For a designer, models are key to conveying the mood of a collection – get the girls wrong, and everything else can go with it. Luckily for Sies Marjan designer Sander Lak, the line-up of muses selected this season with casting director Anita Bitton (whose CV also includes heavy hitters like Miu Miu and Marc Jacobs) was a knockout. Bella Hadid, Grace Bol, Sasha Pivovarova – all took a turn in the colourful collection, with Elite’s Sasha Belyaeva even getting a look to match her newly green hair. As Dazed writer Jack Sunnucks commented – “It's probably the only thing that could persuade New Yorkers out of their customary black.”
But rather than just a whirlwind set of backstage photographs, snapped in the pre-runway chaos, Lak wanted more of a lasting way to capture the show. For the task at hand, he enlisted fellow Hollanders, photographers Blommers & Schumm, to work on a special backstage project – debuted on Dazed exclusively above. A longterm fan, Lak first became familiar with the duo’s work as a teenager – which soon blossomed into a full-on “obsession”. “When I was a student, I remember buying one of their books and then not being able to get groceries for a week,” he remembers today.
“When I was a student, I remember buying one of (Blommers & Schumm’s) books and then not being able to get groceries for a week” – Sander Lak
For the designer, it was the artists’ class photo style portraits that stood out, and which he wanted to explore for what he’s dubbing The Sies Marjan Photobooth Project. “It came about when I was thinking of the girls that we were casting for our show and how we could document them in a way that was different than a traditional backstage shot,” says Lak. “The project feels a bit like a high school yearbook; these are the girls of our show for this season.” Captured in their looks, in poses which almost feel candid, the images sum up perfectly what Lak has long loved about the photographers’ portraits. “They are real and fake at the same time," he says. And there’s good news: the series may well be a recurring one, with Lak hoping to document future shows too.