Sunday, November 22, 2020

Allow me to introduce you to Jonzu Jones

 I know I have said this a bazillion times but I can never stop praising the internet for allowing me to expand my web, pun intended, of “friends” to include some of the most prestigious, gracious, intelligent, talented, beautiful and creative people in the world.

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 My latest addition, complements of Instagram, is Jonzu Jones! You might say ... who?  You might say what is a Jonzu?  But, all of your questions will be answered by reading this very articulately written interview.

 I am one of those weird people who use Instagram not only for visual stimulation but also as a search engine since I have this peculiar habit of actually reading the hashtags, following them and it is that little idiosyncrasy which leads me to people like Jonzu. Needless to say, the first thing that caught my eye was his incredible physicality and then via countless conversations…. I have to come to learn there is way more to this young man that just his outward appearance. He is a hive of talents and aspirations.


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That old adage about not judging a book   by its cover is particularly apt here as this man is so much more than just skin-deep beauty and yes, I am occasionally taken in by that beauty but this time I feel confident that I have made a friend who deserves attention both as model and stylist as you will see in his images.


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 So, now that I have gushed about him, he is going to tell you about his life, some of which is hard to believe, and then … well you’ll have to read all of it to find out more… and believe it or not ... this know it all namely,  ME, … actually learned something from what he had to say ….


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 Jeffrey Felner: Let’s talk about your career path... was this the plan? How did you arrive at your present working situation?

Jonzu Jones: I feel like my career is always taking twists and turns. I had a vague idea from young of what I wanted to do and it has always been in the realm of art and fashion. I am still learning and growing, figuring things out along the way and to be honest just winging it. I will say I had a distinct vision of the man I wanted to be and more and more I became this idealized version of myself that the 12-year-old drew up. Currently I am a freelance fashion stylist, which I’ve been doing for around 7 years and I’ve been lucky to work with some truly incredible artists during that time. Styling came about as a kind of extension of me wanting to be a designer. I studied fashion design in high school and college and for so long I truly believed that was my true innate calling. I may revisit design in the future but styling has really been my big passion. While studying design, I was assisting fashion editors and stylists for school credit and to mold my approach to design. After doing that for a bit and loving it, I branched off as a freelance stylist and the rest is history.


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My second career which is fairly new is being a model. I by no stretch of the imagination believed this could be me as an angsty teen. I was the weird kid most of my life and still in a lot of ways am that same kid. I grew up hating my body, uncomfortable in my skin, shy and awkward as fuck. I was content aiming to be unseen and more behind the scenes but still having a name. Being on set more and more as a stylist and dressing in my outlandish garb, I would on occasion get snapped by the photographer. These unexpected instances unlocked something in me and I guess deep within me was a craving to be in front of the camera more. This was short lived and after a 2 ½ year stint playing house wife, gaining 80 pounds, and losing a lot of confidence, I needed a reboot. After leaving my marriage at 24, I did a full visual reset, getting tatted, ripped from home using Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) app Center, and jumping full on into modeling. Side note…  at this point I binge watched Top Model and was also religiously studying the model greats of the 80s to present times. While on set as a stylist I found myself studying models more than usual as well as photographers’ notes on poses. I am still figuring shit out as a model for sure but I’ve definitely learned a few tricks of the trade that have come in handy. The path continues and not sure where exactly it’s going to lead but I’m sure as hell having fun on this journey.


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JF: Do you or did you have any style or any type of mentors or those who continue to inspire or inspired you as you have matured and why them?

JJ: One of my biggest stylist inspirations is Patti Wilson**. She truly knows how to do avant-garde but also make it sexy, dark, and accessible.


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 JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?

JJ: Lady Gaga for sure. She’s a fellow Aires and I think we’d connect on weird and obscure references.Daphne Guinness because she is a major style icon for me and I need any excuse to roam her probably never-ending closet.Cody Fern because he’s a cutie and his personal style is pretty damn amazing.

If she were still alive, Edie Sedgwick because she really inspired me as a kid as being my glamour girl. It wasn’t Marilyn or Judy; it was Edie with the sickening Smokey eye. Someone not here anymore but David Bowie. Still a huge inspiration to me, visually and aesthetically.


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 JF: If you could choose any collaboration or situation, what would it be and why? would it be as model or stylist and why?

JJ: I would say to work with Steven Klein. His work is a huge inspiration to me and I pretty much reference at least 1 of his images in every shoot I do. In an ideal world I’d model for him with Patti Wilson styling me. She’s the one stylist whose decisions I’d never question.


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JF: Can you tell what was your most amazing experience doing what you do and what was the worst experience you encountered and why?

JJ: I think my most amazing experience so far was shooting with Robin Lord Taylor a few years ago. I’ve worked with quite a few celebs and high-profile people but I’m pretty much a comic geek and mega fan of Gotham. Robin’s character Penguin was one of my top 3 favorite characters on the show and having the opportunity randomly to work with him was so amazing. He also really rocked it on set!

Worst experience was working with a specific photographer whose name I shall not mention out of respect but that whole day ended up being a nightmare. His first words to the team was “I usually have a better team I work with normally” so that kind of set the bar for the shit show of that shoot. There’s was a moment where he chucked a pair of shoes because they were not Prada or luxury enough. Besides the fuckery of that day and being that it was a non-paying TFP shoot for a known NY magazine, he actually tried to sue me and a couple other team members from that day for copyright since we posted the final images in our portfolio. Twas messy indeed and in retrospect, I should have probably handled things differently at the time like packing up and getting the heck outta there. New, evolved, and candid me probably would have ripped him to shreds but I was younger and a lot nicer…. still nice but don’t take as much shit as I used to.


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 **Patti Wilson has worked with Steven Klein, Steven Miesel, Peter Lindeberg, Terry Richardson, and David LaChapelle to name a few. Styling for Italian Vogue, I-D, Numero, and L'Uomo Vogue all of which have had an important impact on the fashion world over the past decade. Patti continues to collaborate with the most influential designers and is recognized worldwide for her eclectic taste and continuous capacity to provide her clients such as Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Christian Lacroix, Valentino.

Friday, November 20, 2020

GUCCI SPRING 2021

 Alessandro Michele wanted to associate his latest Gucci collection to eschatology, the doctrine that explores the ultimate destiny of humans and the universe. In fact, the word was printed on what is likely destined to become the lineup’s ultimate bestseller — an oversized T-shirt available in multiple colors also decorated with the numbers 1921 and 25, Gucci’s foundation year and Michele’s favorite number, respectively.



Fashion and eschatology: what a weird combination. Is it nonsensical or does it express a desire to define a new concept of fashion whereby, along with the different major arts, it becomes a tool to interpret our passage through life?

 

So now that you have read this arcane esoteric inspiration and explanation for what Gucci is calling a collection, I ask you …. WTF is this but a souk of clothes that look like they were pulled from a dumpster behind a Goodwill!



It’s a wise moment that so many heritage brands are returning to their original eponymous logos as otherwise how would anyone know what brand is which and in this case it’s all about SOME of the accessories and certainly not about ANY of the clothes and whether or not anyone believes it the Asian market is all about conspicuous consumption.


It’s laughable and preposterous to think that any trendster is going to pay thousands to buy cutoff jeans or oversized football jerseys because the very high (as in drug induced) and faux intellectual Signori Michele found some ephemera to hitch his wagon to. Do you think the clothes will come with hangtags explaining this dope, as in drug,  induced fantasy? It is not my opinion that even the Asian market will want those clothes to wear where? And at what price?



Let the media regurgitate and fawn all in the quest of ad dollars but it is in fact what is making printed media less and less important given the lack of gravitas and honest assessment of collections that don’t belong on fashion magazine pages but rather as crumpled up pages of catalogs found in trash cans!


 

PS..anyone who can translate the first 2 paragraphs [has a pair of denim cutoffs waiting for them as well as a PhD!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Proenza Schouler spring 2021

 Well here is a collection of generic clothes that both  Nicole and Bridget can ooze over.  Every season these two have found some other iteration that is supposedly defining their definitive  direction and/or making  a statement… one season it’s tight, one loose, one upcycled, one denim, one working  girls and the list  goes on  ad nauseum and in the end it is always  the same ….. a regurgitation of a press release or as Clara Peller once famously asked in a Wendy’s hamburger commercial… where’s the beef? 

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Yada, yada, yada and yes there are some clothes that are pretty but nonetheless they make no statement and barely pass as generic .. so my question is who is the sugar daddy that keeps pouring money into these two who haven’t “brought home the bacon or the beef” in years?


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Just another bunch of  clothes where by accident  a few pieces look like they come from one collection!


 
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