Visualizing Ideas. The Red Circus: Caterina Salimbeni

Visualizing Ideas. The Red Circus: Caterina Salimbeni

Evoking your country’s cultural background can be another great source of inspiration for photoshoots.
Every month, a new tool or strategy to visualize ideas used by students at Istituto Marangoni Firenze is selected and commented on by the editorial staff of I’M Firenze Digest.
This month, we are presenting the Freak Show photoshoot by Caterina Salimbeni, Fashion Styling & Creative Direction student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

by Viktoriia Stanieva. Cover image: Caterina Salimbeni, Freak Show, 2021

For her recent photoshoot, Caterina Salimbeni was inspired by Federico Fellini’s filmmaking. Salimbeni is especially fascinated by the way that Italian filmmaker was able to bring together important social and aesthetical topics, such idealized beauty, nostalgia for the past, sex, and the eccentricities of everyday life, to portray his characters in a grotesque, surreal world.
He was the master at playing with Italian clichés and making them likable to the viewer, adding charm and a unique appeal to its films. 
With this photoshoot, Salimbeni would like to encourage our young generation to appreciate the characters and the history of Italian cinema, to not forget about their roots. To do that, she was inspired by Fellini’s coherent characters.
She tried to be just as detail-oriented as Fellini was for his films. 
Circus was the main theme of the photoshoot, which allowed Caterina Salimbeni to go beyond creativity and to try and build her own surreal world within the set. She used playful, dreamy garments, yet the colors tend to clash in dense, dizzying combinations. 
Red is used profusely not only because it evokes circus tents, but also as another reference to Fellini, a color that clearly dominates many of his settings, as in Juliet of the Spirits.
An eye-catching bright red helps create tension, excitement and passion, so you can’t take your eyes off the scene. 
Just like a film director, Caterina Salimbeni plays with the viewer’s perception through absurd compositions and surrealistic imagery.
By distorting her pictures, she imitated the funhouse mirror effect, where human images are stretched out of their usual portraits.
By the end, the circus is the place where we get distracted from reality to genuinely believe in magic – and we get the same feeling watching Federico Fellini’s movies.
Because all we want is to experience something extraordinary in our ordinary lives.

Caterina Salimbeni, Freak Show, 2021 
Photographer: Alex Jiang
Stylist: Caterina Salimbeni
Make-up: Giada Pinferi
Garments: Nyknke Moens, Alice Peachot, Dutches brand

Caterina Salimbeni is an undergraduate student in Fashion Styling & Creative Direction at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Viktoriia Stanieva is an undergraduate student in Fashion Styling & Creative Direction at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.