Times Square and fashion are staples of New York City, and so is Alexander Gurman, a New York-based fashion designer, photographer, and producer who is known for his inclusive fashion shows, glow-in-the-dark clothing label, and innovative approaches to fashion photography. From allowing models to sing and recite poetry on the runway, to having them hold up visual art as they strut on the catwalk, Alexander enjoys melding fashion with other artistic mediums. He is known for giving up and coming designers a chance to show their wares and be interviewed via his YouTube channel which has over 20,000 subscribers.
Alexander meets emerging designers in various ways. Most are through mutual friends that he has made over the years he has spent in the fashion industry. Some designers reach out to him on Facebook and Instagram. In those cases, the aspiring designers send him links to their websites and photos of their creations. If he is impressed, he will offer to feature the clothing and accessories. This innovativeness is what led to our collaborations when Alexander first featured my visual artwork, and then my shoe collections, at his fashion shows and on his YouTube channels. Ever since, I have happily accompanied him on many filming and photo-shoot outings.
“Sometimes models want to become designers and I really like supporting those sorts of branch outs,” Alexander stated. “Sometimes the designers are wealthy women who have the time and resources to create. Artists and painters also like branching out into fashion as a new way of sharing their art with others. The fashion industry is very inclusive and stylists come from various walks of life. My mission is to find them at the early stages and help them launch their careers.”
Moreover, Alexander uses New York City events–such as parades, Christmas decorations, and the Westminster Dog Show–as backdrops for his photoshoots. One of his most enjoyable annual photoshoots is held every New Years Eve at New York City’s iconic Times Square.
Every year, the world watches the ball drop from Times Square to ring in the New Year. Alexander uses the celebratory occasion to bring several of his models to Time Square, dressed in the latest fashions, and take many photos with the beautiful Times Square lights–and, later, confetto–in the background. Yet filming in these conditions is anything but easy.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is the long wait at Times Square for the ball to drop so here are few things that may help. Firstly, we buy portable privacy toilets that allow us to urinate in a bag if need be, otherwise once you step away to find a bathroom, you will never get your spot back. That is when NYPD press pass and VIP celebrity status may help substantially. Obviously, dressing warm in many layers is important since NYC can be very cold in the winter. To make sure that your camera battery will function in such cold, bring warmers and keep an extra battery on your body to warm it up prior to filming. The flash will not be able to travel far so a powerful flashlight can do the trick for lighting your subjects from the distance.”
Alexander suggests that professional photographers should carry certain types of cameras. A small Sony a6400 with 35mm to 135mm and camcorder are useful for filming the ball from a distance. A camera with a long lens can capture the ball falling. Because a tripod or a monopod will not be an option in such a crowded space, it is better to use both hands for stabilization. Alexander suggests not bringing a gimbal since it is too heavy and will be in the way of having fun. A selfie stick and/or a go pro camera can also be useful yet their battery power only lasts about an hour so you will need to bring a charger to ensure that you can recharge them. Similarly, you should bring a charger for your phone, too.
“Once you deal with basic necessities like urinate, drinks, food and warms you will be fine,” Alexander stated. “In case of a terrorist attack or a bombing, make sure to know where the nearest subway is and/or the best hiding place. Safety should be on your mind at all times. Otherwise, just make sure you have someone right to kiss at midnight otherwise you may feel lonely! The magic of the night and NYC will do the rest.
To contact Alexander, visit his official Facebook page.