Digital FeaturesStrangersJulia Kiecksee
Faux fur coat Shrimpy Plastic jacket Rokit London Leather shorts Jitrois Lace bra Mimi Holiday
Denim jacket Natural Selection Earring model’s own
Camo print hoody cardigan A Bathing Ape Metallic dress Rokit Tights Wolford Sneakers Nike
Wool coat Fendi Suede boots Liudmila
Tracksuit Christopher Shannon
Velvet and denim one piece Chanel Tights Wolford
Bra top MiuMiu Metallic shorts Motel Rocks Boots Luidmila Mohair scarves Charlotte Simone
Wool knit cardigan Chanel Lace slip and silk knickers Agent Provocateur Lace bra Mimi Holiday Socks Falke Leopard mules Dorateymur
Fur coat Huishan Zhang Tights Wolford
Lurex top Vintage Dolce Gabanna Denim trousers Mary Bensen Knickers Mimi Holiday
Tuxedo jacket Hugo Boss Silk slip dress Diesel Black Gold Tights Wolford Shoes Vivienne Westwood
Faux fur jacket Black DNM Leather shorts Jitrois
She wears: Snakeskin leather jacket Jitrois Denim shorts Topshop Lace socks Falke Leopard mules Dorateymur

He wears: Denim Jacket and Jeans Natural Selection Caterpilla Boots Christopher Shannon
Strangers · Julia Kiecksee 1 / 1


Julia Kiecksee


© Roman Dachsel

PHOTOGRAPHER Julia Kiecksee STYLING Alton Hetariki @ N Management HAIR John Mullan @ N Management MAKE UP Claudine Blythman MODELS Carolina Ballesteros @IMG, Alexander James @ AMCK PHOTO ASSISTANT Felix Preuss, Kim Lang CAMERA Leica S with Vario-Elmar-S 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph.

Empty alleyways, gloomy street corners, and run-down backyards in London are the stage for German photographer Julia Kiecksee’s ‘Strangers’ series, where she gives the models room to play, combining the pressure of their glamorous industry with a what-the-shit attitude. London stylist Alton Hetariki gets the right look together, with a mixture of luxury and second-hand fashion.

You chose the title The Strangers for your S Magazine series – though the models are photographed from a proximity that borders on unsettling, they remain (maybe because of that) like strangers to us. Can you explain something about this?
In fact, in the field of fashion everything’s about networking. People go to Fashion Week, to parties and to every new store launch; though most don’t really feel like it, they go along with the whole circus anyway. With all the masses of fleeting new acquaintances, you often forget names but play along as though knowing precisely who each person is, and give two kisses, of course, left and to the right. So that’s the kind of proximity to strangers that I observe and have transferred from daily situations on the London scene. The models for The Strangers were also completely unknown to each other.  

The girl is wearing very heavy make-up and has a certain tough vulnerability about her. Was that deliberate, and what picture of women are your trying to convey?
It wasn’t about trying to convey a particular image of women. Carolina plays the role of a model who has already achieved a lot and, because the the pressure of the industry, has fallen into a kind of indifferent attitude. I had the idea after reading an interview with Cara Delevingne, where she spoke about her problems.

The young man with the tattoos is also very much in the foreground, a sort of street kid or young urban boy. What criteria did you use to choose these two?
I wasn’t looking for classic models for The Strangers, but rather specific types. It was very important to me that they would come over as authentic, and that was the case with Carolina and Alex.  

The settings tend to be ratty back streets and grimy brick work – very provocative settings. Why did you choose this kind of scene?
I knew that London was the perfect place for the photo shoot. London is a high speed city, known for its club life.

Despite the rather clinically defined atmosphere, the images convey sexiness and are erotically loaded. How did you achieve that and what was your intention, or did it just happen during the photo shoot?
Naturally, the styling contributed a lot to the fact that the pictures have a certain erotic effect. It was definitely intentional, to build a certain amount of tension.

What catchword would you use to define the styling and clothes? Do you see a modern, slick trend in them, or how would you describe the style?
I’d describe the style with the words edgy and grungy. And yes, it’s definitely a trend. Second hand has definitely acquired true cult status.

Alton Hetariki, the stylist, chose high-end fashion by Chanel and Fendi to Dolce & Gabbana, combining it, for example, with torn stockings “à la wasted luxury”, so to speak. What was he thinking?
Alton created a street walker style, by combining high fashion in a way that appears very realistic and suits the location. The style is supposed to represent the young generation. This mix of second hand and luxury aims to make the outfits wearable, affordable and, above all, cool.

Does the photo shoot – the couple obviously do come together – have a story, a fable? A visual narration, so to speak?
The story is left quite open. The two could have come from an all-night party, for example, and could have just met. Her make-up is smudged, he leans against a wall exhausted… the pictures tell the story.