“Stay strong through your pain
grow flowers from it
you have helped me
grow flowers out of mine so
however you need
― Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
We were just gifted the richly beautiful, evocative collection of poetry Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, and her honest exploration of the collective experiences of today’s modern woman hasn’t left since we first opened the book. It reminds us of all of the delicate inner layers we hold within and of finding a sublime sense of beauty in unexpected, ugly, grotesque places that aren’t often explored. Rupi’s authentic, expressive exposure of the not so beautiful sides of existence inspired us to create a visual story mirroring this exploration. This idea literally bloomed into a photographic still life inspired by two other powerful female artists that we love – Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo – who were brave enough to expose their emotional narratives and joy of the universe through painterly allegories.
By becoming objects of our own still life painting, we satisfy the catharsis we crave. So we set out to make our version of visual poetry by worshipping at the alter of an empty parking lot with a blue wall temple – taking the ordinary, the ugly and making it extraordinary. Allowing the tension between different inanimate objects and the physical poses of our bodies play together, we create a dance of a unique visual composition.
Valentina on her newfound energy
Growing up in a circle of strong women was positively powerful in many ways, but I often felt encouraged to conceal my gentler nature. However in the last year or so, and since we began our V&F platform journey, I have allowed my core feminine energy to come through in an incredibly unapologetic way. Embracing that true part of myself through my work has been a blessing. The richly visual narratives Francesca and I build through this blog have been a perfect way for me to express my emotions and inner joy in an organic and authentic way. For this editorial we became still life objects for a photographic ‘painting’ becoming one with our environment. My H&M animal print dress provided me with the perfect dose of modern femininity and sensuality. For this sunny day, I paired it with my Michael Kors sneakers – staying true to my objective – comfort while standing out. But I can very easily see myself pairing it with sexy heels for a playful date night look.