When I moved to LA, one of the first fashion shoots I did was on Las Palmas avenue, right next to an old, closed down theater, and a church that had the Acropolis for inspiration. Coming from Europe, I needed buildings around me that were considerably older than myself.
Back then I noticed three robots in a shop window, and at second look they turned out to be the mannequins commanded by Ashton Michael. Today, years later, I was back on Las Palmas avenue, and this time to photograph Ashton Michael’s robots, because he had built a runway for fashion planes right in the middle of Las Palmas.
I was invited to the show, but did not have to shoot on behalf of somebody else. I was free to open my eyes and catch whatever fleeting image that came to me to have my camera’s sensor pull it out of the flow of passing moments into the world of facts.
I always like to go into situations that surprise me. The models had quite a bit of tattoo work on them and an end of world-feel. The walking style was hard and merciless, a bone crunching, joint shattering fashion goosestep. The fashion goosestep has been the marching style of fashion presentation for quite a while and I wonder when we’ll see models gracefully floating along the runway in a romantic delusion that contrasts our day-to-day world just as much as the hard step pictures the we can die anytime end of world playstation esthetic.
The rhythm of the show was fast and staccato, but then there were pauses at least a second long on which I focused. Those brief moments… and then it was all over in a very short time. I was thinking one could record the show at normal speed and play it back in slow motion to make life last longer, bring it down to the speed of human perception which likes not just get volleyed by sensual impressions, but also a chance on reflecting what one has seen.
I always long for time and the moment of contemplation but I don’t feel out of sync with this world that goose steps along just like the models on this stage. There is so much need for a break in speed and nothing showed it more to me than how quick this show was over. I suppose I had about six minutes of show time and whenever I got a favorite look and wanted to see more of it – it was already vanishing into a back view, like something that had never been there.
It was like a moment that felt like memory of it as it was happening, so quickly it streamed by like a feed of life and fashion, never to return for a second look or reflection.
We’re hiding behind our speed, and I want to slow things down, tear the cover away. I looked into the brief moments of quiet with this images. Then it was all over. The sun had set. And when I turned around the runway had gone. Had it ever been there?