The "White Nights" collection was inspired by the late sunsets and light summer evenings in Northern Europe so it obviously had to be shot somewhere there. Dunesi Founder Hanne's native Finland seemed fitting as the location and we managed to book her close friend, photographer Susanne Johansson to shoot it. As the face of the collection was chosen Alisa Forslund, a true Finnish blonde beauty and internationally acclaimed model.
During a lovely lunch at cosy Cafe Pispala we chatted with the 2 talents behind (and in front!) the gorgeous "White Nights" images.
Let's start with the lady behind the lens, Susanne Johansson, photogapher:
- We all have seen photographers on shoots carrying huge bags full of equipment. What kind of gear do you use in your work?
I try to keep it simple and I work with my good old Canon 5D mark ii and my favourite lens is my luminous 50mm. For the Dunesi White Nights shoot I mostly shot with a 24-70mm lens. I always carry a filter/reflector set too. And I try to get lucky with the natural light!
- Whose work has influenced you most?
I’m taking cues from my surroundings, from colour, nature, fine art, light and texture around me. I do admire the aesthetics of many artists, from film to photography to painters to music to fashion. To name some favourites… Luigi Ghirri, Joel Meyerowitz, Sibylle Bergemann, Raja Ravi Varma, Klaus Haapaniemi, Helene Schjerfbeck, Wong Kar-Wai and Johnny Kangasniemi. I guess they all have sort of created their own magical worlds that inspire me.
- What makes a great photograph?
For me, its a certain natural and authentic feel, a connection with the topic and a distinct mood.
- Dunesi is all about having fun with friends and making memories... what is your favourite thing to do with friends?
I love hanging out at the homes or the summer cottages of my friends, or inviting friends over to my place. Homes are intimate and cosy, and tell so much about their lovely owners. I love how people slow down and soften at homes, cooking, eating, having random conversations and watching films… I love homes!
- Your most coveted Dunesi piece?
I am in love with my silk kaftan, and my latest piece the Sevilla 2-piece. I love the earthy prints and colours and the soft and luxurious feel of the materials! Luckily this summer seems to be endless in Berlin where I live and I get to wear them a lot.
Next up is Alisa Forslund, model:
- Despite being still quite young, you have worked for years as a model. Tell us how you were "discovered"?
I was discovered at IMTA (the largest International Model and Talent convention) by Elite NYC. I was only 15 then and it was truly a life changing week.
- What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It’s hard to choose one because every job is unique in its own way. One that I remember very well is Catrice Cosmetics in Germany. Also GQ Spain wearing Prada, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace.
- What do you like to do on your free time?
I really enjoy traveling, backpacking, cooking, ice skating and skiing.
- You have been clearly enjoying wearing all the Dunesi pieces today. What is your favourite piece from this new collection?
My absolute fav piece of your collection is the Crete one-shoulder dress, love it!