Lee Friedlander (b. 1934) is one of the most renowned photographers of his generation. Through Friedlander’s lens, people in their everyday environments are transformed into arresting portraits, and the banal features of roadsides, storefronts, and city streets become vivid scenery. In Dressing Up, Friedlander ventures into new territory, turning his eye to the rarefied world of fashion and revealing precisely what is commonplace about it: behind the glamorous spectacle of the runway are many people hard at work.
The photographs, commissioned by the New York Times Magazine, were taken in 2006 during New York Fashion Week, when the artist spent time backstage at the Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Zac Posen, Oscar de la Renta, and Proenza Schouler shows. The resulting images, many of which are published here for the first time, depict a flurry of toiling stylists, dressers, makeup artists, photographers, and models—all of them preparing, but not quite prepared, for an image to be taken. Lovers of photography and high-end fashion will be surprised and intrigued by this inside glimpse into the world of runway design.