Christy Turlington sips champagne as adjustments are made to the fit of her couture Versace jacket. Yasmeen Ghauri steadies herself like a pro while dressers tightlace her into a Christian Lacroix corset. Linda Evangelista gazes down the lens of the camera, clutching the bust of a timeless Vivienne Westwood gown. Even with the most recognisable faces in the world as his subjects, British photographer Gavin Bond had a knack for shining new light on the effortless glamour of the 90s supermodel, as well as the drama and theatre of backstage fashion.
Today, the whole world is invited behind the scenes with fashion houses utilising social media to craft their own exclusive glimpse of what’s to come. But when Bond was a young fashion student at Central Saint Martins in the early 90s, the backstage area was still a relatively private space. Armed with an invitation to London Fashion Week, and a camera, he honed his skill in capturing candid moments amid the magic and the mayhem.
His distinct reportage style soon garnered Bond attention from the fashion industry’s key movers and shakers who commissioned his photography at shows in Paris and Milan, as well as London, during one of the greatest decades of runway fashion to date. A good photograph is something you come back to over time. After rediscovering previously unseen images from this golden era, Bond, who is now one of the world’s top commercial photographers, decided to share his visual history of 90s fashion with the world.
Bond’s forays into the archive culminated in his first ever solo exhibition at Hamiltons Gallery in London in autumn 2022: a collection of 50 gelatin silver prints arranged to emulate the feeling of ‘being there’ backstage, creating a real sense of nostalgia for anyone who was part of the fashion industry at the time, and providing a unique insight for those who wish they were. From Karl Lagerfeld touching up Stella Tennant’s bob in the wings to Carla Bruni receiving a light from a backstage hand, the show of black-and-white stills was a sell out.
Sometimes you simply have to be in the right place at the right time, but it takes a singular vision like Bond’s to achieve true artistry in the field of photography.
All Images © Gavin Bond, Courtesy of Hamiltons Gallery
Nadja & Feathers, John Galliano, Paris, 1994
Chrystelle Feather Hat, Chanel Haute Couture, Paris, 1995
Carla, Cigarette & Rolex, Valentino Haute Couture, Paris, 1995
Linda Running, Versace Haute Couture, Paris, 1998
Linda Angelic, Vivienne Westwood, Paris, 1993
Kate Moss with champagne, Vivienne Westwood, Paris, 1993
Claudia Running, Versace Haute Couture, Paris, 1998
Christy & Champagne, Versace Haute Couture, Paris, 1998
Yasmeen in Corset, Christian Lacroix Couture, Paris, 1995