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Tag Archives: Fashion Line
I’ve always thought that the Ao Dai, the Vietnamese traditional dress, is one of the most conservative traditional dresses out of all the traditional dresses in Asia. It’s clean, simple and covers a woman from neck to toe. However, the Ao Dai is also extremely sexy. The almost see through material plays with one’s imagination and the fluidity of the fabric moves with just the slightest wind. It’s also often worn as the official uniform for students in Vietnam. I’ve read somewhere that the design of the dress is a “way of teaching students feminine behavior such as modesty, caution, and a refined manner”.
I am lucky enough to do several portraits of Vietnamese women in their Ao Dais for the past 3 years. This is due to my involvement with the Miss Vietnam of Northern California Intercollegiate pageant (HKLT for short… don’t ask) here in the Bay Area. I provided them with headshots and sponsored a photoshoot for whoever wins the title “Ms. Photogenic”.
Many thanks to Jodie Truong for the art direction and post processing skills.
Confession time: I am not really the most fashionable person in the world but I really enjoy going to fashion shows and I love meeting fashion designers. Much like getting to know your clients before a headshot or portrait photoshoot, getting to know the designers before their fashion show makes a huge difference. I feel like I am able to really capture the artistic intentions of what the designer is trying to express.
I am lucky enough to attend a fashion show in which the two designers happen to be good friends of mine. KMABELLEMINA’s fashion line, whom I mentioned in a previous post, are simply awesome. They “transform [vintage clothes] into modern and wearable pieces, while paying homage to the past decades“. Mina and Kathy breathe life into clothes, creating new styles and re-defining an aesthetic that would otherwise be lost. Their newest collection, entitled “Lolita in Paris”, while as a whole is a stunning collection, really shines in the attention to detail the designers have placed on each piece.
I’ve developed a certain style of photographing fashion shows and largely adopted Bill Cunningham‘s thoughts about fashion. I’ll expand on that after the pictures…
Fashion shows in its very core are meant to emphasize… fashion. They exist to showcase the designer’s vision and to mark a pinnacle of the their work. However, it seems like we’ve deviated from that way of thinking because we focus on the models that walk down the run way instead of the actual purpse; the clothes on their bodies. An example I can relate to would be having to sit in a media box. Photographers are huddled around the media box and the models are photographed straight on. Fashion never happens straight on in a static environment; fashion is dynamic, expressed when the subject is moving in infinite ways and combinations, so I wonder, ‘Why should we approach this from such a drasticly different intent from the designer?”
I personally feel that the best viewpoint is right in the front row with the other spectators; it allows one, as a photographer, to capture a much truer perspective of the clothing and the experience of the event. Don’t get me wrong, media boxes still have their place at runway fashion shows, but I think that both photographers and designers would be better served there there were several media boxes placed within the event.
On a lighter note, I met some pretty interesting people at this fashion show. A guy who worked at Facebook who was super proud of his girlfriend being one of the models and Dora Danh who writes a very interesting fashion blog.
I met Mina back in 2008 when I was just starting to get serious with my photography. I planned a crazy photoshoot involving 3 MUAs, 7 models and help of a very skilled photographer, Mark Sebastien. Mina happened to be one of the 3 MUAs and she did an amazing job with the models. After several months of our initial collaboration, Mina contacted me to take pictures of her new fashion line which she co founded with her friend Kathy. From their grass roots humble beginnings to their super awesome fashion show happening this Friday 10/21, KMABELLEMINA continues to impress with their vintage glam style of clothing that is truly unique.
Below is a sample of their Summer 2011 line:
- Beauty Dish right above the model on an AB800
- Huge white reflector on the ground infront of the model
- 5d MK2 1/125 power to let some of the afternoon ambient light come in