Lake Baikal, known as the “Pearl of Siberia,” is the world’s oldest and deepest known lake. Reaching depths of nearly a mile, the ice layer on the surface reaches a thickness of over six feet during the winter months. Lake Baikal’s crystalline ice formations and its endless palette of reflected colors are more reminiscent of an artist’s canvas than a simple body of water.
Fashion photographer Kristina Makeeva was instantly drawn to the haunting beauty of Lake Baikal in Russia. Having visited the area with friends, she resolved to return to photograph the lake in a captivating union of fashion and nature. In a recent interview, Makeeva said of Lake Baikal’s allure, “In some parts, ice is slippery like the mirror. You can shoot ideal reflections. Marvelous place. Very atmospheric.”
In collaboration with SmugMug, Makeeva launched a project that casts the flowing lines of high fashion against the dreamscape of Lake Baikal’s frozen surface and endless reflections. In her short film “Imagination Unbound,” Makeeva talks about how she dreamed of traveling to far off places outside of the suburbs in which she was raised. Lake Baikal, with its fantastical scenery, was the perfect venue for her project.
Makeeva says in the film, “Baikal is a very beautiful place, but it’s also a very spiritual one. It has an energy that you can feel. It has a transcendental element that really drives my creativity. It’s another world and one of my favorite places on earth.”
“Otherworldly” is certainly an apt description of Makeeva’s Lake Baikal photographs. The contrast of the cold ice against warm tones and silky fabrics is the perfect juxtaposition of timeless nature and modern art.