Tilda Lindstam & Nadja Bender (in) Backstage Rodarte Spring 2013
A sweet moment with the girls before “First Look” was called backstage…
Oftentimes and normally, the interaction or exchange between the models and fashion week photographers is snap, snap, snap and nothing more. I’m not sure how a nerd like me (who has no interest in fashion in regards to the superficial clothes, commercialism, and guys and girls who try too hard to fit in and get snapped so they can be the flavor of the moment) ends up having interestingly close and sweet moments with so many of the top catwalkers. In a way, they have been my angels and inspiration in my spontaneous transition into a life — filled with seeing beautiful and tall girls almost everyday of the year — that I had never honestly really imagined for myself while growing up.
This blog started to post model’s images because I wanted to highlight the sweethearts of the industry — beyond the pretty faces and expensive clothes — and share some stories of my own personal journey as an outsider for I think I will always feel like an outsider even though I have so much insider’s knowledge these days. And as hard as it is to believe from a guy who has Victoria’s Secret models in his address book, I still don’t think the industry is glamorous. It is a tough industry to make it in for any model regardless of how beautiful and hard-working she is. Succeeding in high fashion at the top level is very random a lot of times, and honestly, the modeling world is cruel and oftentimes heartless! I question everyday of my life why I find it so appealing to stick around to see so many young women have their dreams broken or blindly chase after a dream that they will have to sell their souls for to attain. But I think I stick around because there needs to be at least one guy in the industry that will be honest about the big and small pictures and call people on their bullshit when necessary. Also, there needs to be people who are realistic yet positive and encouraging to the girls without making them feel degraded or just bones and meat at a butcher shop. There needs to be people who treat the models with respect with no ulterior motives or hidden agendas — to treat them like human beings and not clothes hanger — and not just see the models as potential mail-order dates/girlfriends, like Mr. Dicaprio. Of course, another reason I am interested in the industry is because beauty inspires me and keeps the right side of my brain active, etc. etc. etc.
Most importantly though, it is the combination of my own personal experiences and the little moments that motivates me to stick around to continue to live and write more chapters of this very spontaneous book. The models are just honestly too sweet and kind that I can’t resist planning weeks off from my main work to go photograph them along with my friends from around the world.
So, here’s one of the many sweet personal reasons why I love finding true beauty underneath skin… Two hours before the photo above was snapped, I was biking downtown from the Lincoln Center to the Rodarte Spring 2013 show. On my way there, I got into an accident and scraped my skin in a few places. The biggest damage was on my arm. When I arrived backstage, my arm was bleeding and I couldn’t find any bandage so I just covered my arm with a paper towel. I spent around 30 minutes snapping photos backstage under the radar until I saw Nadja Bender. Immediately seeing me, she asked about what happened to my arm. And being the caregiver that she was, Nadja went on a mission backstage trying to find a big bandage for my arm. She did eventually succeed in finding a big enough bandage, and she bandaged me up before catching up with her modeling friends and finishing with hair and makeup. That was a very sweet moment. I have a big scar from the accident, but instead of thinking of the misfortune, I will think of the sweet and beautiful Dane that bandaged me up instead. =)
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