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From Shanghai to Paris

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Photographer Amira Fritz embarked on a photographic mission with fashion in her bags and romance in her head.  She dropped all her plans to follow the road from Shanghai to Paris — on foot, by car, by train, whatever, as long as the land remained within reach of experience, in the eye and in the flesh.


She wanted to explore the territories she was passing with her team through, letting herself be penetrated by what they bear.  From these other, distant places, experienced in the flesh, she has returned with a silver suitcase, full of precious photographs from the trip; with evanescent images steeped in fantastical fog. Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-03

Amira Fritz makes no exception to the route she has set herself.  With her at all times — for daytime shoots, at night around the fire — a team, in the full sense: a stylist, a set designer, and a hairdresser, all willing to share the two-month voyage she has set out on. Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-04

Shanghai offers its sweltering heat, Beijing its suffocating smog, Mongolia its polar nights, hot springs and bare landscapes;  Russia, after Lake Baikal, a foretaste of the West;  and finally Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany, with their familiar faces, gradually overcoming the silence of the steppe.  In their luggage, twenty years of work from Lin Li’s label JNBY.  Successive collections of minimalist clothing, streamlined styles and fabrics form a timeless wardrobe — variations on a theme. Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-05

Amira Fritz trusted the land to give the clothes substance.  All she brings along with her is her analog 6×7 camera and her suitcase.  The scenery does the rest: no professional models, only chance meetings in villages they pass through.  The faces of strangers, attracted by the seemingly lost band of Europeans.  To bear witness of the experience, however, no documentary image exists.  We are to know nothing of these people, or their lives.  No artefact in the image, apart from the clothes themselves.  Only their faces, bodies, expressions — and woodland, striped tree barks, green moss, red soil and the sun that rises and sets. Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-06

Amira’s photos make me pack my bags, get a ton of color and black and white film and head on the road to explore the places unknown, soak up the foreign terrain and meet new people, hear their stories.  Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-07 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-08 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-09 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-10 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-11 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-12Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-13 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-14 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-15 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-16 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-17 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-18 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-19 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-20Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-21 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-22 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-23 Amira-Fritz-from-shanghai-to-paris-26

Information & Photos: via Amira Fritz

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