Model and artist Tessa Kuragi joins forces with Nick Knight to create a fashion film and a series of provocative imagery, entitled Tessa. Conceptualised by Kuragi herself, the end product is the result of over a year and a half of creative brainstorms between Knight and Kuragi.
Hung, bound, gagged and caged in a series of extreme positions, Kuragi pushes her body to the limits in an exploration of her fetish and sexuality. Dan Hebberd, a shibari bondage artist Kuragi often visits in Japan, joined the shoot at Kuragi's request, guiding Kuragi in her exploration. The fashion film closes with Kuragi in the bondage master's embrace, recuperating from the intense session.
Knight's sole direction was a reference to Gore Vidal's 1968 novel Myra Breckinridge; recognised as a major literary assault on gender norms for its spotlighting of transsexuality. With this in mind, stylist Jacob K felt the addition of a prosthetic penis would enhance the masculinity of the editorial - which was originally intended for Vogue Homme. The significance of silhouette, form and texture created throughout this project is captured in a series of 3-D scans, spotlighted by Kuragi because of their otherworldly nature.
The project is accompanied by an audio interview with Kuragi, conducted by Carrie Scott, in which the duo discuss fetish, kink, Kuragi's own personal self-exploration and the use of a fake phallus on set. Scott also contributes an essay to the project, which examines the complexities of agency, and why it's essential that Kuragi always have it in her work.