Three Women

Published October 3, 2013

Craig McDean, who has created some of the most indelible images in fashion over the past two decades (some of them for this magazine), started out shooting his rocker friends as a teenager in the north of England. His entrée into fashion photography, though, came with assisting Nick Knight (then the picture editor at i-D) in the late ’80s and early ’90s. McDean’s first photographs for i-D and The Face led to a wildly prolific career, and along the way, he documented the auspicious beginnings of three of fashion’s most idiosyncratic beauties: Amber Valletta, Guinevere van Seenus, and Kate Moss. His latest book, Amber, Guinevere & Kate Photographed by Craig McDean: 1993-2005 (Rizzoli), collects McDean’s images of the three women over the span of more than a decade, as they’ve grown and changed and evolved. “Each of these young women held her own individual appeal to me. Amber was this all-American, classic beauty. Guinevere looked like something out of a Finnish painting. Kate was the waif from Croydon,” McDean says. “Their looks, beauty, and gracefulness inspired me more than anyone else from that period.” Designed and edited in collaboration with M/M (Paris), Amber, Guinevere & Kate also serves as a time capsule of McDean’s analog film process before the ubiquity of digital photography, incorporating previously unpublished outtakes and contact sheets of editorials and campaigns, including those for Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, and Yohji Yamamoto. “Each of the girls could become a chameleon with each project,” McDean says. “I built a bond and a rapport with the three of them. Just like a film director might use an actor over and over, I found myself working with these girls.”