Four glamorously dressed people standing next to the counter at Katz Delicatessen next to everyday people

Martin Parr releases his first book of fashion photos

For the very first time, the British photographer’s extensive collection of fashion-focused shots are brought together in a book that is a testament to his enduring style

Fashion Faux Parr is the latest release by renowned British photographer Martin Parr, and the first book that takes a comprehensive look at his fashion photography. Published by Phaidon, it delves into his many shoots for acclaimed clothing brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga and Stüssy, as well as for iconic fashion magazines like Vogue and Elle.

As Scottish fashion designer Patrick Grant notes in the book’s introductory essay, “Martin Parr is not known as a fashion photographer”, and yet, as the photographs in this book attest to, he certainly has an eye for such imagery. They reveal how he effortlessly turns his hand from his bread-and-butter documentary approach to fashion editorial, all the while maintaining his signature style.

Three people standing in a wooden floored gallery space with two large pop art paintings on the wall
Top: Katz’s Delicatessen, New York, USA, 2018, commissioned by Vogue USA; Above: New York, USA, 2019, commissioned by Vogue USA. All images: © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Wry, yet never judgemental, Parr’s own brand of photography more often than not focuses on subjects such as class, wealth and national culture. He is known for his flash-lit portraits of British beachgoers, his vibrant still-life shots of food and drink, and his humorous take on the mundane and the everyday.

In his fashion photographs, this observational, tongue-in-cheek approach remains evident, blurring the lines between genres. The images featured in the book show international supermodels playing bingo and arcade games, fashion influencers taking silly, self-aware selfies, and catwalk queens filling up their cars at petrol stations.

A close up of a person wearing a pink striped dress and bag in the foreground, with a person dressed entirely in denim and a wide-rimmed hat carrying a newspaper in the background
Dakar, Senegal, 2001, commissioned by Rebel

As a result, the glitz and glamour of the industry is beautifully offset by markedly ordinary moments, showing that, contrary to popular opinion, fashion can be fun. The visionary designs of world-renowned fashion houses are brought to earth in a positive sense, providing space for them to engage with the real and the quotidian.

Speaking of her experience working with Parr, shoe designer Tabitha Simmons recalls “Martin’s ability to find beauty and intrigue in the most unlikely places was eye-opening…. Through his photography, he challenges our preconceived notions of what is beautiful and reminds us to find joy and fascination in the seemingly trivial.”

Models on the set of a Jacquemus fashion shoot with an assistant wearing a headset next to them, photographed on grass next to a lake by Martin Parr
Versailles, France, 2023, commissioned by Jacquemus

This notion is evident throughout much of Fashion Faux Parr, with Parr training his lens on diamond-adorned stuffed toys, watches hidden amongst greasy spoon tableware, and designer shoes conspicuously sat on the weathered bark of tree trunks.

His attention to detail, witty sense of humour, and strong eye for form and colour come through in all of his work, and these qualities remain constant – whether he is shooting a busy British beachtown or a new clothing collection by a leading designer.

A group of six young people dressed in Gucci sitting in a heap on a tiled staircase photographed by Martin Parr
Fashion Week, Paris, France, 2018, commissioned by Gucci

Fashion Faux Parr is published by Phaidon;