WOMEN x WOMEN
Fashion Week isn't all about cocktail parties and runway shows. It's also about art! One of the events I've been looking forward to the most this week is the upcoming photography exhibition called WOMEN x WOMEN. Stationed at The Fashion House at 560 King St. West (see map here), the exhibition will feature a collection of photos from some of Canada's most prominent and emerging female fashion photographers.
Earlier this week I fired event co-founders Alice Keith and Angela Young some questions to find our more about WOMEN x WOMEN and why women have more often been in front of the lens, not behind it, when it comes to the world of fashion. Here's my Q&A.
The world isn't lacking famous women photographers, but why do you think the field has been historically dominated by men?
Alice: I think fashion photography has been historically dominated by men, much like motion picture photography, because it was one of those "techie" jobs. On movie sets to this day there are really not many female camera operators. Personally, I've met quite a few male fashion photographers who will tell you one of things that got them into the business are the gadgets (and the women)! I haven't heard that from too many women. For me, the gadgets are a means to an end.
What are you seeing with the new generation of fashion photographers. Is it more evenly balanced?
Alice: There are more women in the field now, even quite recently, than ever before. Who knows why... maybe the advent of digital? Most of the women showing in WOMEN x WOMEN show are under 30. But my general impression is that it's still unbalanced. We did a lot of asking around and came up with only about 20 - 25 names of working professional Canadian female fashion photographers (at all levels), and approached them all to participate in the exhibit.
Granted, we missed a few great people in our research, but I think if you were to compile a list of the same demographics for men, that list would be considerably longer. Through WOMEN x WOMEN and the media coverage of this event, we'd love to inspire young women to get into fashion photography. In terms of envisioning the fashion world of the future, it would be nice to have more women behind the lens.
Angela: Honestly, there is absolutely nothing holding women back from being successful a fashion photographer. In fact, though there are fewer of them, I think the women who are out there doing this are doing really well for themselves; they often know women's clothing, love fashion, are moved by artistic vision and have great people skills. It's a competitive and fast paced field, so you have to cut it, but that's really more the individual.
WOMEN x WOMEN is about celebration, and exploring the notion that women have something special to offer on their female subjects. You'll have to check the results out for yourself, but I feel that there is something fresh there.
Who are some of your favourite up-and coming fashion photographers currently working in Toronto?
Alice: Lily & Lilac are 22 years old and definitely becoming stars. Dexter Quinto recently moved to Toronto from Vancouver and is going to do really well for himself - he is so accomplished in his skills and such a professional. And I just want to say, in terms of a rising Canadian international superstar not necessarily working in Toronto, the young Geoff Barrenger is brilliant.
Are any of them featured in the WOMEN x WOMEN exhibit? Who else in the exhibit are you excited to have included?
Alice: Lily & Lilac are featured in the exhibition. I'm happy for some of the other emerging artists whose visions really solidified in their submission peice for WOMEN x WOMEN, Renata Kaveh and Mila Victoria in particular, who are showing really different but fantastic peices.
Angela: We're honoured that internationally established artists Arline Malakian, Genevieve Caron and Maude Arsenault are in the show. Arline Malakian has been especially sweet and supportive right from the start. Arline and all the artists really put their faith in us to pull this whole event off with style.
When will the public be able to check out the exhibition? Will any of the photos be posted online?
Angela: So far the Friday and Saturday exhibition is all that we have planned. We'll have to see!