We love Mario Testino and as you probably know Mario is from Lima, Peru. His exhibition Alta Moda — or “high fashion” in Spanish — documents Peruvian people wearing the traditional and festive dress associated with the mountainous region of Cusco. From 2007 - 2012, Testino frequently visited Cusco after discovering an archive of costumes from the region. The photographs draw inspiration from the work of Martin Chambi, one of the first indigenous Latin American photographers. Testino worked closely with Chambi’s grandchildren and recreated backdrops from the archive of the late Peruvian photographer. While Alta Moda appears to reference the tradition of ethnographic photography, Testino captures multiple stories within each photograph. “I usually try to capture the moment,” says Testino. “But with this series, I wanted to do something very different—not just with my own work, but also with the practice of photography. 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. Alta Moda is quite different from the portraits I am perhaps best known for.” The exhibition is a bold departure from Testino’s popular work in fashion magazines.
Traditional women's costume, district of Tinta, province of Chancis, Cusco, Peru 2010
Traditional women’s costume, rural community of Chahuaytire, district of Pisac, province of Calca, Cusco, Peru, 2007
Traditional women’s costume, province of Espinar, Cusco, Peru, 2007
Here is an editorial that Mario did in Cusco for Vogue UK - March 2008 with Lily Donaldson and Daria Werbowy
Stylist: Lucinda Chambers
Vogue Paris April 2013 with Isabeli Fontana and Aymeline Valade