Four years ago, Claiborne Swanson moved from San Francisco to New York where she became Anna Wintour’s assistant. After getting married to James Frank (the June 2009 wedding was beneath a grove of Redwoods overlooking her family’s Napa vineyards), Claiborne Swanson Frank left Vogue and began persuing her love of photography.
She recently had a successful showing of her work at Akris in New York, which was attended by former San Franciscans Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lo’renzo Hill-White, Vogue’s photography director, Ivan Shaw, and a chic mix of New York tastemakers like Lizzie Tisch, Asia Baker, Alexandra Lynd Rose, Kristian Laliberte, Dino Giannako, Christian Dunst, Emma Goergen and John de Neufville, photographer Carolyn Burgess, singer Sasha Lazard, and jewelry designer Jennifer Creel.
Now, Neiman Marcus San Francisco is going to be the second locale for Claiborne Swanson Frank’s photography exhibition, “Indigo Light.” An installation of 29 portraits will be unveiled in the Akris boutique at Neiman Marcus in a private event will hosted by Claiborne’s sister Alexis Traina, and friends Vanessa Getty and Allison Speer.
The collection of portraits features the women closest to Claiborne, like her sisters Veronica Beard (the fashion designer) and Alexis, and friends such as Jessica Sailer and Sophie Pera.
In these photographs you can see Claiborne’s spirit through her unique eye and love for fashion. “Fashion has always had a strong presence in my photography,” she explains “it is not meant to dominate the portrait but instead add dimension — just like the natural and personal backdrops I shoot my subjects in both bring a greater texture and depth to the image. My goal is to find something that takes your breath away. I dream to shoot my vision of spirit and soul. I set out to take portraits that capture women in their greatest beauty and truth, whatever that may be.”
Claiborne collaborated with Ivan Shaw, Vogue Photography Director, to bring this exhibition to life.
“It was Ivan who encouraged and supported me he connected me to Akris and saw the potential for a future collaboration.’ Not only has Akris provided a home for the exhibition launch; select pieces from the collection are worn by several portrait subjects. Referencing Akris designer, Albert Kriemler, Claiborne adds “he plays on contrast of color, shape and texture in an understated way, as I do in my photography. In turn, we share a similar idea of beauty.”
The event will benefit the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the largest public arts institution in the City of San Francisco and one of the largest art museums in the United States. The Fine Arts Museums continue to serve as one of the premiere public institutions in the western United States, existing to provide its community and region with high quality exhibitions, programs, education and outreach, and to care for San Francisco’s esteemed art collection.