“In a good fashion photograph, the girl, clothes, location, and light all come together. It fuses perfectly, and you can create a character and narrative that is totally believable, however extreme or fantastical. If this sounds seamless and effort-free, it’s not. It’s hard graft, often involving working and reworking the clothes and ideas in your head, worrying away at the characters, developing the concept, visualizing it, discarding ideas, and building the blocks little by little. And I have lots of disasters. My first-ever trip, for example, with Cindy Crawford and Patrick Demarchelier, was inspired by a picture I’d seen in National Geographic of Ladakh, in the most northern and remote part of India. It had no hotels and was near impossible to access: the only route being via military-owned plane or by car (a two-day trip through the Himalayas on an often impassable road). Having no experience of trips, I thought this would be wonderful. I was sure the team could sleep in tents and wouldn’t mind sharing hair and make-up; I doubted they needed running water, either! The weirdest thing was, they didn’t, and I haven’t looked back—although I wouldn’t dare presume on their good will in quite that way now.”
-British Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers in “My Fashion Life,” a talk she gave earlier this year at the first Vogue Festival in London, that is excerpted in the August issue of British Vogue. Watch the full talk here.