“We all got away from the bad news and vibes and felt creative even for a little time,” he wrote on Instagram.
One half of the photography duo Mert & Marcus—who have shot fantastical fashion editorials for magazines like Vogue and Interview as well as campaigns for brands like Fendi and Givenchy—Mert Alas is cooped up at home just like the rest of us. Anxious to continue creating art and offering inspiration and distraction during these tough times, he put out a call on Instagram to his 1.4 million followers asking them to contribute images to a photo series titled The Quarantine Days.
“Lets play, lets create,” he posted on Instagram last week, asking users to send in photos “creative directed” by him. He laid out Styling and Fashion, Concept, Mood, and Hair & Makeup cues: requesting “dreamy” images constructed using white sheets, white walls, moody light, flowers and other props. “You can be a Greek god in a dream or hungry vampire in love or a lost bride at night or an awaken angel or a character in a surreal painting. CREATE A CHARACTER,” he instructed.
“You will create the photo and send me,” he added. “After I will pick the photos I like and work on them like they are my own.” Thousands of photos came flooding in, with exactly the moody, mysterious atmosphere that Alas had asked for. There were masked figures against blank walls and in window reflections, nude bodies splayed out on couches and unmade beds, faces submerged in bath tubs, and even ballerinas captured mid-dance on their balconies.
Peppered in amongst the dozens of photos are occasional appearances by some of Alas’s famous friends. Keep your eyes peeled for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Emily Ratajkowski and Amber Valletta. “What a privilege and an honor,” commented Jacobs on one of the posts. “What freedom it is to express oneself. Thank you 🙏🏼 dear @mertalas and BRAVO!! Keep spreading the LOVE and the DREAMS. ♥️”
Over the course of this past week, Alas released the edited images in batches of eight to 10, noting that the entire process was an “exciting and emotional” experience. “First of all you guys all rock for taking the time to make a dream and inspiring each other and second what matters is we all tried! we all got away from the bad news and vibes and felt creative even for a little time. from nurses to students to mothers to models to artists to chefs to painters THANKS GUYS ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️,” he posted.
Check out the full quarantine photo series on his Instagram page here.