If you’re ever lucky enough to make it backstage at one of Chanel’s fashion shows, at Paris’ Grand Palais or another exotic location, you might catch sight of a certain photographer passionately clicking away as he weaves his way past models, celebrities and Karl Lagerfeld himself. That photographer is Benoît Peverelli, who has been photographing backstage at Chanel since 2010, and this book gathers the best of his work for the house.
Presenting a tight edit from more than 3,000 original photos, Chanel Backstage comprises four volumes, one for each of Chanel’s collections: Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear, Cruise and Métiers d’Art, which celebrates the savoir-faire of the numerous ateliers producing embroidery, beading, buttons and more—all by hand. Peverelli depicts the beauty and secrets of the backstage world, but also revealed here are the fittings leading up to the show—exclusive meetings between Lagerfeld and the Chanel Studio at 31 Rue Cambon, where each model’s garment, accessories, makeup and hair are individually adjusted and perfected late through the night for the next morning’s show.
Born in 1970 in Switzerland, Benoît Peverelli began his career as a photojournalist for Swiss daily newspapers. In 1991 he cofounded the music magazine Vibrations and in 1993 he relocated to New York where he worked for publications including the New York Times, Life magazine and John F. Kennedy Jr.’s political magazine George. Peverelli has furthermore photographed musicians throughout the Americas and Africa, and shot record covers for labels including Blue Note and Verve. In 2002 he returned to Europe, settling in Paris where he took up fashion photography while continuing to make portraits and reportage. In 2014 Peverelli co-edited the Steidl book Balthus: The Last Studies.