British Vogue fashion director Venetia Scott's photographic series Fragile Face Lay Flat has just opened at 5 Carlos Place, Matches Fashion's cultural hub. As guests arrived on Monday evening, womenswear designer Richard Quinn's printed daisies for his Moncler collaboration were plastered across the bay windows of the Victorian terrace, having taken over the front room of the townhouse's ground floor. After collecting a chilled margarita cocktail, Scott's clean white exhibition space provided a minimalist alternative from Quinn's high energy prints.
Fragile Face Lay Flat is named after handling instructions on a packing crate, and the series is based on the premise of cropping photographs taken from 12 years of Scott's archive, leaving only portraits of female models from the shoulders up, curated by Kim Sion and Lucy Kumara Moore.
Testament to Scott's storied career, the event felt more like a friendly gathering than a press night, albeit a rather full one. Guests included i-D's editor-in-chief Alastair McKimm, womenswear designers Sadie Williams and Marta Jakubowski, fashion journalist Suzy Menkes, and Serena Rees, founder of Les Boys Les Girls. Scott's partner and frequent collaborator, the photographer Juergen Teller, was also in attendance.
It took some polite pushing and shoving to get a glimpse at the thirty or so portraits that make up Scott's first solo show. Throughout her career, Scott has been recognised for her original casting, and it's her female subjects that confront the viewer upon entering the space. Presented without context, the viewer is encouraged to imagine their own stories for the sitters, creating an immediate sense of intimacy with the extraordinary women Scott works alongside, including Kate Moss and Bella Hadid. Each holds our gaze, every encounter leaving us mesmerised. Despite the series' name, Scott's subjects are anything but fragile.
Fragile Face Lay Flat shows at 5 Carlos Place, Monday 16 September - Friday 28 September 2019.