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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Cinematic Encounters 美麗の邂逅

Updated: Jan 14

In that instant it seemed as though, I were living in a beautiful meaningful fairytale from long ago...

Silently staring into the endless sky, I pray that this moment could last for an elegant eternity...

These images are from a magazine feature I did with Digital SLR Magazine in 2019.

They are images from my Fantasy World.

They are things that still exist today but are not commonly seen by most tourists.

And most importantly, the images are for my model friends as well as how they would like to be photographed.

They symbolise beauty, hope and individuality.

For part of my photography work, I set up scenes and assist in photo workshops around the world.

But of course I do private sessions for my model friends as well and yes, in case you are wondering, apart from the front cover (the Masked costumer with the Harp), none of the others are workshop set-ups.

I enjoy such travel trips very much and I tend to go only for the most exotic destinations with the most beautiful people, best food and accommodation.

Really, after all, life is all about what we allow ourselves to see, what we allow ourselves to have...

Here, my friend Maxime visits me at the Mystery Hotel, a secret location where I stay in Venice every year. The scene is dramatic, exactly like a movie still. Maxime enjoys coming to Venice for the parties and is probably the most sought after model during the festival. He has become a sort of a cultural icon symbolizing youthful innocence and escapism. And I am supposed to be the Peter Pan of Travel Photography. We both love Venice very much, because it is here that we have fun interacting with fairies, pirates, mermaids, Native Americans, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside Neverland.

His theme is usually Incroyables et Merveilleuses. The Incroyables (French: [ɛ̃kʁwajabl], "incredibles") and their female counterparts, the Merveilleuses (French: [mɛʁvɛjøz], "marvelous women"), were members of a fashionable aristocratic subculture in Paris during the French Directory (1795–1799). Whether as catharsis or in a need to reconnect with other survivors of the Reign of Terror, they greeted the new regime with an outbreak of luxury, decadence, and even silliness. They held hundreds of balls and started fashion trends in clothing and mannerisms that today seem exaggerated, affected, or even effete (decadent, self-indulgent). They were also mockingly called "incoyable" or "meveilleuse", without the letter R, reflecting their posh accent in which that letter was lightly pronounced, almost inaudibly. When this period ended, society took a more sober and modest turn. The Incroyables wore eccentric outfits: large earrings, green jackets, wide trousers, huge neckties, thick glasses, and hats topped by "dog ears", their hair falling on their ears. Their musk-based fragrances earned the derogatory nickname muscadins for them and their immediate predecessors, a more middle-class group of anti-Jacobins. They wore bicorne hats and carried distinctive knobbled bludgeons or canes, which they referred to as their "executive power." Hair was often shoulder-length, sometimes pulled up in the back with a comb to imitate the hairstyles of the condemned. Some sported large monocles. I suppose a style frequently seen in works of fashion designers John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier....

To all my wonderful model friends...thank you once again for being part of my photographic journey...

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