Hanging off The Spiral Staircase

“‘Hanging off that staircase in the Stella McCartney dress’, says Lily, ‘I thought I might melt down its beautiful folds as we positioned it, painfully, just right. No open windows or wind machines in case it stirred.’ British Vogue’s Creative Director, Robin Derrick: ‘Tim sees pictures in front of him which are not yet there… the challenge and frustration he then faces is how to print out, compute what he sees in his head. The pictures of Lily Cole on the spiral staircase he shot for our July 2005 issue is a case in point. While travelling on holiday in India he came across a crumbling old palace. Within it he found the powdery blue hallway with the enormous rusting iron spiral staircase. He took a snapshot and on return to London took the picture of the location with a marker pen sketch over it of a girl standing in a long dress to our fashion director Kate Phelan. It’s a degree of realising his pre-visualization and all the details which have to be achieved to create that image which floats in his head that is interesting. The dress had to be made in the right colour blue to work within the location, to the right length, to the right weight so it felt airy and light.’”

Excerpt from Tim Walker: Pictures


Lily Cole and Spiral Staircase. Photo by Tim Walker. Whadwan, Gujarat, India, 2005


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