Joe Dowling is more at home behind the camera in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, but he recently used his talents to capture pieces from our AW20 collection. Shot entirely on film, these images portray the raw, natural beauty of the environment, evoking a photojournalistic feel with the model.
As a photographer you’ve had the opportunity to travel and meet interesting people around the world. Tell us a little about these experiences.
There is no simple way to summarise it really. So many amazing people and places. I think the most profound realisation for me has been regarding the complexity of history and the human experience and how it pervasively affects people and places.
What does your personal work aim to say?
My personal work functions as a way for me to interpret the world around me. I discover so much about my subconscious from what I choose to make pictures of, with themes and symbols recurring without my conscious intention until I begin the editing process. What the work says varies from project to project, but I suppose I am most interested in the narrative between images and symbols and how placing things together creates meaning.
What has kept you busy over the past few months? Has it been a bubbly bubble?
I've been working on an ongoing photo project and have been building backgammon boards, it's been a really nice time for me and I feel super lucky it's been so because I know it hasn't been easy for everyone.
How has travelling to unconventional places shaped your view on sustainability?
I think travelling through a lot of less developed countries is pretty stark with regards to sustainability. So many of the places I've been have so many complex issues to resolve that sustainability is fairly low on the agenda — which is sad but also totally understandable. I try hard in my life to make the most sustainable and ethical choices with regards to how I spend my money, but I am also aware this is a luxury afforded to me because of where I live and my means.
If you could pick two things to pack for a trip, what would they be? One item has to be a piece of clothing.
I guess I have to say my camera... and probably my favourite pair of jeans.
Sorry to drag you into a ‘fashion’ interview. But we’d love to know what ethical fashion means to you?
I think ethical fashion is produced in a way that avoids human and animal suffering.
What inspires you?
Books are my main source of inspiration. The way that novels are invented narratives informed by reality is phenomenological to me. To write convincing characters and stories from a blank page is an incredible skill and I find it endlessly inspiring. I've tried writing but I think I am better at making pictures, so I try to mimic the narratives I can't write through images.
Name something you feel very passionate about, and why?
Veganism. I think that what we choose to eat is such an important part of our lives. Without being overly preachy I think we can very easily minimise suffering through what we eat and it is our responsibility to do so if we can.
Joe generously donated his time for this photoshoot in order to support our vision of transforming lives through fashion. To view more of his incredible work, visit his website.