High fashion meets Hollywood at the Gucci Love Parade, Spring 2022 show, shot by Los Angeles-based photographer Emily Malan as she captured the first looks of celebrity talent before they stepped out onto the runway. Legends like Macaulay Culkin, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Jared Leto graced the stage to adorn the Gucci collection in the eclectic show that shut down Hollywood Boulevard. Emily captured the opulent looks and energy of this glamorous event for a feature in Vogue’s online publication.
The goal was to get dynamic backstage “first looks” and “behind the scenes” before they went off to the runway, so you’re catching full looks, portraits, fun off moments, and any details.
Emily worked with Vogue USA in the past, for Men’s Fashion Week in London and one of the leading men’s platforms for fashion and accessories Pitti Uomo, so she reached out to an editor she knew at British Vogue to see if there were any plans for backstage imagery. Her connections landed Emily the assignment and she was excited to participate in the event.
It’s great that brands are taking their shows to destinations like Los Angeles and that it doesn’t always have to be New York, London, Milan, and Paris.
There was a lot of secrecy about who was going to walk the show and Emily was briefed beforehand on a Zoom call with the Vogue team about the array of talent and also the high caliber celebrities attending. Having shot a lot of fashion shows in the past, the creative endeavor wasn’t a new or intimidating experience for Emily.
I’ve been fortunate enough to shoot editorial work while shooting fashion shows. I’ve been more successful at blending both modes of work and I felt this was a night when that came through.
With a robust array of fashionable pieces to display, the street was shut down from Hollywood Boulevard to Orange Street. The TCL Chinese Theatre movie palace was an ideal location that spoke to the glamour of old Hollywood, as many fashion icons have treaded the walk since its creation in 1922. The show blended old and new as models walked out to a modern medley of Bjork tracks.
The show highlighted 115 individual looks, so there was a lot going on throughout the event.
As with any photoshoot, challenges can arise due to the variables of a public location, but Emily was up for the task at hand. With only an hour to edit the photos, she hurried to a hotel lobby adjacent to the theatre to do a quick color and exposure edit.
Sometimes backstage areas are not lit for photography so the challenge is trying to make the clothes look dynamic and not flat. I prefer to use ambient light and continuous lighting sources.
Each ensemble was a diverse explosion of creative flair with bold colors, oversized sunglasses, satin suits, and cowboy hats. Emily’s experience in the field enabled her to highlight the individuality of the talent and balance the variety of textures from each look.
I wanted the work to feel as dramatic as the clothes.
“It’s a dream come true, a huge, great, immense feeling for me,” Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele told Vogue in an interview. The collaboration of all involved in the large-scale production led to the success of the event and Emily’s photos were well received as she revealed the iconic first looks with her eye for fashion photography.
Alessandro Michele and Phoebe Bridgers both posted images of mine on Instagram. It is really nice to have your work recognized by people you admire and respect.
Photographer: Emily Malan
Production Agency: Bureau Betak
Creative Director: Alessandro Michele
Visuals Editor: Landon Philips
Production and Editorial Coordinator: Irene Kim
Hair Stylist: Paul Hanlon
Makeup Artist: Thomas de Kluyver
Senior Fashion News Editor: Steff Yotka
Social Media Editor: Samantha Sussman
Runway Director: Nicole Phelps
Fashion Services Agency: KCD Worldwide
Gucci PR: Margo Schneier