Focused on traditional forms of art (specifically sculpture), Tom Allen initially used his camera for documentary work. “When I began to understand it more, I found that the most artistic place to be in photography was fashion photography,” he told The Cut. “The fact that somebody wants to do something new and different all of the time generates a lot of creativity and change.” Over the past few years, his images have been featured in Muse, Numéro Tokyo, Industrie, Dazed & Confused, and i-D, but when The Cut approached him to participate in Out of the Box, Allen welcomed the opportunity to bring fashion photography back to just … photography. “With fashion photography, often the fashion becomes almost too important,” he explained. “You have to do hair and makeup, and everyone’s assistants are around — there’s a small army of people that come along with it. It takes you away from the happy accident, the spontaneity of photography … so this, was in a way, liberating.”
Before seeing the assortment of Suno and Rachel Comey sweaters, Theyskens’ Theory boots, and Tsumori Chisato pants, Allen had already decided on a backdrop: his home county of Cornwall, England. “My family has been there a long time,” he said. “I grew up there, both of my parents grew up there, and my grandparents grew up there … I know a lot about the place and I’m very much linked to it, but I’d actually never shot [clothes] there.” He asked British model Hannah Noble to come along, and the duo stopped by a farm-supply store ahead of their three-day-long tour to pick up “some bits and pieces, like socks and warm stuff.” Allen also brought a Barbour jacket from his family’s house and one of his grandfather’s hats, for Hannah to pair with the fall pieces. Click ahead to see (and read) more of the story behind Allen’s shoot.
Fashion market editing by Jenny Kang.