Peter Lindbergh (With Poetry by Forrest Gander)
Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, New York
As published on Vogue.com (September 8, 2013)
Last Thursday, The New York Times’ Eric Wilson reported how the epicenter of New York Fashion Week has been drifting ever farther away from Lincoln Center, which in nearly all cases means somewhere downtown. It seems that nobody mentioned that to Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, who last night, bucking the southward-moving trend, was able to lure the fashion scrum all the way up to East Seventy-eighth Street with the prospect of seeing his new exhibition of works by Peter Lindbergh. And while two street fairs and crane construction on the FDR may have forced the party to get going a little later than the 6:00 p.m. start time, it seemed that everyone turned out to pay homage to Peter.
>"In Peter’s work, it has always been about the subject or model, not necessarily the clothes. He is very adept at being able to prioritize the subject without abandoning the style of fashion photography."
>-Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld (artspace.com, September 12, 2013)
Entering the nineteenth-century townhouse, guests greeted by wafts of Diptyque Baies and the sight of gilt Corinthian crown moldings could be forgiven for thinking that they had suddenly stepped into an hôtel particulier in the sixteenth arrondissement. The building is, no surprise, Restoin Roitfeld’s own home, from which he removed all the furniture to make way for Lindbergh’s pictures and the swarms of people who joined him last night. “It took a week to move everything,” the Paris-born art dealer said of preparing for the exhibition. “Unfortunately, it’s all in a pile in my bedroom.”
Black-and-white C-prints of Lindbergh’s iconic pictures—many of which were stand-alone editions and many of which were blown up to enormous proportions (Hello, larger-than-life–size Kate Moss!)—were spread over three different stories of the townhouse’s parquet-floored rooms. Current Lindbergh muses Doutzen Kroes, Constance Jablonski, and Karolina Kurkova milled about while collectors Vivi Nevo and Lapo Elkann eyed a picture of the New Yorker Hotel on the third floor.
Mother-to-be Laure Hériard Dubreuil showed off her bump, admitting that Fashion Week was “a very different experience” when she’s forgoing any parties past 9:00 p.m. Tali Lennox, perhaps a future Lindbergh muse who last night dressed in vintage lace and sequins, introduced herself to the photographer, with whom she’s due to shoot in Los Angeles next week.
Shortly after, longtime Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani found her way to Lindbergh and went about chatting, no doubt reminiscing about the experience of collaborating on so many of the surrounding photographs. The photographer, who was dressed as usual in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, wore a pen clipped inside his crewneck collar, as if ready to make some last-minute edits.
“How could I chose only 35 [pictures] from so many?” the photographer lamented. “It is impossible for me. The only thread [between them] is that I feel a deep connection to each. That’s it.”
Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele couldn’t help but radiate with pride at the 1988 picture of Estelle Lefébure, Karen Alexander, Rachel Williams, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, and Christy Turlington fooling around in men’s white dress shirts on the beach in Santa Monica. “We did this together for American Vogue, so many years ago,” she said, beaming. Lindbergh chimed in, enthusiastically: “It was a revolutionary picture. Today there are great models too, but they are not so explosive as a group. At this time there were ten faces that were all different from one another and from what had come before. That was their success.”
A few minutes later, the crowd was treated to an electric hint of those glory days as Lindbergh was reunited with Evangelista herself and flashbulbs erupted. The closing line of a poem by Forrest Gander, which accompanies the Lindbergh exhibition, summed it up quite well: “This is our invitation. That we might not forget what we see.”