Recently, i had the joy to strut down the runway for Boston based RTW fashion label ABNDN. ABNDN is the brainchild Casey & Jessie who also happen to be two of the most gorgeous, powerful, and sweetest ladies that i know.
The velour looks that i wore were so comfy. Also, I love that they use eco-friendly found objects to create their jewelry.
"Abandon Jewelry is forged from found and natural treasures, acquired from the depths of caves, sides of the road, or long forgotten asylums. In a world where everything is made on a production line, Abandon Jewelry offers you something that is not only one of a kind, but an artifact. Every piece is an ode to antiquity, a testament to mother nature, and a remembrance of a forgotten past.
ABANDON IS A JEWELRY COMPANY BY JESSIE MAY AMMONS, CASEY DESMOND
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ABNDN SPRING - SUMMER 2014 COLLECTION
(me on the runway)
(me on th runway again)
ABNDN designers Casey and Jessie
(photos by Mary Lee Desmond )
(Behind the scenes shots before the show)
rocking some ABNDN with my bf/bestfriend who also modeled :)
Last month I hosted and my fashion label the Church of Vanity did a fashion installation of the new NYC monthly party Sex 5th Avenue at the Museum of Sex. My friend Kayvon Zand hosted the event and debuted his brand new music video "Just Give it Away". There were also installations by Vengeance designs Ssick designs, Muffinhead, and the Daughters of Devotion. I had so much fun and felt like I was living in the movie Party Monster. I am so lucky that several friends from Boston came to NYC to model & support me. The party aims to challenge mainstream views on beauty and sexuality. My installation was ancient Egyptian inspired.
with Stella Rose St Clair
with Kayvon Zand & Danielle
Kayla from Vengeance Designs
Ava Patron and Anaole Fetale rocking some fashion by the Church of Vanity
create, destroy, & reset.
Life is cyclical and the only constant is change. Artistic evolution should be a constant internal & external revolution. What is the point of living without growth? Art should never be comfortable or confined.
During, these last few years life has really thrown me some earth shattering curve-balls. Creating art has always been my refuge. As a young person I lost control over my physical health and at times felt that I was a shadow skating between the realms of the living and of the dead. No matter how far you fall you can always bounce back. The shattered shards of your soul can be retrieved and revived. No one should be discarded. Don't give up hope. Others may offer you support but deep down only you can heal your own wounds.
Currently, I am at a point where I feel that the broken pieces are reconfiguring into something far more advanced, fearless, and more powerful than ever. My own physical afflictions serve me as constant reminders of the reality of suffering of others. I am sick of creating purely aesthetic surface wallpaper. I am a perfectionist driven by my own inner compulsion to create and innovate. I am insatiable. My third eye has been permanently pryed open and I feel like now is the time to start really using my voice.
Expect things to get much darker
The central part of my artistic journey has always been experimentation and i feel that now i am ready to level up.
people have often asked me why i like to transform myself. the reason is simple it is freeing. When i become a creature i temporarily transcend gender and feel free from conforming to the constraints of mainstream beauty.
Yes, i get a rush from experimenting. Typically, I do small spontaneous shoots while i am waiting for my other art projects to dry.
Growing up I was an awkward ginger kid and I never felt like i fit in. Pretty quickly i developed a thick skin from being the receiver of incessant bullying. I decided instead of trying to make myself fit other people's views of what was acceptable that I was going to do the opposite and push on in my own direction.
When i first started applying makeup as a preteen i usually only applied makeup to transform myself and i hardly used it for the sake of beautification. I felt ugly and that no degree of normal makeup would ever make me pretty. Transforming myself seemed to be a temporary way to rid myself from my insecurities.
During this time I went to restrictive Catholic school and I got in a lot of trouble with the administration over my avant-garde looks. Several rules were added to the student handbook , i was sent home because of my outlandish style, and the worst was having the brutal assistant principal forcibly scrub my makeup off of my face. One of my teachers said one day she will be a fashion designer.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Remember that the original message of Valentine's day was spreading compassion. Love is not limited to erotica et romance. When you love yourself first then you can share love with the rest of creation.
(self-portrait as Turan, the Etruscan Goddess of Love (dress/crown by The Church of Vanity)
Taran or Turan is my namesake and is the pre-Roman version of Venus/Aphrodite the Romans reduced her to a sexual plaything to give more power to Mars. The original Goddess was a nurturing creator/mother goddess of compassion. the Romans celebrated her as the mother of their civilization in their festival Venus Genetrix. Venus is the patron goddess of vanity so basically the church of vanity is just a Venusian cult.
(vintage glass brochure from a shop owned by some distant relatives of mine)
So the Olympics, fashion week, and Valentine's day are all cool but there is another February event that owns my heart.
This weekend marks the beginning of the annual Venetian carnival.
Next year, i will be floating down the Grand Canal in a gondola in full Venetian splendor. This year i am creating some Venetian art in honor of my ancestor's festival.
You better believe that I wish that i could hop into a time machine back to an 18th century Venetian Carnival.
Even-though, i am an American mutt i feel like my Venetian roots have perhaps inspired my art the most. My grandmother's family Nason has over a thousand years of history in Venice. i am the spawn of Machiavellian Venetian merchants & free spirited glass artisans. One day i will direct a period movie set in Venezia that would make Fellini blush.
other selling factors for me are
1. the largest oil painting in the world on canvas is in the Venetian Doge's palace
"the Coronation of the Virgin" by Tintoretto
2. prominent mermaid symbolism in art
(i want this book http://www.amazon.com/Mermaids-Venice-Fantastic-Creatures-Renaissance/dp/190537545X/?qid=1341527398&s=books&sr=1-7&keywords=Mermaids+in+art&ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_7 )
3. masks! costumes! balls!
4. fresh seafood
(photos by nefertara)
5. I studied abroad in Venice
6. the official dog of Venice is a maltese. Venetian traders used to trade malteses for luxury goods.
(Woman with a Mirror (1512-1515) by Titian. She is an example of idealized Venetian beauty)
7. Venetian blonde - a shade of dark strawberry blonde is my natural hair color
(photo by nefertara)
9. Venice is named after my favorite Goddess Venus.
10. the Mediterranean
11. the architecture
13. pistachio cookies
14. San Marco is my favorite church in creation
15. gold, mosaics, and tiles
17. a fabulous film festival!
18. Venetian painted ceilings
19. Venetian mirrors
20. Titian, Veronese, Tiepolo, Vivaldi, and Tintoretto
21. The lion of St Mark
(photo by nefertara)
Check out my friend Tokyo Diiva's new fashion label
Here are my favorite shots from their ready to wear fashion show this week in Oslo, Norway.
Super glam with some 90s inspired rockstar edge.
I am excited to see more!
Hot or not?
(photos from http://instagram.com/tokyodiiva)
follow Toyko Diiva on instagram
1950s pink feather hat by Mr. Michael
available here https://www.etsy.com/listing/177708369/vintage-1950s-hot-pink-marabou-feather?ref=shop_home_active_7
What's your moon sign? Mine is Aries.....impulsive, wild, & assertive
j'adore! what details! the tree of life is made out of pheasant feathers.
"Valentino spring 2014 couture collection-
“Le jardin d’Eden”, a zirconium-colored tulle dress, embroidered in silk threads, with a scene of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden inspired by the painting "Adam and Eve" by Lucas Cranach in 1526, taking 2,200 hours to hand embroider."
original painting by Lucas Cranach from 1525