It was a great deal of rummaging through the archives, an odyssey every time as I dive right back into the days of my freedom to creativity on a Sunday afternoon heatwave around Adelaide’s unbeknownst red-light district in the AMs. Everything felt like an air of juxtaposition that I familiarly had known through the phase of a teenager’s night around town with friends to find light in the Adelaide’s after-five quint side, to the air I see at the moment with a pair of honest eyes through the lenses. The reminiscence of the Parisian-esque alleyways soaked with the smell of overnight spilled-liquor was the thought process that came into mind when I wondered how in the eyes of ‘stereotypical couture’ would not be “caught dead” in the streets with the obvious disparity of classes.
I call that disparity, ‘art’.
Armed with floor-sweeping gowns and frivolous mini velvets paired with handcrafted leather accoutrements, I could only imagine the contrasting textures in the light of the burnt orange hued bricks complimenting the mundane grey pavements, under the distressed dusty greyish-blue sky that afternoon – almost seemed that rain would befall that forsaken heatwave for once and that Dmitry Evgrafov’s Anthem was symphonic to the air. The expectations and boundary-less of creativity brewed more as the wonders of working with two porcelain beauties reminded me the definition of balance in all things good in life: of the experienced accompanying the inexperienced, the raven jet-black meets the blonde and et cetera. Something like, ying and yang – how the juxtaposition just compliments better with two than one.
Couture is not difficult to understand, and heck I’m surely one not afraid to explore the nirvana of endless composition of architectural city scaping against the construction of each frill tiered down to every hem. The rustic element foretold the story long before the adornment of velvet dresses had its chance to speak, yet when both came together – it was an analogy to song that drowned out the daily mundane and the hustling-bustling streets that had been suffocated in stress-filled air. Layering one on top of another or the underlying layers of the seamless belted pieces and stronghold cages exuded a fine novelty: the maximalism of minimalism.
Think about it as wearing structure on (or, under) fabric silhouette – stilts on clouds even, maybe?
Creatively directing this short collaboration between Couture + Love + Madness and Katya Komarova on a summer’s December was an eye-opener that I had yet explored my ways around as a photographer. It was unpredictable to the weather and surrounding fazes, yet unexpected to the signs of satisfaction of a low-budgeted production that Cristina was enthused by a different execution of how styling couture should redefine the stereotype. Katya added on ‘personalization’ as a touch of individuality to accustom the changing trending environment and to remain significantly unique yet functional. It was less than a standard lookbook environment but more of complimenting the defying elements like outfit changes in front of a crowd of peering bystanders, supportive busybodies who rode their bicycles in and out of frame, or even the test of our body temperaments during the 35 degrees-beyond weather we had invested the cost of hyperthermia and dehydration.
The allusion of couture had beckoned to be adorned in fine opulent accessories and worn in dinner parties that – let’s be honest, only you and I would be awkwardly standing by the dessert table hoping people don’t notice you yet at the same time – notices you. Yet, defying the stereotype in an editorial concept of couture being a chameleon at all corners of the street was a balancing act all in the face of the juxtaposition effect. And while I digress my monologue about the day, the elements fell into place in the right time at the right location. The never-ending finds in the deep terrain of folders in my archives will honestly – only make me fall in love with everything that I have done, especially working with such amazing creatives who have the eye to make a ‘change’. And, that I believe creates the who juxtaposition in the industry today.
Till’ the next archive find and next runway update, troopers!
Couture + Love + Madness
Shot with Nikon D3300