Back in the beginning of May, when spring no longer feels like an illusion, the self-taught photographer Anton Stenander, 27, captured the creations of designer Elin Westling, 25, on mm film, using an analogue camera.
Westling's collection “Gathering surroundings” inspired Stenander to find a contrast to the designs to arouse curiosity. The outcome is a beautiful balance between the flowy, soft styles and the harshness of the gravel mountain.
As we discuss how to capture a beautiful, eye-catching image without reducing the object in focus, Stenander lets the inspiration take the lead.
“It is important to me that the design stays in focus, at the same time I want it feels inspiring. Here, nature meets nature in a dramatic but clear way.”
Elin Westling has just gotten her bachelor's degree in fashion design at the University of Textiles in Borås. The project is inspired by the artist Georgia O'Keeffe's artwork, and how she took inspiration from her own surroundings.
“Her art has a sensual simplicity with soft lines and a close feeling to nature. I, therefore, took inspiration from my own surroundings, which resulted in me starting to collect seashells and through my fabric drawers to use the materials I had not previously seen potential in. To make the material more interesting, I chose to dye the fabrics, the rust red is dyed with reactive colors and the light yellow is plant dyed with tansy collected from a ditch near my home.”
Westling's vision was to highlight how beautiful simplicity can be when it gives more openness to details. The color and material choices go hand in hand with the natural seashells, and the red threads break off as a soft contrast to the materials. The dresses are designed with an emphasis on simplicity, to let the details shine.
“What was special for me in this project was that I didn't sketch anything before, but worked with my hands first directly with the material. I learned how important it is to trust one's vision because the process was very open.”
What was important for Westling to capture through the camera lens was the feeling she had looking for during the design process.
“I wanted there to be softness and calmness in the images. Seashells are fragile, and the colours of the dresses also contribute to a certain fragility.
Placing them in an environment with piles of gravel gave it a nice contrast.”
Westling imagines the pieces to be worn for a special occasion.
“When the wearer wants to feel a closeness to nature and the power that nature can give you.”