In-Hāus Dialogue with Stephanie Thiberge
Composed by Adeline Chandra / Images courtesy of Stephanie Thiberge
Originally from country Victoria – Warrnambool, the mastermind behind Peachy Keen Magazine found her passion in Photography and Fashion 8 years ago while working as an au pair. Much to her surprise, what was intended to be a gap year in Paris ended up being a life changing experience.
Colliding the two worlds
Can you please tell us about PeachyKeenMag?
Due to the Australian geographical location, we are somewhat isolated and consequently less exposed to the rest of the world. I see Peachy Keen, both online and in print, as a francophone platform for Australian and NZ fashion, to remind the world of our lifestyle and the things that matter to us. Peachy Keen came about in one of those moments when I longed to be home.
It all started with a side project involving Australian designers whom I’ve contacted from France. I shot their clothes here in Paris and get them published on a French platform. The experience of bringing Australian designers to France was very inspiring and I took it as a challenge to be able to convert it into an actual magazine. The slow, ethical and sustainable angle chosen for Peachy Keen not only reflects my own interest but it also has to do with the fact that Australia and New Zealand were already ahead of Europe on the matter, therefore have a lot to offer!
We notice that you have editorials as well as interviews covered in Peachy Keen Mag, how do you differentiate these and what message would you like to deliver through each of these sub-categories?
As the website evolves, so will the categories. My aim is to have the interview section as a window into the workings, goals and desires of the designers. To give insights to why they decide to work the way they do, how they select the materials to work with so on.
The Editorials on the other hand, is more about the creative team as a whole - the way the photographer perceives the pieces and less about the brand itself. In other cases, I might include articles about people from other parts of the creative industry. For example, an article about the winner of France Bake Off who happened to be an illustrator / musician from Adelaide.
What do you see lacking in the fashion industry of our today’s society?
“Lacking is the wrong term – I believe nothing is lacking and that is precisely where the problem lies! We have everything we ever wanted and more in abundance.”
As a fashion photographer, how could your work contribute to the change of flow we are now experiencing in the fashion industry?
I think in all aspects of the industry we are experiencing high speed and over saturation. On social media for example, we are constantly wanting to refresh and be fed new and exciting images. And let’s be honest, I am a victim yet an actor of that system as well.
But there is something essential to me in my own practice of fashion photography – that is I tend to work only with designers I feel a connection with; and not just a human and creative connection but I am genuinely interested in what they do, how they do it, and who they work with. My preference clearly goes to working with designers who chose an ethical and sustainable path. I often shoot for young designers and work with them several collections in a row, as it is really important to me to think long term – to grow, think and create with them.
Finally, when I style personal projects to be posted on my Instagram, I aim to display designers who aligns with my view of fashion. I guess in a way I try to do “slow fashion photography” as much as possible.
What is your favourite part of your work? and why?
I sincerely enjoy every part.
From the creative process, to the preparation/organization, to the shoot, to the retouch.
I really enjoy working with companies where I can be in direct contact with the designer and really work as a team to create images that both express the vision of the designer but stay true to my style.
Lastly, what does taking photographs or being a photographer means to you?
Taking photos on a daily basis became a real obsession. I just can’t stop, even when I am on holiday. I organize shoots all the time. I could not really say why because after all, fashion is a very superficial side of photography. However, I enjoy working in the industry and my life in general is surrounded by photography. My husband is also a photographer and even though photography as a job is obviously not always the focus of our attention as a couple, photography as a passion and a daily hobby is everything to us. Being a photographer is just the best way to live the addiction.