M. de Nood Revisits Historical Photography With FW21 Photoshoot

The London-based brand captures looks from their Fall/Winter ’21 collection using wet-plate collodion, bringing antique into couture.

Playing with “slow fashion” and a timeless historicism melding into the present, M. de Nood is capturing techniques of the past for contemporary fashion, revisiting antique wet-plate collodion photographs to shoot looks from their Fall/Winter 2021 collection.



“This photographic method developed as a successor to the calotype and daguerreotype in the 19th century, and the process involves coating sensitizing with chemicals, exposing to light, and developing a glass plate underwater within about 15 minutes,” said Artistic Director Cassius Clay. “This created a highly precise timing and choreography to the shoot. It meant that each mistake cost at least 15 minutes, but that achieving successful shots was extremely rewarding as a result.”


The whimsical, delicate spirit of M. de Nood—named for the maiden surname of Clay’s mother—is reflected in the silvery images of the shoot, capturing an age-old, monochrome effect in a series of portraits evocative of unchanging an adherence to fine luxury. Shot by Kasia Wozniak, the photoshoot is a striking play of contrasts and reflections, with models Jackson Mawhinney and Donnika Anderson striking dynamic poses in bold hair by Mike O’Gorman and makeup by Joanna Banach.


Attention to detail is at the heart of the shoot and the collection itself: embroidery, embellishment, sewing and pattern-cutting for the collection was all created in Clay’s home, with the arcane photography bringing pieces to life. 



Styled with Chanel and Alexander McQueen pieces from Clay’s own archive, the M. de Nood collection evokes everlasting luxury and a nod to the past, bringing womenswear essentials from ages long gone into the modern minute. Laser-cut pieces are based on 16th-century dress armor garniture, while knitwear and ribbed fabrics are reminiscent of 19th-century corsets, designed by Matija Čop in collaboration with Katharina Dubbick for M. de Nood. 


“Working around the constraints of early photography to document contemporary laser-cut and 3D-printed garments felt like tinkering with historical records of an unforeseen future,” said Clay. “I have a particular interest in the 19th century daguerreotypes of American photographers Southworth and Hawes that led me to explore contemporary uses of the format.” 



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