The word breathtaking springs to mind, though for what exactly I’m not even sure. The oriental gardens teeming with a vast array of plant and animal life? The rich hues of makeup that turn Karlie Kloss‘ eyes and lips into exotic jewels, or perhaps the oriental-inspired hair that’s been immaculately twisted into circular shapes and embellished with lush flowers? Truth is it’s impossible to single out just one element of this shoot by Alexi Lubomirski: the ‘breathtaking’ label is what’s applied when all of those things and more come together into one beautiful picture, like an artwork that draws your eye from place to place as you grasp each detail in turn.
But while there’s much to admire for enjoyment’s sake, there’s also much to take away. The opulent styling in this Vogue Germany editorial is a perfect melding of 1920s fashion and oriental inspirations. It seems proof that the former era’s fascination with the latter culture is the bigger revival than the culture alone. If the early half of the 20th century was engaged in creating luxurious interpretations of all things exotic, then we’re now engaged in revisiting their interpretations. As fashion trends go, it’s a dream within a dream as hazy and alluring as the mists that weave their way through the Oriental gardens Karlie inhabits.
Relaxed cuts – like loose silk pyjamas, or luxurious knits layered over blouses – give the styling that masculine ease of the twenties and thirties. But where the femininity is undeniable is in the accessories: layers of pearls, strings of full-bloom roses, precious jewels and oriental bows all give each outfit a plush vintage feel without becoming costume.
For more of Alexi Lubomirski’s beautiful photography, with its vintage softness around the edges, click on the gallery above.