May 22, 2013

Zine: Girls

Photographer Hanna Kristina's zine captures the beauty behind fashion's pretty faces. 

Open a magazine from your nearest newsstand and you’ll find editorials and advertisements with models in surreal get ups, stylists and production assistants refining every inch of these images. Fashion is often inseparable from aesthetics. But Hanna Kristina begs to differ with her zine, Girls. Her take unearths a different, more quaint beauty instead of surface-level aesthetics as beauty, a belief media might feed you. “To me beauty is the kindness in people's hearts, and quirky imperfections.” Open up Girls – a zine Hanna completed for her final university project as a photography graduate student at UCA Rochester in Kent, UK – and you’ll find the same beautiful girls from pretty ads. The difference: Hanna has created a lookbook shining light on the girls just as they are.

In her photos, the models aren’t hiding in layers of make up or dressed in wallet-breaking fashions. With stickers of ice cream cones and stars around shots of a girl’s smiling face, you’re reminded that these girls are models, and these models are, in fact, girls first. Hanna adorned her images flowers, doodles, watercolours and notes reminiscent of our own personal journals, casual conversations we hold with ourselves. “I wanted to create a scrapbook-esque zine which was feminine, fun and youthful. Something which wasn't too serious, which was mainly imagery.” The pages flow much like a conversation. When Hanna shoots photos with models, she likes to talk with them to reduce the awkwardness of first impressions. Then, models will often break into ‘model-mode,’ playing their part to give the camera what it wants. But for this zine, it’s not so much what the camera wants, but purely who the model is. “I wanted to see more of the character of the girl, instead of the model.”

Hanna considered a series of prints for her project, but juxtaposing the images into a publication with scans of jewelry, notes, polaroids, illustrations is aesthetically exciting for the viewer and heightens the conversation of the normalcy behind and inside a beauty. Return to the fashion world and a lot of the attention is on the looks, and as you peruse Girls, enjoy the zine’s own look that Hanna has embraced and remember the girl behind the little anecdotes that the models have handwritten here.

View more of Hanna Kristina's work on her website. 

Erin Kim, an NYU-happy student, who appreciates all things style and social media related. Previously described as a kawaii Wes Anderson dream girl, she loves lolcats, kind people, and a good story. Sometimes she blogs instead of sleeping.