Editorial: Phil Crozier X Andrew Coimbra
Photographer Phil Crozier recently contacted me with a simple question, “Do you want to come to my studio for a shoot today?” Of course I was busy, but suggested we find another day to get together. I had seen his work in various magazines and online, and knew I was in for a treat. As a fashion blogger though I wanted to create something more than just a collection of images of myself. I wanted our shoot to feature a Canadian brand and quickly reached out to designer Andrew Coimbra.
I had seen Andrew’s work on the runway at TOM*FW (Toronto Men’s Fashion Week) and wanted to try styling it with some of my own wardrobe elements to create looks that showcased his brilliant designs in a new way. Andrew met me on a busy downtown street corner during rush hour with a garment bag filled with the items I had selected from his collection. Evening commuters sped past us as we chatted about the Canadian fashion industry, his excitement over his new website and how my shoot with Phil might play out.
The next day having torn apart my closet assembling looks based on each piece from Andrew, I headed over to meet Phil. His large studio in Toronto quickly became my playground. It was not long before Phil, (while peering through the lens) called out over the music, “You used to be a dancer didn’t you?!” Yes I had been, for over a decade and to this day I cannot keep still if there is music playing. The afternoon flew by with wardrobe changes, flash bulbs and lots of laughter.
Below you will find the full five looks we shot and my #stmINTERVIEWED with the one and only, Phil Crozier.
Sleeveless belted zip – Andrew Coimbra. Sweater – Club Monaco. Pants – Le 31.
STM – You recently moved to Toronto from Calgary. What brought you here?
Phil – Toronto is where many creative Canadians come to grow their business, dream big, and network. I chose to expand to Toronto and explore and challenge myself in a market that I have always been inspired by and respected. I love making friends at events around town, meeting with editors of publications, and building new client relationships – Toronto feels like a city I can grow into!
Jacket – Andrew Coimbra. Denim – Lucky Brand. Shirt – custom.
Bow tie -Aristocrats Bows N Ties. Cuff – Kat Marks. Shoes – Calvin Klein
STM – What got you interested in photography and what captured your attention in regards to fashion photography?
Phil – I took photographs of my friends in college for music recital posters and then it spread like wild-fire. People started saying, I want to look amazing like that! Take my photo! And as a kid I was always drawing portraits, so it was kind of a natural progression of studying faces and the way light created shadows on the face, and reflections in the eyes. I love collaborating with high level creative designers, stylists, make-up artists and models. There is an energy that fills the room with excitement and determination to create as a team. When we realize that there are no rules to fashion photography, you can enjoy your team, the fashion, the spontaneous ideas, and the outcome!
T-shirt – Andrew Coimbra. Dress shirt – custom. Bow tie – Kat Marks.
Shorts – Tristan. Bracelet – Julianne Plewes. Shoes – Calvin Klein.
STM – For you, what are the main differences between shooting menswear vs womenswear?
Phil – I approach each fashion shoot with an open mind, and focus on the characteristics of the brand, clothing and model, regardless of if it’s menswear or womenswear. These days there’s more blurring of lines, you can make a female fashion shoot look hard and masculine, and a men’s shoot look soft and feminine, anything goes. For me, it’s all fluid, which brings out the great results.
STM – What is the one location in Toronto you want to have as your next backdrop?
Phil – Well, Toronto is still a new city to me and I’m hoping to discover all the best locations over the next years. It would be pretty amazing to get into the zoo and be able to shoot in the Giraffe pavilion! Or on top of a building downtown with a bunch of sandstone gargoyles… Does that exist in Toronto??
Top – Andrew Coimbra. Pants – Le 31. Shoes – Kenneth Cole.
STM – If you could shoot any brand or person which brand/who would it be and why?
Phil – Julia Roberts in Zac Posen for Vogue! I know that answer really shows that I clearly love classics, but I do!
STM – What’s your honest opinion of the selfie stick?
Phil – Selfie stick + a remarkable location in nature + no tourists around = great!
Top by Andrew Coimbra. Pants – Le 31
STM – What is your number one tip for anyone picking up a camera to take a picture?
Phil – Anyone who picks up a camera and is using natural light should remember that there is 360° of light hitting your subject. Choose the best lighting on the face over the “coolest” background.
When he is not shooting, you might be lucky enough to stumble upon Phil at Home of the Brave, where his favourite dish is the buffalo cauliflower, which he ensures me is “ridiculous.” If he is not there, it is very possible he is eyeing another Canon lens. The man has been in a committed relationship with them since college when he spent more money on Canon products than he did on tuition! Otherwise, like many of us he might very well be watching Netflix, which he recommends enjoying with a Reese Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard in one hand.
Andrew Coimbra, like all designers is feverishly working on his next collection. When we met up he excitedly announced that the fabrics for his Spring/Summer 2016 collection had arrived at his studio. (You would have thought he had just won the lottery.) No doubt his coming collection will be as inspiring as the last and will push the envelope in that special Andrew Coimbra way.
Be sure to follow Phil and Andrew on social media:
Phil Cozier: Instagram: @photophilcro, Facebook: PhotoPhilCro.
Andrew Coimbra: Instagram: @andrewcoimbra, Twitter: @andrewcoimbra, Facebook: Andrew Coimbra.