KDH Goes Front Row With Southampton Photographer Sophie Elgort At New York Fashion Week: Check Out Her Exclusive Photos & KDH Diary!
KDH loves the work of hot new photographer Sophie Elgort. Not only is she the beautiful daughter of legendary Vogue lensman, Arthur Elgort, she is also a lifelong Southamptonite and cherishes her summers spent on beautiful Meadow Lane. Sophie has been booked all week shooting New York Fashion Week so KDH asked her to send us some of her favorite pix so far so readers can get in on the front row action! Also, check out Sophie’s KDH Diary below to learn more about this dynamic budding superstar…
KDHamptons: How many years have you been attending fashion week? What is your favorite part about it? Favorite show?
Sophie Elgort: This is my 4th season attending New York Fashion Week. My favorite part of fashion week are the shows. Each one is so different from each other even though the format is the same for the most part – models walking down the runway in the collection. I love every part of the show as a whole – not just the clothes or the models or the crowd or the hair or the makeup, or the music or the set design or the lighting on its own, but how everything comes together to create a unique production. I also like presentations – it gives you more time to explore the collection for yourself and some presentations literally make you feel like you have been transported into another world for the hour that you are there. I don’t have a favorite show because they are hard to compare to each other, but one that I love every year is the Preen by Thornton Bregazzi show because it always feels cool and a little edgy and the clothes are to die for. This year I also was very inspired by the Pamela Love presentation. The atmosphere in the room took you to another place – not one detail was overlooked. Upon walking in you were immediately transported into a Moroccan desert land, complete with live music of bongo drums and airy flutes — the models were even standing on Moroccan rugs from ABC Carpet & home. It was a magical experience.
KDH: Do you like shooting runway or backstage? why?
SE: The last three seasons I shot a lot of back stage, but I like shooting the actual shows and presentations much more so this year I hardly shot any back stage at all. Backstage is interesting and you really get to learn about the set up and what goes into the prep for a show, but it’s the show itself and the energy of the show that I really love. I also don’t take the usual Style.com shots, I like to get the atmosphere in the background of the photos, like the reactions of the people in the front row with the model walking down the runway in front of them.
KDH: Who is your favorite model right now? If you could shoot anyone in the world, who would you choose?
SE: Well I’m sure everyone says this, but I love Karlie Kloss. She isn’t only a great model, but is the absolutely the nicest person. I also love Coco Rocha, she’s gorgeous and so much fun, I love watching the behind the scenes videos from her shoots. As much as I like shooting models though, I really enjoy shooting non-models as well – “real people,” I call them. Some of them are just as beautiful as the models, have such great personal style, and are doing such interesting things with their lives – designers, heads of companies, DJs, artists, etc. Right now I have been enchanted by DJ Chelsea Leyland. I have seen her at almost all of the shows that I have been to this fashion week and her look each day is better than the next. I especially love her hair. I’d love to photograph her next for something.
KDH: Do you have a fashion uniform when you are shooting? What is it?
SE: No uniform, although usually something that I can easily sit on the ground in (ie. no high heels or platforms). I learned from trying again this fashion week to wear a tight mini dress to shoot a show and it was more than a little awkward sitting on the cement floor in the front of the photog pit. I was going straight out to a party after though, so what choice did I have?
KDH: What do you admire most about your dads work?
SE: It looks effortless, like a natural moment captured, which much of the time it is. So much personality shows through in his photos and I love that quality and I aspire to capture that quality in my own work as well.
KDH: Does he go on shoots with you? Give you tips or help edit your film sometimes?
SE: He is a great help with editing, he has a good eye for which photo is best. I have also heard so many tips from him over the years that they are forever ingrained in my head, although when I first started I wrote a list of what I thought were the most important ones down on a note card and carried around in my camera bag. He has never gone on a shoot with me though, except for one time he came to a shoot that I was doing for the auction house, Phillips de Pury. I was doing “digital portraiture” of their auction-goers for their photo auction day and my whole family came to get their portraits taken! After I took his, he sat down in a chair behind where I was shooting and while I was shooting the next girl I kept hearing “move a little forward in the chair, no, not like that, yeah that’s better” and I realized that he was instructing the girl from behind me! I would have told him to get out of there and let me do my thing, but the fact is that he was right and they were all great suggestions!
KDH: If you could shoot the cover of any mag, which would you choose?
SE: Vogue… obviously. My first cover was of City Arts though of artist Richard Dupont and at the time it felt like Vogue – I was psyched.
KDH: Did you ever want to be anything other than a fashion photographer?
SE: Yes, many things. At one point I wanted to be a New York City Knicks Dancer. Then I realized I couldn’t dance.
KDH: Other than dad, whose photography inspires you most?
SE: I like looking at Richard Avedon’s work and also Henri Cartier-Bresson’s. I have books about both of them that I reference over and over. I also reference my dad’s book Model’s Manual all the time for inspiration (I know you said other than my dad, but had to say it because it’s true). As for other contemporary photographers, I am inspired by the work of Patrick Demarchelier and Steven Meisel.
KDH: Where do you love to shoot in the Hamptons? Why?
SE: I love to shoot at my house there because we are right on the bay and right across the street from the beach – it’s just so beautiful – can’t get a better location than that. There is also a pool, canoes and kayaks, and even an airstream trailer in the back yard – so many sets to work with! Sag Harbor is also charming.
**To see more photography from Sophie Elgort, please go to www.sophieelgort.com