Behind the Scenes of the emrata X SK Campaign Photoshoot with Mona Kuhn

Posted on July 13, 2018
We recently collaborated with one of our dearest friends, Emily Ratajkowski, to create a special collection of fine jewelry pieces that portray bold expressions of divine femininity. It was essential to us that we capture this through our campaign imagery. Here, we take you behind the scenes to chat further about the conceptualization of the sunlight-filled dream space we created with the photographer herself, Mona Kuhn.  
Spinelli Kilcollin: How long have you known Emily, Yves, & Dwyer? How did you meet?
Mona Kuhn: I first met Emily two years ago, when Laura Brown, the Harper’s Bazaar Art Director, was interviewing Emily Ratajkowski about nudity, sexuality and feminism. Laura was familiar with my personal works. My images conjure the remarkable intimacy of those who are simultaneously naked and comfortable in their own skin. We thought that this concept would be a perfect fit for the shoot. Emily and I kept in touch, and earlier this year she asked me to shoot her jewelry collaboration with Yves and Dwyer. I was familiar with Dwyer's artwork because we were, for some time, represented by the same gallery in Los Angeles. I knew about Yves from his days working at Maxfield. We all connected again during the days approaching this shoot.
SK: Describe the energy of the photoshoot; what was it like collaborating with this team?
MK: The shoot was in line with how I know Emily to be—super-professional, natural, and elegant. We were all excited to see the beautiful jewelry, and Emily shared stories about the creative aspects of the emrata X Spinelli Kilcollin collaboration. We wanted for the images to have to a natural feel to them, so it took place in an overgrown natural spring garden in East Los Angeles.
SK: When you think about the terms 'femininity' and 'feminine energy,' what comes to mind?
MK: I admire women who are able to find their passions and follow their dreams. To me, that means that they've found an inner connection to themselves. This gives them the feminine energy to be naturally confident.
 SK: The pieces in this collection display a heightened sense of romanticism, did you have this in mind when deciding to shoot outdoors?
MK: Yes, I did. Dwyer and I met at the garden before the shoot, and took our time to walk around to look for the most romantic corners. It was important for us showcase the beauty of the romantic setting, and to balance it with Emily’s spontaneous elegance—while highlighting the jewelry line. I feel that in the end, I was able to capture the essence of the line and let the beauty of the pieces and of Emily shine through.
SK: Tell us more about the concept around the shoot and what you wanted the images to embody.   
MK: The idea was to highlight Emily’s grace and the jewelry, and to put them into conversation with the spring garden. We embraced certain elements—spring pear twigs with baby pears and lush green orange trees, thus blending natural shapes and forms with those of the jewelry line.
Mona is a German artist from Brazil who works primarily with large-scale photographs of the human body. She forms close relationships with those who she photographs, and captures their connectedness with the environment. She is currently an independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Her work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kiyosato Museum in Japan. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles. View more of Kuhn's work here. 
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