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Garden of Glass and Steel: A Manhattan Lingerie Editorial

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About a month or so ago, I found myself working in Manhattan for few weeks. While I love my new digs in California, nothing quite compares to the allure and hustle of New York. I feel invigorated when I'm in Manhattan; the city fills me with inspiration and a sense that anything's possible. How could one not be inspired with The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The American Ballet Theatre nearby? While it seems less and less likely I'll ever live on the East Coast again, I do love visiting. By now, Manhattan even feels a bit like a second home.

During my visit, Lars Kommienezuspadt announced he'd be in town for a day or two and wondered if anyone might be open to a shoot. I loved our work together last year (the 'Night Witch' editorial), and I couldn't turn down an opportunity to collaborate with such an amazing photographer again. Obviously, Lars has worked with a lot of people, and I'm sure each model he's photographed appreciates something different about his talents. But what I love most his ability to capture darker skintones.

One thing I'm hyperaware of is how many photographers, intentionally or not, lighten darker skin in the editing process. I doubt there's anything malicious or evil behind these edits in most cases, but the effect is still here. Speaking personally, I'm always wounded when my skin, which I think of as a shade of rich, deep, redwood brown, comes across as ashen, pale, or washed-out in photographs. And it's not just because I love my skin; it's also because I believe it's important for other people with my skintone to see themselves represented...without lightening.

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While I wanted last November's shoot to have a darkly gothic, almost supernatural vibe, I wanted this one to be more stark, more graphic, and to have more of a focus on texture instead of shadow. I also wanted this shoot to feel modern and metropolitan, but with just the slightest touch of old school glamour and drama. Not enough to feel costumey (I think my pinups days are firmly behind me), but just enough for fellow lingerie addicts to glean the sartorial connections between the past and present. I also wanted, to be perfectly honest, for this shoot to feel fabulously rich.

I still occasionally have trouble reconciling my background as a kid from Central Georgia with being the face and voice and hair behind TLA. Ten years ago, I never would have imagined my life would include to trips to Paris and London. And even though this editorial is very much a glamorous fantasy (I do wear these pieces in real life, albeit not usually in the bathtub), it can sometimes feel like I've snuck into someone else's life. I'm still a red flannel-wearing, Lovecraft-reading, Wonder Woman lunchbox-having nerd, but I'm also...this.

But you're here for pictures, not feelings, so it's time for credits. The photographer is Lars Kommienezuspadt. Makeup artist is Brown Paper Doll Beauty (who I highly recommend). Prop styling by Elie Phongsisattanak. Ivory slip dress is by Silk Laundry. Sheer black dressing gown is by Kiss Me Deadly. Lace knickers (worn with black dressing gown) are by Elle Macpherson. Blush and lace 'Selma Dancing' lingerie set is by Stella McCartney. Thigh high stockings by Rihanna for Stance. White lace 'Love' lingerie set by Agent Provocateur. Floral silk 'Anastasia' robe by Harlow & Fox.

TLA's budget for photoshoots is pretty tight, but I want to do more of them. Is there anything you'd like to see in a future shoot? A particular theme or concept or idea? And do you have a favorite look from this shoot?

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Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

12 Comments on this post

  1. probe97 says:

    Wow Cora you look absolutely beautiful in this shoot I am enchanted with those gorgeous bath shots they blow my mind and that bra looks amazing on your gorgeous body, love it all.

  2. Ana says:

    Love all of them!!! Also love how your skin has such a rich tone in all the pictures, it is true that he captures dark skin beautifully. I think my favorite is the one in which you’re sitting on the edge of the bathtub, love all the shapes in it.

  3. Jenny says:

    Fabulous work Cora! You look stunning! I love the location and the styling! This is Editorial worthy!

  4. Rebecca says:

    You look amazing! Such a great mood and attitude in these photos. I love the white gown in the first picture.


  5. Natasha says:

    Just incredible, I’m lost for words!

  6. Cindy says:

    Such a (now) stereotypical use of the word, but this photo shoot is Flawless! You look amazing, I love the style of the apartment, and I am in love with every single one of the pieces you are wearing! After all these years, I still want to purchase a love bra from AP.

  7. Sundal Roy says:

    wow Cora, you look stunning! Your body is looking absolutely slamming as well!!

  8. Avigayil says:

    Like, WOW. You are absolutely stunning and these are such exquisite photos. <3 <3 I wish that this sort of photo shoot was more common for displaying lingerie. <3

  9. These are all SO stunning! Completely agree with the contemporary yet classic feel as well – they all have a mood of such languid, effortless glamour, and the modern surroundings and glass and chrome really set that off. Obviously adore how you’ve shot your Anastasia robe, in such a decadent way, but I think the whole collection of images are all so strong together, with a definite voice running through all the shots. Beautiful!

  10. erilii says:

    You both did such a good job, you look really amazing!

  11. Sarah says:

    I like the way the scene is set in the bathtub photo (though I’m not a particular fan of AP). It’s hard to go wrong with candles and flowers!

    Speaking to the way photographers may whitewash a photo, your comments remind me of recent articles I’ve read about the app Tonr. It’s designed to filter/optimize photos of people of color (for use on Instagram, etc.) by deepening skin tones instead of lightening them. As the focus on diversity in advertising increases, it’s nice to also see people working to make the photos we ourselves post to social media more inclusive/representative, too.

  12. Emily says:

    Oh my god I have goosebumps; this photoshoot is INCREDIBLE. Every photo is just utterly gorgeous. They take my breath away. And I am always here for your feelings as well as pictures =)

    It’s so hard to pick a favorite; maybe the one where you are sitting on the table? But I also love the one in the tub and the black gown against the window. They’re all so amazing!

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