Posted Jan 29, 2020
Txema Yeste asks that we return to our roots in ‘VOLVER A LAS RAÍCES’ for Vogue España, Feb. 2020. África Peñalver, Miriam Sánchez, Inés Sastre & Marina Pérez stand on the sand as Goddesses of the land, honoring in virtue those internal commands. Our journey echoes through the mountain air as we can’t deny that love was there. Sanctity speaks to the spirit of harmony, touching together our sisterhood of the soul. Openness invites the mind to attend, as fragmented pieces are left behind like hearts heard in the desert winds. We’re watching the natural elements unfold, as each girl becomes one with pictorial back-drop. Artistry is a virtue love is a vestige both ache with remnants of that which remains. Sisters in arms they sink into the surroundings. Not walking amongst the land… they literally become one with the sand.
Dust kicks up behind each step as four, fearsome females march in lock step down a long, dirt road. Females flocking to find their roots. This is a powerful take on the art of connection. Women have an strong contact to this earthly plain. It goes far beyond the land proper. It’s a spiritual connection to the people who once inhabited the space. It’s a gift to watch these women work. They’re mystical in their fluid kinship as we witness art and nature collide. This is a metaphysical masterpiece. Moving over the dirt with each step they dig deeper into the earth. Reaching with gratitude and grace their spirits link with the land. Transcending the act of pure physicality, they aim to take this story higher. High Fashion can often take a story away from the real intent. Here, the unique imagery is elevated by a level I call, mature couture. We aren’t flooded with examples of extreme avant-garde. Instead, we are lifted by the exquisite shapes that mirror the outdoor arena. África Peñalver stands on the side of the sea in quiet contemplation, while Marina Pérez peers out between the branches of a baron tree. Strong images invite a sense of calm. Capturing the awe of the environment, these specific pictures are among the most environmentally prophetic.
Dynamic shots show us they don’t require alot of set design. The natural background has done all the work. Mountains majestic in height loom over all in beauty and grace, as jagged rocks regale us with shapes. Sand kicks up as clouds of dry smoke linger in the air. Looking through the window of a car, as if we are watching from the inside out. We see as she saunters through the arid sands. A woman of mystery, we find ourselves compelled by secrets the desert does tell. The baron backdrop provides a poetic scene as her long, lean legs peak out under a black duster. Spacial relation is portrayed as the outline of her shape seems as small as the rear-view mirror. Donning a variety of stunning looks, the desert shrinks in the distance, as the background matches the beauty these women portray. In one image they all appear proper ladies from the 20’s, sitting under sun umbrellas, to keep their delicate skin from catching the heat. In another, it’s as if they traveled a couple decades, standing under the same umbrellas, somewhere closer to mid-century. The fluid nature of this editorial is enticing, with all pictures leading us into the fashion future.
Hot Couture lives up to it’s name, as the sun beats down over their skin. Covered with some of this season’s most high fashion wares. Juan Cebrián keeps his clothing choice clean, focusing in on the black/white portion of the color wheel. Dark dressing moves the needle beyond just color, spotlighting instead important design elements. Dynamic designs redefine fluid fashions. The look is linear without being limiting. It’s voluminous without being obtuse. It’s clean without being boring. It’s vibrant without being colorful. It’s glorious garb that’s utterly gorgeous. This variety runs the gambit of styles, while still connecting to the central theme. Taking us from tight pants to loose pantaloons and suits that fit like a glove to gowns that flow to the ground. There’s another important feature that we can’t overlook. This is a group of models able to hold focus. Their concentration doesn’t stymie the story, rather it gives it a sense of depth. Their ability to be in the moment without overshadowing the theme is phenomenal. To be able to both stand out and blend in is the highest gift you can give a photographer.
We have found ourselves in a new decade. Without warning the calendar turned. Reminding us that we can not keep ignoring our universe. The posture of our planet is one in dire need. What would it look like to honor the land. In true form. What would it take to remake our earthly claims of care. This story is a celebration of our unique connection to the land. For all it’s unknowns that is our truth. We live on the land the land lives through us. We care for the land the land cares for us. Humanity is ever in motion. Ebbing and flowing, the planet is always in a natural state that fluctuates.
Txema Yeste’s images are like an anomaly of riches. Coming to us at the most compelling times. Not surprise, am I, for I have always known in my deepest of hearts that Yeste is a Philosopher first. That is not meant to demean his triumphant role as photographer extraordinaire. It is simply a state of fact. After covering this genius for many years, I have come to a conclusion. His awe inspiring works are really the arduous result of mind mining. I call it such, as I believe it best describes this mode of travel ~ Think Travel ~ that it. Don’t get confused by the verbiage. I am a writer first. Traveling to another time we find ourselves lost in the rivers of rhyme. Txema uses this earthly backdrop as a bridge to humanity.