Stylist & Creative director: Cat van Maanen
Publication: Wildabout Magazine. Published on 05/03/2016
Studio: David @ Grey Shutter Studios
Brands: Trixy Starr Jewelry, VidaKush, O-Mighty, Anne Sophie Cochevelou, Killstar, Lip Service, Irregular Choice, Atsuko Kudo, YRU, Nicole Quadrio Design, Skinny Dip London.
(My discussion on WILDABOUT Magazine, about the processes in the shoot).
When I was thinking about how to summarise this editorial which, was so personal to me in its conception, I tried to find a way which helped me portray the emotive drive behind the shoot in a way that does the theme itself justice.
For me, music is one of the biggest creative influences in my life, although I am not exactly ‘musically gifted’ shall we say, I find that the right melody can lift a word from a page and add ‘colour’ and dimension to it: binding each word to an emotion – in other words, a musical artist ‘owns’ each lyric, charging an otherwise humble word with dense and heartfelt meaning. I find this truly beautiful as a concept. The track California from Grimes’ most recent album Art Angels (2015), was the first song I listened to from her recent work. I found – as so many do – a deep connection with her lyrics (you can have a listen to California linked below!). I could not choose a particular line that was most prevalent for me, because, as i’ve mentioned, each lyric adds to the overall beauty of the song.
Having been won over by California, I quickly formulated ideas of a photoshoot that I could arrange. In fact, my first thought was towards the make-up: I wanted glitter and lots of 80’s disco style neon coloured lip colours and eyeshadows. My amazing HMUA’s: Kitty Noofah and Bjorn Daniel were so easy to work with and imperative in bringing this vision to life. As for the lighting, I wanted to really reflect on the premise that music was the muse for the editorial’s theme. Therefore I was influenced by the ‘rave’ vibes portrayed in Grimes’ Go (2015) single by use of different colour lighting (blue and red). Angela Mazur of Angela Mazur Photography recreated this look perfectly. When I went looking for models, the main factor that I was on the search for was attitude, sass and most of all, a personality that can reach through your screens; therefore rendering the image into being in a ‘three dimensional’ elevated state in the same way that I have previously explained that a tune can lift a single lyric into being a multifaceted thing of magic. Suffice to say, Yazzmin Newell, Anna Alessandra Kamaile Deller-Yee, and Sophie Aine are three outstanding women who – to put it simply – radiate power, strength and personality – and as Samuel L. Jackson rightly stated in Pulp Fiction: “personality goes a long way”. For this shoot, it wasn’t about being or looking perfect. It was about being able to express creativity without feeling oppressed by social norms. The styling for the shoot was something that came together by collaborating with several killer brands from around the world. I really felt strongly about borrowing pieces from smaller brands, or designers who hand made the pieces, once again adding a certain artistic flair and a presence of personality to the shoot.
Overall, the aesthetic I adopted was heavily influenced by K-Pop and several anime series that I have seen, including Black Butler, as well as programmes from my childhood, such as the kids television programme Moondreamers (who I aspired to be like), and of course, the music videos and incredible style of Grimes herself.
Thank you to my amazingly creative team & I hope you all love the results of our work as much as we I do!