There’s an old saying that’s regained traction in recent years: the future is female. But if this year has proven anything so far it’s that the aforementioned “future” is now. Women are finally having a moment as proper discourse on gender politics and sexuality take centerstage across all fields and industries.
The female gaze is taking the world of art and publishing by storm. Photographer and kink enthusiast Hedonissy is in full support. “Women need to have more fun with each other, raise each other up, stand up for and support each other, instead of being innately critical or making each other feel like shit. It may seem rather idealistic, but it really isn’t,” she shares. “In the context of this shoot, I wanted the models to feel like the ultimate uninhibited versions of themselves, gavotting around a larger-than-life candy store like the fearless femme fatales they are.”
As a photographer, what’s your personal philosophy when it comes to shooting the female body?
Photography brings out the exhibitionist, more than the voyeur, in me. There’s much to adore about the female form. I know because I possess one, and I alone own it. Sometimes I think that I put too much of myself into my images, but that’s because that’s the woman I want the world to see. Unashamed, unapologetic, yet still commanding respect and attention. Typically, instead of focusing on just making the body look good, I ask my subjects to remember a certain memory and evoke an emotion, and focus on the way it makes them react, move, and project in the moment. It’s a gamble to do it in film, but it contributes to the vulnerability or volatility of the process.
How and why did you get into kink? And, what makes it an interesting subject or theme to shoot?
In this unfortunately patriarchal society, men are expected to take on the dominant role. And I always thought, “why?” I never understood why men were put on such a high pedestal, why they mattered more versus women. I grew up without ever meeting my biological father, so my single parent, my mother, a woman (like many others) is the hero I know. A man had nothing to do with my development (and Freudians may argue that this lack has everything to do with it), until I decided otherwise. Sexual awakening is a double-edged sword. But in my world, I am the dominant. And I particularly enjoy when I see a man grovelling beneath my YSL boots.
Regarding this shoot in particular, you mentioned that the brands featured are female-owned or designed by women. Can you tell us a bit more about that? And, have you noticed any stark differences between normal lingerie and lingerie explicitly stated to have been designed by woman?
Because they’re made by women for women, there is simply more thought put into the product in terms of design, quality, wearability and functionality. Ubiquitous lingerie brands sell products that will make your cups, uh, runneth over, at the cost of your mammary health. @creepyyeha ‘s handmade pieces are made-to-measure by the designer herself using exceptional materials she’s developed over the years. She doesn’t consider them fetish-wear because she doesn’t want to limit the demographic that wears them. And if you take a look at her IG, women of all shapes and sizes and walks of life are fans. @ladylucielatex is another femme taking matters into her own hands and creating amazing ensembles in latex, a typically male-dominated industry. It’s high time for a paradigm shift and I hope my photographs contribute to keeping the momentum of the “female gaze” burning up.
Conceptualised by Hedonissy and Carla Villanueva for Rogue.ph
Director/DOP for Video: Jethro Jamon
Gaffer: Martin Dingcong
Assisted by: Chelli Reyes
Stylist: Carla Villanueva
Hair Stylist: Dorothy Mamalio
Makeup Artist: Raf Bardon
Interview and Layout Design: Mags Ocampo
Shot at The Dessert Museum, S Maison Mall, Pasay City