Our friend Nastya
On womanhood and creativity in times of war.
A life affirming experience
Nastya Gerak is the amazing photographer behind all of our campaigns. She lives and works in Odesa, Ukraine. Earlier this year we started planning for a new photoshoot that was set to take place in Odesa on the last week of February. Unfortunately, just days before the shooting war broke in Ukraine. From thinking about styling and locations. suddenly our thoughts shifted to our friend Nastya and her beloved country caught in this nightmare. As this terrible situation unfolded we stayed in close contact with Nastya, who bravely decided to stay in Odesa and do what we can to support her.Nastya is part of the Semi / Romantic family and her art helped define our brand. There was no doubt for us that we will not plan another photoshoot with someone else. We told Nastya we will wait until it is safe and she feels ready.When several weeks later Nastya told us she felt the best thing she could do in resistance of her country's occupation. Together with a group of strong, brave, beautiful models, she decided to get to work.We had to overcome some logistical challenges, such as how to even send our garments to Odesa when no shipping company would deliver to Ukraine.With the help of friends and family on both sides of the border, we did it!Here is our conversation with Nastya.
S/R: A few weeks after the invasion you told us you felt ready to go back to your art and start shooting again. It was a long road to make it happen but we did! What made you decide to begin photographing again.
Nastya: My decision to stay in Ukraine was made on the first day of the war on February 24. I felt it was the only right decision for me. I'm here to help as much as possible. I can't really picture myself without being here. I have always loved my country, but this new love is beyond any understanding.
S/R: How has your day-to-day life been like since then? Can you tell us a bit about how it feels to live in this situation for so long?
Nastya: War is the most traumatic, most tragic event that can only happen. There are no words to describe these feelings - a mixture of hope and despair. The first month was the hardest — new, still unfamiliar to you feelings of all-encompassing pain for tens of thousands of lives lost. Despite the anxiety, I'm redirecting my energy and turning it into something productive. It's about building this healing atmosphere with some creative input.
S/R: - You created this photoshoot in Odesa and all the models are women who, like you, live in Odesa. Did this particular photoshoot, in this difficult moment, have a special meaning to you?
Nastya: It was such a rewarding experience working with strong women who also decided to stay in Odesa. We created a very life-affirming atmosphere during the filming - there was real support that is very much needed at this difficult time.
S/R: What would you like to tell our community about your country, your city, and your hopes and wishes for the future?
Nastya: Ukraine has a centuries-old history. Ukrainian capital city Kyiv has existed since the year 482. Kyivan Rus is the from which the history of the Ukrainian state began. We have a very beautiful national wear - vyshyvanka. Ukraine has found its identity. Now our country is synonymous with courage and bravery. And I'm sure it will stay this way. Ukrainians are a free nation and we will do everything to defend our freedom. We will win this war and become even stronger. Ukraine has a great future ahead of it.
Lingerie is an intimate thing. That's why we love knowing about the women who wear SEMI/ROMANTIC, and we want you to know us just as well.
A love letter from the black sea
We are incredibly proud to share a conversation we had with our friend Nastya. Not only is Nastya a lover of lingerie she is also an amazing and inspiring photographer. When we discovered her work we could wait to get to know her, and we are so proud to call her a friend of Semi/Romantic.
MAGIC IN MOTION
We are thrilled to introduce our New friend Dana Pajarillaga. We caught a glimpse of a video of Dana dancing and we were so moved by it, we new we had to get to know her. We discovered such a beautiful person we wanted you all to know her too.
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