Olivier Zahm, the bad boy editor of Purple magazine and perpetrator of Purple Diary, opens ‘The Secrets of Photographing Women’, something he likes to do, a lot.
Watching Olivier Zahm front row at fashion week, he is one of the few editors laughing and having fun. For him, the show is a photoshoot as he points his camera in a flurry of angles, embracing a quick and freeing moment in which the excitement of the clothes overpowers him. It is this kind of freedom that exists in his photographs and can be found in his latest exhibition ‘Olivier Zahm: The Secrets of Photographing Women’ at Lead Apron in Los Angeles. Unlike most diaries that have lived in secret, Zahm’s Purple Diary and exhibition, consisting of fifty images, are there for all to see.
The exhibition is a mix of the public, the private and the very private. We are taken to meet Lou Doillon, see Kate Moss laughing at the Ritz and wonder at a lit up rabbit in artist Terence Koh’s studio. Zahm lets us into his universe, one that seems almost fictional, populated with models, socialites, fantastic architecture, lovers and champagne. Zahm has said that one only wants to go where one isn’t invited but, of course, he doesn’t have this problem. He is everywhere, dividing his time between Purple Magazine, Paris, New York, the internet and our imaginations.
While there may not be a definitive look for the 00s, it’s images like these that really sum up a decade of style.
Olivier Zahm: The Secrets of Photographing Women runs until 12th June at Lead Apron, 8445 Melrose Place, Los Angeles.