On Fashionising.com’s Pinterest account we have a board titled Fashion Photography As Art. It’s there because I believe that two types of photo shoots dominate the fashion pictorial landscape: the literal and the artistic. There is blur between them, but I separate the two by what they’re attempting to communicate – literal photo shoots impart styling advice, artistic photo shoots impart a feeling.
And impart a feeling Treats magazine‘s (treatsmagazine.com) Ritual pictorial certainly does. But it’s not a feeling that we’re accustomed to. Whereas most ‘fashion as art’ pictorials are keen to leave us dreaming of a particular lifestyle, Ritual instead plays to the dark and the mysterious and the gothic and the erotic. Its strengths lie not in its ability to make us envy a life less ordinary, but in its abilities to create a narrative and to draw us in.
And draw us it does as Signe Vilstrup‘s lens captures what could be an erotic retelling of Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black. Or perhaps its the sequel, the lead spectre brought back to life through rituals unknown. It is, in truth, neither. But what Ritual is instead is a pictorial that brings in topics which fashion loves to touch on, but which it seldom dares wholly explore: the Victorian era and religion. And it does so with a modern taste for all things vintage, each photo captured and damaged, new but old, ethereal. It’s neo-Gothicism for the Instagram age.
Signe Vilstrup’s Ritual features in the third issue (spring 2012 issue) of treats! magazine. You can find out more about the issue and pick up a copy here, while you can see the full photo by clicking on the thumbnails above and browsing through the photo shoot.