christian tagliavini



When looking at Christian Tagliavini’s photographs or better described as art pieces, you travel to a different time. His photographic series so far have explored various historical eras and material manipulations that create a dream like experience by mixing historical elements combined with contemporary aesthetics.
For those traveling to Stockholm should visit the Fotografiska museum where Tagliavini’s work is currently being displayed in a retrospective exhibition entitled ‘The Extraordinary World of Christian Tagliavini’ which is on until the 10th of June. Also teNeues publishing house has recently released a book about his photographic series so far.
Having the chance to talk to Christian Tagliavini we explore further his creative process;


Tell me a little about your background?
I was born in Switzerland and grew up between Switzerland and Italy (Parma). I studied technical drawing and worked in architectural and engineering firms. After this experience, I worked also as graphic designer before I discover photography. I’m self-taught and I always need a new challenge to be interested and motivated.


What is your starting point behind your work? Where do you source your inspiration from?
I’m a visual person, I find inspiration around me or in my memories. The idea comes first, then comes the work of research and studies that takes time and is interesting for me. I learned a lot with photography.


How do you manage to marry the craftsmanship of creating a whole set-concept and photographing your work?
Photography is the way to frozen the idea that I have in my mind. I want to create the images as I imagine and I need to customize supplies and clothing to have unique images.

What is the process of making the set for each photograph? Are there any particular materials you work with?
Working on a series includes two steps: the preparation of it and the realisation of it.
I can say that the workflow starts with the idea of the project: I make drawings of what I have in mind and I prepare some drafts. Than we do a lot of research (reference, materials, techniques, aesthetics, colours, …) and we define the “allure”, the “feeling” of the series.
After this first part that can last months, we step in the practical work:
find the right characters – customize the drawings and define shapes and colours – recover the necessary materials – study and drawing – coordinate the tailoring – testing the realized scenography, objects and dresses – finalize shooting – editing and postproduction – test printing.
I like to have control on the image to represent what I have in my mind. I see the image before I shoot. I design and realize all that I can. I use all the skills that I learn in my life.


Who are the people behind your images? Do you work closely to create each photograph?
My team is a small team: assistant, tailor, make-up artist and sometimes carpenter (depending on dimension of the scenography). For „1503“, me and my assistant realized hats and dresses, for other series we collaborated with seamstress or tailor.


Melissanthi Spei


Melissanthi Spei is an Athenian born fashion artist. Her heritage in combination with her creativity inspires her to create contemporary and sculptural garments. Part of her identity as a designer is to use industrial materials for something historical and old through the exploration of traditional arts and crafts and their projection to contemporary aesthetics. Melissanthi has taken an interest in exploring different parts of folklore culture around the world and ways to revive them within the fashion context.