Fashion Week

The View from Behind the Lens at Jean Paul Gaultier

Fashion Week photographers are usually seen crunched together at the end of a runway, all vying for the perfect shot. They may not appear to have the most glamorous job, but the photographers are the ones who truly have the inside access to not only the top shows but also to the models, elite editors and celebrities, all of whom want their pictures taken.

We asked Ford Leland—a Paris-based, American-born editor and photographer who’s shooting for us at Paris Fashion Week ’13—to provide some commentary on his bird’s-eye-view of the scene at Jean Paul Gaultier’s fall show.

One of my favorite things about Gaultier is that every single collection of his is a joy to photograph. Though his shows usually include a classic runway walk, his inspiration is always displayed through an elaborate combination of location, set design, styling and runway choreography.

This season, he chose to show at one of his classic locations from decades past, the Salle Wagram in Paris’ 17th arrondissement—a perfect complement to his retro-themed exploration of motorcycle jackets, armor, and graphic prints. Leather, fur and metals fused together in looks that referenced his days of dressing Madonna. My favorite compositions from the Gaultier runway are a true treat for the eyes—check them out below and then read on to see who I met backstage!

Joan Smalls, the #1 ranked model in the world, throws me a flirty glance from the catwalk.

After the show, I bumped into Coco Rocha backstage, who had just arrived in Paris four hours prior. Even under the stress of transatlantic jet lag, she was amiable and happy to share her thoughts on the first Parisian catwalk she’d attended as an audience member.

“I loved it, and I thought [the pieces were] very wearable. There were a lot of pieces I would wear as either an off-duty or on-duty model; it was very exciting to watch. Seeing it from this side of the runway just made me fall in love with Gaultier even more.”

Lloyd Simmonds, makeup creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, was also at the after-show cocktail party and filled me in on how he designed a look to match Gaultier’s powerful collection. “The focus of the makeup was beautiful, fresh skin, which was accompanied by a strong brow to create a slightly boyish look.”

After talking with Lloyd, I found Coco again, hanging out with her friends Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne (center), the latter of whom had just walked in the show.

On my way out the door, I ran into Shena Moulton, who I saw yesterday out causing trouble at a street market (read more). She was beaming because she’d just received one of the gift bags from the show, containing a bottle of Gaultier’s Classique Eau de Toilette Natural Spray Perfume. Seeing her smile was the perfect end to my fifth day of Paris Fashion Week ’13.