Alta Moda, Alta Fabulous

“Alta Moda by Mario Testino" Opening in New York

Max Trowbridge  |  Photos by Alta Moda by Mario Testino at Queen Sofía Spanish Institute. Photo by, Mario Testino, Kim Kardashian, Mario Testino, Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain, Oscar de la Renta, Models Candice Swanepoel, Alek Wek
January 10, 2014

Destination: the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute on Park Avenue in New York, for an artistic rendezvous with Peter Doroshenko, executive director of the Dallas Contemporary, to attend the exhibition opening of “Alta Moda by Mario Testino.” Why am I sharing details about an event that I attended in New York, you may well ask? Well, if this exhibition is good enough for New York, then Dallas is certainly in for a visual treat. The exhibition and Mr. Testino will be arriving later this year, scheduled to open at the Dallas Contemporary in September. A native Peruvian, Testino is a beloved fashion photographer, worshipped by every international glossy magazine. After discovering an archive of traditional festive costumes, he became inspired by the native Latin American photographer Martin Chambi and spent the last five years on a personal project with frequent trips to Cusco, a city located high in the Peruvian mountains. The Spanish term Alta Moda means “high fashion,” and the outcome, a masterpiece of ethnographic photography, presents a vibrant series of oversized Peruvian portraits that are rich in color and deep in culture. “With this series, I wanted to do something very different — not just with my own work, but also with the practice of photography,” Testino says. “I tried to fit as much time and history into each frame as possible — from the traditional and festive clothing to the Chambi backdrops to the Peruvian people in them.” The star-studded reception in New York did not disappoint. Hosted by the institute’s chairman Oscar de la Renta and president Inmaculada de Habsburgo, the evening’s guests included Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain, Anna Wintour, Hamish Bowles, Lauren Santo Domingo, Grace Coddington, and Kim Kardashian with sister Kendall Jenner, who made an explosive paparazzi arrival during my conversation with street-style photographer Bill Cunningham. I attended Art Basel in Miami... Let’s hope that the Dallas Contemporary exhibition opening will be as every bit as glamorous as New York. Exhibition dates to be announced, so stay tuned!