Behind the Seams
Corey Tenold's Take on Haute Couture
Everyone knows what a runway photo looks like. They’re centered, the model has one coltish leg stitching in front of the other, and an audience full of fashion’s judges and slaves line the left- and right-hand edges of the shot. It’s formulaic work, if not glamorous, and it only shows one side of the fashion week story: the designer’s.
We want to know more. That’s where photographer Corey Tenold comes in. His behind-the-scenes photographs, taken at numerous global Fashion Weeks and every major magazine’s studio around the world, fill in some of the gaps about what happens backstage–don’t worry, the thigh gaps remain intact.
Tenold captured Kaia Gerber, Taylor Hill, and Bella Hadid in flamboyant, avian finery at Anna Sui; he framed Meghan Roche’s flawless skin, set off by opulent earrings at Brandon Maxwell. He offered us a glimpse of some of the street style outside the entrance of New York Fashion Week, which looked more like a recruitment fair for Burning Man than the welcome committee for the world’s style icons. The photos create a mood, and capture some of the disjointed frenzy that happens in the moments before the models get to the catwalk. Some of them pose blatantly for the camera, as they’re thoroughly trained to do. Others seem like the phrase “hurry up and wait” is hitting them hard in the ribs as Tenold photographs them, as though they can’t wait for the long hours of hair, makeup, and safety pins can’t be over soon enough.
They’re candid. They’re interesting. They’re lovingly different from the serious gallery photography we typically profile, but they’re also refreshing. Fashion is about searching for an identity–one that you can slip over your head, let fall over your body, and absorb the power to tell the world exactly who the fuck you are. In that respect, it’s more meaningful than you’d expect.
Well played, Corey Tenold. Well played.
Take a look at these selections from his Instagram and see for yourself.