Stunning photos give a totally unexpected perspective into how the 1% parties

JCM Page 18 RJessica Craig MartinAnanas De Cheveux, amfAR Benefit, Cannes 2000

In the introduction to “Privilege,” style writer Glenn O’Brien describes photographer Jessica Craig-Martin as a “master (or perhaps we can still say mistress in this context) of the dark side of the glamour world and society pages.”

The following 67 images of decadent parties, galas, benefits, and industry events from across the world prove this statement to be true. Craig-Martin’s depiction of the elite is an awkwardly cropped, seemingly unglamourous moment. Her work depicts the underbelly of luxury, and yet, it’s still of course mesmerising to look at.

Orginally photographing a majority of these events for publications such as Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar over the span of 20 years, her collection of images for “Privilege” is what was left unpublished. Ahead, 10 images from the book, and Craig-Martin’s reflections on all of those parties.

O'Brien describes Craig-Martin as a 'sort of spy' at the events, 'camouflaged in her party gear as 'one of us.''

Jessica Craig Martin
Real Beauty, amfAR Benefit, Cannes, 2008

'I hide in plain sight, wearing what I call 'guest drag,'' Craig-Martin told Business Insider.

Jessica Craig Martin
Bush Fundraiser, Georgette Mosbacher's Home, New York, 2004

Although it's been written that Craig-Martin's intentional cropping of faces is to protect their identity, she claims this simply isn't true.

Jessica Craig Martin
Republican Breasts, Women's Republican Guild, New York, 2004

'Craig-Martin's framing and cropping abandons the famous face in favour of the telling details,' O'Brien writes.

Jessica Craig Martin
Real Wasps, Wrong Party, Denise Rich Cancer Benefit, Southhampton 2007

'The crops happened completely organically as I shot the exact frame I wanted. Then I had to figure out, 'Why am I decapitating people?'' Craig-Martin said.

Jessica Craig Martin
Baronessa Cali Da Capri, Sutton Place, New York, 1998

When she first arrives at events, Craig-Martin says she looks for the fish. 'I look to see what the salmon is wearing. You can tell a lot about a party by how the fish is dressed.'

Jessica Craig-Martin
Smiling Salmon, amfAR Benefit, Cannes 2008

Craig-Martin isn't interested in making a statement on any one particular subject.

Jessica Craig Martin
Hair Leaving the Party, Rita Hayworth Alzheimer's Benefit Gala, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, 1999

'I'm just not interested in pointing out the foibles of individuals or celebrities. I'm much more interested in the general problem, of which I am also a part. The party is the problem,' she said.

Jessica Craig Martin
So Amusing, Cherry Blossom Party for Rena Sindi, New York, 2000

Caligula, bingo night, and Tuesday: the three words Craig-Martin uses to describe the parties depicted in 'Privilege.'

Jessica Craig Martin
Ananas De Cheveux, amfAR Benefit, Cannes 2000

'What sense of humour?' she says when asked how her own plays into the work.

Jessica Craig Martin
Tie-Dye Prada Weiners, Mama Gina Sex Lecture, New York, 2004

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