From Tbilisi to Tel Aviv
The shoot is a collaboration between the photographer Mike Ivnitski and the Lingerie brand MAKMANNI based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Feminine, tender laces carefully embroidered in Mike’s creative vision come in a sharp contrast with the rough location aesthetics and strong model’s features. The updated version of feminine - free from stereotypes, caught in a daily life in an urban apartment in Tel Aviv is presented. The chosen deep and saturated colors of the lingerie pieces come in accordance and yet in opposition with the shades of the interior.
Mike breaks from the traditional fashion campaign structure to the world he creates that speaks a different language, merges reality, fashion, and a tint of voyeurism present throughout the shoot. The perception is carefully built by shooting through mirrors and playing with angles, at times creating a slight distance from the model and at other times being in a closer radius.
WE DISCUSS WITH MIKE THE CHOSEN LOCATION, MOOD, AND THE CREATED AESTHETIC ON SET.
What was the brief and the most important guideline for shooting the collection?
Since it's not my first time working with this brand, they gave me a free hand. This is my favorite way to work, most brands are very conservative or have a fixed idea, which isn't necessarily optimal, to showcase their wares. So, I just improvise on the spot.
I do like to reflect the mood of Tel Aviv, everything should be a little run down, a little fevered. I have specific ideas in my head but most comes from interacting with the model and the crew.
‘TO BE COMPLETELY HONEST, I FIND 99% OF FASHION BORING AND VERY ARTIFICIAL’
There is a prominent narrative of self-reflection of the model and voyeurism of the lens checking out both the subject and her reflection in the mirror. Tell about the use of the mirror on set.
I think the whole idea of spying on pretty girls is a very common fantasy growing up, I like this play on desires, but in a more constructed aesthetic - it's a play on fantasy but not the fantasy itself. Does it make sense?
Rough and slightly untidy studio of an artist comes in contrast to the femininity and gentleness exposed. How do you build the story and find the perfect balance in which the final product is far from being a cliché? How important is the choice of the model in the process?
To be completely honest, I find 99% of fashion boring and very artificial. It's mostly about marketing and retail, so I try to work with brands whose line I find appealing and put them in the most natural-looking scenario I can. The model is the main attraction always. I am much more about people than clothes.
Colors of the interior design come in contrast to the lingerie and styling, creating a soothing feeling of being home. The work with shades and light adds to the atmosphere. How do you create this feeling, and what is important when building the right shadow / light environment?
One of the things I like to do is to shoot in locations I never visited and then work with what I have. This apartment is an example of such a place it happened to be attractive. I've seen a couple of phone snaps before coming. I chose the specific outfits from the collection that would work well with the color palette of the place and Sabina's skin tone. I thought the model's face and the clothes' texture would benefit from contrasty light, and lingerie is about drama anyway, so I tried emphasizing that with light from the overhead windows.
What about the épée and fencing?
Let's leave a little mystery in the world, explanations are usually more boring than the things going on in the viewer's heads.