Portraits featuring Karen Walker's new Magnetic collection.
Karen Walker's spring/summer 2016 collection titled ‘Magnetic’ arrives in stores today and draws inspiration from Berenice Abbott, who was a talented American photographer known for her black and white photos of New York in the 1930s. Although it was Abbott's personal style in particular which exemplifies utilitarian, androgynous chic, that became Walker's muse for the collection.
To create the unique campaign imagery for the collection, Walker collaborated with brother and sister art photography duo Mark and Deborah Smith, to create special portraits which pay homage to Abbott by shooting large format black and white 5×4. “Creating images for this collection, we had in mind the considered way Berenice herself worked,” says Walker. Instead of today's style of shooting masses of digital images they shot just five pieces of film for each subject, taking their time to get each shot just right. “A suitable response to today’s digital narcissism,” adds Walker.
The limited amount of film and the idea of creating something meaningful meant “slowing down and being mindful of how we collaborated with our subjects,” says Deborah Smith. It's an approach that paid off with each portrait having depth and striking visual impact. Each model was chosen to celebrate the proto-feminist spirit of Berenice Abbott with eight astute women making up the group of “women we admire for the way they live, plus the way they dress” says Deborah.
Walker herself features in the images as well as her 8 year old daughter Valentina Gherman, who is the youngest portrait sitter in the group, while Von Chunn at 87 years old is the eldest and the age range adds a brilliant sense of perspective. Talented florist Sophie Wolanski of Muck Floral, athetic rowing siblings Mollie and Jemma James and stylish sisters Hart and Vita Reynolds who have been long-time muses for the Smiths round out the group of models all wearing designs from the Magnetic collection.
No doubt the new collection of dynamic prints and chic silhouettes will enthrall many KW fans who admire Walker's intelligent take on fashion.