A few weeks ago, in the midst of Floréal [lit. flower month or month of flowers], I had the honour of photographing Milan-based burlesque star Janet Fischietto shortly before her stay in Stuttgart ended.
The night before, I gathered everything belonging to the conglomeration of equipment I use to set up what is probably best described as my “makeshift-yet-aiming-to-radiate-professionalism studio” and gave my mother’s car a nice filling. Consisting of metal (not talking ’bout my Marilyn Manson CDs here), paper rolls and various synthetic lamp- and lens-shaped objects, for the most part. Next day after school, I hopped on the car and arrived at the stipulated location an hour later. Sweaty – aircon doesn’t work anymore – but excited for the day ahead.
Making that burlesque magic happen
And well, what can I say? My sweaty, excited, car-singing self should not be disappointed. Because the pictures we created during this quaint summer day carry a certain kind of magic. An, I dare say, timelessness induced by Janet’s dynamic spirit as well as her beautiful styling and the allurement only an old building can have. So many different influences play into this series if you observe thoughtfully and to me it’s pure magic to see them all connect in such a way. There’s of course burlesque, which is an embodiment of timelessness itself considering the fact that it has existed for more than 100 years. Then there is Janet’s Midnight Garden costume from her show and her eponymous jewellery collection, both featuring floral aesthetics. The particular phrase Midnight Garden instantly reminded me of Woody Allen’s 2011 movie Midnight in Paris (if you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly urge you to do so!) and looking back at the pictures I have definitely woven in a few film aspects. Signs of that film’s unique colour palette can be found in the midday garden photos we shot outside with Janet in a red dress. I probably don’t have to elaborate on similarities regarding the shared golden twenties-theme. A little fun fact I’d like to sprinkle in however: Apparently, Stuttgart was also known as little Paris pre-war as I would learn later. Circle complete, I’d say.
Time-travelling: Present and future plans
It was such a pleasure editing this editorial, playing with the aesthetic and technical charm of analogue pictures, but transferring that look onto digitally created pics. That way building a bridge between old and new. Which is pretty much the essence of timelessness, isn’t it? With that in mind, the experience of shooting Janet is always going to be a timeless one for me. Like an afternoon of time-travelling in the heart of a 21st century city (not even romanticizing here, they have a huge central station modernization project going on literally called Stuttgart 21).
As for the hint at analog photography: I’m currently getting into taking photos with film. I already have a photo series in mind that I’ll hopefully come around to implement with a friend soon. Until then I will continue taking long walks through nature, capturing whatever strikes my eyes in the moment. Haven’t gotten my first film roll developed yet, however, so no idea if the results are going to be bearable. More than bearable are these beauts of my favourite burlesque dancer here, though. Therefore: Enough read! You shall have a wonderful journey scrolling through the magic world we created!