Monique L’Huillier: It’s One Thing to Shoot Ready-to-Wear in a Small Space Than to Shoot Couture in That Same Space – You’ve Got to Capture That Dress No Matter What!

Model wearing Monique Lhuillier preparing to walk the runway at the Monique LHuillier Fall 2011 Collection Runway Show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  Photographed by Arun NevaderShooting Backstage comes with a variety of experiences. A line like Monique L’Huillier, for example, is very different from shooting full-length ready-to-wear couture like Matthew Williamson in a small space. Shooting tight ready-to-wear is all beautiful, but the challenges are very different. Big Looks and tight spaces present unique challenges for any photographer shooting First Looks. Monique Lhuillier dress shot backstage at the Monique LHuillier Fall 2011 Collection Runway Show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  Photographed by Arun NevaderFor example, the chief hair stylist smashed into my camera with her head twice (and blamed me in French both times). She wasn’t happy! Which is to say, last minute preparation for a show like L’Huillier’s makes shooting First Looks the ultimate challenge for a fashion press photographer. Not only are you limited to the two seconds you have to get the normal photo but you’re also competing with at least five other production people crowding your shot even though you’re the only photographer back there. Nevertheless, the rewards are extraordinary because it’s only the First Looks photographer who gets to see it up close and personal before the model takes the runway gate.

Monique’s show was memorable for its overall attention to detail, exquisite sewing and larger than life color. Even black seems to transcend its own darkness. Beyond the couture itself, production value at such a close range tells no lies. So hair, makeup, nails, skin tone . . . everything . . . demands perfection and demands that the photographer gets it. This show goes down with some of my greatest, including De La Renta, Vera Wang, Herrera, Badgley Mischka; and in some ways it was far more challenging than any of those previous shows.

Shooting Backstage and First Looks exclusively for Agenda Magazine brings the intimacy of high fashion to our readers in ways otherwise unknown.

Check out the exclusive footage of the Monique L’Huillier Fall 2011 Backstage and First Looks photographed by Arun Nevader.

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