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News

July 2010

Canon Ambassador Paolo Pellegrin has produced his latest project as the visual driving force and Editor-in-Chief of Magnum Photos' annual fashion magazine, which this year is titled 'Storm'.

© Rémy Cortin

Each year Magnum Photos produces a fashion magazine and entrusts one of its photographers to shoot and prepare the publication. 'Storm' is the fifth edition of the annual magazine – the photographers Martin Parr, Bruce Gilden, Alec Soth and Lise Sarfati produced the previous four editions.

Paolo Pellegrin told CPN: "Obviously I'm not a fashion photographer. The idea was originally Martin’s (Parr) to create a sort of 'space'; a forum to investigate fashion from the perspective of photographers who usually shoot other things. In that spirit I accepted it. I'm interested in the ideas of aesthetic beauty, but I didn't want to just do an entire magazine of models and dresses. Fashion has a lot of components that have superficiality and frivolity, but there is also a core made up of very passionate, very talented, very creative people. I didn't come into the project thinking it was something stupid. I approached it with respect and tried to do something good."

Pellegrin revealed: "For me the three fashion shoots in the magazine are more a form of portraiture. I also wanted to talk about other things and decided to focus on the time that we are living in, especially in terms of the environment and the ecology."

To examine ecology and the environment the award-winning photographer shot landscapes for the publication. He explained: "I went to photograph a number of landscapes – very pristine, untouched or semi-untouched landscapes in New Mexico and Siberia and parts of China... but slowly these landscapes become transformed by man. At the end I photographed ‘mega cities’ such as New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, mostly from the air, with this idea of (showing) a 'change' of landscape."

Pellegrin added: "Similarly the fashion (element) is also treated as landscape in that I worked on the textures of the environments; of the spaces where I photographed them (models). Also, the bodies of these models become another level of landscape. So, we tried to create a relationship between the landscapes and the fashion."

He explained: "I was also interested in introducing another level, which was people who, in their different capacities, are all active in thinking, re-thinking and changing the way we live in, and relate to, the world. In the fashion world I photographed Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney, who are the two most 'sensitive' (designers) to ecological issues. I photographed Norman Foster, the architect, and Bruce Mau, the designer, and a bunch of other people – all of them somehow reflect this moment (in time)."

All of the photography for the project was shot by Paolo Pellegrin using an EOS 5D Mark II camera, and he revealed: "It was supposed to be a couple of months' worth of work and it ended up being this mammoth project that kind of 'devoured' me for six months. It was pretty intense shooting... I enjoyed it. I'm happy that I took up the challenge and I think the result is interesting. It's not your 'usual' fashion magazine."

'Storm' has a limited edition print run and is being distributed worldwide in selected libraries, museums and concept stores or it can be exclusively purchased online.