




The crew figured out which looks still needed to be photographed:

After, everyone takes a peek at the completed shots:

The third look was winter whites:

Freja and Abbey goofed around while Karl got ready:

Karl giving direction.






Bringing the male model in:
I really just don’t know what to say about this look.

Abbey posed with a fan:
CHANEL: Abbey Lee with a Fan

I tried to get a photo with Abbey, but she was called away by a crew member. She apologized profusely, but I told her it was ok.

Freja posed sitting in the street for her next solo shot:

Watching Freja.

Realizing the sun was quickly setting, Karl walked down Orchard looking for the location of his last few shots. He settled on another fire escape, this time in red.






I took a quick video of Karl in action. Wendy from Nitrolicious does the intro:

Checking the results after the shoot:


Large crowds had been watching the action most of the day. I was surprised to see designer Katie Gallagher, who’s show I attended last month, walk by to see it for herself.

Designer Katie Gallagher and Friends

Freja changed into her last look, and took a short break while Karl snapped some personal photos:



The very last shot was Freja on the fire escape:

After that, the shoot wrapped! Wendy, who I’d been hanging out with on set all day really wanted to get a photo with Karl. So we hung around for a bit, then started walking back to the trailers with all of the crew. On the way, Abbey and Freja walked right past me. I asked if I could now get a photo with both of them, to which they kindly obliged:

I’m 5’9″, but I felt very short.
(And I swear none of us have demon eyes in real life).

Karl stopped in front of his trailer to talk to his coworkers. Wendy asked his bodyguard if we could get photos, and he told us not yet, to wait until Karl was done talking. After about five minutes, Karl looked over and we made eye contact. I knew that was our chance. I put my hands up and mimed taking a photo, then pointed to Wendy and I. And he nodded ok!!! We both got our photos with Karl, and thanked him profusely.


I’ve been lucky, in the past year I’ve met so many great artists, designers, and musicians that I admire. I never would have dreamed that I’d one day meet Karl. He truly is a living legend. And despite what people might think, he was very kind! In person, he seemed very quiet and almost a bit shy. Thanks Karl and Chanel for coming to NYC and letting us all take photos on set!

See the full photo set here.

All Photos and Content ®2010 RS/The Greyest Ghost
Please do not reproduce with out prior permission.

Sneak Peek: Behind The Scenes at the Chanel Fall/Winter 2010 Ad Shoot

I spent nearly my entire day on the LES set of Chanel’s f/w 2010 ad campaign shoot today. I’ve got about 800 photos to sort and edit. But here are a few sneak peeks of the action:

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Karl Lagerfeld
Even Karl Smiles Sometimes!

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Abbey Lee Kershaw
Abbey posing on the fire escape.

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Karl Lagerfeld, Abbey Lee Kershaw, and Freja Beha Erichsen
Karl, Abbey, and Freja.

Come back tomorrow for the full story, and MORE PHOTOS!

All photos ®2010 RS/The Greyest Ghost. Do Not Reproduce With Out Permission.

The Great Debate: Karl Lagerfeld and V Magazine’s Size Issue

I am anxiously awaiting the day when plus size models appear in magazine editorials without looking like clowns.


I would love to see more editorials featuring plus size women that aren’t nude, or are in “everyday” wear that isn’t so costumey. (Crystal Renn seems to be the one exception to this rule, but there are other amazing plus size models out there too.)


NY Mag seems to have a similar opinion.

To be fair, this model is a woman who is also a burlesque dancer. So she wears stuff like this full time. I still have mixed feelings about her dressed in that particular outfit, being used as a representation of a plus size fashion model in an issue entirely devoted to “size”. Especially when the editorial she stars in was shot by “fatty hater” Karl Lagerfeld. There is no denying Karl is a fashion genius, but this photo shoot just screams publicity stunt.

I actually posted some photos from this shoot in online fashion community I’m a part of, and a lot of the women (and a few men!) had similar thoughts. These are some of their un-edited reactions:

“I feel like a lot of people in the fashion industry see models as a standard of beauty and perfection that can’t be reached by the general population, and by using plus size models in their editorials, photo shoots, etc they are opening up opportunities for people of a more realistic body shape and size to be glamorized and made up to be objects of desire, beauty, and wealth. however, with styling like the shoot above, it is sort of a mockery of these models, making them up to be an over the top type of persona rather than their size 0 counterparts. idk if i am articulating this all correctly, but i wrote a few articles on the issue of size and the fashion industry and overall it just makes me really offended. fashion tries to create this world of perfection and fantasy, and i feel that by using women who have very unattainable bodies they are keeping with the whole image. “plus size” or more so average women are seen as being everyday and not aiding in the surrealist world that fashion tries to create and that’s partially why i feel like they are shunned. IDK MAN i love fashion but i’ve lost so much interest over the past few years because of how much more i’ve been learning about these types of things”

“wtf is she wearing??? shit’s ugly.
size wank is so annoying, i don’t know why magazines can’t just use regular looking people and mix them together… like real life. i guess its different when its fashion because even if a model is plus-size she is proportionate and rarely over a size 12 BUT I DON’T KNOW WHY IT HAS TO BE DIFFERENT. women of every size can like and appreciate fashion and designers are stupid if they aren’t tapping into that market. sorry that i’m fat but that doesn’t mean i want to wear everything from talbots.”

“I’m a stylist’s assistant and basically the problem is this:
shoots for magazines are done 3-4 months in advance so we have to use samples from runway not clothes from stores, as we’re shooting a season ahead. Runway samples are obvs sample sized, because they’re made several months prior to the show so have to be all one size. This size is usually very small because the models that are walking shows at the moment are tiny. So the girls that we cast for the shoots also have to be tiny.
If you shoot a plus sized girl, you have to:
a) find clothes that are meant to be ~oversized~
b) make it work with something that is too small but is stretchy or adjustable
c) get something made (which isn’t usually an option unless you’re shooting with a celeb)
Denim companies usually make samples in a variety of sizes so that’s why a lot of plus size editorials have girls in jeans and no top or something.
Sometimes it’s possible to get samples from plus size companies, but when you’re shooting for certain publications you have to get as many advertisers in as possible, so it’s not always an option to use stuff from non-advertisers.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Idk, I think it’s a whole fashion infrastructure problem and not just that stylists hate fat people or something. I think designers are mostly at fault for using smaller and smaller girls to fit samples on. I don’t really know what the answer is. “

“it turns a plus size woman into nothing more than a body and a spectacle, where a small model is ~sexy and pretty and thin~ a plus size model can’t just be sexy and beautiful and living her life, it has to be BAM LOOK AT HER BODY! i guess modeling is about bodies but i feel like there’s such a focus on a plus size model being only her body.”

“I just feel like it was a weird model choice for Karl “I hate fatties” Lagerfeld to shoot for an issue devoted entirely to size appreciation. He’s ok with over the top “cartoon-ish” big women, but not the average American housewife (which he’s bashed). “

“…the argument for using thin models is so that the clothes will pop, but once you’re using plus size models, they create these personalities for them so the models stand out beyond the clothes. “

“i don’t think they would ever style a regular model this way.”

See the entire editorial here.