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Sonia Sieff

Selfie-Sieff: an artist’s self portrait, straight from Paris

The photographer-director has filtered the world of Tod’s with her light effects.

This time the Portrait is a selfie of extreme refinement. Behind the shots of this self-portrait stands the French photographer -film director who lives fully immersed in the world of fashion, albeit specialized in portraits and nudes. We also add that she is specialized in the experimental use of lighting, the sort of effects she uses to highlight the faces of Naomi Campbell, Alice Dellal, Lou Doillon, Georgia May Jagger and Kate Moss in the advertising campaigns bearing her signature.
So, let’s talk about her signature style: considering her work, but even more so when in her presence, what comes to mind is the arduous yet magnificent balance – one so rarely encounters – between elegance and sensuality. Sonia, the beautiful daughter of Jeanloup Sieff who, from the fifties onwards, was known for his iconic interpretation of curves using the wide angle lens, betrays her family DNA with a touch that is as sinuous as it is precise.
Often artists continue to re-elaborate their past works, and this is exactly how it is with Sonia Sieff: accurately sinuous, in the hypnotic sense of the term, she alternates, first in her mind and then in her work, a cerebral approach with the desire to let herself be guided by instinct alone: “I’m working on it, I try to listen more to my inner self; I’m a bit of a control freak, but I try to dominate it”.

Her surrounding interiors already appear to be well proportioned: “A room has to be sexy”. Her private spaces are just that, packed full of books, objects and images immersed in a red and orange tinted world with its lights constantly dimmed: “I would like to be minimalist, but that’s not me”.

Current obsession. The romance “Le tour du malheur” , by Joseph Kessel: about how you can decide your fate in life. The characters are numerous and leave a lasting impression, the plot is as complicated and enthralling as a film, but devoid of images.

Fear. How life can be upturned in an instant. The wind suddenly changes direction, and you can do nothing about it.

Style: A mix of masculine and feminine, day and evening wear.

Daytime. “I find it very chic for a working woman to borrow her look from a man’s wardrobe. Trousers are important, they must be tailor-cut and the entire silhouette must be carefully studied”.
The special touch: “femininity is expressed entirely in my accessories, a bag, first and foremost, which has to be a beautiful one. Then belts are important, preferably in leather, and I find bracelets a lot of fun.”
Feminine beauty: “I see it in the extremities, nestling between the bones: hands, wrists, ankles, shoulders.”
Colours: they are mainly to be found in accessories, and also in knitwear. All colours, with the exception of pink, for me.
Overcoat: oversize, possibly with a tie belt. Otherwise a masculine cut and certainly in larger size so that it contrasts with slender legs.

Evening. Sonia loves prints, even more so if they have a vintage look, particularly those of the 40’s and 70's. Her dresses are all rather similar, like a uniform: below-knee or ankle length with an accentuated waistline.

“No one dresses like that”.
I love those who have their own personal taste, even their own bad taste.

Hunting grounds: any flea market, anywhere in the world.
In Paris, the vintage boutiques of Didier Ludot and Les Mauvais Garcons in the Marais district.

The limits of taste: playing with the imagination, daring to mix and match things that only apparently clash.

The beauty secret: what ruins a face is stress, so: stop what you are doing and have a good laugh.

The real secret: consists in identifying your best feature. I draw attention to legs and feet.

Perfume: by Frederic Malle, according to the season. Musc Ravageur for winter, Entre tes bras in the in-between seasons and in the summer I choose Lys Méditerranée.

Never: there’s no way I’ll wear fur.

Always: I make free with what friends define: an excellent bad taste.

Chic is... “the way in which a person moves and walks. It can’t be explained because it is a rare quality, almost wild in its origin”.

In a handbag:
“I feel a need for small bags”.
Inside: notebook, lipstick in a natural shade, wallet, keys and passport: “So, if I feel like taking off, I can”.

In a suitcase:
A - An exotic destination, such as India or Zanzibar.
“In this case, I always carry the craziest clothes and accessories. A different colour every day and then I add the basics, which I take with me to play down the pieces I would never where in town”.

B - A city destination, when travelling for work.
- The T-shirts and jeans I particularly like at the time
- Two pairs of shoes
- two pullovers: large V-necked men’s models or tiny round necked jumpers.
- A masculine-style jacket as an overcoat.
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