We are excited to reveal our dark beauty inspired fashion story, Abdication, in collaboration with fashion designer Immagika, accessory designer and make-up artist Image Alchemy and Sunshine Co. Abdication explores the concept of releasing oneself from ritual and expectation to become more than just a stereotype. It is a story of inner struggle. The editorial is accompanied by a short film to visually bring to life the concept of Abdication.

Why collaborate?

Fashion photography is a team effort. To produce a high quality fashion story requires the input of several other professional freelancers and businesses. Personal project collaborations will give you an opportunity to work with like-minded people, build reliable connections to book for commercial projects and increase your reach through project accreditation.

Dark Beauty Theme

Through this series of portraits I wished to introduce my interest in the ephemeral into my fashion work. As such I approached a team that I know shares my passion for creative storytelling. Artists who are unique in their approach to their craft, and offer an alternative to main stream beauty.

It is important to prepare a project proposal and visual board to be sure your whole team has a clear vision of the mood you wish to achieve. From here, they should be able to interpret the theme to bring their own ideas to life. After all, it is a fashion COLLABORATION.

dark beauty inspired fashion collaboration of model wearing high fashion Immagika garment and Image Alchemy hand crafted crown shot by Johannesburg photographer Natalie Field at Sunshine Studios
dark beauty inspired fashion collaboration of model wearing high fasshoulder pads with metal earth insect spider crawling on skin shot by Johannesburg photographer Natalie Field at Sunshine Studios

Styling: Getting a dark beauty look

Working with Marlize from Immagika Creative Designs is always a pleasure. Her rich knowledge of period pieces and passion for fabrics woven into every garment. Every dress has a back story to inspire the wearer. She curated a collection of dark dresses with a mix of diaphanous fabrics and heavy brocades featuring old gold and silver pewter details.

To add to the richness of the dresses, Rozi from Image Alchemy hand crafted a set of accessories from crowns to chokers and high fashion shoulder pads. The intricate detail of her designs pick up the details of the fabric to pull the fashion and accessories together.

Image Alchemy was also in charge of hair and make-up, keeping it subtle with highlights to accentuate the designs.

The last touches to the dark beauty concept was added through additional props brought to the party. Symbolism is introduced through items like the mirror for reflection, candles for enlightenment and the daggers representing struggle. I also built a few insect models from Metal Earth to add to the surrealism of the shoot.

dark beauty inspired fashion collaboration of model wearing high fashion Immagika garment and Image Alchemy hand crafted crown shot by Johannesburg photographer Natalie Field at Sunshine Studios
dark beauty inspired fashion collaboration of model wearing high fashion Immagika garment and Image Alchemy hand crafted crown shot by Johannesburg photographer Natalie Field at Sunshine Studios

Narrating the story

I love how a collaboration tends to take on a life of its own once production is underway. I initially wanted to work with twins on this dark beauty project, to add to the idea of inner struggle. As this was not possible, we worked with two models with similar features, Tique Twoco and Melissa Field. And as we worked, the tension of the narrative started coming to the fore as we added props for symbolism. At times their interaction reflecting visions of sibling rivalry. Or even becoming reminiscent of the struggle between Snow White and the Evil Queen.

dark beauty inspired fashion collaboration of model wearing high fashion Immagika garment and Image Alchemy hand crafted crown shot by Johannesburg photographer Natalie Field at Sunshine Studios
dark beauty inspired fashion collaboration of model wearing high fashion Immagika garment and Image Alchemy hand crafted crown shot by Johannesburg photographer Natalie Field at Sunshine Studios
dark beauty inspired fashion collaboration of model wearing high fashion Immagika garment and Image Alchemy hand crafted crown shot by Johannesburg photographer Natalie Field at Sunshine Studios

Finding a Production Partner

Collaboration shouldn’t only be considered for styling your shoot, but also for production. Our fashion-story was shot at the SunshineCo. Studio in Johannesburg. It was my first time working here, and it certainly won’t be my last! I want to give a huge shout-out to Daniel at Sunshine for being super helpful and making the experience what it was! More than providing an awesome space, Sunshine also offers studio (and location) gear rentals. For this project, they sponsored the use of Profoto lighting for the studio shots and Rotolight for the videowork. The beautiful tones and spectacular details of these images were captured with the medium format Hasselblad H6D-100c, allowing for spectacular print quality (and yes, we are printing!), as well as excellent video production.

Here is a little look behind the production curtain of our dark beauty inspired shoot…

Abdication | Dark Beauty Team Credits


Capture & Retouching
Natalie Field

Fashion Design
Immagika Creative Designs

Fashion Accessories
Image Alchemy

Hair and Make-Up
Image Alchemy

Models
Tique Twoco & Melissa Field

Studio
Sunshine Co. Jozi

In Association With
Hasselblad SA & Rotolight

Have a conceptual fashion project in mind? Contact Us for a full production!