In fashion photography, I think one of the most overlooked aspects is styling. Perhaps not within the industry, but from the outside. Styling is certainly an art, and while we all have our own sense of “style”, not very many of us do it well. Even as a photographer, I can concede that without proper styling, a fashion photograph will just feel dull, though it’s not always obvious styling is the reason. Personally, it’s not something I am particularly good at, so it is something I have come to admire, and respect very much.
One of the people that does it so effortlessly is artist and fashion model Ariela Ventura. Every time I see this girl in person whether at a party or at a model casting, she just makes everything look good, even the most basic of garments. As a true artist, her approach is an interesting one.
Where does this come from, how do you approach your style or individual outfits?
Putting together outfits has been something I passionately did since I was a kid. In my head, I was creating works of art. It wasn’t until I begin showcasing my paintings that individuals attending my shows identified my outfits as “fashion”. I suppose it is definitely fashion but I like to say my combinations are simply works of art. My favorite part is envisioning the look before actually putting it together or even stepping into my closet. I think of a character and find ways to bring that persona into my combinations. Every outfit is an adventure portrayed through textures and colors.
While an interesting approach and very different than how most of us dress ourselves, I still wondered whether there is a certain fashion “archetype” her style falls into. Because even though people can have great style, they are often derived from a specific archetype or niche, but it’s actually a little more chaotic with Ariela.
Would you say your overall style falls within one of the fashion, let’s say “archetypes”?
My style is extremely unpredictable. Not even I know what I’ll be wearing tomorrow. There’s no fun in being predictable! My outfits derive from places I have been, experiences I have lived, individuals I have connected with, cultures I have immersed myself into and most importantly my roots as a Latina west coast babe.
About a month ago, I approached her for this feature and these are her “characters”. I asked her to style four looks and I got pure, artistic chaos. There is absolutely no connection between any of these characters!
Futuristic Robot: This was my absolute favorite. I love science fiction and let’s just say sometimes I really get into character.
Grunge: I am a moon child with a grungy soul. This was me simply being me. This aesthetic was more minimal yet bold with the checkered print. This definitely took me back to my travels in Belfast.
Industrial: This look was very classic in the sense that it took me back in time. It was a serious and unique look. This outfit was very empowering!
Harajuku: Inspired by Harajuku fashion mixed with vibes back home in East LA. This look was very playful, colorful and lots of street style vibes.
I had a lot of fun photographing Ariela’s Fashion Imagination. As a not very creative person myself, it is always a very fun and interesting experience interacting with and observing people with such interesting and active imaginations.