Claudia Schiffer: '90s fashion photography wasn't made to be consumed instantly'

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  • Claudia Schiffer
    Claudia Schiffer
    German model
Claudia Schiffer reflects on changes in fashion photography credit:Bang Showbiz
Claudia Schiffer reflects on changes in fashion photography credit:Bang Showbiz

Claudia Schiffer says fashion photography never used to be "made to be consumed instantly via social media”.

The 51-year-old supermodel has lamented on the changes in the industry - such as way digital media has overtaken many print magazines - to celebrate the launch of her photo book ‘Captive! Fashion Photography from the 90s’, which is connected to the exhibition she curated in Dusseldorf Museum Kunstpalast.

Asked about the differences between analogue and digital photography in fashion, she told PENTA: “Well, everything was shot on film and tests were in the form of Polaroids to gauge light, composition, and color.

"Today, the edit happens on the screen and imagery can be consumed instantly via social media."

The catwalk queen suggested that magazines held more weight culturally, while the shoots had bigger budgets which meant longer trips and closer bonds with the people she worked with."

She explained: “In the 1990s, the magazines were like the bibles of fashion, with every cover and page eagerly dissected. Budgets were much bigger and literally a location shoot could last for over a week—so many friendships were formed on these trips.”

Some of her friends made on these trips - such as fellow fashion heavyweights Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Helena Christensen - made it into the book, which features pictures from an array of talented photographers.

On the book’s “strongest" snaps, Claudia said: “Consider Kate Moss by Mario Sorrenti for Calvin Klein, with art director Fabien Baron, or Mario Testino’s legendary series for Gucci directed by Tom Ford and styled by Carine Roitfeld — these campaigns became part of the style conversation.

"The most memorable images are often provocative and challenge our perceptions of femininity. Look at Juergen Teller’s work, he makes you see beauty in a different way.”

The model reflected that the era “really resonates now” because of the current trend of people “collaborating” to create new ideas.

She added: “The boom was fueled by the global appetite for fashion and the range of media from MTV to legacy magazines including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and a new guard of style titles such as The Face, Self Service, i-D, and V Magazine.

"The ’90s gave way to the birth of the supermodel but also the superstar designer, stylist, and photographer. And the fashion. Wearing a Chanel jacket with vintage jeans, bodycon Alaia dresses and sneakers, Marc Jacobs ’ grunge or a Helmut Lang suit—it was its high-and-low mix that was individual, fun, and cool. It really resonates now, when so many young creatives are collaborating and doing things—building from the ground up.”

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