One of the more vexing quirks of the fashion calendar is the need to photograph spring clothes in the winter. One is left with three options: shooting indoors, flying to L.A. or risking the wrath of frostbitten models on the East Coast. Happily, another option arose this season and we wound up on a flight to Morocco to shoot the Saks spring fashion catalog in Marrakech last week.
I was immediately struck by ornate Moroccan architecture practically upon deplaning. Though the torrential rain that welcomed us upon arrival, once couldn’t help but become enraptured by the city’s famed immaculate latticework on the buildings. Through the downpour, we made our way to the Palmeraie house of legendary photographer Albert Watson, who is shooting the spring campaign for Saks. He played host to our stylist, art director, makeup artist, assistants and on and on. I was honored to lodge in his mother’s room (replete with mosquito nets).
When the sun shone, Marrakech provided extraordinary backdrops for fashion photography from expansive desert vistas to impossibly crowded souks. But the rain scuttled our plans so often that we didn’t get to shoot everywhere I would have hoped, like Yves Saint Laurent’s colorful Jardin Marjorelle. So we shot much of the catalog in Mr. Watson’s extraordinary home appointed with olive wood-burning, a dining pavilion sheltered under a thatched roof, and lovingly appointed rooms with faded, vegetable-dyed drapes. Check out the pictures of the gorgeous home in our slideshow here.