Heather Hayhurst of The News Chooses Alexander Wagner

By Heather Hayhurst


One of my favorite photographers that I have had the pleasure to work with in producing lookbooks is Alexander Wagner. His documentary style of shooting fashion captures the authenticity of a moment. Alexander, as an observer, can linger without making his presence known, enabling him to develop an intimate bond with the models he works with.

The News, a fashion and design showroom, is located in New York's Soho district in an original factory building with wooden floorboards and 19th century floor to ceiling window casings. Alexander manages to incorporate these raw industrial elements into his backgrounds. He abandons studio lights, instead opting for natural daylight to convey a sense of warmth and realness. Whether we have bright or cloudy skies, Alexander is able to make it work.

Alexander has a unique portrait approach to shooting models by obscuring their faces, yet he somehow manages to reveal more. His interest in art along with his background in figure drawing and painting is helpful in quickly capturing the movements and gestures of his subjects. Bored by traditional representation, he approaches photography and color fields as a painter would. Alexander intuitively snaps the picture and later comes to understand the story during his editing process.

Shooting the spring/summer 2011 lookbook for Clu, a womenswear collection designed by Jin Lee and Seung Lee in Los Angeles, was a rewarding experience. Distinctive details and various textures that make Clu special were the main focus of the shoot. The model Ana was a natural, so Alexander was easily able to capture her individual glances and quirky sense of movement. 

For our t/m. spring/summer 2011 lookbook, a menswear collection designed by Taiki Matsumura, Alexander utilized the contrast of two different models working together. He played on their awkwardness and inhibitions as his calm voice and easygoing nature made directing them appear effortless and allowed them to be themselves. He revealed and concealed moments with their different postures, expressions and attitudes; and yet through their interaction within the frame, Alexander was able to capture the synergy between the two.


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