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  • Written by Moe Wang


fashion faux parr book Martin Parr phaidon
© Phaidon

For the first time ever, Fashion Faux Parr gathers more than 250 color images from the renowned British photographer Martin Parr’s collection of fashion photography. The images explore a wide variety of fashion works, from editorials and commercials to candid photographs from behind the scenes at major fashion events and portraits of industry icons, all shot worldwide. Parr’s distinctive style of photography shines through each shot, marked by vibrantly colored and highly saturated color features. Whether it be commercial or editorial fashion photoshoots that he has done, “I want them to have a good Martin Parr picture and they need to have something that shows the clothes. That’s the bottom line really. And as well as that if it’s an interesting photo then everyone’s happy,” says Parr.


Born in Surrey, England in 1952, Parr has built a distinctive voice in the visual culture for more than 30 years. His initial interest in photography was ignited by his grandfather George Parr, who was a keen amateur photographer himself. Fashion photography has become an important context for Parr over the years, allowing him to delve and experiment with his witty brand of social commentary intersected with fashion context.


Parr’s trademark is the use of garnish colors that give off a boundless energy. In his newly launched Fashion Faux Parr, the photographer’s unique humor and instantly recognizable style are foregrounded throughout this collection book. Printed on light, uncoated papers to give a magazine-like look and feel, the book includes commissioned and personal images as well as facsimiles that were featured in prominent magazine brands and houses, such as W, Jalouse, Vogue, Balenciaga, and Gucci.

From the Gucci work that Parr shot in Cannes where different models just hung around, to the now iconic picture of the orange lady with the glasses in frizzy hair sprawled on the sofa, and the Jacquemus shoot which Parr shot from one of the 75 audience boats in Versailles to Louis Vuitton’s accessories shoot in Senegal where the five-figure cigarette case plonked among the tray of cheap trinkets, the images in Fashion Faux Parr illuminate the intersection of Parr’s taste with the commercial works.


With Parr’s special attraction toward featuring excitable dogs and seniors in his pictures, the book perfectly encapsulates his route of fashion photography. The book also comes in set in context by two short essays. UK Savile Row designer and TV personality Patrick Grant tells about Parr’s considerable fashion portfolio as the introductory essay, while New York-based shoe designer and fashion writer Tabitha Simmons documents what a day on a shoot with Martin Parr is actually like, having commissioned him to shoot an accessories feature in a flea market for American Vogue.


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