My (Luis Alvarez) mother’s definition of elegance was: “Achieving the most impact with the least amount of elements”. Over the years her advice has served me well. Today, every time I create a new image I analyze every inch of the frame to determine which elements I can subtract to strengthen the composition without removing essential information. Elegance is independent from style. From Minimalistic to Goth, elegance is about stripping the non-essential to distill the pure essence of an image. This is one of my favorite images. It’s of my daughter Monroe. It was shot for an editorial story called “Vanidad”.
Photography & Hair: Luis Alvarez for Aquage
Makeup: Wanda Alvarez
Fashion: L'Impasse NYC


Elegance does not necessarily mean simple. You can maintain elegance in complex designs by working within a narrow color palette and minimizing elements within the composition. The complexity in this image lies in the wood pattern of the background, but because of its rich, dark tone, the textural nature of the background becomes a unified field. I found this beautifully crafted, ornate piece of furniture (which was previously used in a Madonna shoot) in a South Beach photo studio. The hairstyle was created using a repeating zig-zag pattern and the model’s pose is composed of sinuous, relaxed curvilinear shapes. Love this image.

Photography: Luis Alvarez for Aquage
Hair: Ann Bray for Aquage
Makeup: Wanda Alvarez
Fashion: Patric Chauvez

Aquage Working Spray