Dress-Subin Hahn

Lunar Geisha

Finding voices through culture, identity, and sexuality


Photos: Michelle Watt @wattphoto

Fashion: Dani Morales @danimoralesstyle

Makeup: Clara Rae @clara_rae at Honey Artists using MAC Cosmetics

Hair: Niko Weddle @nikoweddle using Amika and Sensationnel Hair

Set: Jacqueline Draper @jacquelineeey

Talents: Ash Foo at NY Models @ash_foo @newyorkmodels

Fashion Assist: Tanisha Hall & Adjani Jensen


This surrealistic portrait series tells a metaphorical coming-of-age story of a Geisha. Being an American woman of East Asian descent, this series stems from a personal struggle wrapped in my racial and sexual identity that straddles two cultures. These images remark on the way I am seen, the way I want to be seen, and how I see myself in the context of traditional and contemporary society.

Earrings-Victoria Hayes
Blouse-Gucci, Suit-Gucci, Headband-Epona Valley

Using the Geisha as a metaphor to reference a stark and stripped-down iconography depicting “sexualized Asian woman,” these photographs reflect on the expectations that different societies place on East Asian women and the complicated emotions that occur when taking part in them.

Each scene in this series represents a particular age growing up and exhibits a reaction respective to that transformation. Using a specific progression of colors and props to evoke development and metamorphosis, we follow our protagonist from the puerile age of innocence, through the rebellious phases of adolescence, and finally into the full blossoming of womanhood. In styling and set design, we utilize themes of innocence, menstruation, nakedness, sexuality, power, and poise to simultaneously communicate compliance and disquiet in the playing and defying of these roles. In cycling through the embodiment of these themes within, a continual rebirth of identity occurs every time one stands up to perform.

Top-Reflash Studios, Hair Clips-Pearl River Mart, Headband-Epona Valley, Bracelet-Saima Chaudhry
Earrings-Victoria Hayes, Top-Dries Van Noten, Obi Kimono belt-Kyoetsu, Shoes-Christian Louboutin
Dress-Cheng Cage, Skirt-Chromat, Boots- Gucci, Hair Clips-Pearl River Mart