If you can’t go to Rencontres d’Arles - the annual photography festival in Arles, in the south of France till the 23rd September - to see the fantastic exhibition on the Enfant Terrible de la Mode, Alexander McQueen, don't be sad. You can read about it and check here some of the beautiful photos Ann Ray took over 13 years of his work in his atelier, the show preparations, the backstage, and runways. An amazing archive of her friendship and collaboration with Alexander McQueen. The French photographer Ann Ray was a friend of the British fashion designer who was considered by many to be a genius.
The two met when Lee Alexander McQueen first became the Artistic Director at Givenchy in 1996 at only 27. Thanks to the close relationship and trust the pair forged over the years, the press-shy McQueen allowed Ray to shoot almost 40.000 analogue photos, some of them using 19th and early 20th century techniques to obtain eery and atmospheric images, from 1996 until 2010 when he sadly ended with his life.
The exhibition at Atelier des Forges in Arles starts with a 13-minute film: "Remember Me."
Highlights. From the 13 minutes movie « Remember me » opening the exhibition « Les Inachevés - Lee McQueen » @rencontresarles , July 2nd - September 23rd #leemcqueen #annray #curator #samstourdzé #producer @artcinemaproductions . A movie by @gregory_antoine & @annray2046 , music by @michaelnymanmusic , photography Ann Ray
Ray says she just saw the polemic fashion designer as an artist expressing himself; "Fashion is just a medium, and that was very clear.". In this exhibition, Ann Ray wants to show us " the creator creating, at the moment of creations."
She chose 140 pictures among her gigantic archive; portraits of Lee, details of his creations and models wearing them. We can see through her lens and eyes how McQueen changed over these years, his weight, his hair and his style, but also an era of fashion, the late 90's in London which were incredibly creative and revolutionary, if you will. Selecting the images for the exhibition was for the photographer - and friend - a closure, she says, of a sad but also vibrant and magic story.
Photos via Ann Ray