The Photography behind the Monokini 2.0 Project - Swimwear for Women Who Have Had Mastectomies

The Photography behind the Monokini 2.0 Project - Swimwear for Women Who Have Had Mastectomies

The Finnish art duo Nutty Tarts / Tärähtäneet ämmät (Katriina Haikala and Vilma Metteri) are the artistic directors bringing to life an idea that Elina Halttunen (Ph.D.) originally came up with - swimwear for women who have had mastectomies. "Who says you need two?" That's the Monokini 2.0 tagline.

Another member of the team is Pinja Valja - the photographer who was tasked with the job of capturing all the haute couture swimsuits. She photographed empowering high-fashion images of models who have had mastectomies, and she did it against simple seamless backdrops. These are just a sample of the 10 total designs and photographs.

fstoppers-monokini-katja-aaron-brown Design by Mert Otsamo | Modeled by Katja

fstoppers-monokini-kristiina-aaron-brown Design by Outi Pyy | Modeled by Kristiina

fstoppers-monokini-virve-aaron-brown Design by Tyra Therman | Modeled by Virve

fstoppers-monokini-elina-aaron-brown Design by Elina Halttunen | Modeled by Elina

fstoppers-monokini-team-aaron-brown The Team behind Monokini 2.0

From the Monokini 2.0 website:

"Monokini 2.0 is a social art project that re-examines popular culture’s narrow view of a woman’s ideal appearance. We strive to expand what is accepted and considered beautiful by designing a swimwear collection for women who have gone through breast cancer. Swimwear is conventionally designed for women who haven’t suffered a mastectomy. The fact is that many women who have had one breast removed due to breast cancer don’t wish to have breast reconstruction surgery, they wish to continue their lives with one or no breasts at all."

Monokini 2.0 just launched a Kickstarter campaign last Friday. Their goal is to raise $55,000 to take the next step from their art project and start actually producing three swimsuit designs for women to be able to purchase and use. The money collected will go 70% to production, 20% to marketing and 10% to an online storefront. It's a very interesting and well intentioned project that has a lot potential.

The Monokini 2.0 Kickstarter page has a lot of quick behind-the-scenes looks in their video where you can actually see several of the lighting setups Pinja used to capture the 10 different models and swimsuits. I personally find, from what I can make out, the one or two-light setup (sometimes with a reflector) style of shooting that she used to be very reminiscent of the celebrity shots Mary Ellen Matthews creates for Saturday Night Live. I think it's a really good fit for this whole concept.

Do you think the minimalistic approach to the photography works? Check it all out and tell us what you think below in the comments.

All images used with permission.

[via Monokini 2.0 | Kickstarter]

Aaron Brown's picture

Aaron Brown is a Northwest Indiana wedding & portrait photographer. In his off time, he enjoys grooming his beard, consuming assorted meats and craft beers, and battling friends and foes alike in blitz chess. Follow him below, and feel free to drop him a line anytime.

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1 Comment

That's really great stuff, wonderful spirit in those gals. Just great to see the smiles like those on Virve and Elina.