PFW: Balenciaga FW20 – The Sacred and Seductive Combined

03.03.2020 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Demna Gvasalia is one of the only creative directors who manages to find an enviable balance between staying on trend and being political at the same time. The FW20 show presented in Paris last weekend was a show to remember , one that spoke directly to the inescapable doomsday that will brought by global warming, yet offering subtle glimmers of hope throughout the way. 

The show’s set played a major role in the narrative —  a flooded platform with water that bordered so wide that it submerged the first front rows seatings which was a subtle hint to the the primary responsibilities that lie with the decision makers of the industry. The ceilings of the room were screens programmed to produce eerie graphics birds fleeing and dark lighting which felt like a scene from a horror film. 

It was as if he imagined the day of reckoning where humanity would be confronted with all its wrongdoings against Mother Earth, the day where Mother Earth herself wouldn’t wreak havoc upon the race with a menacing chaos. A mass of confusion so dire that it would wipe out whatever boundaries or structures we previously held which of course includes dress codes. Gvasalia dressed his subjects by fusing and recontextualizing dress codes associated with traditional values and desires. The religious was fused with the every day by way of clerical robes interpreted into casual wear ; bodybuilder fitted outfits made oversized for an one size fits all aesthetic and night gown prints made into powerful evening-wear. Sports, religion, obsession  and seduction are a stripped of their functions and symbolisms and melted into one. It was a political statement aimed at climate change but also one that fired shots in the direction of religion and the traditional symbolism of the sacred versus the seductive. 

“I had a lot of clerical wear in my research. I come from a country where the Orthodox religion has been so predominant. I went to church to confess every Saturday. Back then, I remember looking at all these young priests and monks, wearing these long robes and thinking, ‘How beautiful.’ You see them around Europe with their beards, hair knotted back and backpacks. I don’t know, I find it quite hot—but that’s my fetish,” the designer explained. 

“How comes it is acceptable for clerics to wear that, but if I put on a long jacket and a skirt I will be looked at? I can’t, even in 2020! Religious dress codes are all about hiding the body, about being ashamed—body and sex is the taboo. Whereas when you look into it, some of these people are the nastiest perverts.”

Gvasalia created a collection that spoke to climate change, traditional dress codes and perversions of the church all while making reference to the house’s archives and staying in line with the current day trend. Such level of aptitude and interest in social change showcased, only makes one more intrigued for the house’s re-opening of their couture division later this year.


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A Deeper Look (Book) : Lacuna

08.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Twin takes a deeper dive into the jewellery and RTW brand Lacuna,  based in Paris

An unfilled space; a gap. It feels like a statement definition already, with the designer Annabelle calling her namesake brand Lacuna. While it also happens to be Annabelle’s last name, it seems fitting to look at the meaning from both angles. 

Lacuna is a brand with a grown up elegance but a sensual sensibility, matching Annabelle’s design pedigree within Chloe, Cerruti, Kenzo and now Margiela designing under Galliano the show collections. 

Seeding out these sensual and undoubtably mesmerising images of her first collection entitled ‘Serpent I’, within her jewellery we see beautiful beady eyes resting on a deep reddish gold that wraps over hands, loops under ear, swirls around necks. Beautiful peachy pearls and shimmery little Swarovski baubles drift amongst dark petroleum-black planet pearls.

Introducing the brand via her perfectly executed look book, Lacuna takes a classic introductory format and makes it sexy: she reminds us of the evocative powers of jewellery, of the way it can emphasise, flatter, signal something unsaid. 

Photographed by the German photographer Marlon Rüberg and styled by Annabelle herself, you can see this is a brand Annabelle has planned for a while. Keeping the team intimate is reflected adamantly in the imagery – room for spontaneity and happy accidents, but clearly polished until it reached a standard Annabelle was happy to brand as her own.

This is not to mention the wonderful hand painted concise collection photographed alongside: a rose overlaid on a python in blues, yellows and red. Stiff silks in kimono shapes and slinky slips drip off the model’s frame. 

Lacuna is a cosmic brand: refined but contemporary – the feeling that it is slightly intergalactic with these biomorphic forms floating on gold wires in unfilled space.

We anticipate great things in her future explorations of deep jewellery space. 

What made you begin your brand?

I have lived and worked in Paris as a womenswear designer for the last ten years- at many different houses and for different sort of creative directors. I wanted to continue doing that and at the same time start working on a personal project. I chose fantasy jewellery as it’s a product that is not connected to my daily work but I had always interest in and I’m a collector… I researched for weeks in all kinds of libraries and museums which was amazing to do, I wanted to give it time to grow. I found the best jewellery ateliers in France to work together with as well as an amazing atelier for my hand painted pieces.

Who photographed and styled the look book? 

Marlon Rüberg is a German photographer and director who shot my look book in Milan, where he also lives and works. He is a very good friend of mine who I met when we were both living in London more than ten years ago. He’s very talented, we share the same references and I knew that he could translate exactly what I had in mind and create a lot more to it than I had imagined. I trust him completely. I styled it myself- for my first look book I wanted to keep the team small and intimate. I like to be prepared and we planned out each shot- but I also like to see what happens on set when everything comes together … I like to try out new things spontaneously on the spot and see what happens. 

What was the inspiration behind your first collection? 

I went far back in my memory and landed at one of my first fashion obsessions that I could remember. My mother used to wear very colourful printed, Philippine exotic house dresses or caftans at home, which was very unconventional growing up in German suburbia and she also used to wear very decadent and chic 80s jewellery on special occasions like receptions or cocktails (my dad used to work for the Philippine government).

All the dresses are hand painted and have different kind of techniques on them, the colours are all mixed by hand. Each piece of my jewellery collection is single, the hand pieces as well as the earrings- I wanted a unique look. 

What did you want to explore in your look book imagery? 

I wanted to present my pieces in a sensual but also sculptural way- that’s why I choose the milk bath scene, the model floating on (fake) fur…


What are your enduring interests. 

I’m always looking at new exhibitions of artists, photographers, sculptors, painters, but also vintage books and magazines … I’m interested to see new aesthetics, mediums, point of views and I’m always happy to meet new people who I can learn from and work together with

Why do you think look books are important? 

For me, editorial, video, look books, any sort of image that accompanies a project, is the ultimate visual diary to show the vision of the brand, its world. Every aspect should look considered. For my next project I would like to focus more on the printed version.

Do you think attitudes in fashion are changing?

The only ‘trend’ or attitude I support at the moment and hope will endure is the sustainability and recycling one in terms of how fashion is being made and produced. But in general I think fashion attitudes go cyclical and one movement will always trigger the counter movement.

What do you want your audience to take away from your brand?

I want it to become synonymous for an avant-garde and extravagant look. 

What powers does jewellery hold?

When you buy it for yourself, it’s empowering. As a gift, it can become very memorable- when it’s family jewellery or from your loved one.


What powers does clothing hold? 

It’s empowerment and disguise at the same time. 


What was the last thing that made you excited? 

Coming to a conclusion what my next project will be about! A lot of different ideas have been going through my head, I was with a friend and talked and talked and talked- and it all became clear.

Credits:

Photographer : Marlon Rueberg 

Model : Kasia Jujeczka

MUA: Giulia Cigarini 

Hair : Daniela Magginetti 

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Balenciaga captures Parisian love scenes for AW19

23.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Paris has long been known as one of the world’s most romantic city in Europe. With historic ‘love’ bridges, the Eiffel Tower and other amenities, over the years, it has become the city on the moodboards of couples all across the world.

For their AW19 campaign, Parisian luxury street brand Balenciaga opted to pay homage to the city’s romance with a photo-series of real life couples decked out in Balenciaga gears — oversized coats, big hoodies, stonewashed jeans, anoraks jackets. Gushing in romance, each couple is intimately captured through the lens of photographer Greg Finch — a creative more known for romantic, wedding shots rather than editorials — around the metros, on benches, outside grocery stores, in front of cafés etc. The photo campaign is also accompanied by a video shot by videographer Ed Fornieless on CCTV in various locations as they each discuss their bond.  It has always been said that sex sells, but try love, this campaign makes us all want to grab our partners and head all down to play dress up in some Balenciaga gear. To view the full campaign, visit Balenciaga.com 

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YVES Saint Laurent Summer 2019 Campaign

14.01.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For the Spring Summer 2019 runway show Yves Saint Laurent had their models walk on water in a black infinity pool near the Eiffel Tower. This was the making of high glamour seductive woman unafraid to make a splash with her black 6-inch stilettos. For their latest campaign, under the direction of Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello, the brand tapped German photographer Juergen Teller as they brought this woman by the waters of Lake Como for a smoking series of alluring shots. The campaign features Danish model Freja Beha Erichsen, along with Abbey Lee, Julia Nobbis and Mica Arganaraz wearing daring pieces from the collection including asymmetrical dresses, thigh high stockings and mesh tops complimented by drop earrings, silver headbands and of course the classic YSL open toe stiletto. For more visit YSL.

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Ami Sioux, From The Road Exhibition

31.10.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

Photographer and musician Ami Sioux debuts her first monograph of personal work in a photography exhibition and book titled From The Road. The book is curated as a collection of portraits, landscapes and abstracts shot during the photographer’s journey in New York, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles from 2001 through 2018. 

Sioux’s path as a photographer initially began in the 1990s which has been a journey which has took her throughout all these cities. She is a photographer who has shot for brands such as Hermes and Maison Margiela, but also prides herself as a photographer who demands a certain type of presence of the subjects of her images. Her work in the exhibition documents and engages a time passage with portraits of lovers and friends alongside landscapes and abstracts captured in a painterly way along with outtakes of celebrities and artists she has shot for magazines throughout the years. The entire series was shot on 35mm film and the cover of book was designed by musician and artist Matt Fishbeck. This will count as Ami’s fourth personal book. The others; Paris 48°N, Reykjavik 64°N and Tokyo 35°N are series exploring the relationships of creatives and their abiding cities. The exhibition will eventually travel to New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, but is currently running in Paris at the Mannerheim Gallery until November 11, 2018.   

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Fondation Louis Vuitton: The Courtauld, A Vision for Impressionism

30.10.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

As of February 2019, the Foundation Louis Vuitton will the hosting the collection of English industrialist and art collector Samuel Courtauld (1876-1947) in Paris for the first time in over sixty years. Courtauld’s family’s held significant historical ties to France. They were Hugenots, which is a group originally from the Isle of Oléron, who emigrated to London at the end of the 17th century. His family’s business, thrived as one of the greatest textile manufacturers of artificial silk in the world. Samuel traveled regularly to Paris to purchase impressionist and post-impressionist works from French dealers. He compiled one of the greatest collections of impressionist art which includes 100 pieces paintings and graphic work. The exhibition includes pieces from the end of 19th century which gives a clear idea of the pioneering role the collector held  and his influence on the art of impressionism in the UK.

The collection will include works such as A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) by Edouard Manet, Nevermore (1897) by Paul Gauguin, La Louge (1874) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, Self Portrait With a Bandaged Ear (1889) which will be displayed for the first time since its presentation in 1955.  After a decade of collecting art pieces, his collection was first exhibited in his neoclassical home in Portman Square in central London. Thereafter, he created the Courtauld Institute of Art and Gallery in London which was one the first university establishments in the UK devoted to art which he donated the majority of his pieces in 1932.

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Louis Vuitton AW18 brings a new vision for strong women

07.03.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Military yet undone, matching but out of synch, the Louis Vuitton AW18 show brought to life a new vision of powerful women. The show was all about turning the expected on its head, and there was a palpable sense of strangeness and mystery throughout. Bags were carried on their sides, rather than upright; eye make-up streaked across one eye but left the other bare; traditional silhouettes such as pencil skirts and cashmere polo necks were mixed with peplum leather jackets and suede-shouldered pale yellow, shearling jackets. It was Nicolas Ghesquiere at his savviest, blending femininity and power to offer an original vision. Here’s to the new era.

Louis Vuitton AW18

Louis Vuitton AW18

Louis Vuitton AW18

Louis Vuitton AW18

Louis Vuitton AW18

Louis Vuitton AW18

 

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Harriet Horton’s Camouflage

29.09.2016 | Art | BY:

Harriet Horton is heading to Paris. But not before she lets UK-based fans of her brand of taxidermy take a look at the new collection – ‘Camouflage’ – at her London studio.

Having beens fans of Harriet’s work for some time now, firstly becoming enamoured with her ‘Sleep Subjects’ exhibition of 2015, Twin is excited to see such an exciting and irreverent artist continue to develop.

Harriet Horton

Harriet Horton, Owen, 2016

For 2016 the signature neons are still gleefully present, but there is a new, multi-textured element to the works. Materials such as marble dust and cement have been introduced, and create a staggering contrast to the exquisite delicacy of the taxidermy itself, transcending each piece onto an almost angelic plane.

“I’ve always said that when animals are deceased their natural colouring and camouflage becomes redundant,” Horton explains. “I have explored this idea further [for ‘Camouflage’] by either using animals that have no existing markings or stripping them of their original colouring and reconstructing it with light.”

It is fitting then, that a city such as Paris, which is so often known for both its light and its love, should be host to such a stunning example of the two used to breathtaking effect. Unmissable beauty.

‘Camouflage’ opens at the mi* gallery in Paris on 26th October, and runs until 16th January 2017.

Harriet will be holding a private view of the new work at her studio, Darnley Road Studios, on 29th September.

Harriethorton.com

Main image: Harriet Horton, Lovers, 2016

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DIOR

Dior Reimagines Couture For SS16

28.01.2016 | Fashion | BY:

Haute couture isn’t something that’s typically thought of as cool. Beautiful? Yes. Incredibly intricate, ostentatiously unique and mind-blowingly accomplished? Yes. Rebellious? Absolutely. But cool? No. Well, turns out, someone didn’t give the seven-strong team behind Christian Dior‘s spring summer 2016 collection that memo.

What was presented to a predictably packed audience in Paris’s Musée Rodin on Monday was as deliciously unkempt as the bookshelves lining the Seine. Despite the departure of Raf Simons – the undoubtedly refreshing and oft-lauded face of modernity at the historic French house – this was a collection of magnificently wearable, works of art.

Starchy silhouettes were compromised with flashes of bare shoulder – not in a calculated ‘cut-out’ manner – but as if the model had been gesticulating too wildly and somehow shrugged one side of her previously ladylike look off. Because of course Dior is ladylike. Even when it’s sending punkish sheer tops layered underneath prom dresses down the catwalk, the hair remains in a perfect side part, and the cheeks delicately rouged.

DIOR

Christian Dior Haute Couture SS16

In addition to this, hemlines of voluminous silk dresses cascaded messily from beneath embroidered, tobacco-hued wool coats that were just that bit too short, and the breast-plate of stiff tops exploded provocatively in a fanning wave of ruffles around models’ décolletage.

There is no denying that haute couture as a whole, has become infinitely more realistic in its approach to cut and day-to-day use in recent years. Even the handful of super rich clients who buy this stuff have some kind of ‘cost per wear’ gauge. But – that doesn’t mean it’s become boring. Far from it. In fact, the true inventiveness now is in the attitude conveyed by the most beautiful of clothes. As Christian Dior themselves echoed in their statement this week:

“The spontaneous, relaxed Parisienne of today is Couture by nature, down to the smallest details, but modern in spirit. It’s her attitude, her way of moving, her way of simply being.”

DIOR

Christian Dior Haute Couture SS16

dior.com

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Parlez Vous Francais?

08.04.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Recently, Twin crossed the channel and headed to the French capital to find out what’s hot in Paris right now. Between walking along Avenue Montaigne, shopping at Colette and eating macaroons at Angelina, we met with some emerging designers at their showrooms to find out about the AW14 collections. Now if you’ve not heard of these three brands before, take note.

Etienne Dereoux

Etienne Dereoux states that he doesn’t necessarily create with seasons in mind. Everything is more resortwear; “winter under the sun” if you will, and with the bright pink and blue hues his latest collection boasts, spending your time by the fire would be a complete waste of his garments. Dereoux studied fashion at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts and La Cambre School of Visual Arts before starting his eponymous label in Paris. There is a certain serenity to his pieces, fusing comfort and elegance in a contemporary sportswear fashion.

For AW14 a mix of vivid colours like bright fuchsia and royal blue are complemented by black and white and find themselves decorating clean-cut bomber jackets, wool cashmere coats, soft honeycomb knits or crocodile leather pieces. We were specifically drawn to his knitwear capsule collection, a collaboration with the heritage brand Le Mont Saint-Michel. Inspired by dance attire, the range includes mesh-like jumpers and fully- fashioned merino dresses that perfectly combine French savoir-faire and American-inspired sportswear. It’s a match made in fashion heaven.

etiennederoeux.com

Risto

Now you might not know the name, but you’ve certainly seen his designs before. As Head Knitwear Designer for Kenzo, Risto Bimbiloski is no newcomer to the fashion scene having previously worked at Jean Colonna, Thierry Mugler and Louis Vuitton. His personal label is inspired by science and technology giving us quirky motifs and intricate pieces that push the boundaries of knitwear entirely. A family affair, the brand’s collections are entirely produced by Risto’s own atelier, run by his mother in Macedonia and at his showroom we met his brother too. The Macedonian designer is also influenced by the traditional artisan techniques of the women in Ohrid, his hometown, so it’s safe to say this creative hasn’t forgotten his roots.

Come winter, the Risto girl will be seen in light green metallic dresses, high-waisted loose-fitting tailored pants in varied shades, and of course an array of knitted pieces from polo necks, cropped woven jumpers and cardigans covered in wool fringing.

risto.com

Calla

The Calla brand is international to say the least. Based in Paris, showing as part of Made in New York and Calla Haynes, the designer herself is Canadian, which gives the collections this nomadic essence; they won’t feel out of place anywhere. Even the materials are international, boasting silky lightweight fabrics from Japan and mohair from Italy.

Calla likes to create a story for her collections, delving deep into a narrative that expresses each season. For AW14 the Calla girl is a broken-hearted Parisian who ups and leaves for Memphis to become a country singer. This elaborate tale helped create the varsity jackets, oversized blazers, dresses and skirts the collection is full of. The chunky alpaca knits and mohair plaid are a nod to traditional Americana and provide the perfect juxtaposition of tomboy and feminine that the brand is known for. There was also many more graphic prints than previous seasons. One, is based on Lillybear, Calla’s fluffy companion, a Chow Chow who we met while she guarded the showroom. The Lilly motif finds itself emblazed on sweaters, cardigans, dresses, trousers and coats, in an array of colourways. It’s this fun and light-hearted take on fashion that leaves a smile on your face when wearing Calla.

calla.fr

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Astralis at Louis Vuitton

12.02.2014 | Art | BY:

Astralis is the 23rd exhibition to be held at Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton in Paris. The exhibit claims to “take visitors on a journey into this strange reality by exploring unfathomable and inaccessible worlds.” Taking it’s name from ‘Astral’, another term for ‘invisible,’ this contemporary exhibition explores the relationship between art and the many forms of the invisible: from astrophysics to cognitive science and alternative knowledge, not to mention unexplained phenomena linked to a variety of visionary or metaphysical dimensions.

Including work from a dozen international artists, l’Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton is also organising a series of unique events to run alongside Astralis. Conversations and performances, youth workshops and weekend family activities are all ways to get involved with the exhibit. Running from now until May 11th, there’s more than enough time to get lost in space.

To find out more and check for activity dates go to louisvuitton-espaceculturel.com

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The Haute Roundup

27.01.2012 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Yesterday marked the end of the Spring/Summer 2012 couture shows. The proverbial creme de la creme of fashion, only allowed to show during this three-day short Fashion Week through a Chambre Syndicale De La Haute Couture membership – haute couture doesn’t mean high dressmaking in French for nothing – showed a degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail all across the fashion spectrum.

Twin recounts our haute couture highlights from Paris…

Alexis Mabille

Proving that haute couture doesn’t have to keep to a demure palette, Mabille punched up the colour factor with his neon designs. Inspired by photographs of Lisa Fonssagrives and Christy Turlington, the creations in fabrics ranging from metallic lame to guipure lace proved that even when it comes to couture, girls just want to have fun.

Bouchra Jarrar

Working with crepe de soie, fur collars and wide-legged tailored trousers, Jarrar’s collection was a take on casual luxe. A bit of tomboy and a dash of urban sophisticate resulted in a whole lot of effortless cool.

Chanel

No couture week is complete without Karl Lagerfeld’s latest mind musings. Taking the double Cs to a more ethereal place this time around (airplane runway, anyone?) resulted in a collection of beautifully hand-embellished pieces in icy blues, ivories and midnight blacks.

Elie Saab

Elie Saab is the go-to designer for anything feminine and delicate, and this season was no exception. Lace and crystal embroidery on nude, pastel pink and pale lemon high-waisted dresses and A-line skirts made being a woman that bit more enticing.

Giambattista Valli

It may only be Valli’s second showing on the haute couture circuit, but the Italian designer proves that he can hold his own among fashion’s heavyweights. With a plethora of expertly tailored feather, lace and embroidered pieces, he’s as couture as they come.

Jean Paul Gaultier

In a beehive and winged eyeliner tribute to Amy Winehouse, Gaultier sent out a collection that was every bit as eccentric and nonchalant as the late singer herself. Encompassing pieces such as back to black shirt-tail hem skirts, leather varsity jackets and silk kimono coats tied at the waist, Winehouse probably wouldn’t have wanted her couture any other way.

Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal

Leave it to the house of Margiela to put an unconventional spin on couture. Rope, braided bracelets and hundreds of pearlescent buttons were turned into  knee-length trench coats, colourful micro dresses, and slouchy blazer and pegged trouser combos, proving that recycled fashion doesn’t have to be drab.

Valentino

It has only taken a few seasons for Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri to fully establish their trademark of girlish and graceful designs at Valentino. Marking a sweet end to haute couture fashion week, this collection of chiffon, lace and tulle in fine floral prints had a glamourised Charlotte Brontë/Jane Austen novel feel to it. Piccioli and Chiuri clearly have a talent for capturing fashion daydreams.

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Mom & Dad

07.11.2011 | Art , Blog | BY:

Terry Richardson’s images are conventionally imbued with a heavy dollop of sex and fun so it is refreshing to see him turn his lens to a more sober topic: that of his parents’ divorce. “My parents split up when I was four. It feels good for me to have them back together again, even if it’s in a gallery and only for a little while. It’s something I’m doing for me and in a way, for them.” -Terry Richardson, 2011

Having launched his two-volume publication MOM DAD at cult Paris store Colette, this month sees the accompanying exhibition head to New York’s Half Gallery.

His father Bob Richardson was a renowned fashion photographer while his mother Annie, currently living in Ojai, California, is a former Copacabana dancer and stylist. Their early divorce is irrelevant in Richardson’s NYC exhibition: hung side by side their portraits, as well as written works relating to his parents, see them reunited. Moving yet funny, in bringing his mom and dad back together Richardson attempts to reconcile not only his parents’ marriage, but his own origins and understanding of self.

Published by Morel Books

From 11th November until 4th December 2011 at Half Gallery, 208 Forsyth Street, New York.

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Northern exposure

07.06.2011 | Art , Blog | BY:

Photographer Lina Scheynius delves into her past for her third book, 03, to a time when her photographs were intended for her eyes only.

While Scheynius is increasingly in demand as a fashion photographer, her personal photographs are, in contrast, a hypnotic hymn to sex, love and uninhibited freedom. Although the photographer’s previous books have been visual diaries detailing her recent life between London, Paris and Sweden, this time around she’s compiled a book of images taken between 1991, when she was just ten-years-old, and early 2007, just before her first magazine commission.

It’s an embryonic collection of pictures, revealing the same ethereal beauty, light and intimacy for which she has become known.  Another chapter in her book of life.

Lina Scheynius’ 03 is available here
linascheynius.com

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