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Friends are Forever: when Alumni Come Back to School for an In-House Fashion Photo Shoot


Bonds that students create during their college years are not only friendships that will last a lifetime, but also strong professional partnerships that endure, as we see with the recent example of Alumni Fashion Designer Alexander Asvarischtsch, Alumni Photographer Mehdi Sefrioui, and current Fine Arts Junior Philipp Schroeder coming together to style, model and photograph Asvarischtsch’s new collection.

Alexander’s recent work explores the social gap in Russia, both today and historically, with an emphasis on the disparity between the lifestyle of the Russian royal family and aristocracy, versus the Siberian tribes living as they have been for over a thousand years. I tried to use a modern approach to the idea and to demonstrate this gap by using proper handmade tailoring for the luxurious part of the concept, rough leather and long-haired shearling to refer to Siberian tribes.

The designer already collaborated with Sefrioui many times, including shooting his Senior graduation collection in 2014, we always seem to see eye to eye when it comes to the aesthetic of a shoot, so he was a natural choice. Phillip was a perfect fit to model my collection, his athletic build supported the sleeveless garments and his long blond hair was like a cool extension of the long shearling used in the hat.

Sefrioui, also a PCA Alumni and now professional Photographer, tells us about his side of the collaboration:

When working on fashion shoots, with Alexander and in general, I always collect as much information as I can get: the story behind the collection, the choices made in the design, inspirations, etc. It allows me to understand the designers’ vision and prepare the shooting accordingly. I can then present ideas and set ups that will enhance the garments created by the designer.

Knowing the story Alex wanted to tell was essential to direct the model, to guide him to the point where he becomes one with the looks and is not character acting anymore. In this, Philipp was a great choice because he had the looks but also a certain distance from himself that helped him get the story and become it.

See more work by Mehdi Sefrioui