The Le Smoking tuxedo suit created by Yves Saint Laurent in the 1960s revolutionised the fashion world and female styles. ‘Smoking’ in colloquial French refers to tuxedo and black tie clothing and Saint Laurent’s designs lead to the empowerment of women by giving them the option to wear clothes which were exclusively considered just for men. The pioneering look is considered legendary and still continues to influence current popular culture and fashion designers. The haute couture design has transcended to current street style trends where androgenous looks often with slicked back hair and mannish three piece suits can be seen regularly in the fashion prints and photography.
The idea to channel this iconic style came through a discussion of what we love about fashion with a long standing friend. We talked about how we dress and what has influenced us and both agreed that the Le Smoking tuxedo has revolutionised female styles. Tailoring and form fitted pieces are key to the Le Smoking look so the exquisitely made shirts by Belle Epoque seemed like the natural choice for realising this vision. I had the honour of meeting the founder and designer behind Belle Epoque, Kristina Rate, a few weeks back and the encounter made me realise how Kristina seemed to share the same ethos as Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking concept. Kristina’s designs are contemporary yet timeless and her passion for high quality tailoring oozes out of her luxurious shirts. With options to customise each piece (I got mine initialled!) Belle Epoque’s designs are personal and forever pieces to cherish for many years.
This shoot has been one of the most exciting experiences for me yet. Shooting in black and white was a first for me and there were a few scheduling issues and sporadic rain to contend with on the day. But it is quite obvious that Cristiana’s talent has no boundaries and who knew that a little bit of lipstick smeared on the camera lens could create such smokin’ results.
Photographed around the back allies of Bank station by Cristiana Malcica.