Conversation on beauty with PAOLO ROVERSI. 

Arts, Fashion

Dreams, poems and painting in the images of one of the greatest Italian photographers, fashion, beauty and books lover, as his “Dior Images” testifies.
Paolo was born in 1947, a few months before Monsieur Dior’s debut show, when he entered the history of world fashion.  At only 32 years old he is shooting a Dior beauty campaign and establishes as one of the most eminent photographers. To consecrate this professional partnership, reverie photographs, capable of making entire generations of women dream, are the volume “Dior Images – Paolo Roversi” (Rizzoli New York). The author of those 95 shots tells us in person about the fascinating voyage through the unforgettable silhouettes.
 
Paolo Roversi let’s start from the latest masterpiece, what do those 95 shots collected in “Dior Images: Paolo Roversi” represent?
 
« The couture dream has always been important to me and Dior is the perfect emblem of it. When they asked me to do this book, I immediately accepted, for me it represented a journey through the most iconic clothes of the maison. In one of my favourite photos, the model is wearing a ’55 suit and seems to belong to many worlds at the same time: that garment is called « The Voyager ».A splendid coincidence. Speaking of Haute Couture, Christian Dior was my first heartbeat, and although there have been others since, he will always represent the Haute Couture soul for me. 

Monaco dress – Haute Couture spring-summer 1959 – by Yves Saint Laurent

model: Sofia Mechetner;  / stylist : Jacob Kjeldgaard / make up : Peter Philips; hair : Julien d’Ys.

Fashion shots that look like portraits. In your opinion, what difference is there?
 
“None, for me a fashion shot is always a portrait. Indeed, a double portrait: of a woman wearing a dress and a dress worn by a woman. The two are reflected in each other, and that’s what turns an image into magic « .
 
 
You have often been called an « intimate photographer », why?
 
Am I defined as an intimate photographer?” – he smiles shyly, unveiling a hint of pride and surprising modesty – « I think my gaze does not stop at the surface or only at the exterior. I am always looking for something more mysterious, I try to dig deep into beauty, into the personality and character of a person. « 
 
What were the most important cameras of your life?
 
« I started with a small camera, a very classic Nikon F, the same used by David Hemmings, star of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow up film (1966), after I had many others but, in the 1980s, I worked with a 20×25 large format machine and for a long time I have remained faithful to that “. 
Who are the models you have the most empathy with?
 
“Many and immediately. For me, the model is not just a girl who smiles at the camera but a person who gives a lot of herself to an image: her energy, character, personality, charisma. Many of them have become my muses, they have helped to increase and improve my work. I can’t name them though, the others would feel excluded. And then, to be honest, it is a list that is enriched every day, is renewed permanently?”
Light and technique. How do they affect your expressive style?

“Light for me is a feeling, it is not logic, rationality, much less a scientific technique. It is a sensation, an emotion. The photographic technique is simpler, more mechanical, but you have to know it well and know how to use it to perfection « 

 
In the era of Instagram we all feel like photographers, what would you recommend to a young person who wants to take this profession seriously?
 
“To start from the origins of the photographic technique, to study the sensitive surface, the light, the reflections, the sun. Photography is a complex language and knowing how to express yourself through photography is not that easy. It is clear that with Instagram all photos look beautiful, I have not yet seen a photo that looks ugly. But real photography, the one that becomes an expressive language, is definitely another thing. Instagram or this type of social network for me are very strong image pollution: we are continually pressed by many photographs and I think this damages our imagination, our way of seeing, thinking, decoding and representing reality. I don’t think this continuous bombardment of images is very profitable ”. 
signature Cinzia Malvini the EDGE mag

Haute Couture spring-summer 2015 by Raf Simons

model : Kate Moss / Stylist : Edward Enninful; beauty : Julien d’Ys / published by W Magazine, april 2015

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