The pressures behind achieving the perfect work-life balance have rendered the mantra into the ultimate hypocrisy, filled with seemingly endless profitable self help books and lifestyle coaching sessions. However: “We work in fashion, we’re not doing surgery,” model Larissa Hofmann advises.
For 032c’s Issue 31, Larissa Hofmann and 032c Fashion Editor Marc Goehring took on a journey to Brussels to create the 26-page story “MidiEvil Rave 2” with photographer Pierre Debusschere. Hofmann and Goehring, both from the South of Germany, share a true friendship in the often hurried world of fashion. 032c’s Eva Kelley spoke to the duo about nostalgia in modernity, cellophane body wraps, and non-existent New Year’s resolutions.
Eva Kelley: You are both from the same area in Germany. Does this affect your friendship in a certain way?
Marc Goehring: There’s our common dialect. We definitely understand each other.
Larissa Hofmann: I think that either you have a connection or you don’t – no matter where you’re from. But of course, in certain situations it makes a difference because we speak the same language and also, Marc just gets me. I think what connects us more than where we’re from is the fact that we both left that area of Germany. I love my family and without growing up there I wouldn’t be the person I am today, but in order to achieve and do the things we believe in, we both needed to leave. There’s more freedom and possibility in places like Berlin and New York. We have the same background, share the same strong work ethic, and on top of that, we have fun. I think that’s what makes a good friendship.
What is it like working with someone you know so well?
Larissa: For me, it’s one of the best things – it feels good to work with a good friend, because you can talk and discuss honestly. If you trust each other and share the same vision, it leads to great results. And work doesn’t feel like work when you’re having a good time.
Do you prefer working with people you know well or do you sometimes enjoy a sense of anonymity?
Larissa: It really depends on what type of job it is, but in general, I enjoy knowing people on set. If you know your team already there’s no weird moments, you can directly focus on the job, talk openly and work together to move fast and have a great day at work. Sometimes it’s also nice to not know anyone. You introduce yourself as the character you want to be for the day and play that role, which can be fun. But no matter what: I think you should have a good time and nobody should make you feel uncomfortable. We work in fashion, we’re not doing surgery. Work hard, be nice, and have fun!
Marc: I definitely prefer working with people I know. Simply because it transforms the energy of the project on a completely new level in a positive way. In our case, it was even one level further – a true “friends” project! When the whole team comes together randomly, it can easily go into the direction of Fight Club-attitude. It’s not the norm, but especially in our industry – this can happen.
The editorial combines the aesthetic of Flemish Baroque with digital photoshop morphing. Kind of like the contemporary version of an oil painting. Marc, why did you decide to implement props like cellophane and the bondage-like strapping of belts?
Marc: I don’t really overanalyze what I integrate into a shoot. It just comes to me in my mind and it either looks good, or it doesn’t.
Larissa, what was it like to be wrapped in cellophane by Marc?
Larissa: Sweaty and sexy! No, to be honest I haven’t really thought about it yet. There’s been so many “weird” things that stylists have done to me. But with everything Marc did that day, I always felt treated like a person and not like a “thing.” We were laughing the whole time anyway, so when he wrapped me in cellophane, I wasn’t surprised. He could do pretty much anything to me! Well, almost anything.
In some of the images there is a kind of composed gracefulness in the hand gestures, which I thought was really beautiful. Like a statue’s hands or a Renaissance figure. Is this what came to mind to you as well while you were working? I’m just wondering how far off I am with my impressions.
Larissa: I think hands and how you move them is very important. To me, hands make the image. If you don’t pay attention to how your hands and fingers look, the whole image loses a lot aesthetically speaking. Hands express as much as your eyes do, so I try to find the right look for my hands for every story. In our story, I felt like I was free in a way because Marc trusts me so I was able to push it further. When he said he liked my hand gesture for the red image, I knew we found the right look for our story.
Marc: It happened in the moment. It’s really fascinating to me to work with a model like Larissa. She knows exactly how to use her body to create an exciting image.
There is a sense of nostalgia in our generation, I feel. A sort of yearning for the old and the analogue, all while we’re accelerating constantly in our development and society is speeding up. This combination of the old and new is also present in the editorial. How do you see the future of the fashion industry? Will we keep speeding up? Or will we all have a nervous breakdown and decide on a slower pace?
Larissa: Personally, I love books, magazines, and all things I can touch. Of course, social media is and will continue to influence fashion and our daily life. But I think it does make a difference if you hold a great magazine or book that’s printed on nice paper, with great colors, in your hands, rather than just seeing it on a screen. At the same time, you can’t be stubborn and ignore the change that’s happening. Sometimes I wish things would slow down and I could be more present of one moment rather than rushing from one to the next. I grew up in the countryside, which is more simple and slow. So if you have this side within yourself, you’re able to handle the fast world with all it’s craziness better. Fashion will always do it’s thing, and as long as you find a balance, believe in your taste, and just trust your guts, you won’t be overrun.
Marc: I completely agree with Larissa. On the one hand, I love the fast pace and the rush of it all, but it’s also really important to find moments to wind down. My plan is to buy the new Playstation 4 VR soon, so I can relax at home in an inception-kind-of-way, because Playstation will be my new home … in my home.
What is your favorite recent memory with each other?
Larissa: There’s a lot of them, but since we’re talking about our editorial: our trip to Brussels was actually great. We had so much fun and we were really focussed on work, too. I’ve worked with friends before, but never with such a close friend. Brussels was one of the best work trips I ever had.
Marc: Definitely a favorite memory from our Brussels trip was when we found out that the host of our AirBnB apartment was kind of obsessed with Hacky Sacks. We found these tiny little knitted riced-filled friends in literally every room several times. She might even have been a pro Hacky Sacker … You rock girl!
Do you have any plans together for 2017?
Larissa and Marc: A lot!
Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
Marc: Yes, I want to quit smoking and start doing yoga. Just kidding.
Larissa: I’m not really into New Year’s resolutions, but in general, I want more dinner parties with friends in all cities all over the world and more creative work – in fashion and in art. I have an exhibition coming up in a few months in LA. I left my art studies for modelling, so an exhibition is something I’ve never dared to dream of. If that all works out as planned, I’m more than happy!
Interview: EVA KELLEY
Photography: PIERRE DEBUSSCHERE
Fashion: MARC GOEHRING
Model: LARISSA HOFMANN