Daria Belikova: All in the name of beauty

Her work has been described as dark, out of this world, occasionally provocative and, for her more sensitive audience, slightly terrifying — at least that’s what Daria Belikova’s been told.

The young fashion star, who is quickly making a name for herself in the industry, graduated from the London College of Fashion with a BA in fashion just three years ago but her dramatic work has already featured in a number of exhibitions and graced the cover of many magazines.
Image by Daria Belikova
© Daria Belikova
She started her venture into photography at the age of 15. Using her five-year-old sister as her model, Daria recalled shooting using her old Nokia phone to take the photos.

“I just liked her new cute burgundy color dress and the natural evening light that was coming from the window,” she recalled.

It didn’t take her long to realize that there was an opportunity to make money from her work and, after spending time photographing her friends and practicing her skills, she was soon able to acquire clients of her own.

“I started taking photography more seriously than before,” she said.

She made valuable contacts through her cousin, who, at the time, had recently signed as a model, and it was through that that Daria fell into fashion photography.

Dark fantasy often collides with romantic drama in Daria’s images and while her aim is to produce original, thought provoking fashion images, she admitted that she’s always been a fan of beauty in it’s most simplistic form.

“I prefer them to stay naturally beautiful — nude. I’m still in love with nude photography secretly.”

    Image by Daria Belikova
    © Daria Belikova

    When asked about her inspiration, Daria said she’d drawn inspiration from a number of well-known artists throughout different stages of her career.

    “Steve McCurry inspired that simple love of photography as a craft itself. Joel-Peter Witkin gifted me that passion for that extra-ordinary, provocative style,” she said, but added it was Gregory Colbert who’d enlightened her as to why she does what she does after his Ashes and Snow exhibition that “stole my heart”.

    “I do what I do in the name of beauty.”

    A further influence in her life were the wise words of hair stylist Keith Harris, who she said gave her the best piece of advice she’d ever received.

    “It was like a one hour lecture from him but if I can sum it up, it’s that if you want to achieve any success you should never stop trying and knocking on all the doors — the possible and impossible.

    “Whenever they don’t open you improve and come to knock again.”

    He told her only those who were “crazy” and who wouldn’t give up or get upset by criticism stood a chance of making it in the industry.

      Image by Daria Belikova
      © Daria Belikova
      Now, Daria would advise anyone wanting to succeed to get rid of the walls inside their head and break past the boundaries created by society.

      “It limits your talent and stops you from making some really unusual visual statements.”

      Currently working on a series of stories that she recently shot, Daria said although she didn’t have any specific idea for her next project, she was looking forward to seeing what the future held.

      “Life is exciting, a spontaneous project!”

      To find out more about Daria and her work, make sure to watch her live interview on Visual Education.

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