In praise of shadows

Subtle sensuality in intimate interiors. Photography by Lena C. Emery, styling by Sara Gilmour

Lena _1

Chiori wears a dress by DKNY. Briefs and socks throughout are the stylist’s own. Junichiro Tanizaki’s 1931 essay In Praise of Shadows is a pangyric to the subtlety of traditional Japanese aesthetics against the dazzling light of the West. 

Lena _2

Left, Kanae wears a skirt by Joseph, and right, Kanae wears a dress by BOSS while Kirico wears a dress by DKNY.

Lena _3

Lena _4

Left, Chiori wears a dress by Emporio Armani. “If indeed ‘elegance is frigid’, it can as well be described as filthy. There is no denying, at any rate, that among the elements of the elegance in which we take such delight is a measure of the unclean, the unsanitary,” said Tanizaki. 

Lena _5

Chiori wears a dress by BOSS. For Tanizaki, in the darkness and complete silence of shadows “immutable tranquillity holds sway”.

Lena _6

Left, Chiori wears a dress by Emporio Armani. Tanizaki thought that if there were no shadows, there would be no beauty. Right, Kirico wears a dress by DKNY  

Set design: Kimberley Harding / Hair: Takuya Uchiyama using Bumble and bumble / Make-up: Nobuko Maekawa using Sisley Skin Care and Cosmetics / Casting: Elle Korhaliller / Photography assistants: Ai Nakai and Chris Leigh-Cattrall / Styling assistant: Nothemba Mkhondo / Hair assistant: Sonya Howie / Models: Chiori, Gina, Kirico, Kanae and Rie