The industrial designer, model and Céline muse reflects on her S/S16 experience with an intimate photo diary
Marland Backus is a woman after our own heart. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, the industrial designer and model has quickly established herself as one of the most interesting faces of the moment, having landed major campaigns for the likes of Céline and Jil Sander, all while studying for her design degree at the lauded Pratt Institute and evolving her craft in jewellery – weaving collars from human hair and fashioning badges from pelt swatches and giant safety pins. Here, Backus offers an unique and intimate insight into her S/S16 fashion weeks with a personal photo diary, which runs in spontaneous order.
"This just might be the longest gummy snake I've ever seen, perched atop my friend Veronika [Vilim's] head. I bought it off a street cart in Paris and it cost 6 Euros! Which is pretty expensive for a gummy snake! It actually lasted all week. Veronika and I both have a sweet tooth, and I think everyone needs a little sugar boost during the shows. This is one of my favourite pictures."
"This is a necklace that I made, photographed on a table top in one of the three apartments I stayed in during Paris Fashion Week. It's quite an old piece actually. I made it after my first show season, when I accidently brought some hair extensions home. So I ripped them out, and thought they could be a cool necklace. Now I make a lot of jewellery from hair. I find that during the chaos of fashion week, with so many people rushing about, making jewellery just makes the world a little bit smaller, sitting alone, crafting things. It's calming."
"My bright blue Parisian rain hat, after the rain."
"This was taken at the Vêtements after party, which was held at a gay sex club in Paris. We all got so overheated that we had to take our tops off. My friends are pictured, so I won’t name and shame them (though I did, of course, ask their permission to share this photo)! It was really, really fun."
"Food shopping in Milan at sundown."
"I’m just an extremely messy person, so I just kind a take off whatever I’m wearing, and put it wherever I am. This is a giant safety pin and a badge I found online on a site like on Etsy or something similar, which coincidentally turned out to be made by one of my teachers at Pratt! I usually clip both to my pants or a skirt – always on the right side, I'm not sure why."
"There's not much to say about this club night in London, other than I stayed up all night and went straight to the airport the next day. You can tell how bemused I am by the girls painted faces and outfits."
"I liked the contrast between the lace doilie and one of my fur collars here. This apartment in Paris was adorable, there were doilies everywhere. The beads I found at a market in Milan."
"This was taken back just a few weeks ago at a bowling alley in Elephant and Castle, London. I won both games in this match! My friend dared me to cause a scene and lie in the bowling lane, which as you can see, I did."
"This picture was taken in Paris of me and my friend Lottie [Hughes]. She had just been street-casted for the Vêtements show and then they contacted me as well. So she just took the week off from work and stayed in the city with me, which was amazing."
"Babes, babies and bikes in Paris."
"Here's Veronika again, this time in London, we're just hanging out and she's wearing one of the fur collars I made."
"A messy bed covered in my friend Marc [Sebastian Faiella's] accessories and my sequin choker, which is still in progress..."
Special thanks to Marland Backus