This Book Documents the Buildup to Kiko Kostadinov’s S/S23 Show

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Kiko Kostadinov Spring/Summer 2023
Kiko Kostadinov Spring/Summer 2023Photography by E-WAX

Shot by Japanese photographer E-WAX, A Mon Seul Désir lifts the lid on Laura and Deanna Fanning’s debut show in Paris

Kiko Kostadinov’s womenswear designers Laura and Deanna Fanning consider the art of backstage photography an essential way to break down “the [fashion] show as spectacle” and bring “the audience into the everyday.” After working with Japanese photographer E-WAX to document the preparations for their Spring/Summer 2023 show in London, where the designers are based, they decided to continue the project into A Mon Seul Désir, an intimate photo book that follows this same collection to its final presentation in Paris. “Fashion in the sense of a show is so visual,” explain the designers of their publication, “and printed matter allows for a global audience in current time or the future to familiarise themselves and reflect on the temporality of fashion and the idea of the collection.”

The book also immortalises the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Kiko Kostadinov: S/S23 was the first time they presented their womenswear line in Paris; now, the brand will show four times a year on the official Paris calendar (for menswear and womenswear). Fittingly, the book’s title is borrowed from an inscription that features on one of the legendary 16th-century tapestries, The Lady and the Unicorn, hanging in the Musée de Cluny – “a very short walk” from where their first show in Paris was held. “Whilst we didn’t take direct inspiration from the tapestries, we included an ode to mythologies within our lightweight jacquards with small unicorns, mermaids, and flora and fauna,” say the sisters. Rather, their S/S23 collection explored “the female lead through its use of colour and proportion referencing classicism, romance, and alternate identities that are generally desired and understood to create the archetype of a strong lead.”

In this vein, E-WAX was an apt choice to photograph the process as his distinctive approach is focused on “documenting style and character, more so than fashion per se”. “E-WAX’s documentation of space and non-places (in the [Marc] Augé sense) appealed to us,” explain the designers. “His presence was very calm and this worked well during and amongst the, at times, frantic nature of fashion week preparations.” The resulting photographs are a precious, detailed glimpse into the behind-the-scenes preparation for a fashion show, seamlessly contrasting tender human details, like the designers’ dog, with intricate close-ups of the garments.

The book’s designer, Daniel Sansavini, edited and sequenced the vast imagery to build “a visual story in the most poetic way, that really reflected the mood of the collection and the beauty of E-WAX’s photos.” If the Fanning sisters “perceive this is a continual battle for the industry, the construction of the image and the show,” A Mon Seul Désir so beautifully manipulates the static sense of photography to expose, collate, and expand upon the many moments that comprise a final show, beyond its garments and their conferred temporality.

A Mon Seul Désir is published by Kiko Kostadinov, and is available in a limited edition of 500 copies.