Roxanne Lowit did not go to school to be a photographer. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a degree in art history and textile design. It was during her successful career as a textile designer that she realized something. “I paint and there were people who I wanted to sit for me but had no time, so I started taking pictures of them. I liked the gratification of getting the instant image so I traded in my paintbrushes for a camera.”
Roxanne started making pictures in the late 70s with her 110 Instamatic, photographing her own designs at the New York fashion shows. Before long she was covering all the designers in Paris where her friends – models like Jerry Hall – would sneak her backstage. It was there that she found her place (and career) in fashion. “For me, that’s where it was happening,” she says. “No one thought there was anything going on backstage, so for years I was alone and loved it. I guess I made it look too good because now it’s so crowded with photographers. But there’s enough room for everybody.”
One of her earliest ‘memorable moments’ was that first time she went to Paris to cover the shows. Roxanne magically ended up on the top of the Eifel Tower with Yves Saint Laurent, Pat Cleveland and Andy Warhol. She felt star struck and blissed out. That could have been the moment she said to herself ‘I want to do this all the time!’ And decided to make it her career, her metier.
In december 2009, Roxanne Lowit published the amazing ‘Backstage Dior’, a collection of photographs taken over ten years backstage the Dior runway and haute couture shows, all during the reign of John Galliano
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent & Karl Lagerfeld
“I have been inspired by many designers in my day, but Yves Saint Laurent was the first designer who really wowed me. Not only as a designer, but as a man. He was a bit of an enigma, mysterious, a bit aloof, but always polite courteous and friendly. He had a very unique vision, his lines were unlike any other.”
Yves Saint Laurent is a name synonymous with style, elegance and high fashion. When he came on the scene at Dior and then started his own line, he quickly changed the way people regarded haute couture and the world of fashion itself. He revolutionized womens eveningwear when he introduced le smoking, a womans tuxedo. He had a huge impact not only on fashion, but also on many people’s lives, including that of photographer Roxanne Lowit. Yves Saint Laurent is Lowits personal photographic history of Saint Laurent, the man and the fashion, from 1978, the year she first met him, to the last show he gave in 2002. With contributions from YSLs muses and admirers, including Catherine Deneuve, Lucie de la Falaise, Betty Catroux, Jacqueline de Ribes, Andre Leon Talley and Valerie Steele, this book represents the backstage experience at YSLs shows as Lowit experienced them. Whether surrounded by beautiful models or peeking at the catwalk from the wings, every moment was a magnificent photo opportunity. Lowit shares with the world magical moments of YSL intimate, social, absorbed in fashion and creates a unique portrait of this towering figure of postwar couture. This book will be coveted by Yves Saint Laurents many fans worldwide and by anyone interested in the very best of high fashion.
The book will be out in Fall of 2014.