This time she's back with a ~fire~ line up of looks, she shot on the streets of Paris. You'll find all the outfit inspiration you'll ever need right here—from Mother/Daughter duo Karen Resta and Kristen Bateman in flamboyant colours outside the Margiela show to Jean Jacques Ndjoli arriving on his bike in a layered-up khaki look. Other notable mentions go to the assortment of cut-out garments and wide-leg denim adorning multitudes of showgoers.
We asked Melodie to tell us what she really thinks about the outfits she captures, how she navigated getting around big European cities and her favourite looks she shot this season (the list is extensive). Scroll down to read all about it and swipe through the gallery above for so many candid moments she snapped on her point and shoot.
Best thing about the show season this year?
Definitely the summer vibes/weather/long days in Paris in general (it gets dark super late in Paris). The vibe is always more chill during the summer because of the weather, but this was also the first full regular fashion week with mostly physical shows, and I think people were/are really excited to get back to “normal” life and dress up. There was a moment I felt like things were pretty normal again, which was nice. There were some people at couture that just really brought it—the Schiaparelli show stood out to me. Seeing super fancy/rich people on the street with extravagant makeup and accessories is just fun.
And the most challenging?
It was so hot and humid in Milan. We are really screwed, huh? I can deal with hot and humid weather in general but photographing in it and carrying a big camera is hard! I was okay for the most part, but I definitely had to drink a lot of fluids. I also didn’t have my luggage for part of couture, but I also had a feeling that would happen. Thankfully it is just clothes and not my cameras, and I was fine after a few days.
How do you get around Paris and Milan when you're moving between show venues?
I take public transportation as much as possible, just like in regular life. The metro in Paris is really good—it comes every few minutes and reaches a lot of places. It’s actually too full sometimes in the middle of the day, and you’re like, 'wait do people even work?'
Milan is my least favourite city to get around. It’s not that big, but sometimes it will be the same time to walk, take the subway, or take a car to a specific location. It’s also a bit hard to get a car/taxi service sometimes—you have to call, and they start the meter from where they are coming. The subway is only a few lines, but I still manage to get a bit confused, and I’ve just had some bad luck often with the subway and tickets.
How has the pandemic changed fashion week for you?
I am honestly not sure. I am still processing it. For once, I’m a bit excited for September Womens' SS23 RTW fashion week. It will be the first full “regular” women’s fashion week, and I’ll be able to have an idea then. In general, the last few fashion weeks I’ve gone to (January Men's SS22, February Women's FW22, and September Women's SS22 last September) were actually a lot more chill and reminded myself to slow down. In September, I was almost afraid I wouldn’t have enough to do because some days there was just one show, but I realised I really only need to go to 2-3 shows a day, and I will have more than enough photos.
I was also able to not get behind and edit all my photos every night. The pandemic, of course has been a reminder for us to all look at life a bit differently. Hopefully, we see the ending soon.
When you're shooting street style, what do you love to see?
It’s hard to say. I’m not always the best at describing, so I think that’s why I take photos. When I’m shooting for models.com, I focus on models, of course. So it’s a balance of their face/look and their outfit. Models tend to dress a bit simpler and casual, which I think I like. It’s often just about the proportion of the clothes and cut. Male models are getting more interested in expressing themselves through their clothing and wearing skirts, etc., which I love.
The photos above are mostly of the cool random kids outside shows in Paris. Unlike New York, London, or Milan, young people in Paris really love fashion—I suppose because they’ve been able to grow up in a city where fashion came from. I honestly do not always photograph them with my bigger camera because I don’t know if I’ll necessarily use the photos, and I don’t want to go through selecting and editing them, but with Cool Pretty Cool, I was shooting with my film point and shoot, and it’s nice that it’s quick and just more casual. Sometimes looks outside the show can be a lot, but I really appreciate what these kids are doing and wearing—the next Anna Wintour is probably out there on the street.
They’re not wearing head-to-toe designer like some of the guests, and they get really creative, probably getting clothes from thrift stores, their parents’ closets, etc. It’s really refreshing and creative. Less gatekeeping.
And what do you hate?
I try not to be too negative. I respect anyone who dresses up and puts themselves out there. There are some styles that are just tacky, but even certain types of tacky have become chic, so it’s hard to say. If someone asks me to take a photo of them and send or publish them, I usually don’t unless I was already going to without them asking.
You shoot at all the biggest Fashion Week shows for models.com. Do you have a favourite look you shot for them and can you tell us a bit about how you captured it?
There are so many it's hard to narrow down; here are my top 6.
Jazzelle Zanaughtti outside of Paco Rabanne (she was attending). I don’t know how to describe her style or look, but it’s just so out there and unique—maybe a bit raver-y sometimes? But I respect it. Looking closer at the photo, I realise her bag is really cool, actually. But the light was nice, and she was just confidently walking down the street which really helps. Her hair and makeup is very cool. And sunglasses usually help!
For menswear, Sidy Sylla York Jun, Lewin Allenberg, Moritz Thoma, Fred Brizard, Carson Williams and Arthur Sury after Fendi. I always love a group shot. I like this photo because it just shows the craziness of fashion week, and I love that it’s candid and the guys are just having fun.
I do like this photo as well. Adam Bulus, Mamuor Majeng, and Nonso Ojukwu after 1017 ALYX 9SM in Milan. Once again, I love a horizontal full-body group shot. And eye contact. They aren’t necessarily wearing anything super fancy, just not all black (for the most part), but I just like how strong this photo seems. Mamuor also has really cool, unique style.
Karlie Kloss after Schiaparelli. Well, first of all, Karlie is a top model and super tall. I don’t always love her style, but I think she looked so amazing here. She was attending the show. I love the black suit/jumpsuit/broad shoulders look, and the details of Schiaparelli are always just so good (the gold details—so unique and just cool. Not too crazy but unique and strong). I think I 'like' this photo a lot because I worked really hard to get it. The Schiaparelli show was the first official couture show at 10 am at the Musee des arts decoratifs, which is right on Rue de Rivoli, which is a super touristy street and while I got there a bit later than I planned, I was still early, and the street style was already popping. After the show, I saw her; there was a crowd, of course, but for this photo, I decided to run/walk down the street for quite a while to get a slightly “cleaner” shot, and it’s just a nice street. It was super tiring. I was hot, unprepared, etc., but I think I am just proud of my effort here. Not that many people got this shot.
This is the walking shot but I also got her to stop for a moment which was nice. I love a still photo as well. It's sometimes harder with top models, but if you're patient and just wait for a bit and ask nicely, they're usually down to stop for a bit.
Malika, Nora, and Mona after Chanel. Ok, so these are just a few of my favourite models—they’re super, super beautiful. But I also like their style, particularly Mona - just really laid back, cool, not trying too hard, a bit boyish, comfortable, relatable to me.
They walked out of Chanel, which was a sort of open less traffic area, and it was just like, wow! Beauty. I am not always the best at walking/motion shots, but here I got it and was really excited. I suppose it’s sometimes a bit easier with models because they’re used to walking confidently and are just super beautiful—just one of those moments that feels a bit like a movie or campaign. Also ran a bit for the photo, and not sure how many other people got it as well.
Mika and Jade after Paco Rabanne. The scene outside Paco Rabanne was a bit crazy as well. It was at Palais de Tokyo, and there were a lot of people and models could leave from either side. I was mostly on one side, but near the end, I came to this side and saw them. I missed them by a moment, and they were walking away, but I patiently waited a few seconds until it was the right moment and place for me (for my lens, composition, open, etc.) and then called out their names, and they turned around for this moment and leaned into each other for this photo. I love the body language and that Jade is leaning into Mika, and that their hands are together. It almost felt like slow motion or the cinematic moment I mentioned above. It’s just exciting when you’re shooting and knowing you’re getting a great moment. It almost feels like slow-motion but it’s exciting. It clicks. I also love that they’re smiling, and it seems genuine. I definitely love a smiling photo over a serious one, usually. And they are also just super beautiful. Both of them are French and Asian. I’m glad to see more French-Asian models!
What are you most looking forward to for next season?
For September, I actually booked all my stuff earlier for once! I am curious to see what a whole regular season will be like, but I’m feeling a bit anxious as well because I know it will be a lot. In general, the adrenaline of fashion week and taking photos on the street really drives me. I’m just hoping I can find a balance and not get too behind or stressed with my photos! I’m getting better :) September always feels like “back to school” season, and the weather is definitely better than February, so I’m hoping that people will be excited for fashion week again and curious to see how I feel after.
Photos: Melodie Jeng