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Scanlan & Theodore by Nan Goldin

The Australian label talk about their working process with the legendary photographer and the ideas behind the shoot featuring Erin Wasson

Australian label Scanlan & Theodore have been making beautifully simple and elegant womenswear from their Melbourne based HQ for over 23 years. Designed with a fierce sense of individuality, and a strong understanding of artistic creativity embedded into their ideology, the labels' clothes have garnered admiration from a number of high profile icons over the years, including the likes of Carine Roitfeld, Sienna Miller and Mary-Kate and Ashley.

The designer's interest in art, and their understanding of the creative process, goes further than simply being worked into the loom of the clothes. Since 1993 they have regularly collaborated with fine artists on the images accompanying their collections, and for the forthcoming Spring Summer 2011 look book have worked with infamous stylised documentary photographer, Nan Goldin.

The resulting images bring together Goldin's particular aesthetic, one of capturing hazy almost dreamlike moments in a raw yet still very beautiful way, and Scanlan & Theodore's chic originality. This, combined with Goldin's choice of model Erin Wasson's classically poignant look, has produced a series of incredibly striking photographs.

Dazed Digital: Nan Goldin is a photographer known very much for her documentary and fine art work. How did you go about approaching her to shoot for you?
Gary Theodore: We contacted Nan through a mutual friend and were hopeful because she had shot for Bottega Veneta last year.

DD: Why did you feel she was right for Scanlan & Theodore as a label?
Gary Theodore: Her work is honest, emotive, intimate and most importantly, uncompromising.We feel we share similar values, and also that our aesthetic lends itself to a specific type of fine art photographer, such as her. 

DD: How much input did you have into the idea behind the shoot?
Gary Theodore: We communicated our inspiration for our collection, and her work was her take on that, but ultimately Nan took the photographs that she wanted to take.

DD: What was Nan's process of working like? She seems like someone who photographs very independently.
Gary Theodore: Nan’s an artist and we approached it in that way, with a high degree of sensitivity to her work.

DD: Is the idea of working with fine art photographers going to an ongoing theme in collections?
Gary Theodore: It’s really been our language ever since we collaborated with photographer Bill Henson some 13 years ago. We’re comfortable with it, the projects stem from a legitimate desire to support art and the artist and not to garner attention or some cool factor. The collections are independent of the photographic campaigns, it’s about their take on us and the collection we have produced.