I don’t have life without the sun!
Eva Sanchez Inche is a professional fashion stylist and a photographer. Eva was born in Spain where she studied science as a family tradition, discovered her interest in fashion while living in Norway and went the whole way from sketching and designing fashion to becoming a fashion stylist.
Eva speaks with us about the challenges of working on set, the idea behind the work ‘Mr. Tshibangu’ and how pure love can be visually presented with elements and color scheme that are part of the frame. Today Eva lives and creates in London. In the latest photoshoot ‘Office Closed’ Eva critiques the modern working environment in which at times a person prefers to be silent about issues that bother him and to live from holiday to holiday.
Hi Eva, so what is your story? How did you get into fashion?
It took me a long time to find out what I really liked. I guess it was because of the influence of my sister and my step-father who had Engineer’s degrees. It’s not that they forced me to study science but more because that was the only thing I was more familiar with.
“I actually never got the chance to see the fashion world or the art world until I went to Norway”.
There, I was living with my flatmate Mei who was an artist. Since then I started drawing and doing fashion sketches. In the beginning, I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer until I started using the sewing machine haha... then I realized I was not really a crafty person, but I discovered my love for fabrics, clothes, and fashion in general.
Later, I moved to London where I enrolled in a course and learned different bits about fashion, one of them was finally styling. That’s when I realized that was meant for me. Also, my teachers and my classmates used to say that I was very good at composition, creating collages, and in Photoshop. So, it made me think that styling combined with this visual element that was already on my work is what I wanted to do.
How do you think living in different locations expands or affects your work?
Every place has a different taste which is good because this gave me a broader vision of what people tend to like in different circumstances, it’s kind of psychological in a way. Living in Spain, Norway and now England, helped me to be able to pick up elements or simply things that catch my attention more or those that are particular to me and then apply it into my work. Other times, it is more about feelings a place gives me, and then I try to communicate it through styling, props, ambiance, etc.
What is the most challenging element for you in styling for a photoshoot?
Every single detail is important when styling, but the most challenging part is when the model starts changing the pose every minute. Of course, it depends on the clothes that they are wearing, but some fabrics tend to get wrinkled very easily, so you always need to keep an eye on it and make sure the look is clean and sharp. It gets more difficult when you have to jump on set and fix a sleeve for example that is not sitting the right way when the photographer is taking so many pictures at once.
Also, when something gets broken which normally shouldn’t happen, but let’s be real it does happen, for example, an earring is broken, or the button of the trousers comes off, or the shoes don’t fit, etc. having a second option is always important. As a stylist, you can have a backup plan; however, you cannot predict everything. So, in this kind of situation you use your imagination to create a solution. You play around with your mind without following a plan, and most of the times it is here when magic occurs of this problem.
Who is a music artist whose concert you would never miss if it happens he has a gig in your city?
Definitely Mura Masa, love his beats my favorite ones are 'Move me' and 'Lovesick.'
What is the most challenging shoot you worked on and how did you overcome the challenge?
I think there wasn’t something that I found really hard or difficult because overall I knew the concept, the garments that I chose beforehand and usually, there was enough time to do it.
It is going to sound funny, but for me it was actually more difficult assisting on a shoot, because you go there and you don’t know what you are going to find, you don’t know the team, where the clothes are, which ones are the looks, who the models are, or even what is the idea.
I remember once I assisted on a big shoot for Numéro, there were like 4 rails of clothing, almost 50 looks. I arrived there having no idea of the clothes that were on the rails. The stylist asked for a specific garment, and I had to be able to find that garment, as soon as I could, in between that amount of clothing. Also, when packing up the garments I had to be extra careful to put those in the right box for the right PR. Although this is easy when you know what to expect when assisting, you need to figure out everything in a matter of minutes.
What was the vision for ‘Office Closed’ series for the color and fashion?
The idea was to portray a nerd workaholic who is going on holidays. For styling, I decided to mix between formal clothes and summer elements such as sandals, hats, and shorts. The red makeup also gives a 'suntanned' look which was perfect for this idea.
The storytelling is about a boy who is always tired, thoughtful or just waiting, these three elements show he is not satisfied with his job. I think in a way it’s a critique on how worthy it can actually be to work all the time to get a small pleasure as 'holidays' as everyday weʼre stuck in the same cycle.
In terms of colors, I wanted to go for warm tones since the concept was about the character going on holidays. Every look has some colorful and playful garments which give a fun vibe but with a serious attitude.
Also, I included a sporty look or a beach look, showing different types of nerds for different personalities since I found it a bit boring to show only the typical office suit.
In some of the pictures, he is looking at you quietly, but as if he wanted to tell you something, with this attitude I wanted to communicate the feeling when we have to accept and put up with something that is wrong at work.
In your work ‘Mr. Tshibangu’ there is an amazing play with colors and flowers. Tell about this work.
This work was very special since it was the first editorial working with my own idea. On set it was just my friend Patrick Tshibangu (the model) and I, no one else, it was more intimate.
In this shooting, I wanted to show love but what I mean by love is not love between two people, it is actually a pure and unconditional love that someone is willing to give. Instead of creating a more ethereal love, I wanted to create something more tangible and strong by mixing colorful flowers, see-through fabrics with the contrast of the dark green background, adding more drama to the scene.
Flowers represent the beauty of love and how ephemeral it can be. Fruits come from the land, from the trees that take time to bear the fruit, in a way it is the result of a strong love. The relationship between fruits and flowers is the key element to represent pure love. In some of the pictures, the model is closing his eyes to highlight that love is blind. Romantic looks together with the soft poses give an overall meaning of purity of something called love.
You return to the theme of flowers in your later works and one of those with Jonas Hosbond has a dedication note. If not too personal and intrusive, could you tell the emotional background to this work?
There is actually a connection between my first project ‘Mr. Tshibangu’ and the note that I wrote on Jonas’ picture. As an artist, I communicate my feelings through different kind of forms, disciplines, etc. ‘Mr. Tshibangu’ was about feelings that I had for someone who became fundamental in my life when I was very young.
Later on, in Jonas’ picture, I dedicated this note to the same person although he is not in my life anymore. On that note, I wanted to say that I missed him, of course, but also to express that feeling when you are tired of dating new people all the time hoping there will be a sparkle, but the truth is that the more people you get to know the colder you show yourself and the less you feel. Maybe that’s why on this picture I decided to capture Jonas’ face with a more defiant look but without forgetting the flower as a representation of love.
The most extravagant fashion designer whose collections inspire you?
“Hands down to Demna Gvasalia with the collection for Balenciaga SS19”.
When you work as a photographer how do you use your styling skills on set?
If I am the one in control of the camera I like to give freedom to the stylist since I think, this is the only way we can help the creative process go an extra mile. However, the truth is that the stylist cannot see what you can see through the lens, because honestly, it’s difficult to see the angle or the details the photographer is focusing on when you are not the one behind the camera. So having knowledge in styling is a plus because you don’t just pay attention to the model, but you also have in mind how the clothes are looking, and what should be fixed or added or if there is anything missing.
What is your favorite season?
Summer, I don’t have life without the sun haha.
What is your favorite activity on weekends?
On weekends, sometimes I draw, especially faces, but only when I am in a very relaxed mood. Other times, I like browsing vintage or second-hand shops, while I get lost on the streets, you never know what you are going to find around the corner. But what I love the most is waking up and having a good breakfast with orange juice and toasties it is like a treat after the long week.
Ice-cream flavor you prefer over all the rest over and over?
I am quite classic with food tastes so I would say always go for vanilla ice cream over everything.
What will be your next project?
After doing different editorials, I feel that my work also needs to be about my roots. I am actually dying to do an editorial with a Spanish theme, although I don’t want to show the typical Spanish view we get from the outside. I want to show a different side of Spain that Spanish people can get identified with as well. This summer, I spent in Cataluña made me think a lot about the political situation that is currently happening in my country. So, for this project, I would like to have small references for it, together with a fashion perspective. I think this is going to be tricky, but I can’t wait to start.