Our Lisbon-based team created an intense black-and-white story, transmitting a sharp and powerful feminine energy and showing us the beauty of a self-confidence. The protagonist Ekaterina leads us through different emotions with her striking features and intense gaze, presenting dynamic postures for Sergio Santos’ camera. Full of strength but still vulnerable, Ekaterina evokes feelings of love and fear, joy and pain.
Photography Sergio Santos
Styling Vladimir Frol
Talent Ekaterina Mikhaylova
Production Michele Silva
Words and interviews Andrea Probosch
Photographer Sergio Santos set the scene by creating a cloth background with paint, making it look like an old wall with crumbling colour. His artistry of the high contrast black and white photos is enhanced by the elegant and sleek lines of the looks stylist Vladimir Frol created for the shoot. Light and dark fabrics radiate and are accompanied by the glimmering gold jewellery of Portuguese designer Ana Vasconcelos.
Vladimir tells ZOOT about his path into the fashion business and his approach towards styling: “I have started almost 9 years ago during my university times, as a jewelry designer I had an opportunity to get the knowledge about history and art that always makes part of my work and any artistic expression. All began in 2014, I got my first job at L’Officiel Russia, and from there I started a long way of experience with other magazines and advertising projects. I had an opportunity and continue to meet great professionals to learn and to collaborate. In between in 2016, I moved to Lisbon after I finished my degree in Moscow.”
When Sergio Santos showed the background he created himself, I was inspired by the idea of very graphic black and white photos, to play with volumes and shadows, shades that clothing could give.
―Vladimir Frol, stylist
ZOOT’s beauty editor Antonia Rosa defined Ekaterina’s features with a clear highlighted skin, dark and dramatic eyes and defined eyebrows. Hairstylist Edgar Venancio put the emphasis on the face by creating a sleek ballerina bun hairstyle with a center part.
Ekaterina on modelling…
I never dreamt of becoming a model, and I wasn’t one to enjoy being in front of the camera. When I turned 20, a photographer friend from New York convinced me to pose for a few shots, and surprisingly, it was quite exhilarating. I hold a degree in PR management, having graduated from university with this specialization, and I’ve spent my entire life working in an office. Modeling was always just a hobby for me. I signed my first contract with a modeling agency at the age of 32. I can confidently say that it’s never too late to try something new.
Vladimir on inspiration …
I always have an eye looking back. I believe you can’t create something truly meaningful and strong without knowledge of what has happened before you. So the main thing I would say inspires me is history. I always have time to learn something new and always give space to be surprised.
Ekaterina on the fashion industry and style …
I hope that quality will be more important than quantity. We produce too many cheap items that no one actually needs. It is not about luxury, it’s about taste and sense of humanism.
Ekaterina on her tattoo …
This is a traditional Japanese tattoo. My tattoo artist, who specializes in classic Japanese tattooing and follows all its principles and techniques, designed it specifically for me. It took 10 years to finish it. Now this tattoo has become an integral part of my body. I can’t imagine myself without it.
I decided to choose a direction where we could play more with volumes and shapes, textures. And to choose a more minimalistic but still glamorous way.
―Vladimir Frol, stylist
Vladimir about the fashion industry…
The biggest tendency I see is that we all started to move very fast. When you drive too fast you can’t see the landscapes on your way. So I would like to believe that people will try to hear more, give time when it should be given and maybe speaking more about the fashion. I would like to believe that people should be, first of all, driven by experience, love, and peace and not only by trends and instant things.
This is how the shooting was: strong, intense, cold, powerful and also fun!
― Lara Sagel, intern
ANA VASCONCELOS @anadevasconcelos
Check out more from Sergio Santos work on ZOOT.