“I can’t really pin it down - it’s indefinite. You can find inspiration in the air sometimes.” For photographer Sarah Moon inspiration is a moving phenomenon. In anticipation of her new collaboration with NARS we sat down with the iconic photographer to talk creative process, working with François Nars and her take on the modern heroine.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Everywhere. Music inspires me, literature, visual arts. Inspiration is very strange ... You know what you love, yet inspiration is mobile.
How do you define modern femininity, and how did you bring this into the NARS collection?
It’s a story where the woman is the heroine – a sensitive, authentic woman made up, but never masked. It’s a free story – one that gives you the choice.
"It was really the silent movies that inspired me ... before painting, before photography."
How did you and François Nars come up with the vision for the collection?
François had asked me to bring an object that could inspire the packaging design, so I brought a very simple transparent square box. For me, the collection was all about transparency. I wanted it to be very modern and feel almost as if the woman is transparent. He was enthusiastic and curious, which made the process a true collaboration. His openness allowed for a fresh new project, focused on beauty.
Were there any particular books or films that influenced this collaboration?
It was really the silent movies that inspired me when I was young – before painting, before photography, before everything really. It was the heroines of the silent movies whose names I don’t remember but I remember what I saw in them. Also in books – I loved Virginia Woolf, she was very evocative for me. Her characters are very Romanesque which intrigued and inspired me.
Did your photography process change at all to capture beauty rather than fashion?
Beauty and fashion are very much linked – it is a way to enhance one’s personality. I liked the idea of doing an image for nail, an image for eye, an image for the body - this is what I call applied work. Everything for me was about the light - bring the light, find the light.