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Chen wears La Cage buried top, La Cage watch necklace and mother-of-pearl blade necklace, Antoine Pilli glowed tulle denim skirtPhotography Aliocha Wallon, styling Céleste André

What would apocalyptic beauty really look like?

A new shoot from photographer Aliocha Wallon tells the story of a wandering quest for freedom through liminal landscapes

“I’m interested in accidents and catching scenes out of their space and time,” says photographer Aliocha Wallon about the concept of his new shoot which tells the story of a character, an “empty shell”, wandering around places that don’t have a start or an end to them. The presence of other human life is scarce in both the heavily industrialised landscapes and the simple nature settings, only appearing, as Wallon says, as distant traces. “In a way, I think I’m often drawn to apocalyptic landscapes and the idea of things not being anymore, or not being yet.”

The juxtaposition between nature and the industrial city inspired both the styling by Céleste André and the make-up by Lauren Bos. For the city scenes Bos used greens and dark earth tones to create a raw and vibrant look, while in the softer nature sequence she looked to nightfall in Paris for inspiration: “the luminosity, the beiges and taupes of its buildings contrasting to a dark inky sky.”

When it came to the hair, Joséphine Brignon drew inspiration from a Moschino ad campaign with Devon Aoki which she came across early on in her research. “She looks like a 90s cyberpunk, it inspired me a lot for the braids and coloured hair!”

The idea of opposition and juxtaposition was translated by André for the styling into a mixture of casual and couture pieces, and the materials which ranged from denim to silk to fake fur. Using the clothes to tell the narrative – which she describes as a “quest for freedom – the silhouettes evolve from narrow and restrictive to fluid and free.  

As a former documentary photographer, Wallon says he always strives to maintain a sense of realism in his shoots and encourage viewers to connect emotionally with the images. With this shoot, he calls for a new outlook and attitude on the world. “The subject of this editorial goes against the actual state of the world, being evermore crowded and noisy, which for me tells about the need for calm, silence and new perspectives at the cost of the old ones.”

Photography Aliocha Wallon, styling Céleste André, make up Lauren Bos @artlistparis, hair Joséphine Brignon@artlistparis, model Chen Yuan Yuan @suprememgmt, photo assistant Oliver Ferry, stylist assistant Thais Curto. Thxx Clea @artlistparis, Etienne @suprememgmt, Alex, and Reportage Image