INTO THE DEEP
Lorenzo Masi's backstage shots of Pitti Uomo
by KOD Staff
Lorenzo Masi’s backstage photographs of menswear trade show, Pitti Uomo are enthralling. Primarily a documentary photographer, his work strips the fashion industry of its usual glossy finish – offering his audience a vision that seems very real.
Masi told us, "Photographing backstage is quite relaxing for me. I used to be much more involved with the subjects that I photograph during my documentary/photojournalist work but being backstage offers a different perspective. You are shooting people who are so used to being photographed in a very intensive way, so no one cares about you with your camera and you become invisible, in a certain way."
He uses this invisibility to create incredibly intimate shots, creeping closer to models than most photographers manage. He portrays them as if they’re swimming in black. The darkness of his images intensifies the atmosphere – capturing nerves, boredom and anticipation.
This year, Pitti Uomo overlapped with London Collections. The clash provoked Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive of the Florence trade show, to charter a private jet and fly a select group of people from England to Italy the moment London’s Burberry show ended.
Despite the competition, Eric Jennings, vice president and fashion director of men’s home and gifts at Saks Fifth Avenue, believes that Pitti is the most important men’s trade show on fashion’s international calendar. “Pitti has become its own brand. It’s become bigger than a trade show; it’s like a cultural phenomenon.”
It is a place to discover new brands as start ups feature alongside multi-million dollar companies. Even renowned blogger and photographer for Style.com, Tommy Ton chose Pitti Uomo over London this year: “it’s quite a lesson in dressing — fit and proportion and the mixture of textures and what things work. It’s dressing 101 for menswear. That’s why even Kanye [West] came here once.”