Lingerie designer Araks Yeramyan has attracted attention the past two years for her atypical approach to shooting her lookbook: she hands friends and admirers a disposable camera, a selection from her line, and tells them, well, nothing (“I don’t give any instructions,” she told ELLE.).
It’s up to the participants to figure out the rest, and this time around, Araks had the usual creative help in tow, including Michelle Williams, Alexa Chung, Shane Gabier and Chris Peters of Creatures of the Wind, Natalie Joos, and Tracy Feith. When asked about her most sought-after participant, Araks conceded, “There were many that didn’t say yes.” But according to the designer, Michelle Williams was the first person she asked.
The images in the lookbook range from depicting friends (Alexa Chung photographed Harley Viera-Newton) to toys (Tracy Feith snapped two stuffed animals)—each clad in Araks’ silky designs.
“I wanted [the lookbook] to be a not-so-structured photo shoot with hair, makeup, retouching,” Araks said. “I wanted something more free form. I think I thought of how they shoot street style and it’s just kind of almost unplanned—that free, natural, in-the-moment kind of thing.”
However raw the photos may be, Araks would never think of rejecting one—despite apparent mishaps, such as the finger splotch in upper right corner of Michelle Williams’ photo, show above. “I can’t say never, but [turning down a photo] hasn’t happened yet,” Araks said. “But I don’t think I would ever. No.”