What more can I say? It’s Anna Dello Russo.
Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page
I was dreading the day. I didn’t want to do it. But after six years, I took the dive.
Styling traumatized me. I’ve only done it three times. Well, four minus my cousin’s event – that was fun. But something went terribly wrong. And as much as I love pretty pictures, I could not bare the responsibility of loosing friendships, money, my mind. I never dreamed of being a stylist. I didn’t pursue it. It just happened. I’m natural go-getter. I’ll make something out of nothing and before you know it, I’ve got clothes, (polished) models, make-up and photographers working for minimal or no fee. But after the final blow, when I fell out with a good friend after working on her project (no details, please), I was offered an opportunity, with a photographer, I was filled with doubt, and I screwed that person over. However, that’s what happens when you’re messed up.
I probably would have kept styling away had I not reached out to magazine editors. In conjunction with all the fashion-focused things I am doing right now. But I figured, I have a bit of time on my hands, and after seeing the quality of work by some exceptionally talented people, it’s time to give it another go.
I don’t aspire to be Lucinda Chambers, or Edward Enninful. Nicola Formichettt – won’t even go there. But maybe Chioma Nnadi, Sarah Harris (wink), Harriet Quick (double wink). Hilary Alexander. Laura Craik.Clare Coulson. Bronwyn Cosgrave – it will take some work, but I’ll get there. As for Robin Givhan, I have only been talking about her on this blog forever. Though she doesn’t style. But people gifted wordsmiths who use images an extension of expression.
I’m doing it. Not with expectations, but to utilize something inside me. Something bigger than the flesh. But I won’t even try to control it – it has to tie into my writing. And it’s all in the hands of capital H.I.M.
Life and art. The year was 2006. Through an art alliance, I was (mildly) schooled about a collective of black artists. Kehinde Wiley was one of them. But I was so fascinated by just knowing their names, I don’t think I even really appreciated their craft. Wiley’s works of young, hip-hop Adonis’s on large scale canvases was avant-garde to me. And I felt obligated to join his movement. When I wrote for Format Magazine, a popular streetwear blog, I hunted Wiley’s Gallery Assistant to get an interview. I was a Music Journalist, and to me, his work would resonate with my audience. Match made in heaven? I concur.
The interview never happened. I moved on. I felt the connection between contemporary art and hip-hop was transparent. One (art) used the other (hip-hop) as a segue into an otherwise unaccessible circle. And if you’re as passionate about hip-hop as I am, you can see through the facade.
However, after coming across Wiley’s collaboration with Puma in 2010 – albeit in connection to the World Cup – and his increasing coverage in Vibe and other urban publications, I felt he had an epiphany. Maybe he realized the importance of connecting with youth culture. Who may ultimately be connected to hip-hop. I’m sure you’ll argue that Wiley was in Vibe back in `95, when he was young and hungry. But does that really count? You’ll have to ask a generation more interested in YouTube than back issues. And now that I look at his work, it’s frou-frou. All pretty, frilly and erotic. I don’t expect a Rick Ross fan to dig his work, though they might. And though I see Wiley attempts to romanticize young black men, even drawing reference to a royal linage, there’s also an sense of emasculation.
Don’t get me wrong, Wiley is talented – obviously. And he’s only of the extremely lucky few – despite race, creed and all that jazz – who have been able to sustain a lucrative career from their passion. But after a bit of cultivation, my perspective of Wiley’s work is a lot different than give years ago.
Image courtesy of Great interior design
About a week ago, I left London (UK) because 1) my finances were starting to look ugly and 2) I needed somewhere to stay. I was initially hopping across the pond (yes, my life is that grande – sike) because of a potential – life changing – opportunity. I had a week. But while I was there, the vibe, seemingly more positive now than three years ago , drew me in. I wanted to stay. Check out opportunities. Go places. Meet people.
However, I was staying with a friend. A dear one, mind you, but a week is a week, right. So an extension beyond your initial stay can cause a chemical imbalance. Not only that, the status updates from my meetings were lingering. So there was no point in staying on a whim. Been there already. And came back to Toronto feeling pretty crushed.
But like I said, it’s different times. I’m going back. And I’ve noticed that companies both established and new, are coming up with cost-effective ways to drive consumer business, literally. For example, in two years, registering as a British Citizen – under strict guidelines – went from £450 to £80 (knowing this, I have to post my application before things change, again). And if I’m looking for a place to stay over there, or anywhere in the world, for a minimal fee, I can join Luxe Home Swap, a legit service allowing me to trade my abode with someone else’s of matching caliber. I did a search and came across my dream life: a one-bedroom apartment in Notting Hill equipped with cable TV and Wifi. The only problem: it’s a place where “rich people who have 10,000 square foot homes, trade with other rich people with 10,000 square foot homes.” Quoted by concierge extraordinaire Michael Fazio on The View. I mean, come on. I gave up my less than stellar King West bachelor for an even worse one – on the more accessible Queen Street West no less – in order to pay cheaper rent. But how could I possibly swap my dump for my dream home?
They receiver would be in for a surprise I can tell you that.
Well, it trumps surfing dodgy ads placed on community sites. But for the next couple of years, luxe home swapping will have to wait.