Back to the ease of film

If I asked you how you tell a good photo, or a professionally-taken photo, it’s likely you would answer that it must be sharp and with the right areas in focus, and if you were a bit artsy you might like some ‘bokeh’, and that the composition should be on point.

Minku has had quite the photographic journey in the last seven years, a journey during which I unwittingly became a photographer, with a specialty in mostly product and portraiture.

Besides needing quick turnaround times for product photos to be used for the e-store and social media pages, I also ran into some scheduling challenges with the photographer I usually work with, who is based in California. The most recent round of challenges motivated me to both find photographers to work with locally, and refine my own photography abilities further.

For product shots, I’m still on board the dslr train, but for social media captures, I’ve started the transition to film. Film is more organic, the light is more like how I see the world, the edges don’t look so HDR, the smiles are softer, the wrinkles are more forgiven (yes, see what I did there), the hair is softer, the reds are pinker. Film is what my earliest memories were captured in; it is how I grew up seeing the world.

For every film photo I’ve kept in my recent rediscovery of the medium, I’ve discarded one. Still, that’s ok. I’m still learning my camera, and it’s not a complex one. I realize, too, that the complexity of the heavier, electronic cameras didn’t hold the solution to the organicness I sought. Photography is just my means of expressing myself, and with film, I realize I’m skipping the editing because the colors and textures, two things with which I hold an irrational preoccupation, are coming out perfectly. With electronic cameras,the hue was always too blue, the textures too sharp, the definition too high.

I am Goldilocks. With film, it’s just right.


Autumn/Winter 2014-15 collection notes – Part I

I’ve been virtually unavailable the past two and a half months, holed away in the atelier, working. Creating is an introspective process for me. I have always been quite introspective, observing things then writing or doodling, and reading, always reading. The combination of moving away from home from a young age (16, to attend university in the States) and possessing aforementioned introspection meant that I came into an understanding of myself from quite an early age.

Creating takes me to some kind of nirvana of self-understanding.

AW 2014-15 photoshoot eve. Photo by Cristina Ramirez

Anyway, now that I’ve put that random observation out there, I’ll write a bit about the Fall/Winter 2014-15 collection. Many of you know that I make all the items under the Minku label myself. That includes not just the bags, but also accessories like necklaces. It includes selecting, combining, cutting and sewing the fabric for each item of clothing. For the ‘small’ designer, designing is a fancy word for doing-it-yourself. All of it. Well, until you take an order of dozens from a store or a stockist, at which point trying to make it all yourself in addition to your other design tasks can be just bad for your hands, body and soul.

I started making clothing as part of the Minku line for the SS 2012-13 collection, because for the photoshoots, I wanted to tell the whole Minku story, not have Zara tell some parts of it for me (bag by Minku, shirt by Zara, you catch my drift). So far, it has been a lovely journey. I feel now that when I create a look on a model, it’s the complete Minku look. It was my search for this complete Minku look for the FW 2014-15 collection that led me to create the first Minku jacket.

I played around with things like the darts, and unexpected shiny detail, and an asymmetric coattail, and fold-up sleeves. I am very happy with this jacket. I sometimes say I don’t really enjoy clothesmaking (bags are more my thing) but I do enjoy seeing the end-result, and photographing it on my models (here pictured is Alexandra Silverio), who make it worth the while.


Also notice the bag, it’s an Ado bag, not quite as big as the Ado weekender, but long, goodness, this is a long bag. With Eleko Wave ruffles on the front.