According to Google, the informal definition of the verb “slay” is [to] greatly impress or amuse (someone).” But what if you could slay “greatly” while still keeping it simple ? There is a quiet glamour in minimalism which ironically speaks for itself.
This silent harmony which exists between glamour and minimalism is portrayed through these images. We wanted to capture natural beauty juxtaposed with a “night out,” an occasion for which most women would opt for fully done makeup. The focus is in the attire. When you look at the women who effortlessly slay in their evening gowns, what comes to mind? Are you forced to analyze the look as a whole? The women wearing the dresses? The women’s natural hair? The questions you’re answering all start from one simple fact: a woman wearing a dress.
Even more interesting than this show of simple beauty was the perspective through which it was captured. Two photographers, two models, and two different stories told. For several shots, Brian and Paul captured Alana and Maddie in the same positions but with each photographer, we got a different perspective. From Brian, we get a holistic approach of the women; personality, flair, Maddie effortlessly swaying in a sea of lime, Alana light on her feet beneath the waves of yellow. When brought together, the women interact physically with one another, yet each is concentrated on her own her fruit, an object of nature that also requires no embellishment to be beautiful. In one shot, Maddie looks directly into Brian’s lens almost daring any onlooker to question the unequivocal beauty she and Alana exude.
In the next couple of shots, we see Maddie and Alana, mannequin-like, lifeless yet vibrant, still yet active; Maddie in a wave of never ending yellow curls, twists and flowers, Alana in a blood red off-the shoulder gown, their natural curls serving as finishing touches to their “night out” ensembles. The pure form of effortless elegance, which Nabudavid seemingly sew into all of their garments, is a photograph free of blatant forced personality, but one that also forces the audience to admire its subject(s); what are they thinking? Why are neither looking directly at the camera, and why do we see so much personality when both women are standing very still in an already immobile photograph? Brian does a great job of forcing us to look closely at the women who we cannot separate from the gowns. In the shots where both women are drenched in red and set against a split red and bleached wall, the women are seen showing more personality, even joining forces to cohesively slay.
We delve more into the women’s stories with Paul. Most of Paul’s shots are close up, intimate and pensive. In one shot we see Alana seated while Maddie stands beside her, with an arm outstretched to meet Alana’s shoulder. The women seem to have their own agenda. Alana is seated, ready to take as many pictures as needed. Maddie seems as if she was ready hours ago, but jumped in at the last moment, so that she and her slayer-in-crime, could document their moment in red. The women also make us question if they are headed to the same event or if this was the only part of the evening they would spend together before going their separate ways. When Paul captures the women standing in their different colored dresses, we notice more light on the women’s faces. A quick glance at the same image, taken by Brian, suggests both Maddie and Alana took one step back from their respective positions. The women have not moved. Paul does an amazing job capturing the women’s expression, but creating more space as if even while standing near one another, each woman was the star of her own photoshoot unaware of the other’s presence.
After looking through both photographers’ exhibitions we feel as if we have gotten a unique peek into the lives of these women, as we witness the small period before their collective or separate nights out
Creative Director: Aby Kane / Photographers: Paul Howard & Brian Edsall / Stylist: Aby Kane / Wardrobe: Nabou & David Dioume / Models: Alana Robinson & Maddie Fall