Black and White Magazine, UK

2018
A World Apart

In a new publication this autumn, art photographer Cathleen Naundorf celebrates the work of Chanel Haute Couture through cinematic-like narratives that capture the exquisite quality and elegance of the garments.

Cathleen Naundorf, well known for her love of haute couture, is publishing a large format photography book with Rizzoli on 35 years of Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld entitled Women of Singular Beauty – Chanel Haute Couture. During her 10-year collaboration with the legendary fashion house, Naundorf was invited, for a second time, to have free access to all the collections at Chanel Haute Couture.

In this 208-page book, we discover for the first time Naundorf’s secret backstage settings, her drawings, her storyboards and her Parisian ateliers. Working as an art director for years, she creates a modern aesthetic and combines it with traditional handcraft by using a large format camera, allowing her the leisure of approach of classic photography. ‘I photographed with large format Polaroids because each Polaroid is unique, just like a haute couture dress,’ she says. ‘The House of Chanel gave me carte blanche and said I could create what I wanted – it was a dream project.’

What is special about the images in this Chanel book is that Cathleen made a special setting for each haute couture dress, or she photographed the dresses in historical Parisian locations such as the Grand Palais, rue Cambon or the Ritz. Part of the joy of Naundorf’s approach comes from seeing such classic designs in a new and wonderful light.

WOMEN OF SINGULAR BEAUTY: CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE by Cathleen Naundorf is published in hardback by Rizzoli at $115 in October 2018. rizzoliusa.com