MOOD IS EVERYTHING: It’s perhaps something of a cliché by this point to associate fashion—or any art form, for that matter—with “attitude.” Antoni’s clearly noticed this, and gone back to an earlier and, frankly, more evocative method of conveying power and beauty, namely, by emphasizing “mood.” Everything from moodily-pouting models to a great use of blacks and whites for sharp contrasts between the foreground and background as well as model and outfit allows for a definite “feel” to his works and, by extension, the fashions he photographs. When something’s supposed to feel mysterious, you see that in the harsh tones. When something’s supposed to feel alluring and “set the mood,” that’s conveyed as well. It all adds up to a style that isn’t so much “less is more” as it is “mood over attitude”—and it’s a welcome change.
THE COLOR (WHEN PRESENT) POPS: Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and nothing makes the colors—especially deep and powerful reds—pop in an Antoni photograph like the lack of color elsewhere. As mentioned, Antoni seems a fan of noir-style black and white photos, and so this highlights the presence of color all the more when it pops up in his work, and in the outfits and models he’s photographing. While this can be overdone, the kind of outfits Antoni photographs seem all the more vivid due to a scarcity of color. When red lipstick or a red dress shows up, that red pops, and the black and white background allows you to focus all the more on every last detail of the outfit.
THE GOTHIC: There’s a definite Gothic, grim vibe to certain elements of Antoni’s photographs, and for as fantastic as the outfits he photographs are, again, it’s mood that he’s trying to create. This works to the advantage of both his style and the clothing itself—great fashions should set a mood. Things can seem a bit grim and Gothic, but this level of difference and danger makes them all the more interesting.
THE “OTHER” STYLE: There are Antoni photos where he departs from his trademark style for something slightly retro, but even these pieces keep the mood; if it’s a slightly-retro look or fashion that’s on display, a retro style can transport you right to the era being evoked and make you feel the pervasive power of fashion over time.