The fourteen images comprising Past, Present and Couture were commissioned as part of an exhibition planned to celebrate John Galliano’s five years at Christian Dior. The five-day photographic shoot offered the opportunity to reveal the ‘blood and guts’ of the process of creating a set of virtuoso photographs.
John Galliano selected a single outfit to represent each of the haute couture collections he had created for Dior from Spring/Summer 1997 to Spring/Summer 2002 and chose his favourite couture models - from Karen Elson, Liberty Ross and Stella Tennant, to Erin O’Connor and Alek Wek - to bring each look to life. A video camera positioned behind Knight’s camera told the entire ‘story’ of each shot, providing rare footage of the Dior team and Knight’s assistants building the sets and preparing each shot, and of Knight’s own ‘performance’ as he directed the models.
Using time-lapse editing techniques and Dior’s house DJ Jeremy Healey’s hi-energy soundtracks to recreate the pace and energy on set, the Past, Present and Couture films provide insight into the team spirit involved in the making of a fashion image, and a compelling fashion film counterpart to the still images.