This month, Saint Laurent is hosting a simultaneous series of outdoor exhibitions in cities across the world.
The brand’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello has hand-selected six photographers to express different elements of Saint Laurent’s identity with their images, in the city they are most connected to.
Comprising Magnum artists with a focus on fashion and art from London, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Paris and Shanghai, each individual will have the freedom to explore and comment on society while also considering ideas of the self.
In London, the president of Magnum Olivia Arthur will showcase her evocative works, which shine a light on the lives of women from India and Saudi Arabia to Europe. Having studied mathematics at Oxford and photojournalism at London College of Printing, she began working on a sequence of pictures that focuses on cultural divides, female sexuality and the experiences of young people.
New York will present pieces by Alex Webb, who has published his colourful and complex socio-political photographs in more than 15 photography books – taken on the streets, he catches meaningful glimpses into the everyday.
Takashi Homma will represent Tokyo, looking at the relationship between fashion and the city, and how sartorial choices are informed by the surrounding environment. In Seoul, Daesung Lee will spotlight the natural world; having grown up in a rural village, his appreciation for the vibrancy of the outdoors and the feeling of being in nature informs his intricate studies.
The Antwerp-born photographer Harry Gruyaert will capture the city of Paris in his dynamic and brooding works. Working across Morocco, America, India and Europe, he approaches his craft with far more than an eye for composition and hue: for Gruyaert, an image must speak of a place and time. Shanghai’s exhibition will be displayed digitally by Birdhead, the creative duo Ji Weiyu and Song Tao, whose conceptual pieces are created through analogue photography.
The project pays homage to Yves Saint Laurent’s inherent appreciation for fine art. In 1983, the couturier became the first designer ever to have a retrospective of his works held in an art institution, curated by the former Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland; and his career aptly culminated with a final catwalk presentation at Paris’ Centre Pompidou in 2002. This new global exhibition continues Saint Laurent’s practice of interweaving fashion with art, a tradition that will no doubt endure…
From Harper’s Bazaar UK