New York fashion photographer Thorsten Roth put a lot of thought into his latest personal project, called “Venus In Lace.”
The photo series and companion behind-the-scenes video were loosely inspired by the Tony-winning Broadway play Venus In Fur (now being made into a movie by Roman Polanski), which focuses on a battle of wills between a playwright and his female star.
But the real star of Roth’s tribute is La Perla lingerie, the sophisticated Italian brand that is showcased here in a way you probably haven’t seen before.
Roth spoke to Lingerie Talk about his project in the interview below. But first, here’s Venus In Lace, which you can also view over at Thorsten’s Tumblr blog:
Lingerie Talk: How did the ‘Venus In Lace’ project come together?
Thorsten Roth: ‘Venus In Lace’ is entirely my own creative project. Next to fashion and advertising assignments I shoot independent productions from time to time to stay fresh and sharp! I would like to thank La Perla, who put their incredible line to my disposition for this shooting.
During the last few years I had several projects where I did photography and video at the same time. Since these are two totally different media it is not an easy task; it actually takes a bit of a visual Dr. Jekyll/Mr.Hyde mindset to accomplish this challenge. But in the end it is a lot of fun!
LT: What story are you trying to tell with this series?
TR: This story is about the beauty of seduction and how beauty and seduction are always anchored in mystery and desire. ‘Venus In Lace’ is a declaration of love to femininity, sexiness and sophisticated ‘chic’.
The photographs are expressing the twist of dominance, sensuality and seduction. I created imagery that is hard and soft at the same time, a vision that pulls and pushes on a very subtle level. The viewer is getting turned on and it is still very poetic.
Long story short: I guess I am just in love with strong women, their complexity, beauty, intelligence and sex appeal.
LT: Where will it be seen and/or used commercially?
TR: It is my job as a photographer/director to entice creative directors, advertising agencies and brands constantly with my visual visions and concepts. Because of the freedom that I give myself this constellation leads to very innovative, creative improvements.
There are already several magazines that are interested to publish ‘Venus In Lace’. I am putting it out there and I am convinced that the brands will see the quality and commercial potential that my work can bring to their brand-image.
LT: ‘Venus In Lace‘ offers a tougher image of femininity than we normally associate with La Perla (thanks in part to your use of black leather gloves and all those sky-high Louboutins!) Are you trying to express a particular vision of a modern-day Venus?
TR: If we go back to mythology, the Roman goddess Venus is associated with beauty, love, sex, fertility and victory. The name is rooted in the latin noun “venus” which stands for “sexual love” and “sexual desire” and the latin noun “venenum” (poison, venom) in the sense of “a charm, magic philter”.
Obviously, the title of my story is an alteration of the theatre production Venus in Fur, for which Nina Arianda won a Tony Award for Best Actress in 2012 and which is based on the novel of the same name.
That should give you plenty of ideas about my vision of a modern-day Venus!
LT: There’s lots of motion in both your stills and in your BTS video. Do think lingerie photo campaigns are generally too static or lifeless?
TR: I didn’t spend any time analyzing in detail what is or what is not on the market. I just focused on creating my version with my fingerprint, period!
Motion expresses liveliness, strength and agility. It is a stylistic tool and its application inserts authenticity, depth and soul to a story, and that speaks to the viewer. At the end the brain is the biggest sexual organ!
LT: Anything else you’d like to say about this project?
TR: I would like to thank my incredible team for the great work, particularly my outstanding DP Jedidiah Mitchell from Fifth Legion and my amazing retoucher Barbara DiPalma from Resolution NYC. It is such a privilege for me to work with people who share my vision and are willing to go the whole nine yards!
Thorsten Roth is a New York-based photographer/director shooting fashion, beauty and celebrities for editorials and advertising agencies such as Deutsch, Young & Rubicam, Publicis etc. A music lover, he photographed Joan Osborne’s last album cover and produced the video for Time Life Music. His portfolio of portraits of famous American jazz musicians that he photographed during his 12-year stay in Paris was accepted by the Smithsonian Institution and he is preparing a book and an exhibition at Lincoln Center.
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