Patrick and Victor Demarchelier’s What’s Contemporary

Posted by stephan | October 5th, 2012

What’s Contemporary by Patrick and Victor Demarchelier

Timeless is a word we all use, and one we often bear in mind with focused intention when creating images today. Despite the ubiquity of the concept of timelessness, to successfully achieve such magic is a feat very few can accomplish, much less accomplish time after time. The name Demarchelier hangs like an iconic banner of such imagery over the pages of countless magazines and endless advertising campaigns today and through decades past. As contemporary is frequently defined as ‘A person or thing living or existing at the same time as another,’ we thought it would be an incredible concept to invite the Demarcheliers of two different generations to present together their idea of contemporary as it exists in our time. Rather than interpret the same subject from contrasting generational points of view, Patrick and Victor found it more interesting to come together and create images that, for them, represent a timeless and classic aesthetic that has always been, and will forever be, contemporary. Selecting six of the most stunning models of our time as their subject matter, they have successfully created the most epic moment ever created for an online platform, proving that the quality of content is in no way dependent on the platform through which it is experienced.
Epic, timeless and classic, ContemporaryIS Patrick & Victor Demarchelier.

Credits:

Photography Patrick Demarchelier
Photography Victor Demarchelier (Paris/New York: Management + Artists)
Stylist William Graper
Editor Christopher Michael / What’s Contemporary
Introduction and Q&A by Christopher Michael
Hair Teddy Charles @ Art & Commerce
Makeup Fulvia Farolfi @ Bryan Bantry
Stylist assistants: Mollie Maguire, Mel Eligon

Models:

Sigrid Agren @ Ford
Toni Garrn @ Women
Frida Gustavsson @IMG
Constance Jablonski @ Marilyn
Jac Jagaciak @ IMG
Liu Wen @ Marilyn

Q&A with Patrick and Victor Demarchelier

In response to the question of What’s Contemporary, you and Patrick chose to create these images together rather than run your separate perspectives of the same subject in a parallel contrast. How did you come to the decision to do it this way?

PD: We love to work together.

VD: I thought it would be fun to work together on this. We are both contemporary, and I wanted to show that, with the generation gap, we could still create images that appealed to both of us.

You were both very specific about the casting on this. What was it about these girls in particular that you held to be so contemporary and accurate as a response for this subject?

PD: I like them all. These are interesting girls we work with regularly.

VD: We wanted to shoot the sexiest and most beautiful girls around.

So many people feel the pressure to create new ideas with each and every passing year, yet you guys chose to create images of a timeless nature. Why?

PD: We don’t feel the pressure. We like to work in an instinctive way.

VD: I find most ideas for shoots terribly repetitive and vain. A beautiful girl shot in a beautiful light never gets old. Fashion is always changing, but I don’t think that our idea of beauty is changing as quickly. Fashion is always changing, but beauty is timeless.

How important is the role of the fashion in your pictures?

PD: We work in fashion, so, of course, the fashion is important, but the team you work with and everyone around you is equally important.

VD: Fashion is essential to our work. You cannot make a pretty picture with ugly fashion, but it’s the people who wear these clothes that make them especially interesting.

This is not the first project you have worked on together. Do you often get requested to work on projects together?

VD: Sometimes, but we prefer to work together on our own terms.

This timeless Demarchelier aesthetic is one that stands not only the test of time, but also equally challenges the common imagery of today the same way it has in years past. What do you think makes a photograph timeless?

PD: Style comes naturally. When I work, I don’t think about my style, just about the pictures I am taking.

VD: You cannot create a style. Your style, what you like, is who you are. I think the best quality a work of art can have is timelessness. I think there is an ease to our style — a natural, organic process that defines us.

Not to over-intellectualize or demystify these incredible images, but what lead to the choice of nudity for this series?

VD: We wanted the focus to be on our idea of beauty. Keeping the girls as natural as possible — minimal hair, makeup and styling was important to the process.

PD: I wanted to let the girls express themselves and not have the clothes take over.

Discussing the subject of contemporary, both as it is in culture, but more specifically to fashion, it seems that many are deferring back to wanting to create content of a timeless nature, in an effort to avoid the commonly used current aesthetic that will no doubt be recognizably of this time in years to come, and much more ‘throw away.’ In theory, this is great. However, not everyone is able to create this kind of image. From the point of view of photographers, what do you think about the direction and nature of fashion imagery most commonly created today?

PD: There is no “style” today. Everyone has a different style.

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37 Comments

  1. Katie says:

    CONSTANCE IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!

  2. Michael says:

    OMG Liu Wen and constance are gorgeous :)

  3. Bruno Maric says:

    Phenomenal.

  4. Mary says:

    So so pretty.

  5. marie says:

    sigrid looks the best here

  6. Joe says:

    They are all ABSOLUTE GODESS! But true there is something raw and natural about Constance. I don’t know this girl she is more than a pretty face…. Watch out people!

  7. Bertrand says:

    Constance, Liu and Toni are amazing! I love Patrick Demarchelier as a photographer, he’s my master and I always love to read him in interviews, I think he’s one of the greatest photographers of all time just at the same place as Avedon, Ritts or Beaton shall I say. The nude photos he has taken with Victor are effortless and so beautiful. They’ve shown women as we love them: elegant, gorgeous and au natural ;))

  8. Demi says:

    very boring! noting special!all girls looking poor and sad.

    !!!PS!!!: There is noting Contemporary here!!! for sure!!!

  9. Diana says:

    Oh my Gog. Sigrid, Jac and Constance are simply gorgeous, great job Patrick Demarcheiler :]

  10. Paulina says:

    JAC is phenomenal here!She gives so much character to the pictures esp.the smiling one!!!The whole project i so pure and natural!

  11. victoria says:

    Jac is the one who stood out for me, simply beautiful and so raw (amazing body too!). As I was scrolling down Liu’s shot took my breath away. Constance is a natural beauty. tbh the only shots I dont really like are Frida’s… awkward in the first one, and nothing special in the second.

  12. JERMAINE says:

    THOSE FRENCHES ARE GREAT

  13. Wendi says:

    Wow, these are so beautiful. I am just in love with every photo

  14. Ingrid says:

    YAWN
    This is the opposite of contemporary

  15. Albert says:

    Our 2 french beauties Sigrid & Constance are stunning…but Jac is the most natural & so gorgeous here !

  16. Dan says:

    “they have successfully created the most epic moment ever created for an online platform…”
    beautiful photos, but is the above a bit of an overstatement?

  17. terence duff says:

    wow these are the ideal women and beauty nude

  18. Sandra McMillen says:

    But what’s the point. Why do they have to be topless…is that the only way These girls can ‘express themselves.’ this is the kind of nudity I don’t get, the shots aren’t even particularly special either.

  19. Arthur says:

    Absolutely fantastic photos, grey scale, tonal contrast, lighting, wow!

  20. kitkat says:

    Jac’s shots are the most interesting here. She is coy and sexy and very “real.”

    Toni has a beautiful face but I feel as if she is very asexual in her expression and body.

  21. justin says:

    I greatly appreciate the opportunity to look over your photos. My favorite aspect of the b&w photography is the use of contrasting light and shadow against the subjects frame. My thought is that it is very classical, something seen primarily in european posters of the late 19th century and early to mid 20th century. I do not know if you intended to have a majority of the subjects position their shoulders forward, if so, do you mind if I ask as to why?

  22. oksav says:

    ps its ridicule to see 18year old retouched to the nines forgetting that she isnt joan rivers… rip models.com

  23. IS THIS IT? models review says:

    They all look great, in a delicately genuine yet very captivating and suggestive way. And as the shots show, timeless is the new contemporary after all.
    PS btw these personally add another interesting chapter to the “B&W / nudity duo” book too, considerations from this point of view are imo many and all quite interesting…

  24. Davidoff says:

    Toni and Jac!! :)

  25. Flora says:

    What a natural beauty Sigrid is!

  26. VidKid says:

    @Oksav if you spent more time looking at photography than criticizing the things of which you know little about, you would be able to appreciate the refreshing experience of how very little these photographs are actually retouched. I think we have spent such a long time looking at heavy handed retouching, that we forgot what the difference looks like between good lighting and overly altered images. This would be the former.

  27. as says:

    SIGRID looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    so does liu wen!!!!

  28. ummm says:

    Where are the black/mixed/indian models….hello 21st century you would think other race models are beautiful enough to be included…SAD SAD.

  29. tariq says:

    oh

  30. abc says:

    photoshop fail on sigrid’s arm/shoulder on 5th pic with toni

  31. nardoreventon says:

    woow so cute and so beautiful

  32. Lev says:

    And yet Joan Smalls is no where to be seen

  33. Queni says:

    PURE!!

  34. Felix says:

    Perfection! so beautiful, and with a hint of sophistication.

  35. Robert says:

    JaC! NAKED!!!!

    I knew the day would come oneday :’/

    My baby is all grown up.

  36. Pictange Photographe says:

    Des photos pleine d’émotions !!! Bravo

  37. jeff says:

    Constance,Sigrid and Liu Wen had appeared in the HM 2013 s/s ladies accessories campaign。They looks are so stunning!All photos on the HM’s website。And I think it’s not a lookbook or catalog。

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