For the Ukrainian art-and-fashion duo Synchrodogs, just being photographers isn’t enough. Tania Shcheglova, 23, and Roman Noven, 27, are also their own models, stylists, makeup artists, bookkeepers, and muses for a body of work that usually involves the two of them, often nude, swaddled in bright fabric or laying around outside in commissioned works for publications like Dazed & Confused, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Urban Outfitters.
The couple first met online, when they lived eight hours from each other, until they met in the middle of the country one day and took their first furtive photographs of each other. “Tania barely found time to speak on the web, but Roman was persistent enough,” the two explained, collaboratively of course, about their early relationship. They’ve stayed together for roughly five years since, working alongside each other daily, whether that means roaming around Ukraine on their vintage motorbike scouting locations or shopping for props for their upcoming shoots.
For this installment of Out of the Box, we sent them a selection of printed dresses and accessories from Marc Jacobs, Hermès, Thom Browne, Prada, and more to see what the surrealist-minded pair would do with this season’s most brightly patterned and colorful looks. Immediately, they found an old-school USSR studio “where grannies used to shoot weddings and love stories.” There, they made images against elaborately (and perhaps cheesily) painted backgrounds and floral landscapes, even as the owners of the place “hardly knew what the word ‘fashion’ meant.” For other photographs, they sourced loud fabrics from flea markets and textile stores, which — though the couple only shoots on film — were expanded, stretched, and color-corrected in Photoshop to create a cohesive look.
“We started thinking of what can be common in twenty shots where Tania’s wearing different designers’ clothes,” they added. The final decision was to create a through-line using nostalgically childish props and clownlike wigs. “Finding everything meant we had to visit every flea market, ritual store, local art fair, and carnival shop.” It all paid off, as you’ll see in our original portfolio below.
Fashion market editing by Rebecca Ramsey.