Style Tim Walker’s fairy-tale and dreamlike fashion

Tim Walker’s fairy-tale and dreamlike fashion

Andrea Tuzio

Uniqueness is a characteristic that only the great achieve. Being instantly identifiable, no matter what method of expression is used, is perhaps the highest of accolades.
British fashion photographer Tim Walker is undoubtedly one of those creatives who needs nothing else; his works speak abundantly for him, representing and identifying him fully.

A true creator of images and imagery, able to conjure and turn entire worlds upside down by populating them with fairy-tale characters, figures straight out of an LSD trip, enchanted forests, kaleidoscopic settings and sets, and lots of fashion.

Walker was born in England in 1970. Since childhood that need to create worlds of his own was irrepressible, expressed through thousands of drawings made in his school notebooks. His interest in photography began through his work at the Condé Nast Library in London, where he took care of Cecil Beaton’s archive for a full year before enrolling at university. He enrolled precisely at Exeter College of Art and Design, where he earned an HBC in photography, but then, leaving his studies in 1994, began his career as a freelance assistant photographer in London before moving to New York, where he worked as a full-time assistant to Richard Avedon.

Unconvinced that he could make a career as a photographer, because of the technical shortcomings he thought he had, and just when he was beginning to think about leaving the world of photography, a turning point came at the age of 25.

A shot of him was published in Vogue for the first time, and from then on, his career took a completely unexpected turn, even by Walker himself, reaching absolute peaks in the world of fashion photography.

Walker is one of the most brilliant and successful fashion photographers of his generation, filling the void left by David LaChapelle in the mid-2000s.
His highly recognizable style is characterized by an underlying humanity, tied double-knot to fairy tale and dream, his is a spontaneous narrative that tells a unique story in every shot.

“Photography needs a very long gestation. Even if you work in an artificial landscape, you try to make something authentic happen within it. It is necessary to keep the mind free, otherwise the image dies. I don’t go into a shoot with a fixed idea of the final image, but I know the state of mind”.

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Walker has always remained true to that same creative drive that had distinguished him from a very young age.
He has shot and published dozens of editorials for the world’s top-rated fashion magazines, as well as signed campaigns for COMME des GARÇON, Gucci, Yohji Yamamoto, to name a few. In 2018, he was the photographer of the Pirelli Calendar, choosing Alice in Wonderland as the theme, a choice that perfectly describes Walker’s aesthetic and philosophy.

Visionary, surreal, eccentric, theatrical and romantic. In each of Tim Walker’s works, magic and fascination come together. The inspirations are the fairy tales, the dreams, the faded memories that come back to mind always different from the way we actually experienced them, and this is exactly how the overwhelming and endless imagination of the British photographer makes its way and manifests itself in all its disruptive beauty. 

Written by Andrea Tuzio
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