Street cast models embrace the contrast between mood and aesthetic for a playful portrayal of punk

Photographer Lola Banet lives and works in Warsaw. She’s a cofounder of the Warsaw-based collective and music label Intruder Alert. Banet’s dual interest in the spheres of fashion and music reveals itself in this shoot for Document, in which punk style codes are given new life by the youth of the Polish capital.

Banet street cast her models, a decision that gave the shoot a layer of unpredictability. Despite new-punk art direction that connotes aggression, the models alternate between shyness, playfulness, and stillness, with a touch of seduction. They were simply asked to do whatever they wanted, and it’s the contrast between their demeanors and the shoot’s styling that makes the images magnetic.

In the black-and-white video, the models’ hair is heavily gelled, spiked, and formed into horns. Gothic-style earrings and nose rings accompany chain necklaces and bracelets. Black eye makeup, evocative of tattoos, completes the looks. But these outward appearances are not necessarily reinforced by the moods of the models: Poses are often tongue-in-cheek, and smiles appear earnest.

As contrasting styles and moods collide, we realize identity is revealed in layers: first, through the blanket connotations of the punk subculture, then, through the raw, collective attitude of youth, and finally, via the singular, complex expression of the individual. Banet captures real people embodying the clichéd ‘types’ that we think we know. We question our assumptions, and we’re better for it.

Models Jamal Fahad, Weronika Wojda, Hubert Grabusinski, Wiktor Chmielewski, Bea Plociennik, Olek Wrzosek. Hair Adam Garland. Make-up Sonia Kieryluk. Photo Assistant Pawel Misko.

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