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Essential garments tend to be equated with monotony, but if anything they are some of the most fluid and versatile pieces that can exist in a wardrobe. Essentials are highly adaptable because they are not pinned to a specific era, fad, gender or body type. They are perpetually open to be reinterpreted by the wearer.
We sat down, over a cup of strong Guayusa tea, with Caribbean-born, Copenhagen-based photographer & writer Denisse Ariana Pérez to talk about the images she captured as she reinterpreted The Linen Shirt as an open canvas. Denisse is known for her photographs which are a mixture of portrait art, documentation and composition around real-life scenarios.
Scroll down to read the conversation & discover all the images.
"I WANT PEOPLE TO BE REMINDED OF THE BEAUTY THAT EXISTS IN THE LESS OBVIOUS."
What does photography mean to you?
I’m both a writer and a photographer, words and images are equally important to me. But, images are less about my opinions and more about how I interpret what I see. Images allow more freedom for the viewer to come to their own conclusions. As a writer, the work is more literal and it’s harder to go beyond my own opinions or feelings. Photography contains a looser narration, more fluid, it’s documenting while interpreting. It allows me to give a face to what I see and want to see.
How does this series connect with your body of work?
I mainly photograph in nature and only using natural light. I like to compose utilizing the environment that is around me. The idea of intimacy is a subject I always go back to and it can be found in the interactions between two people or the interaction of a single person with nature.
What were you aiming to capture in these images?
Two things, the minimalism of the garments and the people inside those garments. I’m a minimalist by nature. Simplicity allows for less distractions, it makes it possible to focus on what’s most important which for me are the subjects. Additionally, I wanted to challenge the perception that clothes need to be gendered, in particular essential pieces, which to me are quintessentially timeless and genderless.
What role does clothing play in your photography?
Clothes are a complementary element in my photographs, not always the protagonist. They are like a bass in a jazz quartet, meant to add movement, to neutralize and maintain the harmony of the composition. But, ever so often, they also get to have their solos at the center of the stage.
What are your meaningful essentials?
My support system (my people), a camera, a pen, a notebook, a book and the ability to move through the world.
Our promise is to restore the value of garments by creating meaningful essentials: A permanent collection of zero-compromise pieces, their stories uncovered and told. We can’t live without clothing, but we can make the pieces we choose to invest in count.
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