FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
Why does a male knitwear designer prefer his models in lesbian poses? Russia's Alexander Seraphim explains himself.
Alexander, a knitwear designer who enjoys embroidering his dresses and sweaters, gravitates toward a lesbian aesthetic, persuading his models to adopt playful lesbian poses. "This is my idea." he told LOTL. “I don’t know why, but at present I prefer to shoot my designs only with the aid of two models and in poses as if these two beautiful girls are more than simply friends. I see that such ‘lesbianish’ a style of fashion photography looks extremely charming and lyrical!”
Alexander Seraphim's knits, 2010
Charming, but how have clients and colleagues reacted to his images?
“Customers are tactfully silent, but several fashion journalists (all American, none European) were rather indignant when I published such photos. (They said) ‘Alex, this is inadmissible! You harm yourself, your business! Delete these images from the site, they are too frivolous and can frighten off a considerable part of your clientele!”
Alexander, a man of many interests, was turned on to fashion design when perusing his wife’s knitting magazine. When he started to look at the illustrations, Alexander recently told an American magazine, he was reminded of a book he had recently perused on the history of photography, depicting one of the first color photos showing an Alps resort around 1912. “As time has passed through the ages, everything in our everyday world has evolved... Only the design of knitwear has resisted change! And I could not help fighting such a standstill, and I keep devoutly fighting up to the current moment.”
The former engineer incorporates functionality into his designs, yet he has the soul of an artist: he enjoys shocking people as much as pleasing them. The designs — not to mention the way they are showcased — are outrageously playful. He finds willing models, nevertheless.
Alexander Seraphim's knits, 2007
“When I hire models, I usually come to an arrangement with one girl and ask her to invite (to the shoot) the second model who is her old friend or, at least, a good acquaintance of hers... They play the part of a non-traditional friendship — and they are not a bit embarrassed. For them this is simply a photographic novelty, an amusing play. And they often play this role even with a certain exhilaration and true artistic skill.” Among the models he employs are real lesbians. too. “One Moscow model is a real, hundred-per-cent lesbian.”
Alexander has even considered doing shoots with lesbians where no male photographer is present.
“I should be eliminated... If they would shoot themselves without any male near, that would be really the truest lesbian shooting.”
LOTL Magazine • lotl.com
More samples of Alexander Seraphim's knits of 1995-2010: