News archives m
Why were Naomi, Christy and Linda giggling in a bathtub? Nineties fashion photographer reveals the real stories behind her candid behind-the-scenes snaps
Published: 22:56 BST, 20 November 2013 | Updated: 23:15 BST, 20 November 2013
As one of the first photographers to be allowed backstage during fashion week, Roxanne Lowit has, in three decades, amassed what is arguably the ultimate collection of candid celebrity images.
The New York-based photographer has snapped supermodels, designers, rock stars as well as the likes of Pamela Anderson and Madonna, giving an insider’s glimpse into the fashion industry to reveal the magic and madness behind its glitz and glamor.
Now, in a mini-retrospective from December 12th through January 18th, Roxanne Lowit: Be Fabulous, 60 of the photographers favorite images are set to be displayed at New York's Steven Kasher gallery.
As one of the first photographers allowed backstage during fashion week, Roxanne Lowit has, in 30 years, amassed the ultimate collection of candid celebrity images (pictured: Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista in 1990)
'When I started shooting, I was the only photographer backstage,' Ms Lowit told MailOnline. No one thought it was interesting. But to me it was where you got to see the magic unfold, where the transformation occurs.
'There is a frenetic energy, there is chaos, there are young girls doing what young girls do, laughing, gossiping, dancing, drinking. There are celebrities, models, designers. . . I simply capture the moments I see through my lens.'
One such moment saw Ms Lowit snap Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista in a bath, giggling. The picture, titled Three Models in a Tub, was taken in 1990 at the Versace Couture after party at Paris' Ritz Hotel.
'I asked the girls to get in the tub,' recalled Ms Lowit. 'Sylvester Stallone came into the room and threatened to pour champagne over them, which is why they are squealing in the shot.
Giving an insider's glimpse into the fashion industry, Ms Lowit revels the magic and madness behind the glamor (pictured: Christie Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista at the Versace after party, Paris, 1990)
'The exhibition is a collection of my favorite images. . . I know that many people love the shot of Kate Moss in the white suit and hat at Galliano, people are always asking to have their picture taken with it,' said Ms Lowit
In a mini-retrospective from December 12th through January 18th, Roxanne Lowit: Be Fabulous is set to display 60 photographs at New York's Steven Kasher Gallery (pictured: Iman in 1990)
Labeled a 'fashion's historian' by Karl Lagerfeld, Ms Lowit has taken pictures at hundreds of fashion events (pictured: Andy Warhol, Jacqueline and Julian Schnabel, Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat, Indochine, 1985)
'Afterwards when they got out of the tub, Linda went up to Stallone and pretended to punch him. I got a great shot of that too.'
Labeled a 'fashion’s historian. . . a witness to the marriage of vanity and fame,' by Karl Lagerfeld, Ms Lowit has accumulated more than 200,000 negatives and color slides taken at hundreds of fashion events in Paris, New York, Milan, and London since she first started taking pictures in the Seventies.
While she has borne witness to thousands of funny moments in her career, Ms Lowit's favorite stars Kate Moss and then Gucci creative director, Tom Ford.
'When I started shooting, I was the only photographer backstage,' Ms Lowit told MailOnline. No one thought it was interesting' (pictured: Shalom Harlow, Paris, 1995)
Ms Lowit has accumulated more than 200,000 negatives and color slides taken at hundreds of fashion events in Paris, New York, Milan, and London since the Seventies (pictured: Christy Turlington and Kate Moss, 1994)
Ms Lowit snapped model Carmen Kass behind the scenes of Christian Dior's show in Paris, 1998, taking a swig from a bottle of red wine
Ms Lowit has often said her favorite show to photograph behind-the-scenes was Dior when John Galliano was creative director of the brand (pictured: John Galliano, Paris, 1995)
'Tom Ford was spraying Kate Moss with water at Gucci,' she explained. 'At this particular Gucci show the models were getting sprayed with a water bottle before exiting the runway. Not just their hair or their faces but their bodies too.
A mini-retrospective starting December 12th, Roxanne Lowit: Be Fabulous, is set to display 60 of her favorite photographs at Steven Kasher gallery
'Orlando Pita the hairdresser was the one spraying them. Tom was obviously not content with the amount of spraying going on because he grabs the water bottle from Orlando and proceeds to drench Kate before she exits onto the runway. . . Everyone was laughing, and I got a great shot!'
Ms Lowit did not go to school to be a photographer. Instead, she graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a degree in art history and textile design.
It was during her successful career as a textile designer that she began taking pictures of people who interested her.
Eventually, she traded her paintbrush for a camera, and because many of the designers in New York were using her textile designs, she would attend their shows.
What began as Ms Lowit photographing her textiles transformed into skirts, blouses, and then models.
'When I started shooting backstage over 30 years ago I was the only photographer backstage,' she said.
'There was hardly any security, it was easy to sneak in. No one stopped me or even looked my way twice. I had free reign.
'Nowadays there is a ton of PR and security, no one wants to let you in and once in you only get 20 minutes, you cannot stay for the whole show. I must have made it look good because now there are a ton of photographers backstage, swarming around the models all trying to get the same shot.'