Nick Knight’s new images of Alexander McQueen’s 2004 show backstage including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gemma Ward and Lily Cole
By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist
Photographer Nick Knight dusted off the film tins of images he captured backstage eleven years ago at Alexander McQueen’s 2004 ‘Black Event’ to bring a new view of the designer’s genius to light. The new work was commissioned by American Express, who incidentally was the original sponsor of McQueen’s 2004 ‘Black Event,’ which showcased McQueen’s black pieces from his archive at the time as well as others designed specifically for the night.
The event marked McQueen’s return to showing in London and included looks modeled by Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gemma Ward and Lily Cole and others. “McQueen was so excited as he neared the completion of the collection for the American Express Black event, he insisted we find a way to shoot it behind-the-scenes at Earls Court, where the show was being held,” explains Knight.
He knew the Black Event was an important moment that should be preserved and shown to the world, so this project has been a great way for me to reflect upon and celebrate our working relationship.We both knew we had the ingredients to make an incredible image.
The duo, who collaborated throughout McQueen’s career, created a backstage photo studio complete with a large sheet of plexiglass and makeshift cyclorama.
Eleven years later, Knight and McQueen’s vision of building a composite image has been realized as Knight has collated the previously unseen photographs of 35 outfits from the show as well as that of Alexander McQueen himself. The hauntingly stunning image is aptly titled ‘Black’ and was commissioned by American Express, it has been released to coincide with the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition currently showing at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The retrospective of McQueen’s work features items taken from his ground-breaking 1992 collection to pieces from his unfinished 2010 final collection. Many new pieces were lent to the London exhibit, including those from long-time Alexander McQueen collaborator, the stylist Katy England.