Tom Corbett Goes Timeless for The Gloss
Fresh off his recent book with The Gloss, Tom Corbett is back with another collaboration with the magazine this time looking at women’s workwear. When thinking about a workwear story Tom might not be the first photographer that comes to mind because of the energy that he brings to all his work. But rather than making Tom quiet down for a typically more tight laced story, he brought his signature to challenge expectations. “Workwear stories are by definition conservative, but with this, we wanted to give it just something a little bit different so it didn’t fall into a super conservative place,” says Tom.
Since it’s a Tom Corbett story there’s movement, energy, and attitude in it. He chose a model who has an edge to her and made sure to punch up the boldness. You can see that in every image. It’s more than just a waifish blond lounging on file cabinets - this is a powerful woman who looks fantastic and owns her space. “It just goes back to what kind of picture you want,” Tom explains. “I like the women I photograph, the models I photograph, to look strong. I like them to look like they know what they’re doing. I really don’t like shooting the whimsical, or the airy-fairy. I like it when my women look fierce.”
All of the fashion has an interesting edge to it, too. There are references to current trends and decades gone by. There’s a timelessness to the clothes, and Tom wanted to maintain that by ensuring the photos didn’t date them or even put them in a specific place. “There was a little bit of a retro twist to it, but we didn’t want to get too caught up in that. We also wanted to keep it quite modern but it definitely had that nod to the 60s,” says Tom. “We didn’t want to make it look too New York. We wanted it to look like it could be just any European city in a way.” They avoided the landmarks of SoHo, where they shot the editorial so that everyone could relate to every image. Through these strategies Tom was able to take a kind of story that’s usually a little sleepy and pump it up to something beautiful, full of movement, and even offers a splash of inspiration.