Backstage pass – a 90s fashion photo essay

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Gavin Bond captured the 90s fashion world with his informal portraits of star designers and the original supermodels at the Paris shows

n the early 1990s, fashion shows were still quite a rough and ready business. Things weren’t quite as closely managed as they are these days, especially if you scratched beneath the surface. Jo Jones, now the Observer’s fashion editor, then a student at Central Saint Martins, managed to get access for herself and her fellow student Gavin Bond to go backstage at a Vivienne Westwood show in Paris.It was 1993 and they were there on a student trip.

Final touches: above, Stella Tennant with Karl Lagerfeld, backstage at his 1994 Chanel haute couture show. Right, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and Gianni Versace, 1994. Far right, Vivienne Westwood at her Battersea atelier, a new book published by Idea which started during lockdown when Bond was forced to stay home, probably for longer than he has at any time since that Paris trip as a student.

Looking at the photographs now, which are on display as part of Bond’s first solo show at Hamiltons Gallery in London until 29 October, you get a sense of being in the photographer’s shoes, in close proximity to the whole scene, the excitement, the laughter, the lipstick and the champagne.


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