Since 1999, the photographer Charles Fréger has continued adding to his series Portraits photographiques et uniformes, an examination of various social groups as seen through their uniforms. Captured with a precise photographic vocabulary, the subjects evoke places and communities from the past, as well as the irreducible socializing effect to which we are all subjected. We see the dignity and modesty of these everyday heroes and their social function.
Fréger has worked as a fashion photographer for a decade now, but only in the past two years have we seen seen an evolution in this aspect of his work. Reminiscent of classic magazine illustrations from the 1920s and 30s, Fréger’s photographs emphasize each article of clothing in its entirety. The models, carefully selected by a stylist and himself, veritably inhabit the articles of clothing, breathing life into them and their surroundings. Fréger twists and stretches the models until he finds the perfect pose and expression to present each article of clothing in all its magnificence. The method is both aesthetic and commercial.
Beauty, marketing, the “mythologizing” of clothing—in a word, fashion. Fréger chronicles the past through the clothing and uniforms on which time has left its mark. He turns his fashion shoots into the theatre of our age, and the effect is beautiful, artless, deeply authentic and yet entirely fictive.
Not to miss: Fréger’s series Cark Park Couture in this month’s issue of Dazed& Confused.
Stylism : Karen Langley for Dazed & Confused and Another Magazine , Vanessa Reid for POP.