Is it something in the water up there? It’s no secret that Scandinavia and the northern Baltic states have produced a staggering number of top models in the last decades. It’s these girls—Danes like Freja Beha Erichsen and Helena Christensen (pictured), Swedes like Dorothea Barth Jorgensen (pictured), Finns like Kirsi Pyrhonen and Suvi Koponen, Estonian Carmen Kass, and more—who photographer Peter Farago, a contributor to Russian Vogue, and his wife, stylist Ingela Klemetz Farago, shot for their new series Northern Women in Chanel.
“The magic of the North is the closeness to nature and peacefulness,” the Faragos explain. “The North is a place where beauty becomes ingenious, boredom becomes sensual.” They mentioned the historic fashion icons hailing from the region—including Greta Garbo, Lisa Fonssagrives, Liv Ullman, and Bibi Andersson—and Scandinavian artists like Ingmar Bergman and painter Carl Larsson as inspirations.
The dress code? Chanel, of course. The house allowed the Faragos access to its haute couture archives to draw from 90-plus years of collections, dating back to 1920. They shot more than 500 pieces in all. (“We have both been walking in an haute couture chiffon heaven this last year,” Peter said.)
Last April, the Faragos invited Style.com to their shoot with Helena Christensen (pictured, above) in New York City. “Helena is a fashion icon, a true heroine that has had a huge impact on the fashion industry for a long time—over 20 years now!” they went on. “We wanted to portray her in a very graphical and statuesque way, like a Greek goddess.”
Above, the shots of Christensen and Jorgensen from Northern Women in Chanel, which is currently on view at Stockholm’s Fotografiska and will travel to museums worldwide in the coming years. (A New York visit is planned for 2012.) The images are also available in a coffee-table book, $112, at www.faragopublishing.com.