hhuugg1/2/3 + hhuugg remix
Photography & design: paula roush
Modeling & styling: hugo santos
Creative direction: msdm studio
Artillery Place, Woolwich London
Once a week, like a ritual regularly enacted to keep a friendship alive, Hugo visits me in the studio. He always brings a selection of clothes -found, vintage and new- from his personal archive. Things collected here and there, like a prayer skirt from Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a Charles Jeffrey Loverboy kilt, or a pair of Tabi boots from a collaboration between Maison Margiela and DSM.
When he’s dressed up and ready for a shoot, we drift around the three storey building, looking for inspiration. For HHUUGG1 we grabbed a bunch of wild flowers just harvested from the neighbouring park. For HHUUGG2 we followed a ray of sunlight striking a mouldy wall. And HHUUGG3 came about whilst Strange Things Series 3 streamed in the Reception room’s smart TV.
We play. We improvise. There is never a plan. We follow a manifesto we wrote with our friend Travis outlining three mindfulness principles in the studio’s practice.
Be grateful for the moment unfolding around us.
Follow the bliss of infinite creative source.
Assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled.
The results keep surprising us. When we decided to share them through a publication, our friend Constantine suggested Hugo as title, in the tradition of photographers’ zines named after their models. Hugo is actually the modern german form, the old name Hugh meaning Mind-Thought-Soul. It is so wholesome that we settle for HUG. Not just HUG though, but HHUUGG spelled twice [HUG HUG]. For Give me hug, are 3 magic words we say each other every time we feel pure joy and we embrace to celebrate. And also, in deference to the kundalini yoga mantra har-har that sounds like hud-hud. The vibration of the heart that has the power to clear all blocks preventing one from manifesting prosperity and success in the world. Namaste.