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Project IN THE NAME OF: PLAST_ICON

17. August 2022

Here we continue with project IN THE NAME OF: with PLAST_ICON episode. Again I collaborated with dear friend and talented designer Riwaa, who made a bespoke clothing and lingerie to add her input to the project. And again you will have to guess who was our main inspiration. Let’s dive into it.

I could hardly imagine my life without creative work, without books about astrophysics, without dogs or coffee, and I know that we all have it set somehow. I don’t really look for trends myself, but I try to stay on top of them in my work. But if you’re on social media, it’s impossible not to notice trend-setters and influencers. It’s fascinating how trends are created, who follows them, how the whole organic mass that creates, feeds, buys, promotes and pushes trends forward works. One of these trends in recent years has been plastic surgery and instagram culture. I don’t have a problem with either one of them. But some people have set a “whole new level” and we were inspired by one such celebrity who is know for doing so this time around.

She’s one of the most succesful influencers in the world, she’s a very savvy businesswoman and among other things, she released a leopard collection in one of her brands and she also likes to wear leopard prints (hence the leopard underwear). She also likes to promote her products in videos wearing a bathrobe (yes, that’s why the bathrobe again). She likes to take pictures and show snippets of her life on instagram (that’s why the drink). She denies plastic surgery, admitting only to fillers, but anyone who has seen her before and after must be quite clear. Yes, she looks good, damn she looks good, it’s not mutually exclusive. I suppose her transformation could be likened to the transformation in the fairy tale of the ugly duckling. If you need any more help, she was photographed at the Met Gala by the flower wall. Any idea who this Instagram icon might be? Again, the first person to post the correct answer gets coffee with me (Prague or CB).

I guess we can talk for hours about how toxic this whole “instagram” culture is. And although surgical body tuning can help a lot of people and make life easier (after all, plastic surgery was created just for war veterans), it can sometimes drive us beyond our own judgement. But the pursuit of perfection, the obsessive need to control our perfect image and social media, and the loss of our own identity are bigger issues for me. And that’s why we’ve fattened Riwaa up with padding, dressed her in post-op lingerie and given her a bit of that digital plastic surgery. In case of selfie picture she was really taking selfie pics to add a bit of authenticity. My cell phone is full of her pictures now :).

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Riwaa Nerona is a designer who creates bespoke lingerie and here are her words to this project:

What are we willing to do for “beauty”?

Plastic surgery is becoming more and more affordable. Nowadays, it is possible to forgive one holiday and invest the money saved in “self-improvement”. Two decades ago, plastic surgeries were only available to celebrities from the perspective of my childhood eyes, now even people from my neighborhood are having them. It used to be celebrities who denied any surgical procedure, today such an attitude is rather ridiculous. Even though many times celebrities deny it, their fans brag on social media about everything they have progressed to visually approach them. With pride. It’s not easy to hide such significant changes under the scrutiny of plastic surgeon-influencers. Every person has every right to dispose of their body as they see fit. Whether it’s a long-term dissatisfaction with one’s appearance or following a current trend, no one has the right to judge. The only thing to remember is that we should make changes for ourselves and never for those around us. Satisfaction with oneself can lead down the path of plastic surgery, just as it can with lifestyle changes, tattoos, decorative cosmetics, hair coloring or setting, (non)depilation, artificial nails, corsets, scarification, eyelash extensions, beard trims, permanent/semi-permanent makeup… And practically anything you can think of that you do with your body. All a way to create an “artificial”/re-created look. We should also remember that plastic surgeries are a major intervention on the human body and trends change too fast. Not so long ago, it was in to have the slimmest figure with the minimum of curves and thin eyebrows, while today, in certain circles, women are getting buttock and breast implants and eyebrows require microblading to undo the damage when thinly plucked eyebrows no longer grow back. The appearance of celebrities is often the result of pressures from their surroundings that we may not even imagine; at other times, plastic surgery is a sign of belonging to a certain social class, a demonstration of “I have the money for it,” or in some cases, a deliverance from a physicality that is not to our liking. The truth is that plastic surgery is becoming more and more common and is part of our lives whether we have it, desire it, adore famous faces and even if we are not advocates of it.

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Credits & inspiration:

Robe, leopard lingerie – Riwaa Nerona
Post-surgery overal – Lipoelastic
Assistance – Kochromon
Video – Louis DeBussy
Location style – Met Gala
Drink – Martini Lemon Drop
Plastic surgery styling – #lipfiller #facelift #chinaugmentation #cheekimplants #liposuction #rhinoplasty #buttimplants #browlift #breastaugmentation #bbl
Source of information – Dr. Gary Linkov + neighbourhood experience
Movie inspiration – The skin I live in

For the post-production of this project I decided to use subtle color grading using monochrome and analogue colors – my little tip for other photographers is using color scheme generator. I use common web tools and classical color theory.

Lucie Kout

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