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N. A. Cope & D. E. Arnold | Plokhov

N.A Cope and D.E Arnold are a collaborative coupling of photographers from the United States who have worked for commercial and editorial clients in both solo and joint works. Recently, the pair were hired by the Russian designer Alexandre Plokhov to photograph and present his latest season of fashion.

Interpretation of Spirit

Cope and Arnold steer away from a direct presentation of Plokhov’s works, preferring to incorporate the clothing into the overall theme of the photography. The subject is presented mid-fall, crouching or kneeling, the shadows having solidified into the garments. The backgrounds and props used here are miasmic clouds and blocks of black, holes from which no light escapes. Several of Cope and Arnold’s photos present the subject in death, covered in fabric, the clothing drained to white. The kneeling and crouching thus a reliving of memory, the stones thus a dolmen, for the entombed. A symbol of continual life and death, an evolution of the garments.

The Garments of Plokhov

Over the lifetime of his label, Alexandre Plokhov’s style has continued to be refined and expanded. Plokhov has most recently presented a full wardrobe, from casual wear to Plokhov’s interpretation of the tuxedo. Cope and Arnold have focussed primarily on silhouette in their images transitioning from starkness to a blurring of the clothing’s edge from its environment. Plokhov’s tailoring has developed to his trademark structureless form - a refined simplification of the elements that each garment is comprised. Plokhov’s tailoring is equally inspired by the music of Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire as well as the writings of Cormac McCarthy co-mingled with Mikhail Bulgakov and Nikolai Gogol. Plokhov expresses his personal philosophy in his designs, clothing to be worn forever, that ages - a development of character that conceals and protects, that provides a mystery to the wearer.

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Words | Rob Woodgate