Called the best thing on instagram by Refinery 29, body positive activist, model and nascent documentary maker Naomi Shimada is a warm ray of sunshine in our cynical times.
Rarely seen without a brightly coloured outfit, a huge smile, and a great pair of kicks, half Japanese, raised-in-Spain Naomi is one of a kind and I adore her.
Hilary Taymour is a friend and she’s the designer behind Collina Strada. Hilary started her casting process by deliberately selecting models from countries on Trump’s ‘travel ban’ list. However that proved harder than it from there we started selecting a wide range of models with different ethnic backgrounds, beliefs, ideologies that are fearful of the consequences during this presidential term. “We wanted to cast humans who are fearful of what is next: homosexual models; pro-choice models; a model in need of healthcare long-term illness.” Her casting made me feel so many things. Politics and fashion can be an uncomfortable and inappropriate mix, but for me, this show presented clothes via politics from a real-life sense, and more like social commentary.
Ashish is alway hands down my favourite London show. Political fashion shows are obviously trending right now but Ashish’s shows have always been political, with so much heart and soul radiating through in all that glitters. His show has an authenticity that reigns over all the others.
His t-shirts were emblazoned with the slogans ‘You are much lovelier than you think’, ‘Fall in love and be more tender’ – all good reminders of what we need to be saying to each other, doing, loving, caring hugging etc! Now that other designers like Dior and Prabal are trying to jump on this bandwagon Ashish reminds them how it’s done. That this isn’t a fad – it’s a lifestyle!!! That it’s cool to care, it always has been and always will be.
Their collaboration with the US Baseball league challenged the hyper male world with rainbows and sequins! Ashish’s show castings have always been the most inclusive and diverse – this time starred some of my favourite angels Wilson Oryema and and Leomie Andersen. The models wore Mexican Lucha ‘fighter make-up’ by Issamaya French with each model wearing their own gorgeous individual designs!
Hurrah for Comme! It’s just so funny and I don’t even know if it means to be! The so-called ‘ready to wear’ Comme Des Garcons collection is never dull and this season Rei really turned it on. Instead of following
Hurrah for Comme! It’s just so funny and I don’t even know if it means to be! The so-called ‘ready to wear’ Comme Des Garcons collection is never dull and this season Rei really turned it on. Instead of following fashion’s fascination with everything skinny, Rei Kawakubo does what Rei
Hurrah for Comme! It’s just so funny and I don’t even know if it means to be! The so-called ‘ready to wear’ Comme Des Garcons collection is never dull and this season Rei really turned it on. Instead of following fashion’s fascination with everything skinny, Rei Kawakubo does what Rei wants and created what she calls the ‘future silhouette’, padded, in your face, bulbous spherical Picasso-esque curves all coming at you, impossible to ignore! These outfits are a total reflection of what we need in these tumultuous times: a protective suit to hide in with trainers to run as fast as you can when need be! Your very own impenetrable fort! Obsessed with the Nike fly-knit collaboration, a white sneaker with a little bow – perfect for a girl like me who loves a glam but comfy look and avoids heels like the plague! NEED these looks to roll down the Kingsland Road and make people smile again!
I almost didn’t want to pick Gucci cause it’s the obvious choice but Alessandro Michele is an absolute genius. This show was so jam-packed with every kind of fun outfit on the planet my eyes were popping out of my head! I’m completely over stimulated! Candy for the eyes!
Post by Kay
“If not us, then who?
If not now, then when?”
John E. Lewis
As you probably know by now, ThandieKay is all about representation, so I was thrilled to stumble upon these Distant Relatives t-shirts designed by Mandy Mli.
Here is an interview we did with her.
I think it’s important in that it allows us all to be more knowledgeable and understanding generally. Creating a more balanced and mindful society/world. Representation to me is about clear well rounded communication. It should involve recognising diversity and studying various human experiences. I think it is important to recognise the richness in the experiences of those particularly left out of “popular culture” . I think it’s also about opening up that room for truthful dialogue and thus better understanding
It’s motivates me to celebrate and create on behalf of the underrepresented (and often misrepresented). It motivates me to paint and promote a different picture to the one handed to me from birth and hopefully inspire others to do the same. To paint their own picture of their world and experience. And with that I always like to support those who are doing the same. Representation to me should be about being able to tell your own story and inspiring others to do the same, all chapters included.
Distant Relatives itself was actually inspired by a few things, including my own cultural observations and further by an interview I heard, David Banner discussing his new direction/perspective now being more overtly culturally conscience in his music and using his platform to share knowledge and push towards building and educating his community.
Working in education, teaching in early years education and designing as a hobby (and considering going back to university to study a postgraduate degree in Social Entrepreneurship.)
It would be hard to pinpoint one thing that inspired me but music,was a huge influence as far as opening my mind to different experiences, perspectives and the art of story telling. at one point I was learning how to DJ. I loved all things 90s, music videos and all. I still do.
I would like to collaborate more with different artists and individuals. I see Distant Relatives as a collaborative brand. I also hope to expand the product line to include a variety of other accessories and products. Also working towards balancing a more design focused aesthetic whilst still being able to convey an important message.
Making and selling personalised and affirmative accessories. And constantly looking for ways to support social enterprise. And pretty much everything I am currently involved in is about mixing creativity, conversations and promoting positive energy. Directing energy to the things that I think are the important.
Photo: Ol Parker
When it comes to describing something that matches your skin tone, the word ‘Nude’ has often been used. But who’s Nude? Your Nude, my Nude or her Nude? Bizarrely, until now many brands have assumed that we are all one colour-beige.
Then there’s Nubian Skin lingerie, which launched a couple of years ago because the founder, Ade Hassan, was frustrated at the lack of lingerie shades that suited her skin tone, and only ever being offered white or black. Now available at ASOS, the lingerie is smartly named after popular foundation names from MAC and Bobbi Brown and are the lingerie of choice for Beyonce’s Formation tour.
Cameron Russell is editor of the participatory Interrupt magazine & director of a grassroots public art organisation called The Big Bad Lab as well as a successful fashion model. She was one of a few young women I worked with on a Craig McDean shoot in NY back in something like 2006, and again, when she was one of a few on a John Frieda commercial with director Jake Nava.
It wasn’t until I saw her Ted Talk (below) that I actually saw her, because even though I’ve spent my entire adult life around models on a fairly intimate level, I am guilty at times of being distracted by their otherworldly appearance, perhaps not quite bothering to find the time to see ‘a person’ as I would someone who’s currency was not ‘just physical’ at that moment in time.
Growing up in the fashion industry, I’ve observed how a select few become superstars whilst still in their early twenties, before they’ve even truly grown up as people, before getting the opportunities that create an environment in which to garner any sense of their real selves, never occupying any space without continual projection based on their looks alone. Models- who are they? Cameron models for a living, and what’s more interesting is that she both embraces, and explores the projection.
My mom didn’t talk about beauty when I was a kid. She did that on purpose because she wanted us to value ourselves and others for attributes besides beauty.
I’m wearing a piece of clothing that’s my absolute favorite. Like these baggy black jeans that have a shape I love, or this bright blue sweater that is a beautiful color. They are familiar and I always feel confident in them.
My mom didn’t really pay much attention to beauty. Her only make-up was this little tin of kohl (black eye liner) and when she went out to a party or special event she’d use a bit on her eyes.
It’s also lovely to work with people who are passionate about make-up because they’ll have all these amazing references and ideas and characters they want to build, and I get to be part of that.
Cmeron Russell on ThandieKay.com
Cameron Russell on ThandieKay.com
My mom loves textiles, and she’s an avid knitter and seamstress so my dad would always compliment her handiwork and style.
I’ve bleached my eyebrows on various occasions (most recently two weeks ago backstage at Prada) and usually it’s no big deal (they’re back to normal now!) But one time when I was a teenager I bleached them on a job and the team decided they didn’t like the look so we died them back, but they weren’t the right color and we died them two more times. Then they started to break off and fall out. I looked pretty crazy with thinned out super orange-y eyebrows for a while!
I wish I could pass on the gift my mother gave to me, which is not to worry too much about how you look. She always appreciated clothing, and I even remember her talking about some movie star whose hair she loved once. But it never was more important than being happy and healthy.
Where to start….on a glacier in Alaska, in a dust storm, in the back of many vans, RVs, cars, and tents, and of course backstage at a show with 3 people doing my make up and 4 people doing hair … in less than 5 minutes!
More diversity. Media that reflects and includes all people.
Yesterday, I changed my make-up too many times, ow!
See Cameron’s participatory Interrupt Magazine here
Check out The Big Bad Lab project here
Follow Cameron on twitter here