Kat In The Oslo House

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Interview

Stasia Khmelnitski

Photographer & Art Director

Arianna Lago

Stylist

Marianthi Hatzikidi

Dancer

Kat Cowlings

Makeup Artist

Michelle Dacillo

 

Arianna Lago a London based photographer in collaboration with Marianthi Hatzikidi a stylist and art director created the story that features an artist and dancer Kat Collings.

The fashion story is inspired by the aesthetics of improvisation, the feeling of the moment, and the spontaneity of movements of the dancer.  What happens when mutual work is based on experimentation and decisions are made on spot? The only guidance is the idea that defines the moment, the symbolism that builds a deeper meaning, and the self-expression.

The end product is a performance, a dance in a room filled with musical objects, the movement that goes beyond the scene in a frame. While Arianna’s photos are saturated with color yet are soft and soothing, Marianthi focuses on rough elements, realism, and fashion taken to the edge. This collaboration creates a new language that is in no way similar to personal works.

 
 
 
 
 

"The editorial is an experiment on intuition and performance. We wanted to create something without following references while using intuition as guidance".

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What is the main narrative you built for the editorial about?

A.L & M.A: The editorial is an experiment on intuition and performance. We wanted to create something without following references while using intuition as guidance. We decided to portrait a more naturalistic approach to fashion photography; one that would convey feeling via spontaneity and natural instinct. The objective was also not to allow pre-existing patterns condition us in the result as we often find ourselves producing images by reinterpreting what we have already seen, what is approved, what is expected from the industry.

It was a real experiment for us focusing on the process rather than aesthetics, the idea of feeling lost and trying to find our way as we create. It was an experiment on taking risks, focusing on the moment, and accepting whatever results may come from it and learn from it whether it's a success or a failure.

How do you approach choosing the right angle while shooting that will create interest, stop the viewer and be intriguing for the eye?

A.L & M.A: I would say trying to escape whatever makes things too literal and create images that leave some sort of ambiguity lingering.

In terms of styling, what is most important to keep in mind to make sure the editorial visually is in the same aesthetics?

A.L & M.A: I am interested in the creation of an image as a whole; so the entire concept needs to make some sense to me as one coherent visual content. For me, it's important that styling tells a story via the choice of clothes. I always create the outfits with the model in mind and the mood of the shoot. The aesthetics are usually moulded on set, while always keeping in mind the relevance to our original idea. The shoot is a live process and like a living organism will adapt and transform; hopefully not in a rigid way but in line with the main objectives and the core.

 
 
 
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"The globe is certainly a very attractive symbol which signifies hope and ambition, but also by observing my photography, I noticed that I subconsciously often tend to feature spherical objects".

 

In one of the photos, Kat Collings has a hat that says ‘Greece’ and holds a globe. Why this particular choice? When working with a dancer is it easier to choreograph the poses during on set? Does it add a different edge?   

M.A: I originally come from Athens, Greece and elements of this cultural background and history are present whenever I create. After a long period of living in London, I have been going back lately to seek aspects of the country's culture that still define me in so many different ways. I enjoy portraying aspects of the modern Greek society that interlace the ancient and historical entities into contemporary interpretations [such as a tourist's hat]. Also, I am interested in giving multiple contexts and readings to objects, far from their expected setting and original destination. Kat Collings is a Caryatis of our times, and a world traveller.

A.L: The globe is certainly a very attractive symbol which signifies hope and ambition, but also by observing my photography, I noticed that I subconsciously often tend to feature spherical objects. As soon as I saw the globe on the location where we shot I went straight for it. I wanted Kat to interact with it and I liked toying with the line of association between the signifiers of the hat and the globe.

 
 
 
 
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"I think styling a dancer and taking into account the way they express with movements is almost an art of its own".

 
 
 

When working with a dancer is it easier to choreograph the poses during on set? Does it add a different edge?   

A.L & M.A: I wouldn’t say it’s easier, it's just different. Dancers and models have quite different body types, and each suits a different purpose. The physical expressivity of their movements, the way they occupy space and space in the frame is completely different from models. They speak a different language. Also, I think styling a dancer and taking into account the way they express with movements is almost an art of its own.

 
 
 
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