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KMD Aesthetic

  • By Catherine Clavering
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Kiss Me Deadly Photoshoot and the kmd aesthetic

You will have noticed a slight change of direction in Kiss Me Deadly’s imagery recently. In May we embarked on the somewhat brave adventure of carting a two car load of deadly dames, deadly weapons and Deadly lingerie to a very beautiful location. The 40 Winks hotel is a stunning boutique hotel in Mile End which is prestigious for its guests, previous events and extremely fancy décor – the gold leaf wallpaper bathroom deserves a mention here.

Being a brand whose imagery centres on violence and death, we did spend an alarming chunk of the day tentatively skirting around everything and shouting “touch nothing” at each other (There was a brief period of major concern over whether or not Morgana had turned up with a real loaded gun but that’s probably a story we shouldn’t fully expose until we’re all very old, famous and on a scandalous talk show). Aside from all that, we feel like the hard work was worth it and the images look great.

During a much needed lunch break, Catherine was asked whether she felt her professional and educational experience in psychology has had an impact on the brand. Her answer to this pretty much summed up the ‘Kiss Me Deadly aesthetic’: “I suppose there’s something Freudian in our focus on sex and death”. Those of you who have been fans of KMD for a long time will be more than familiar with this. Our photoshoot themes read like a particularly bloody extract of modern history and fantasy: World War 2 female espionages, super villainesses, pirates and basically a lot of sharp objects. Factor in the brand’s name and it’s pretty obvious that we’ve got a bit of a “thing” about violence (or at least implied violence).

The reason I bring this up is that, although our in-house creative genius has kept our imagery dramatic and pleasantly weapon-focused over the years, this batch of images particularly summarises the appeal of certain themes. Kiss Me Deadly has never done things the way your average fashion brand does. As a long-time fan of the brand and as a newcomer to the workforce, I feel that it’d be fair to say that we have a different kind of appeal. What that is is really for those who buy and wear the lingerie to decide. However, I’d argue that this particular shoot displays something very attractive to female lingerie shoppers: the intertwining of glamour and danger.

We market our lingerie as “elegant lingerie for femme fatales” and that’s a lot easier to see in these photos: our lingerie and our ever-present weaponry on a really elegant and more tangible background. We love seeing how all you deadly dames wear your lingerie and what we love even more is the lengths you go to to produce dramatic, evocative images when asked (the mermaid photos are looking great). While we do offer the potential for free pants in exchange for this, I’d like to think your efforts run deeper than that.

Fashion as a whole has the remarkable ability to create characters out of people and these photos emphasise that. Even if we did spend a lot of the day looking vastly unglamourous, sweaty and tired – running up and down stairs in rubber-protected stilettoes and dashing to the shops for last minute hair gel aren’t quite the film noir plot lines we’re working towards – our on-location shoot provided us with a setting, or stage to channel our deadly characters through. For me, that’s what wearing pretty lingerie is all about. Then again, I would say that. I work in cabaret.

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