Saturday, 27 November 2010

Nick Knight and Imran Amed: The Interview

Last night, The Hospital Club near Covent Garden played host to an intimate talk between one of the fashion industry's most influential photographers, Nick Knight and editor of esteemed website The Business of Fashion, Imran Amed.

Commencing with a video intro depicting the power and influence of Knight's SHOWstudio over the past ten years, the informative short led into Knight and Amed striding into the starkly lit studio before taking their seats. Honest and forthright, Knight proved an excellent interviewee, one who spoke eloquently and articulated lengthy answers that were not only intelligent but thoroughly interesting.

"I took up arts to prove something to myself", claimed Knight when discussing how he dismissed a career in medicine in favour of photography. " Ever since I started photography, I wanted to change it. I was super arrogant". Arrogant he may have been, but it was this combined with an unyielding passion for his trade that led him to create some of the fashion world's most revolutionary images.

Of his iconic photo Susie Smoking, Knight claimed it was a difficult process to achieve such a stunning shot, one that took nearly five days to capture. Of course, this photograph was taken back in the eighties-long before the ease of digital image creating and manipulation was available. Indeed when it comes to new media- Knight was consistently at the forefront of embracing it.

To Knight, he believes fashion should be showcased not by flat images but to be revealed in all their visual glory, hence Knight's constant championing of fashion film. In the early days, Knight would position a camcorder on the set of his photoshoots and subtly record proceedings. The idea was not to "lift the veil" of the fashion industry as it were, but to show just how beautiful and incredible the fashion world really is in Knight's eyes.

SHOWstudio initially began as idea Knight had to send out monthly VHS' of fashion film. The plan never materialized and instead Knight took to the fledgling internet as one of the first interactive sites of this kind and has been building on it ever since.

In fact, last night was a thoroughly interactive affair, with the interview being streamed live on both the SHOWstudio and The Business of Fashion websites, as well as numerous fashion blog affiliates world-over. What's more, on the screens on either side of Knight and Amed displayed constant Twitter updates on the event, including additional questions to propose to Knight.

As the interview came to a close with Knight citing a multitude of home-truths about the fashion industry, ('Fashion is so frustratingly narrow when it comes to the parameters of accepted beauty. You have to have alternatives") Amed then questioned Knight on his thoughts regarding the future of fashion photography.

"Fashion has been supported by print for the past eighty, hundred years. Now it's being supported by a new medium. Photography is dead." Presented with the idea of 3D scanning, whereby there would be devices that would allow us to download a jumper and then "print" it out, Knight claims technology is going there, if not already in place. We just have to embrace it. As one of the industry greatest pioneers of new media and fashion, SHOWstudio most certainly shall be on the case.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of SHOWstudio and having reinterpreted the way in which the masses view fashion over the past decade, the website shall no doubt continue in this vein in the exciting years to come.

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