For the third year running, wunderkind photographer Lado Alexi has boldly gone where others can only dream of going by producing a stunning selection of fresh, funkily outlandish images for the 2013 German Vogue 2013 calendar.
Famous for his magic realism and arresting futuristic style, the Moscow-raised, Hamburg-based photographer has surpassed himself with his latest work—a brazen and dramatic range of jaw-dropping pictures that somehow epitomize the very essence of cool. His work is undoubtedly unique, yet references to his self-confessed photographic heroes Cecil Beaton and Helmut Newton are unmistakable.
Lado has “always had a strong interest in film and fashion,” and it shows in the cinematic sweep of his subjects. The iconic, painterly shots scream girl power—ranging from the poised confidence of dominatrix chic to stark sci-fi siren, with old-style sensual glamazon and even a touch of the unbiddable wood nymph on show.
Each image tells a wildly different story and could be a frameable work of art. Noir-style moody monochrome shots play with shadows and light and capture a hint of retro Hollywood, with crystal bedecked bathing caps and strong silhouettes. Elsewhere there’s feminine fringing, magical masks and bedazzling baroque head and body pieces, worn by androgynous models as alluring armour. Pierre et Gilles-style lush, richly decadent Technicolor adds a bird-of-paradise feel to a provocative flame-haired beauty. SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS-encrusted belts, oversized necklaces and sparkly cuffs abound, and there’s even an embellished walking stick in a darkly provocative autumn moment.
Throw in the dream team of Dennis Blys’ supremely sassy styling and Natalie Franz’s astonishingly inventive hair and make-up, and the result is an alchemical collision of talent that has produced a potential collector’s item. One thing’s for sure, this is one calendar you won’t want to take off the wall at the end of the year.
Photographer: Lado Alexi; Styling: Dennis Blys; Styling Assistant: Constance Conrad; Hair & Make-up: Natalie Franz; Nails: Ana Lucic