I ask Argie Mitra about how she works with models, a photographer, and her romantic designer clothing to create the images for her website and Etsy listings. In my preview post I had to admit I was drawn to your shop by the photography, so let's go into more detail on that process. For starters, how did you find the ideal photographer?
To be honest, I almost wanted to do the photography myself. When I have a vision I want it the way it is in my head. Through tests shoots, I found that it is never the way it is in your head; it's an organic process. Everyone on a shoot team brings something to the table, and you work with what you have. When looking through portfolios of local photographers, I tried to find photographers who used the kind of lighting I envisioned, the same styling, and/or just had work that spoke to me.
The photography for my past two collections was done by Lauren Gherardi. At the time I was searching for a photographer for my first collection, she was an emerging fashion photographer and had some dramatic lighting in some of her shoots that connected with my initial shoot concepts.
What is it like to work with Models?
- A good model listens and executes, plus some! For models, I will pull references of poses, show them features of their outfits they can work with, and do poses myself for them to replicate. The best part is when they surprise me with a pose or a look that didn't even cross my mind but fully expresses what I want for the shoot.
Above Photos from theHow do you create a vision for a collection?
- If you ask me about the inspirations for my past two collections, they both come down to one word. I'll start with the collection I entitled "myco-reverie." It's not actually a word but it aptly describes my vision: "myco" is the prefix referring to my initial inspiration of mushrooms and other fungi (I loved the textures and colors), and "reverie" is a synonym for a dream. The last collection was entitled "coquilles" which is French for "seashells." I was inspired by seashells and the vibe of a beach holiday, and wanted to translate the word to French to allude to the pastels and sweet color palette of the fanciful Rococo period.
Yes, but how did you craft such a consistent image over time?
-You have to know your customer and you have to remember that key word of consistency. My pieces are feminine and elegant, but have an element of whimsy and contemporary features. Even if my inspiration changes with each collection, I think about how I can bring what people loved most about the previous collection back into the next one.
Now, on a more personal note, I read your bio, can you tell me more about your fine art background?
- I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting from Jacksonville University and I exhibited in several shows and galleries in Jacksonville, FL. My artwork is a mixed media (but mostly acrylic paint) melange of historical fashion references, emotional darkness, and physical beauty. Although I mostly painted, the fine arts department at Jacksonville University was small enough that I could explore as an interdisciplinary artist: painting, photography, sculpture, music, dance, and theatre. In theatre I discovered a love for costume design, which is where I quickly learned to sew. Before college I had wanted to be a fashion designer, so I took it as a sign life was leading me back to my true passion.
More from Argie Mitra in part 2 of this interview, Next Friday.