The IMAGIST

NED AMBLER: A GREAT AMERICAN EYE

 

Its just like five years ago when every ambitious young thing landing in NY felt compelled to declare themselves a stylist. And five years before that a DJ or a "publicist" if not the ungodly hybrid of "publicist to DJ's" . I really ought not to talk but now the new thing in NY is to be a casting director with fantastic new people like Daniel Peddle, Jessica Weinstein and Julia Semonova locking it down with some stronger and stronger clients each season.

But in the same way that you have to fall silent at the mention of Judy Blame in the field of styling, the name Ned Ambler is just iconic when it comes to the proposition of casting. In the 90's his was the eye that resulted in club kids like Jenny Talia being scraped off the sidewalks of Avenue A and deposited in a flourescent white photo-studio for CK Jeans. How great it was in the mid-90's to have a city bus dock beside you and see all the kids from the clubs ( Lois Samuels, Richard Elms, Jenny Shimuzu) profiling for CK 1. Ambler was indefatiguable in his hunt for strong, real, immediate faces , fresh off the streets . Everyone from Levi's to Versace, Jil Sander, Valentino, and Dolce & Gabbana harnessed Ambler's brave and open eye to create a great moment in fashion. Magazines like Vogue, Italian Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Interview, Details, and The Face got a dose of realness via his intervention.

As latter day magazines images move closer to a kind of hyper-glossy video sheen, I really miss those personal, emotional faces Ambler mined off the streets of NY. I love also the fact that he switched out of casting to forge a small niche for himself as a filmmaker. The man even has his own section at Kim's Video. Some might find his photographs modest achievements but Ned Ambler is always a big big inspiration at The Imagist. Between Ned Ambler and Corrine Day's Face cover starring Kate, those are the twin engines that put fashion in our minds. Respect!