Blog #162 6/16/16
Kevin Stewart, then the fashion editor of Gear magazine, called one day with the strange request that I do a fashion story underwater featuring men’s leather clothing. Expensive leather (Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Armani, Prada, Helmut Lang, etc.) in the pool??? That sounded more like an accident at a late night party than a good fashion idea. Who knew what water would do to the clothes?
I said “Sure, but…,” and suggested that rather than just posing great-looking “hunks” modeling clothing, I’d want to create a story that was a complete fantasy, with women models as well as men. If I could do that, I told him I’d really be interested.
Stewart liked the idea, and told me, “Go for it. The magazine will cover it and love it.” “Love it,” along with “fabulous,” is fashion talk that any photographer wants to hear. The problem then is to meet expectations.
The idea I came up with was about war and warriors in a futuristic time and place. After casting for models who could work underwater and take direction, all the while looking “fabulous,” I explained to them that I wanted the images to show the epic violence of war – physical aggression, assault, struggle, fear and brutality, with the women as involved as the men. Once we assembled our good looking combatants at the pool, off to war we went….
We titled the shoot “WATER WARS.”
The shoot went very well, the models got into the story and looked great, and the clothes held up. UNDERWATER, AT LEAST. But I was pretty sure all the expensive gear was ruined.
With faint hope for recovery, the magazine crew hung up the pieces to dry. Amazingly, everything looked just fine the next day. When Stewart and his crew returned them, the people at the fashion houses looked at them, disappointed, and said, “Too bad you didn’t use them.” Stewart said nothing. When the images were published eight weeks later, all the fashion houses telephoned with “Oh my god!” reactions. And like the folks at Gear, they loved it.
Men’s Fashion Editorial for Gear Magazine
Fashion Editor: Kevin Stewart
Producer: Julie Trunk
Props: Courtney Walsh
Hair/Makeup: Jon Lucca, Gib, Artists Untied
Glitterati Incoprorated, the publisher of the Retrospective, Schatz Images: 25 Years is now offering the two- book boxed set at a discount from the original price. The set comes with an 11″x14″ print of the buyer’s choice.