Tag Archives: women

The Female Nude

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I am a woman. I am aware of my body like any normal human being. It’s not a surprise, just look at the images served up to us. Everyone is beautiful, happy, young, thin… they have the perfect (insert your own personal thoughts here) stomach, eye brows, waist, legs, hips- sometimes it feels like an impossible treadmill of perfect we will never really achieve because of genetics, because we have real life and real work and can’t spend the amount of time it takes to achieve “perfection”.

But really, what is perfect?

I’ve always be interested in shooting nudes. I started in college. The body is one of the most beautiful, natural things about life. The way it changes, the way it gives life, the way each is our own and that is what makes us special. I wouldn’t take my grandmother’s wrinkles away, or Dad’s loving soft hugs, or seeing my sister-in-law’s body change carrying the amazing twins my family adores. I would not say that I have had body issues all my life, but as I’ve gotten older I had to learn to look in the mirror and teach myself to stop judging the way I look compared to other people.

As a photographer I look for what is photogenic from people to places to the design of a still life. I’m not going to lie, I love tall beautiful thin fashion models. They are like illustrations of illusions of an idea of who we think we are or could be. Fantasy is part of the fun, photographing that fantasy is one of the things that I love most.

However…

There is a place for curves too. Curves are incredible. When our model Jourdan walked in I was honestly first taken back by her personality. Her confidence. Confidence is the one of the greatest quality anyone can possess. She was cool, smart, comfortable in her own skin. She was one of the least self-deprecating models I’ve ever worked with. When we started making photographs a lot changed for me. Not only as a photographer but as a woman. Maybe even more importantly as a woman. Here was a human, not afraid to let me photograph her with nothing to hide behind, no character to portray, no fantasy story to tell, it was just her. In the moment. In the light. Just the way she is.

After this shoot I had a mix of emotions. Her body, so beautiful, so photographic in its shapes and contours was in one word: inspiring. She made me realize that the female form in any shape and size is incredible. To have curves, softness, confidence was true beauty. She represented to me what being a woman was all about. I understood why Renior and Matisse painted the way they did and I saw that beauty too. I was so proud to be a woman and in my personal life, more confident about the size of my chest and softness around my stomach. If wrinkles show the hand of time and the life that was lived, curves show the fertility of it and the raw attraction of humanity.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that women come in many fascinating forms and, at this sitting, I saw beauty in a way that should be more often seen.

Here’s to the beautiful form we call being a WOMAN.

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Ari Dein

AriDein_01 Recently I’ve been really getting into lingerie: not crazy garter corset items, but wearable everyday pieces that feel and look amazing. I start with sets for the daytime and end with beautiful slips at night. When I stopped by the CFDA’s Incubator space to interview the designers behind Timo Weiland this past NYFW, I ran into Arielle Shapiro – the New York-born, former ballerina designer behind the line Ari Dein. It was like instant love. Her pieces are made to be wearable, flattering and feminine. It’s no wonder brands like Carolina Herrera have brought her on to design capsule collections for them. I was so thrilled when she made her fall line available for me to photograph exclusively at the studio and sat her down to get the story on how she went from working for other designers to starting her own line of lingerie….

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What do you think it is about lingerie that inspires confidence in women?

I think, to me, fashion creates clothing that allows women to change their entire sensibility about themselves. You put on a dress and you’ve become something, a certain style or character.

Lingerie helps you accept and embrace who you are because it’s something that only you know about. And because the fit is so crucial, the size becomes about loving your body. No one ever says, “Oh, I wish I had this size band…” It’s the Holy Grail when you find something that fits, and the fit changes how you feel about yourself.

I think there’s something modest about lingerie, actually. It’s a private thing, something only you know about…but then if someone else is going to see it, you’re prepared and they’re lucky.

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Donna Karan

You can only be who you are…

I am a New York woman, embracing the world. Designing clothes that move day to night, Monday to Sunday in any city, every culture. 

My husband Stephan – his art and soul – is a part of me, inspiring and guiding me to sculpt the body with expression. 

This collection is the evolution of seven easy pieces, a system where the body and spirit communicate the sensuality and power of being a woman, with multiple passions, constantly on the go.

– Donna Karan

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