Nigel Barker may be best known for his role on America's Next Top Model and as much as we love the show (and Barker), we're more interested in the man's photography. His work with the Humane Society of the United States to increase awareness of the plight of baby seals in Canada is very important and particularly moving.
More recently, though, Barker headed out to Montauk, Long Island last February during the full moon to create a one-of-a-kind fashion shoot aptly named: Moon Warriors since it was shot at night using only the light from the full moon. Since the shots, made with medium format cameras and high resolution digital camera backs, required long exposures-up to an hour-Barker opted to use mannequins for the shoot. The "models" were dressed in couture and set up in various poses along a Montauk beach. Long exposures turned night into day and the only hint that the images were actually shot at night were the star trails in the sky. Even without the back story, Barker’s Moon Warriors are amazingly beautiful and surreal. (Check out the September/October issue of American Photo magazine [www.americanphotomag.com] for the full story, images and a great piece about Barker.)
But seeing Barker's images in a magazine or online doesn't compare to seeing the Moon Warriors prints in person at Bloomingdale's SOHO. Navigating the huge crowds at the party I met Heather Huey (www.heatherhuey.com), an incredibly talented milliner who designed the headwear for Moon Warriors, as well as well as the hats for the Christian Siriano and Joanna Mastroianni Spring 2009 shows. Huey and her friends topped off their looks with Huey's hats, of course, and were some of the most interesting-and friendly-people at the party.
Nigel Barker was there, of course, and patiently posed for photographs and chatted with reporters. I managed to snap a few pictures of him, as well as the ubiquitous "Real Housewives of NYC's" Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen.
Somehow I missed Jay Alexander, but met my (now) favorite model Ubah Hassan, wearing a long, floral silk dress by Walter Black. (www.walterblack.com). Ubah is not only beautiful but charming and we had a nice chat about her move to NYC and how she loves the spring fashion trend towards colors.
Robert Verdi showed up at the party just as I was leaving but he agreed to pose for a couple of photos before heading upstairs. His sharp wit and great smile were the perfect nightcaps to the end of a long day.