I first discovered the beautiful photographic images of Cristina Coral on instagram and I was immediately inspired by the magical quality of her thought provoking imagery combined with her sense of colour. He work juxtaposes fashion and interiors and this is a particular interest of mine as I have a background as a fashion editor for magazines in London. With a slightly surreal twist and a love of matching her clothing to her locations I was immediately hooked to her collection. So much so that I treated myself to one of her works which is now proudly displayed on my wallpapered walls!
Having also lived in Florence whilst my children were growing up I was also drawn to the settings of her work and her inimitable sense of style and inspiring locations.
Cristina was born in Trieste, a small city located in the north eastern part of Italy, with a great history and nostalgic present. It is where she grew up, spent her youth and currently lives. She is particularly drawn to the themes of everyday life for her inspiration but she is also influenced by deep seated memories which also inform her work. She was brought up in an artistic environment and her father, Giampaolo was a famous composer. When she was young she often went to the theatre and opera with him where she found herself escaping into a place of oblivion as she immersed herself in the expression of the performance. “I think the theatre is the maximum expression of human freedom. Magical! It has enriched my soul”
Having communicated around the purchase of the artwork I began a correspondence with Cristina and she began to follow me on social media hence discovering my home collection. She was inspired enough by my designs to add them into her settings for her next body of work. She chose the bird and owl pillow sized velvet cushions which were then sent to Italy. Cristina carefully curated each design to be included in some of her settings. She explained ‘ I let myself get inspired by Susi’s cushions. Every scene depicted was studied in order to make her cushions stand out while still keeping harmony in the picture. Just like a painting. Colour plays a fundamental role in our subconscious but especially in the final composition’. Expanding on her love of colour she told me “I like playing with colours, patterns, a mood or a small detail. I try to find a balance between all of these factors. The colour palette, the outfit, the light and the setting all contribute to creating an aura in order to depict an introspective feminine gaze.’
The end results are evocative, perfectly styled and unique. Collaborating with Cristina has been one of the highlights of my career so far and I hope to work with her again in the future.
I asked Cristina what her dream location would be if she had carte blanche. She said she should love to be the set photographer during a Wes Anderson movie. I think she should direct her own!
All velvet cushions featured by Susi Bellamy (www.susi-bellamy.com)
Clothes from Didi’s World vintage shop in Trieste https://mondo-didy.business.site/
Photography by Cristina Coral – https://www.cristinacoral.it/