Two months into their exhibition, 'When You're a Boy: Men's Fashion Styled by Simon Foxton', curator Penny Martin and Simon Foxton held an 'In Conversation' in front of an intimate crowd last night at The Photographers' Gallery. The event was part of a packed schedule devised to complement the exhibition which has included a lively styling-themed debate evening, tours and screenings of two of Foxton's favourite films, Koyaanisqatsi and The 5000 Fingers of Dr T. Foxton is a regular SHOWstudio contributor but it was fascinating and a rare treat to listen to him talk openly about his working practice, even more so for the many keen and eager fashion students in attendance considering a career in styling. The conversation began by building up a picture of Foxton's relationship with clothing - his first experience of fashion imagery (recalling Jean-Paul Goude spreads and copies of Nova), his time at St. Martins which he likened to a nightclub, his clothing label Bazooka and his first styling job for i-D commissioned by Caryn Franklin. The pair went on to reveal shoots that didn't make it into the exhibition's final edit, each of them significant to Foxton's early career - 'Superbad' from i-D July 1987, 'Faith' from Arena S/S 1989, 'Chaos Couture' from i-D April 1990 and 'Close Encounters' from Arena Homme Plus S/S 1995. Having attempted to forget all of his reference points, 'Chaos Couture' photographed by Nick Knight is the shoot that Foxton says "took the most out of him". As well as offering an extra insight into his work and his relationships with different photographers, the conversation exposed the working process between curator and creative; through Martin's tales of sifting through a somewhat chaotic archive of tearsheets and Foxton feeling "flattered and scared at the start" and "mesmerised when it all came together".
'When You're a Boy: Men's Fashion Styled by Simon Foxton' closes on 4 October. For more information and details of upcoming events visit the Photographers' Gallery website.