One of my favorite things about running a small shoe business is seeing each style brought to life in photo sessions and of course collaborating with other creative women in the process. This season I sought out the visual talents of Buenos Aires-based art director/set stylist/florist Romina de la Paz to create a series of still life compositions that emphasize the colors and textures of the fall capsule. When I first met Romina for coffee to discuss collaborating, we soon discovered that we’re on the same page about pretty much everything visually-speaking—especially our love of flowers. I really love the ephemeral sculptures that resulted from placing freshly-cut blooms alongside man-made terrazzo & found objects. It was a fun day of shooting with her and Pilar — it was especially fun because we shot in her apartment, where she keeps all the things she collects. We took over her bedroom to use as a studio (because it had the best natural light) and talked about everything from the new Blood Orange album, the book she’s currently reading (Women Who Run with the Wolves), to color synesthesia and where to score her ceramic egg cup that’s shaped like a cat’s face. Since the pieces from this collection won’t be around forever, I wanted to share the all the images we took for this campaign here on the blog (where they can live forever!) and do a Q + A with Romina to see what makes her tick.
Photos by Pilar Condomi
A series of spontaneous flower + terrazzo sculptures from the fall shoot.
ZX: Tell us about about what you do and the path that brought you to it.
I’m a freelance art director and still life stylist that also likes arranging flower, drawing plants, collecting rocks and photographing the world. I originally studied communication and advertising and over the years I studied and worked in different areas of the creative industries in Buenos Aires and London. Art Direction in TV, Cinema and lastly Fashion took me to where I am now. I worked in fashion styling for 8 years but slowly started falling more in love with shooting and styling objects rather than people. Right now I live imagining sets, arranging objects and working mostly for brands that want to do campaigns or content for their social media. I also love doing personal projects with new people all the time and sometimes I work in a flower shop doing flower bouquets and events.
ZX: Where did you grow up? How did your childhood influence your sense of beauty?
I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, Argentinian Patagonia. It is a very remote and isolated place, but beautifully surrounded with nature. I grew up next to the Atlantic sea, very dry, rocky and windy but in the summers we used to go to the Andes, where there were rivers, flowers, lakes and forests. I grew up loving nature, and I had a very vivid imagination, I read and drew a lot and when I was 12 I got my first camera and started trying to capture it all. I think my sense of beauty was built from that and inspired by the gifts of mother nature and harmony but also in surreal worlds that might not belong here. I always like to use flowers or leaves in my photos or something that belongs to the earth, just like a small reminder that we should love the world we live in cause it’s beautiful.
ZX: You lived for a long time in London but have now moved back to Buenos Aires. In what ways has living outside of your birth country changed you?
Living in London was mind-blowing and the most amazing experience. I always wanted to live there, since I was a child, I’m not sure why? Maybe fate?
I just went there following my instincts and I was right, London is such a multi cultural place that just being there blows your mind. I was already living in Buenos Aires when I decided to move to the UK, but I tell you, even coming from a buzzing city like BA you are never prepared for the surprises and rich mix of art, music, people and life that is London.
I met incredible people, professionals and friends that are close to my heart, London was welcoming at that time and i consider it my second home forever. it changed my way of viewing the world, it opened my mind, I could live close by to the many experiences of life that people around the world have, something sometimes you can’t grasp yet in BA. Much more now luckily!
Living abroad also makes you see that there is no such thing as a perfect place or city, they all have things to change, it’s better to accept no place is perfect and be happy with yourself anywhere you are.
ZX: Tell us about your process when styling a composition
When I’m styling I’m creating usually on the spot. I have my concept and colour palette definitely beforehand and probably spent days gathering or even building my props. I love having loads of props to play around with when I’m styling. I think what I try doing most is thinking of different ways to use ordinary objects, to put them out of their normal environment and see how that works. I obviously build everything around the main object/accessory and try to make a beautiful harmonic composition that not only enhances the product but it’s a beautiful piece of art in itself.
ZX: What are some things that are inspiring you right now?
I’m very inspired by landscapes, music, surreal worlds, crystals, spirituality, energy, flowers, plants, ceramics, the cosmic flow of the universe and the way it is connected with how we flow in this reality. I’m inspired by classic flower still life paintings but also by 80’s sci fi posters and record sleeves. Any antique market inspires me too and all the retro bar and restaurant interiors that you can still find in BA that are just simply amazing.
I’m also inspired by the amazing women’s movement that is rising in the whole world, a most necessary thing to happen right now!!!!
ZX: Describe your personal style – what are some things or experience that are on your wish list right now?
I definitely learnt the power of having few but important garments you can combine and use in different ways. I use to have oh! so many clothes! I loved vintage! but then felt like a hoarder and started selling it all. Now I keep the most important basics and my most loved vintage pieces. I’m a sucker for sportswear pieces, denim and trainers. A nice white t shirt, black long skirt, a cool jacket, lipstick and some cool earrings just make it for me. Simple, a bit of an 80’s/90’s vibe I think, probably never stop loving that era.
In my wish list right now: I think visiting Machu Picchu or going to a yoga-surf retreat in Costa Rica or Brazil would make me very happy. I also want to go and see some aliens in the Uritorco mountain here in Cordoba! Oh well, maybe some new trainers I can’t get here!
ZX: One last question: What is your favorite ZX style right now?
Of course le Mule in black (the one I have hehe) but I have a crush on the shearling mule in camel!
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