Monday, April 24, 2017

Music


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Loulou De Saison

Photo Courtesy Of Loulou De Saison

WHERE DO YOU PRESENTLY LIVE AND WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CITY?
I live in Paris. What I like the most about this city is its cultural resonance. Walking the historic streets of Paris never ceases to amaze me. There is such a unique beauty that inspires me and has always fascinated me. Paris has always had this epicurean lifestyle. The French love to eat good food, hang out in wonderful places and wear the latest fashion.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED?
I was raised next to Paris, in a family house, with a garden full of trees but I craved the big city life.

WHAT WERE YOUR ASPIRATIONS GROWING UP?
Growing up I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry. Fashion is more than just deciding what to wear in the morning, fashion is a statement; fashion is a way to express yourself and I understood that from a young age. I wanted to work with women with that certain “Je ne sais quoi” that makes elegance and allure.

WHY FASHION?
As I said earlier, fashion empowers women in a way. The way one dresses is the first impression given to others, and fashion helps you shape it.

WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATION?
I'm a full-time mother of two, a digital influencer, and an image consultant.

WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND TRAINING?
I was driven towards fashion, so I trained to be a stylist; I wanted to try every possible area to see where I would feel most comfortable, like press for example. I would say my career in fashion has been fulfilling as a digital influencer, compiled with consulting and photo styling.

WHAT DOES STYLE MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DID YOU GET SO PLAYFUL AND FEARLESS?
With age comes confidence; you get to know yourself better, you know what suits you. My style is my own way of expressing myself. It’s all about having fun, incorporating lots of colors, playful accessories, like animals, to cheer the world up and escape reality.

WHAT SHOULD EVERY WOMAN OWN AND WHAT SHOULD BE QUICKLY THROWN AWAY?
I believe every woman should have the perfect jeans, the crispy cotton white shirt, the timeless black dress and a strong bold piece. I don't believe in throwing away anything, I find fashion “faux pas” kind of cute. It takes a lot of confidence to try something new and that gesture should be appreciated. But if I had to give a piece of advice, I would say, throw away bad fabrics.

WHO DO YOU RANK AMONG YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS?
To name a few, J.W. Anderson and Phoebe Philo - because this list could go on for days.

HOW DOES YOU AESTHETIC TRANSLATE IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE ?
It's all linked, I’m sensitive to art, design, architecture, and it is reflected in my style. Sometimes I would be inspired by a color combination I would see in a painting and make an outfit out of it.

WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
Traveling inspires me, exåloring cultures I'm not familiar with, meeting people, their open mindedness and different cultural backgrounds. Art and everything that comes with it inspires me.

WHAT BEAUTY ROUTINE DO YOU SWEAR BY?
Cleaning and moisturizing your face is a must. I have dry skin so I swear by my “Esthederm” face cream. To moisturize my body I use “Crème de la Mer”.

HOW DO YOU SPEND A DAY OFF?
I try to stay as far from my phone as I possibly can. I usually spend it with my children, trying to enjoy the simple things that life has to offer.

HOW DO YOU STAY BALANCED?
The key to staying balanced is not being excessive. I try to eat healthy and take care of my body and spend time with my loved ones.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

White Is Right


Photographed By Karen Burgos

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Jacqueline Secor

Photo Courtesy Of Jacqueline Secor

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED AND WHERE TO DO YOU PRESENTLY LIVE?
I was born in the historical Gold Rush town of Placerville, California and raised in Pollock Pines, California. I currently live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT CITY OR HOMETOWN?
Pollock Pines is a small town at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is also known as “Nature's Wonderland”. I spent summers and weekends boating, rafting the american river, and panning for gold in Coloma, the birthplace of the California Gold Rush. I loved growing up in an area surrounded by historical significance and natural beauty.

WHAT WERE YOUR ASPIRATIONS GROWING UP?
I wanted to be an archaeologist and treasure hunter growing up.

WHAT HAS BEEN A PIVOTAL MOMENT?
Having my work featured and purchased by others has been super exciting.

WHY ART?
I had turned to art as a way to help myself heal from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which I had developed after moving to Utah. Art is a universal language and I felt that if I could help even one or two other women to love and to accept their bodies, then I would continue to produce. Art is very therapeutic.

WHY VAGINAS?
Initially, I never intended to make this project public or political. The decision to paint vulvae began as an entirely personal way to help myself cope with some of my own struggles. After sharing a few early paintings with my close friends and family, they responded by sending me photos of their own bodies to reimagine in my art, and encouraged me to make the project public. Now, I have had women from all around the world: friends, family members, casual acquaintances, and total strangers contribute as models for my work. I’ve had dozens more, men and women, contact me, some publicly and some privately, expressing gratitude for the way this series helped them to see beauty in the human body. Similarly, many of the models intimated that by sending me photos of their bodies, they wanted to overcome their fears and insecurities. Painting vulvae, focusing on details of women’s bodies, even the parts that are “supposed” to be hidden, does sometimes feel like a small act of resistance, a way of saying that women don’t need to hide, that we deserve a place, not just in the art world, but in every sector. I’ve been greatly encouraged by the positive responses to my work, but, honestly, the negative comments have done more to motivate me to continue working on this series. They prove that now, even in 2017, women’s bodies are a site of conflict. Really, no matter what tone those comments take, I see them all as an attempt to silence women, to invalidate how they look, what they say, and how they exist in the world.

HOW DO YOU GET AWAY WITH POSTING PRIVATE PARTS ON INSTAGRAM?
I think because they are artistic representations of private parts. I portray vulvae as they are: integral elements of the natural world we are a part of. The beauty, the strength, the very survival of nature depends on diversity. So too with humans.

WHY ARE VULVAS RARELY APPRECIATED (BY MEN) IN AN ARTISTIC SETTING BUT ADORNED WHEN THE SPACE IS PORNOGRAPHIC?
Even today, despite the prevalence of female nudes in art museums, despite the accessibility to pornography, there is still tremendous pressure on women to hide themselves, to be ashamed of whatever doesn’t conform to societal standards of beauty and propriety. It’s part of this strange dichotomy that culture has created for women: reveal and conceal. On one hand, we’re always supposed to reveal enough of ourselves to be sexually attractive, but simultaneously we’re expected to conceal our bodies, our opinions, and, ultimately, I believe, our power. Some of the most vociferous opponents of my art (especially in Utah) are those who say it’s pornographic. I find this to be somewhat ironic, since the vulvae in porn tend to look very similar.

A few years ago, I was shocked to learn that in Australia, any visible sign of the labia minora is “offensive” and has to be edited out to be deemed “appropriate” enough for soft porn. It’s part of that insane dichotomy, right? Reveal and conceal. Reveal your labia majora (sexy!) but not your labia minora (disgusting!). And that becomes a vicious cycle too. If men and women only see this one specific version of female genitalia, then they start thinking that there’s something wrong with anything that doesn’t conform to that. Increasingly, too, women are getting labiaplasty, a surgery where bits of the labia minora are sliced off with a scalpel. Titling my series “Diversity of Nature” pushes back against the photoshopped ideal of beauty. It’s a really unapologetic look at what is truly “normal.” Whether you view the paintings in a gallery or scroll through them online, it’s impossible not to see the incredible individuality of each vulvae, and, I hope, to see the beauty, the strength, and the power of the female body.

WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND TRAINING?
I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Utah Valley University.

WHAT'S INTEGRAL TO THE WORK OF AN ARTIST?
Vulnerability.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURED MATERIAL AND TOOLS TO WORK WITH?
I work with mixed media: watercolor, acrylic and collage.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU ON A DAY TO DAY?
Mother Earth, feelings and womanhood.

HOW DOES YOUR AESTHETIC TRANSLATE IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE?
Growing up in the woods has made me very casual, comfy/cozy and I’d say “woodsy”.   My home is filled with shrines of plant, herb and a lot of art!

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING? HOW DO YOU UNWIND AND STAY CENTERED?
I love to garden, go camping and play Kubb with my partner. I also raise chickens and angora rabbits. Whenever I need a break, I play with my animals outside.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Beret Is Back Baby


Photographed By Karen Burgos

Poets and paratroopers are completely part of the progression. The round flat-crowned hat has returned.

Through The Looking Glass

Photographed By Karen Burgos

Music

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Demi Grace


Photo Courtesy Of Demi Grace 

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
I am in New York City. I haven't always lived in New York but moved here three or four years ago and love it!

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED?
I was born and partially raised in East London. My family and I left London when I was about five years old and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in California. We lived there for several years before I moved to L.A. for university and to start my career.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CITY OR HOMETOWN?
The best thing about East London and the Bay Area is the diversity and culture. I remember having very close friends of all nationalities in both London and California. Everyone hangs out with everyone, so I had the chance to learn from and be influenced by several cultures.

WHAT WERE YOUR INFANT ASPIRATIONS?
They have always been to sing to nations and spread love through music. This has been my dream way before anyone had the chance to tell me, "no".

WHAT HAS BEEN A SEMINAL EXPERIENCE?
My recent ad with Pantene, being that I am not only the first Nigerian artist they've worked with, but the first woman with dreadlocks in a major hair care brand commercial.

WHY MUSIC?
Music is a universal language. It connects people. It moves people. Music is the sound of souls. 

FIRST SONG EVER SUNG?
The first song I even sang had to have been a gospel song being that my parents had me and my sisters in church two to three times a week. The first pop song I ever remember singing was "Don't Take It Personal" by Monica. I sang it all around the house, in school in passing, I'm pretty sure I annoyed my sisters with how many times I sang that song.

IS THERE A SET OF LYRICS OR MUSICAL PASSAGE THAT NEVER FAILS TO MOVE YOU EMOTIONALLY?
Afro-beat or Dance-hall music will always move me. Afro-beat music is so bright, it makes everything look sexier. It makes me feel happy when I hear it.

WHAT OR WHO HAS HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
God has the greatest influence on me. God is an amazing artist. 

AT THE CENTER OF A HAIR CARE DEBATE, WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT A HAIRSTYLE WORN BY BOTH MEN AND WOMEN SINCE TIME IMMEMORAL IS ONLY NOW GAINING "LEGITIMACY"?
I am not surprised by most occurrences in mainstream media. If you are referring to locs as the hairstyle, I believe that it has always been legitimate, but maybe not recognized as much in mainstream media because it wasn't believed to be versatile. That's why the #StrongisBeautiful Pantene campaign showcasing black hair is so important. 

WHAT BEAUTY ROUTINE DO YOU SWEAR BY AND HOW DO YOU STAY IN SHAPE?
Water. Water, water. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to maintain your youth and your health. I wash my locs weekly, focusing on the scalp and make sure my scalp is moisturized after washing. I dance to stay in shape and eat as simply and organically as I’m able to.

HOW DOES YOUR PERSONAL AESTHETIC TRANSLATE IN YOUR LIFE?
My personal aesthetic is mostly simple. I love the fashion of the 90's so naturally I wear clothes that look very 90's (i.e. denim denim denim!, baggy clothes, high waist pants and skirts and slip dresses). I love urban chic fashion with touch of class. It don't think my love for the 90's translates in the music I create, however, it does translate in the way I perform and the type of music I like hearing when I go out.

HOW DO YOU SPEND A DAY OFF?
Relaxing, reading and writing letters to myself and God. I like to listen to positive messages and do my nails on my days off as well.

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
By listening to positive messages, cleaning my personal space, doing my nails and/or hair, and meditating.