Katherine Tuenter from The Wardrobe blog. Images supplied.
Katherine Tuenter is the talented photographer and creative behind The Wardrobe, a beautiful fashion blog which documents her gorgeous personal style. Katherine took up fashion blogging in 2016 and is quickly becoming known for her quirky cute looks and stunning photography. We caught up with Katherine to find out more about what drew her to fashion blogging, how she creates the perfect outfit and who her favourite New Zealand labels are.
What’s your background and what made you want to become a fashion blogger?
I am a full-time photographer day to day, and I have always had a love of fashion. Originally my career choice was fashion design, but after studying at Whitecliffe and receiving an overwhelming response for my photography work I went into transforming it from a hobby to a business. I played around with the idea of The Wardrobe blog since after I left university, but I spent a number of years improving my photography until I felt like I could take on a variety of challenges. The Wardrobe is a creative space for showcasing the best and brightest of Kiwi women in the fashion and beauty scene, and a place for me to experiment creatively in a way that I cannot when working with my clients. Fashion for me is about personal expression, and emotion. Each look represents a different facet of my aesthetic, so I hope to inspire others in the process.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your blog photo shoots?
Day to day I’m very relaxed, as The Wardrobe as a free creative platform for me, so much of what I photograph I wouldn’t wear on a daily basis. My style in general is very feminine, bright, dynamic, and a little quirky. A blend of kawaii, and European aesthetic. Cute meets elegant. I try to mix up the outfits I create on the blog, and always focus on creating new ideas, and challenging myself.
You’re a pretty amazing multi-tasker since you shoot, style and art-direct your photo shoots yourself, what’s the process like on set and how do you manage all of it yourself?
I have a strong vision in my mind for almost everything I create, I like to have a solid plan in mind before I go about photographing, keeping in mind factors like the weather, sun position, time of day and especially the wind! I am very particular about the role of light in my images, so I have a tendency to be drawn towards sunlit evening portraits, and glowing skies. I usually plan my outfit first, then find the location, plan a date and once I have set up the camera, I will sometimes bring an assistant to capture the images depending on where I am. Often it takes a little bit of time to get everything looking just right, but time spent getting things right in camera means less time later. Some great advice given to me once was “Measure twice, cut once” in reference to spending that extra time preparing can mean a better result later on.
Shooting on the street or in public can be unpredictable, have you had any funny or embarrassing moments trying to get a great shot?
There’s often people honking, or yelling things from their car windows, but I just ignore them. Some people will often comment on what I am doing, and seem curious, but most people are pretty considerate when I am photographing outdoors! The craziest images I’ve taken were done in studio, so in there I can get really creative! One example was my post ‘Copper’, which was a play with motion blur and studio lighting. It’s a lot more difficult than natural light as you are limited to certain settings. Although I had to do the most hilarious movements to create the shots – they turned out beautifully and I was very proud of the results.
How do you go about creating the perfect outfit and do you have any style rules?
Cohesiveness. I am all about making sure each element of every outfit speaks the same story. I feel that in the post-modern era we live in, clashing elements and creative chaos is a current trend aesthetically. I am more traditional in the way I style pieces, often around one central garment or accessory. I like to stick to no more than three colours at a time, so the outfit works together head to toe.
Do you have any style icons who inspire you?
So many designers inspire me, and a few different bloggers. Willabelle Ong, a luxury blogger from the Pale Division in Australia creates just divine work. My favourite designers are mostly European & Japanese designers, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, and Comme Des Garcons to name a few. New Zealand designers that I adore are PIA Boutique, RUBY, and Miss Crabb. Ophelia Overdose, is a more unconventional model, designer and creator. I love her work for her use of colour and her unique aesthetic. The variety of looks and styles she embodies is incredible.
What are your favourite NZ labels to wear?
PIA Boutique is currently my absolute favourite for summer, her designs are so flattering, fun and colourful. I also have an ever growing collection of Karen Walker’s accessories.
Social media is a big part of fashion blogging, how much time do you put into creating your content and spend on Instagram and Facebook in general?
It’s pretty much most of my day when I’m not shooting or in meetings with clients. I try to spend 2-3 full days selecting, editing and preparing content but having more content created in advance is something I am working on. I’ve found it to be the best strategy for staying on top of deadlines and collaborations.
How do you decide which brands you collaborate with and what have been your favourite projects for your blog so far?
I try to select other creatives and labels that work in with my own aesthetic, or parts of it. Feminine, bright and colourful is what I focus on. My favourite projects so far have been working with Phoenix Renata of Phoenix Cosmetics, we created the most amazing modern pinup set in her studio and brought the dream to life! PIA Boutique, with a selection of summer pieces, and millinery designer Claire Hahn. There are so many! I also have more exciting projects over summer which I am looking forward to sharing.
Images by Katherine Tuenter from The Wardrobe.