MARKUS + INDRANI: Back To The Iconic

"I wrote the treatment for the Bravo piece," she says, "and the end result didn’t quite follow what we were hoping to achieve, which was to really give our audience a window into the creative process and how those iconic images come to life because, that, in itself, is great drama. The story became a little bit more about us and ‘our’ dramas, which I don’t think are as interesting as the creative dramas, but, you know, plenty of people find that interesting, too."

Now the two are making a subtle, but important shift in the content that they’re pursuing, including more editorial and fashion-focused work, like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith for The Times Magazine UK, as well as a shoot with TRON: Legacy beauty Olivia Wilde for a series of several covers across Modern Luxury Media city-based lifestyle magazines, including Angeleno, Houston and Miami. They also have found new representation with Angela De Bona, who reps world-class portraitists, including Jill Greenberg and Patrick Demarchelier.

"Something strange in our career," explains Klinko, "is that we haven’t done fashion as much. We started out 17 years ago wanting to be editorial fashion photographers and somehow we got sidetracked. We became successful at other things—celebrity portraiture, advertising, beauty work, cosmetics and all that stuff."

At the end of 2011, they also took a momentous move into filmmaking with the visually striking short film The Legend of Lady White Snake, which recently won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Fashion and Best Special Effects at the 2012 La Jolla Fashion Film Festival. Starring fashion icon and heiress Daphne Guinness, Indrani explains that the film is a modern retelling of an ancient Chinese fable, following a beautiful demoness who has lived for thousands of years only to fall disastrously in love with a mortal man.

"For me," Indrani explains happily, "this new departure—directing commercials and videos, and especially directing film—I feel like a kid again, and I’m so excited! It’s so invigorating, and it’s just a wonderful thing to be in a creative field where we can keep expanding in these ways."

Digital cinema RED Epic cameras were employed by director of photography Pergrin Jung to achieve the grandiose look of the film, which incorporates a number of fantastical visual elements in the classic MARKUS + INDRANI style—shimmering wardrobe as a posthumous tribute to the designs of Alexander McQueen, expansive Blade Runner-esque scenic backdrops and gothic-couture styling from MARKUS + INDRANI’s frequent collaborator, GK Reid, who also used the film premiere in New York during fashion week to debut his own "Genghis Khan" line of fashion.

While Indrani was acting as head of the filmmaking process, Klinko was hard at work on a complementary series of images that go far beyond the typical publicity still. Priced at $40,000 each, 12 prints from the series were offered at the New York fashion-week premiere this past February. The sales benefited charity: water, which supplies clean drinking water to developing nations. Indrani, who was born in Kolkata, India, is a dedicated philanthropist, and she also directed a graphic short film designed to bring awareness to infanticide, child labor and sexual slavery through education of young girls in India. You can see the video and find out more about the project at Teasers for The Legend of Lady White Snake currently can be found at Indrani’s YouTube account at

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