Long-time MYKITA collaborator and enigmatic designer Bernhard Willhelm has brought out a lookbook to showcase his Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Women/Men’s Collection. Fresh and twisted in equal measure, the surreal photo series features a motley crew of LA kids wearing Willhelm’s latest designs with buckets of attitude. Right at home in the shoot is URSULA, the eccentric octagonal model from the MYKITA & Bernhard Willhelm collection.

Up-and-coming artist/photographer, Natascha Goldenberg, captured the vibrant, fun-filled images earlier this year. Recently, the MYKITA JOURNAL caught up with the Berlin resident, who aims for “weird and humour” in her images, to get some insight on what it’s like creating a lookbook for legendary rule breaker, Bernhard Willhelm.

Bernhard Willhelm AW 14-15 lookbook by Natascha Goldenberg

This is your first project like this: Can you tell us how you got involved with the Bernhard Willhelm lookbook?

In the winter of 2012-13 I spent some months in Los Angeles attending the Mountain School of Arts. During this time I got to know Kevin McGarry, a collaborator of Bernhard’s, who introduced us one evening. He happened to be looking for a photographer for his new lookbook at the time. There are a lot ‘rules’ within fashion and fashion photography and Bernhard was really after something more fresh. This is perhaps a reason why he preferred to work with a lesser-known photographer. As Europeans in the foreignness of LA, I also felt like we had a kind of understanding.

The images are not at all what we have come to expect from a lookbook that normally features one model against a plain backdrop: What does a brief for a production like this look like?

Well, there was not a brief in the traditional sense, but Bernhard had a lot of input conceptually. In the days leading up to the shoot, we spent quite a lot of time together. He would cook the team dinner and we would talk about the concept and ideas. I really fell in love with Bernhard! 

Where did you shoot and who were the models?

Well, the businessman print featured in the collection inspired the downtown location. We spent a day shooting in and around MacArthur Park with a cast consisting mainly of Niko’s (the art director) friends. Tierney Finster (knockout blonde) and Niko Karamayan are long-time collaborators and actually crop up in a quite a few projects around.

What can you tell us about the narrative?

It’s not exactly straightforward like that. All I can say that Bernhard is very conceptual and provided a lot of ideas and input. Aside from that it was an incredibly fun day at the park where some things also came about spontaneously. The fight scene video was planned though for example, an idea from Bernhard.

What about the designs: Do you have any favourites?

I really appreciate the designs of Bernhard Willhelm. From this collection, I especially like the skirt Tierney is wearing with the “Sexy” and “Pocket” in the back. The glasses by MYKITA were also great to photograph. URSULA is incredibly photogenic.