Backstage at Lingerie Fashion Week
Above: this photo of BRADELIS NY during runway rehearsal is Thorsten Roth’s personal favorite from the hundreds of backstage photos he shot at Lingerie Fashion Week.
“For me, the creative challenge always consists in giving my imagery a recognizable touch so they can stand the test of time & create a great memory which might help to draw more audiences to next year’s Lingerie Fashion Week.” – Thorsten Roth.
Images by Thorsten Roth. Thorsten is a New York City-based Photographer/Director shooting fashion, beauty and celebrities for editorial, advertising and the music industry.
As we continue our Lingerie Fashion Week (LFW) coverage, photographer Thorsten Roth gives us an exclusive look at his work backstage at this year’s LFW with a curated selection of photos from two days of runway shows and presentations along with a Q&A giving us insights into how he approached this unique project.
Backstage at Lingerie Fashion Week: Q&A with Thorsten Roth
Thorsten, could you tell us a little bit about how you became involved shooting backstage at Lingerie Fashion Week?
For once very simple — I got in touch with Lauren Rich-Lama Amador, Executive Director of UNDERHAUS which is a New York-based fashion and PR agency specializing in intimate apparel brands to cooperate on brand-development. Lauren is also founder of Lingerie Fashion Week and she was so kind to ask me if I would be interested being part of her team and shooting for the event. That’s how it happened.
Backstage at Lingerie Fashion Week: Brian Newman of THE BRIAN NEWMAN QUARTET practicing before Secrets in Lace hits the runway.
I imagine the opportunity was there to shoot the runway shows, why was it important for you to take the behind-the-scenes photographs?
First of all, this was a great opportunity for me to apply old skill sets that I had acquired many moons ago at the very beginning of my professional career when I worked in photo journalism. Over the years, on and off, I had cooperated with the image agencies GETTY and RETNA crafting these skills.
Shooting events like Lingerie Fashion Week is very different from shooting look books, fashion editorial and advertising or directing videos. It is more about being in the mix, reacting and hunting for great photographs.
Above: BRADELIS NY.
It was important for me to shoot behind-the-scenes because I simply find it more thrilling; besides, I find it necessary to stay focused and throw myself regularly into situations where I don’t necessary call all the shots. Having shot the behind-the-scene photography for Lingerie Fashion Week keeps my eyes where they have to be — sharp and on the edge!
Above: models wearing designs by Andrée Ciccarelli and posing with bottles of Sonic Neuro.
I have great respect for the guys who shoot runway. But I prefer a good creative challenge where I need to feel out situations and make things happen.
If you compare this with music, then shooting runway is more like classical music where note-by-note you follow the partition, the program. I can do that, but I prefer playing jazz — feeling out the atmosphere, improvising on a theme and situation and pulling something beautiful out of that mixture.
Above: Secrets in Lace’s President, Daniel J. Whitsett.
What were you trying to capture in working with these brands behind the curtain?
First, let’s make one point…at the end of the day, this is not about me and my artistic self-expression. This is about how my work, in this case, the “behind-the-scenes” photography supports the brands’ identities and ends up being a useful part of their visual communication.
Above: Secrets in Lace.
When you look at my photographs closely, you will note that they look very much like fashion and advertising shots despite the fact that we are on a photo journalistic terrain. My intention was to create a visual product for Lingerie Fashion Week and the brands that ends up being a helpful tool in their marketing communication. Therefore, it is important for me to understand the core idea of each individual brand and what is quintessential for them.
Above: backstage with the Giving Bride.
You’ve shared some of the images on social media, what kind of reaction have you received and why is it important to you?
The images were very well received, commented and retweeted. I find that timing is crucial, I released my images fairly quickly in order to hit the beat. The fact that the images are beautiful adds more relevance to them, particularly in our fast, noisy internet world. Sharing is another part of support for the recognition and success of the brands involved.
Above: designer Andrée Ciccarelli backstage during the runway show.
Looking at all of the images, what’s the story that ties them together? Do you have a favorite image in particular?
What ties all the images together is the fact that they are telling the “backstage” story by creating an emotional connection between the viewer and the event. That connection is crucial for any great visual communication. The images provoke the curiosity of the audience and that is very important in our era of limited attention spans. Aesthetically, they are pleasing and intriguing while staying on the course of good taste.
Above: Lola Haze.
My favorite shot is, without a doubt, the image of the models’ bottoms and legs during the runway rehearsal of BRADELIS NY. First of all, the photograph shows product in a very casual way…almost as a side note. It is very sensual and sexy and yet, it does not reveal “the secret.” The image stays suggestive and depicts body-language and posture which gives us a hint of each girl’s personality.
This shot inspires the viewer’s imagination and communicates a lifestyle feeling and that is what lingerie photography in general should be about.
Above: Liza Elliott-Ramirez of Expecting Models and You! Lingerie Designer/CEO, Uyo Okebie-Eichelberger.
Above: Andrée Ciccarelli.
Above: Love Cage Designer/CEO Stephanie Paterek and Stylist/Make-up Artist Caitlin Monahan.
Above: Love Cage.
For me the creative challenge always consists in giving my imagery a recognizable touch so they can stand the test of time, create a great memory which might help to draw more audience to next year’s Lingerie Fashion Week. When that happens my job is done.