May 15, 2023

Carlijn Jacobs

473 Words

The images of Carlijn Jacobs live beneath your skin like a happy parasite. They linger long after you've closed the book or turned off your screen. They inject you with a feverish desire to see, feel, and experience more. This isn't just fashion photography: It's visual MDMA that invades your subconscious and makes itself at home.

Jacobs, an Amsterdam-born artist, started as a dark horse in the fashion industry. Trained in traditional Dutch art, she began experimenting with photography in her late teens. Today, her images are a stunning cocktail of nostalgia, rawness, and understated elegance. They challenge us, provoke us, playing in the delicate space between strength and vulnerability.

Jacobs' photography isn't just about clothes on a model. It delves into the nuances of identity, self-expression, and the human condition. It seeks out beauty in the unusual, embracing diversity with a startling honesty that leaves a lasting impression. "Jacobs' work is an intense and beautiful exploration of individuality. She creates a narrative within every image she captures. It's storytelling at its finest," commented Pernille Teisbaek, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Scandinavia.

Embracing her roots, Jacobs' imagery is often streaked with Dutch aesthetics, bringing forth echoes of Vermeer or Van Gogh, but repurposed for the modern era. It’s her understanding and re-imagination of her cultural heritage that adds a unique depth to her work, allowing her to conjure images that feel both timeless and extremely relevant.

One of Jacobs’ most provocative works is her 2022 collection, "Lenses of Perception". A series of portraits, each one is a different exploration of identity and self-expression. The images stir emotions, challenging viewers to see beyond societal norms and expectations. Jacobs, in her inimitable style, breaks through the facade, baring the soul beneath.

"In the quiet moments, you see the power of her work," remarked a recent review in the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar. "It's not just the physical beauty or the clothes; it's the raw human emotion that she captures so beautifully. Each image feels like a conversation - with the subject, with society, and most importantly, with oneself."

But Jacobs’ innovative creativity extends beyond the camera. The 31-year-old is as much a social activist as she is an artist, using her platform to promote body positivity and mental health awareness. Her unfiltered approach in portraying real people, in real bodies, with real emotions, continues to challenge the airbrushed norms of the fashion industry.

Carlijn Jacobs is fast becoming a beacon in the world of fashion photography. She weaves a narrative that captures more than just fleeting beauty or ephemeral trends. It captures a piece of our pain, our irrationality, our vulnerability, our ecstasy, and our shared humanity.

Indeed, the images of Carlijn Jacobs live in a special galaxy of their own. As Jacobs herself puts it, “Fashion photography is a canvas, and I’m here to paint the unspoken.”

Simon Archibald
Executive Creative Director