Contrasts- that’s how I would describe this project by photographer Marco Klahold and stylist Simran Handa. The starkness of white stands out against the vibrant colours of orange and the earthy browns. Textural contrast reigns supreme. The team sought to portray the essence of India, including its people, their colourful aesthetic, personal style, parts of spirituality, the bustling markets, and the peace and serenity of its revered rivers. ELLE India spoke to the team about this project that’s captured everyone’s imagination.
ELLE : Any specific reason for selecting such a particular site to present the idea?
Marco Klahold : Since it was my first time in India / Delhi, I did quite a fair share of research on which areas, sights, special places to visit and to roam around. And by pure luck I stumbled upon this beautiful location. At first I simply wanted to watch a sunrise there, but once I had been I knew directly that I had to shoot some kind of project / shooting there. The site is just truly magical, so the location came first, then the idea.
ELLE : If you were to describe the shoot in one word what would it be?
MK : Calm
ELLE : What’s your take on Indian streets as a source of inspiration?
MK : When I first set foot onto the Indian streets I was literally overwhelmed by what was happening around me. The amount of action, the noises, the smells. It took me three days to get somewhat used to it in order to not just enjoy it, but to actually pay attention and see what was happening. Since I’m a passionate street photographer as well, it felt like there was simply too much to photograph. But only by fully indulging, I was able to connect to Delhi and its culture and be inspired to do this shoot.
ELLE : Do you think location plays an important role in building a storyboard?
MK : Without a doubt! The location is the basis of everything. The idea, the storyboard, the storytelling, the emotions, the fashion, the models. Everything basically is being directed by the location. If there’s a single piece that doesn’t work with the location, the whole project might fail or at least feel dishonest. Only in a good and fitting location can you build a great project.
ELLE : How did you go about in curating the looks? Any particular format that you followed?
Simran Handa : The idea behind the looks of the shoot was to keep a little bit of India constant throughout. It was either through the fabric choice, prints, silhouettes, colors or mere accessories styled along. On day one, I tried to subtly draw parallels between the location and the styling. Day two was all about fluidity- the silhouettes, the fabric choice. Day three was about keeping it raw and minimal.