Closet Visit


Written by Kate Kelsall
05 Tuesday 05th June 2012

Jeana Sohn is an illustrator, photographer and the founder of a fascinatingly fashionable blog - Closet Visits - which she started in 2010 as an excuse to get out of the studio and into creative women's homes (might be creepy if she was a dude). Visiting a host of enviably independent and unfussily stylish woman, the images are made up of intimate shots of her subjects amongst their domestic havens. Rumpled bedsheets, playful portraits and bedside tables strewn with jewelry and make-up create a refreshing antidote to manicured and artificial fashion shoots. Succinct interviews accompany each 'visit' providing a window into ladies' style secrets.

Cathy Cooper is an artist and stylist: in her own words "a baroque hobo... on the witchy side".

Closet Visit is a great, novel idea for a blog, when did it come to you and how did you set about putting it in motion?
I wanted to start a new project that could get me out of my art studio (I'm a painter as well) and meet people. I loved taking photos and had many stylish friends, so I thought about shooting them in their favorite outfits. My first post was up in October 2010. 
Much of the site’s success rides on the quality of your photos. Tell me more about your roots in photography and the look you try to achieve with the images for Closet Visit.
I'm a self-taught photographer and I'm still learning from shooting my Closet Visit subjects. I try to keep my shots simple and natural. I don't use light kits or bring an assistant to the shoot. It's always just me and my subject so my subject feels more comfortable being herself. 
Sunny Walker owns a vintage shop called 'Painted Bird' who says her personal style is "a mess".
It looks like you and your models have had real fun taking them. Tell me more about the experience of going to peoples' homes. Do the ideas for the shots come mostly from you, or is it a collaborative process with the women you visit?
It's always fun shooting with my subjects. They are very open-minded and they enjoy playing dress up. I usually ask them to pick out their favorite looks before I get there and we find good spots to shoot for each outfit in their home. I do often get distracted by going through their amazing stuff and forget about taking pictures.
Camille Cregan is an actress and model. Her key pieces are trashed Prada ankle boots, a cashmere sweater and her a blazer her brother owned at ten.
Building on this, the project works because it teams interviews and photos of women relaxing in their home environments, thus giving a real feel for their personal taste. What are the origins and implications of why we enjoy this, as oppose to say, seeing photos of clothes on a beautiful model.
I try to pick out subjects who are not only stylish but creative and inspiring. I think that's the key point. When you see someone who you can respect and have a girl-crush on, you kind of want to know everything about this person. 
Matilda, Closet Visit's second foray into short film. Model and muse is the 18 year old Matilda Riccardi.
Many of the visits are to your friends and acquaintances and we feel that within the collection there is definitely a visibly recurrent style - feminine and elegant with a touch of eccentricity and adventure. Good taste is very personal so what is your idea and understanding of what makes a stylish woman?
People I feature are certainly collectors but they are not fashion slaves. They don't wear head-to-toe designer brands, they don't buy just because some celebrities wear it and they don't follow trends too much. They know what works best for them and how to mix vintage (or high street fashion) and designer. I think that makes a stylish woman. 
Jasmine Croissant is a dancer. Her shopping advice is 'Don't shop. Dance. Things come to you that way.'
If you could closet visit anyone on the planet who would it be and why? 
I'd love to feature Jenna Lyons from J.Crew. I love how she mixes masculine and feminine looks together and it would be fun to peek in her home.  
Beatrice Valenzuela is an L.A based shoe designer and hair stylist.
Be sure to delve deep into Jeana's wardrobe wanderings yourself at Closet Visit.

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