DIGITAL COVER: TANNER REESE

Top, Short and Pant by Prada

Photographer: Gabe Araujo
Model: Tanner Reese @ The Society
Grooming: Nicole Elle @ The Wall Group
Set Design: Emma Magidson
Light Tech: Eric Tanaka
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Sweater, Shirt and Short by Prada
Jacket and Shirt by Calvin Luo
Shirt and Pant by Dion Lee
Pant by Dion Lee
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Jacket, Sunglasses and Pant by Alexander McQueen
Full Look by Alexander McQueen
T-shirt and Pant by Dsquared2
Jacket, Sweater, Pant, Socks and Shoes all by Dior
Jacket by Calvin Luo

AUSTIN MAHONE BY MARCUS DERRICOTTÉ

Turtleneck. Dries Van Noten
Sweater. Kiko Kostadinov

 

 

Photographer: Marcus Derricotte @mderricotte
Stylist: Douglas VanLaningham @dvlstylist
Styling Asst: Jose Santiago 
Hair: Stefani Annaliese @stefaniannaliese
Makeup: Paloma Alcantar @palomamua

 

 

Cardigan. Marni
Tank top. Dries Van Noten
Trousers. OAMC

 

Tank top. Dries Van Noten
Trousers. OAMC
Belt. Maison Margiela

 

 

Tank top(in hand). Dries Van Noten
Trousers. OAMC
Belt. Maison Margiela

 

 

Sweater. Maison Margiela
Jeans. Maison Margiela
Necklace. Vitaly

 

 

Sweater vest. Dries Van Noten
Trousers. Raf Simons

 

 

Blazer. Raf Simons
Shirt. Maison Margiela
Trouser. Maison Margiela

 

 

Shirt. Bottega Veneta
Trouser. Botter
Belt. Maison Margiela

 

 

Tshirt. Saint Laurent
Underwear. Calvin Klein
Jeans. Martine Rose

 

BEAUTY SCREEN TEST: SAMANTHA SABA

Cuff by Celine

 

Model: Samantha Saba at IMG

Photo: Geoffrey Voight Leung

Styling: Rachel Kozub, courtesy of Albright Fashion Library

Makeup Artist: Anna Kurihara using MAC Cosmetics

Hair Stylist: Chika Nishiyama at 87 Artists using Bumble and Bumble

 

Earring by Annelise Michelson

Earring by Janis Savitt
Choker by Balenciaga
Earrings by Janis Savitt
Earrings – Vintage
Rings by Paula Mendoza
Necklace by Janis Savitt
Necklace by Dannijo
Necklace worn as headpiece – Vintage

MARYSE BY JENNIFER MASSAUX

 

Photographer: Jennifer Massaux @jennifermassaux

Model: Maryse @FreedomModelsLA @maryse.allegra

Stylist: Kelly Brown @kellybrownstyle

Makeup: Samuel Paul @samuelpaulartist

 

Top and skirt – Collina

 

 

Dress – ELLIATT
Turtleneck – Acne Studios
Boots – Marc Fisher
Gold Rings – UNOde50

 

Dress by Antonio Marras

 

Jacket – Blaze Milano, Earrings – Celine

 

Dress – Antonio Marras

 

Pasties – Agent Provocateur, Gloves – Stylists’ own, Pants – Fovari

 

Shoes – Kat Maconie

 

 

BLOODLETTING BY ALICIA STEPP

 

Model – Fish Fiorucci @fishfiorucci @josephcharlesviolaPhotographer – Alicia Stepp @aliciastepptxFashion Stylist – Leslie Rivas @leslierivas_xStyling Assistant – Pamela Cooper @pamela_cooperMakeup & Hair – Bianca Linette Rivas @biancalinettehmuPhoto Assistant – Myckenzee Kunn @myckenzee._.annRetoucher – Sam Retouch @sam.retouch

 

(L): Dress by Fabric Base Inc. Gloves, Stylists Own (R): Jewelry by VITALY , Gloves by Erotic Cabaret Boutique

 

Custom headpiece by Philip Hannel Millinery, Cut out corset and gloves available at Erotic Cabaret Boutique

 

(L): Coat, Vintage available at EverGirl by Dawn Bell, Belt used as neck piece, stylists own, Mesh dress available at Erotic Cabaret Boutique, Boots by Pleaser (R): Top and Pants by Pamela Cooper Studio, Jewelry by VITALY

 

Gown designed by Mysterious by N.P.N, Gloves available at Erotic Cabaret Boutique, Earring – Stylists Own

 

Dress by Fabric Base Inc., Gloves – Stylists own

 

Top and Pants by Pamela Cooper Studio, Jewelry by VITALY

 

Cap – stylists’ own, Corset by Daisy Corsets Erotic Cabaret Boutique,

Shorts by Fendi @ The Webster, Jewelry by VITALY, Boots by Pleaser

 

Hoodie by Balenciaga available at The Webster, Face Mask by Philip Hannel Millinery Harness available at Erotic Cabaret Boutique, Boots by Pleaser

 

SYMPHONY IN THE TIME BY CATHY DU

Dress by FEDERICA BELLESI
Tights by Simons
Shoes by CHIE MIHARA

 

Photography & fashion: Cathy Du @cathy_moya
Makeup & Hair: Leandro Avanco @beautyroom6
Artist agency: P1M @p1magency
Modeling: Natasha @nat1sharabura
Model agency: @wantmanagement
Assistance: Patrick Li @patrick_li
Production by MOYA Studio @moyastudio1

 

Dress by EZPOPSY
Shoes by ALDO

 

Dress by CHANEL
Shoes by Miu Miu

 

Dress by SHEIN
Shoes by CHIE MIHARA

 

Jacket by DANA BUCHMAN
Pants by MONKI
Shoes by TOD’S

 

Top by DU.CO
Skirt by MATTEO DUCA
Pantyhose by DU.CO
Shoes by Clarks

ERIK BERGRIN: THE 8 DISSOLUTIONS EXHIBITION

Dissolution 8 – Emptiness – One starts to become conscious again, the clear light of death manifests. This appears as a clear vacuum-like empty sky. “I visualize the vastness of traveling through space. An open vacuum of blackness with shining stars and colorful nebulae, harnessing the energy of the sun in order to be reborn.”

 

Morris Museum Announces Fiber Sculpture Installation by Artist Erik Bergrin Exhibition on View January 28 – July 10, 2022

The 8 Dissolutions is a fiber-sculpture installation by New York City-based artist and costume maker Erik Bergrin. A student of Buddhist philosophy, Bergrin explores the transience of the human body and the eternity of the mind in this new collection of work. The exhibition takes its name from the eight dissolutions, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice that visualizes one’s mortality in the recurring cycle of death and rebirth on the path to enlightenment. The costumes are entirely handsewn, made from fabrics created by Bergrin using traditional techniques such as weaving and felting, as well as grown from unusual materials such as seaweed, fermented tea, and crystallizations. Some include integrated drums and rattles. A video monitor documents a performance with the costumes making musical sounds with each movement, revealing the multidisciplinary nature of Bergrin’s artistic approach.

 

“The 8 Dissolutions,” is a Buddhist death process in which the senses and elements shut down in 8 stages. There is a visualization meditation that guides you through the 8 stages. Dissolution 1 starts with the earth element dissolving, as well as your sight. Dissolution 2, is water and sound, etc. I practiced this visualization repeatedly to imagine the pieces. To create the visceral textures that I was seeing, I experimented with developing new kinds of textiles. I developed fabric made of sodium alginate seaweed,  spent a year growing leather like materials from kombucha scobies, growing crystals on fabrics, embedded handmade drums in pieces, making bioplastics from seaweed, and melting bismuth to make colorful crystals, along with weaving, coiling, and felting. During the visualization, my hands always wanted to move a certain way, which is why each piece is associated with a mudra, or hand gesture. Each of these mudras is photographed and printed on fabric that was sewn into dresses which will hang behind each piece to act as a shadow. The show has a video component of people wearing the pieces, along with a teacher showing the mudras to each model. Each piece is also associated with a sound that will build up one by one and will play throughout the gallery to accompany the video.

 

Dissolution 1: Earth and Sight – The element of earth dissolves. The eye sense power deteriorates. The person ceases to see clearly, unable to open or close their eyes. As the earth element dissolves it evokes the experience of the dying person being buried beneath the earth. The visualization of this dissolution brought forth imagery of straps crossing and binding over my body as my arms hung lifeless at my sides sinking back.

In Tibetan Buddhism, meditating on the eight dissolutions, or eight stages of death, allows the practitioner to prepare their consciousness to move into the cycle of rebirth without fear. Erik Bergrin first experienced this visualization meditation at a monastery in Nepal, where he was struck by imagery of colors and textures. Through repeated practice, clear visualizations of each dissolution emerged with a corresponding symbolic hand gesture known as a mudra. Each of the pieces in this exhibition is a representation of Bergrin’s visualizations realized. “Meditating on your own death is a way to realize how precious your life is.” -Erik Bergrin

Dissolution 2: Water and Sound – The element of water dissolves. The ear sense power deteriorates. The person can no longer hear sounds. The body can no longer feel the three types of feeling: pleasure, pain, and neutral. The fluids from the body dry up: urine, saliva, blood, and sweat. The burning heat of red pain creeps up one arm and the uplifting icy blue creeps up the other, meeting at neutral at my neck. My body starts to shrivel and dry up, like a vacuum sucking away all the fluid leaving the fossilized bones remaining. What hangs in the center is the reminder of the sound of where water once was.

 

Sculptural Processes:

Kombucha Leather  developed similarly to kombucha tea. Scobys (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), water, sugar, and tea are brewed in a large container and fed once a week. The scobys produce a layer on top of the liquid as a way to protect themselves, which after a month is removed. This thick flat sheet of slime dries into a translucent piece of leather after a week. The leather is colored using different types of tea and food coloring during the growing process. It took almost a year to grow enough leather for the pieces in the exhibition.

Seaweed Textile developed from sodium alginate, glycerin, and water mixture then laid over wool roving and sprayed with calcium chloride to harden.

Grown Crystal Textile Pipe cleaners with rubber mat backing are soaked in a bath of borax and water to crystallize. The mixture is then sprayed with translucent tint spray.

Armature Wire and Wax Armature wire is hammered down and wrapped with wax thread to create strands that sound like water when a hand is run over them.

Drums Rawhide is soaked and stretched over a wooden frame and laced together in the back.

Bismuth Silver charms are dipped into melted down bismuth to create colorful bismuth crystals.

The exhibition is curated by the Morris Museum’s Ronald T. Labaco, Director of Exhibitions and Collections/Chief Curator, and Michelle Graves, Curatorial Assistant.

Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, multifaceted arts and cultural institution serving the public through its exhibitions and performances, which strive to interpret the past and discover the future through art, sound, and motion. The Museum is home to the historic and internationally-significant Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. The Museum’s Bickford Theatre is a 312-seat performing-arts facility, offering unique programming in film, jazz, and live performance through its innovative series, Live Arts. As New Jersey’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, it launched Spark!Lab, a dynamic, Smithsonian-created learning space which will inspire young visitors to create, collaborate, and innovate.

Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, NJ 07960

Museum Hours:
Monday – Tuesday, Closed
Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00AM to 5:00PM
https://morrismuseum.org/

CONNOR JESSUP STAR OF NETFLIX’S LOCKE & KEY

Sweater and Pants: DSQUARED2, Shoes: Prada

 

Photographer: Emma Craft

Stylist/Interview: Angel Emmanuel

Groomer: Ellen Guhin via Canvas Agency

Set Designer: Lidia Moore

Set Design Assistant: Tess Donlevie

 

The fans are loving the supernatural fantasy drama, Locke & Key, which premiered its second season on Netflix this October. The show’s success has kept the series in the top ten on the platforms ratings list and has already prompted the creators to move forward with season three. The show has also garnered a few notable new fans including one Britney Spears, who earlier this week prompted her instagram fans to watch the show in typical Britney fashion “Holy crap you guys, gotta check out Locke & Key…it’s pretty good!!!”

Playing Tyler Locke, the eldest of the Locke siblings is; Actor, Director, Writer, Avid Reader, Heartthrob, Globetrotter, and recent guest judge on Canada’s Drag Race, Connor Jessup. We sat down with Jessup over Zoom to talk about why he’s “straight4pay”, RuPaul’s Drag Race, how his accessibility through social media has influenced his queer experience, and how secluding himself in a cottage for a month in the British countryside is influencing his upcoming projects.

Sweater and Pants: DSQUARED2, Shoes: Prada

Nice to see you again!! Congratulations on the new season of Locke & Key!!

CJ: Thank you!

You’ve now filmed three seasons of Locke & Key, with the third being filmed back to back simultaneously with the second. Having played Tyler Locke for three seasons, is it hard for you to separate yourself from a character that you’ve put a lot of time into?

CJ: No, I’ve never had that. Maybe it’s where I’m at in my career or the characters that I play. I’ve never felt followed by a character. The reality of shooting something is so mechanical; you shoot in many little pieces, you shoot out of order, a hundred people are standing around you. You’ve got a 10 hour, 12 hour workday and spend about 40 minutes at most actually shooting. So it’s never been hard for me to remember that, that’s work. Maybe if I was playing a character that was more radically different than I am, I haven’t really had that experience though.

The sets and visual effects were amazing this season! I loved the Spider scene from episode 3, “Small World”, also the small antique toy house was very cool.  Did you have any favorite visual heavy scenes that you filmed? 

CJ: Yeah that was an amazing prop. The spider one was probably the most fun I had. We had great fun at the end, there’s a scene where Kinsey, my sister, carries me through the air with her angel wings that she’s found, which involved me and Emilia (Jones), flying on wires for days at a time which was almost like working at a theme park, it was so much fun. There was a scene where we’re making a key, there’s a montage of us forging a key, so they needed lots and lots of little bits and pieces. No one there had any idea how to forge anything, so we literally just made shit up. I’m sure the blacksmithing community is furious! That was fun, in a way it felt like when you’re a kid and you go on a boat and you pretend to know how to sail it, and you do all sorts of random stuff, like pulling ropes but none of it has any actual connection to the reality of how to properly sail a boat, so it felt like that.

A couple of days after our shoot you went to Greece by yourself for two weeks with no plan on what to do. How was your trip, what did you do? 

CJ: It was extremely lovely, I did mostly very touristy things! I wandered around Athens, I saw very old things. I ate a lot of overwhelmingly delicious food. I went to Milos and Santorini. All and all, I had a very quiet, restful and calm time, which is exactly what I was looking for. I had never been to Greece before, so it was fun!

Based on your Instagram stories and highlights, it’s safe to say that you’re an avid reader. During your trip, I saw that you were reading Photocopies by John Berger. Considering you were living in a picturesque moment worth capturing and writing a story about; if you were to write a short snippet about that moment with an accompanying photo, how would it go? What would that photo look like?

CJ: That’s a good question! It’s interesting, I was thinking a lot as I was traveling, about the roles of different types of photos. I had my proper camera with me and my phone of course. I was taking a lot of pictures, because I was in a scenic place and also I was alone which helps. It’s funny what you feel compelled to take a photo of with your iPhone and what you feel compelled to take a photo of with your “proper camera” and how the perspective between the two changes. There’s a famous Gertrued Stein quote where she says, “I like a view, but I like to sit with my back turned to it.” I was in Santorini near the end of my trip which is just this stunningly scenic and idyllic place, swarmed with tourists who obviously all feel the same. It’s amazing how quickly you stop looking at “the postcard.” It’s amazing how quickly you tune out the landscape and the beautiful buildings, and the sunsets and the reasons why, ostensibly why, people are there. I feel like it would end up being a photo of a fragment that could almost be anywhere. It could be the pattern of the way a few walls intersect with some light. It’s not anything particularly beautiful but something that catches your eye in that one moment, you can’t repeat it. You can’t exactly put your finger on why it’s striking. That’s why I try to stay open to photography, it makes you look.

Button up top and Jumpsuit: Martin Asbjørn

Do you consider photography a hobby or something you just enjoy on trips?

CJ: I always chastise myself because I want to do it more often when I’m at home, but I just find that the energy for it is less present when I’m at home than when I’m abroad. Even though what I end up taking pictures of when I’m away is not anything particularly touristy. So I really should start forcing myself to carry my camera everywhere with me when I’m home. I have a very bad memory, and it’s a great way to remember things. Not in the traditional sense of you have a photo of a thing but in deciding to take a photo of something. You remember that moment.

You’re creating your own “photocopy”!

CJ: Exactly! Which is in a way what Photocopies is about. The fascinating thing about that book is that every little snippet, story, fragment, whatever you want to call it, is inspired by a photo. But for the vast majority of the pieces you don’t see the photo. It doesn’t do the thing you expect it to do, like here’s the photo and here’s the story. There’s actually stories where the photos are absent, so it really is like the stories themselves are the photocopies. I think a lot of people with an interest in photography understand that feeling; which is that the photo just becomes a stand-in for some other feeling, or some memory, or some moment.

Anytime I visit a new country I always come back learning so much more about myself than I did before. Did you learn anything new about yourself while there, or London, or now the countryside?

CJ: I’m sure I did, maybe I’m still in the process of that. I’m out here in the countryside in a cottage for about a month. The mission of being here in one place in the quiet for a month is to try and do some writing. So maybe through that process I’ll come to more of a bit of understanding. I always find it takes a second. I felt like I was in such a specific mood for a year while we were working. There’s a certain automatic quality to that, as an actor your life is kind of planned for you while you’re working. I’ve been trying, in the last month since we wrapped and in traveling, to find what my normal speed is again or what my new speed is. I’ve made a lot of new friends in the last little bit. So I’ve been enjoying remembering that friendship can be a great source of energy and inspiration.

Button up top and Jumpsuit: Martin Asbjørn, Shoes: Converse

Speaking of friendship, during the shoot you showed me a photo of you and Tilda Swinton proudly showing off your manicures. How did that friendship start and when are you going on a Mani/Pedi date?

CJ: Friendship is a strong word, but Tilda is one of these people who is almost supernaturally open to other people and experiences and the world. Which I don’t think is a huge surprise to people who are familiar with her. I’m good friends with this Thai filmmaker, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who is one of the greats that we have. I made a documentary about him a few years ago as he was on a research trip for his most recent film which just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival starring Tilda Swinton. I visited the shoot a couple of years ago and spent time with them, that’s how I got to know Tilda a little bit. I saw her again in New York a few weeks ago because the film premiered at the New York Film Festival. That’s the Tilda connection. I’m still a little Queer boy, so Tilda is obviously in the pantheon.

So no mani/pedi date set??

CJ: I’ll keep you informed, I sure hope so! We’ll see how that materializes in the real world!

I’m so obsessed with your instagram bio, it’s hilarious! It’s “straight4pay 🏳️‍🌈”  which is a play on words on “gay4pay”. As a queer actor how does one prepare to be a straight man?

CJ: I didn’t do anything to prepare for that!

That’s something!

CJ: I insisted to myself that I was straight for many years while I was young so I have enough experience in knowing that vocabulary.  In many ways gay people are great studies of straight behavior, because we’ve tried so hard to understand. I would trust a gay man to describe a straight mans behavior better than I would trust a straight man.

Since coming out, how freeing has it been to be yourself, especially in the industry?

CJ: More than I thought it would be honestly. More freeing than I expected. Coming out is a process, which is a phrase that gets thrown around, but only started to mean something to me recently because I came out many years ago in my private life. There’s such a big build up to that, you know? There’s coming out to your mom, and your best friend, and that felt like the important thing. Then years passed and I had convinced myself that I had come out, and then for various reasons I had decided that I wanted to come out publicly and it’s really only since then which is something that I didn’t put a lot of weight on when I did it, emotionally, that I started to feel a part  of the community and connected to a heritage and really started to properly feel gay. I’m still in the process of examining exactly why coming out to people that I don’t know had the effect on me that it did.

Jumpsuit, Coat, and Scarf: Kenzo

A lot of people shared their stories with you when you publicly came out

CJ: Yeah it was two years ago when I came out on instagram. Most days people will send me messages, stories, some fragments short or long of their experience whether they’re in the closet, or freshly out, or out for decades, or in countries where you can’t come out. There’s such a variety of queer experience and not just gay people but; ace people, trans people, pan people, and others under the wonderful rainbow umbrella. Which I think contributed to me feeling a part of the community, and broadening and deepening my understanding of queerness, because my experience is so limited compared to this whole range of other peoples experiences.  I think that has had a big ongoing impact on me. It’s hard to know if I feel shy about the whole thing because I have no claim. I’m just an actor, I have no expertise or training or real wisdom to share or help. It boils down to receiving these stories from people and trying to understand them through the prism of whatever tools I do have. Social media is a weird thing, this flow of information.

Getting all these messages everyday, how does that make you, Connor Jessup the person, feel?

CJ: Depends on the message. Sometimes it makes me feel really warm, and seen. Sometimes it makes me very sad. Sometimes it makes me confused and angry. Really the range of emotions. The type of messages are so varied. It goes from something as simple as someone who sent me a message the other day that just said, “Thank you for coming out. I feel less alone.” That was the whole message. That for some reason, the moment that I read it, had a real emotional impact on me. Even though there’s no information on who that person is or what their experiences are. The hard thing about social media is, which I think we all feel, is that it has a tendency to dehumanize. People are seen faceless. When you’re interacting with celebrities or even when you’re interacting with your friends, it just feels a bit separate from real life. You allow yourself to react in ways where you wouldn’t if you were talking to someone in real life. Even the comments on anything I post I’m like, “I doubt you would say this if I were to bump into you on the street.” So there’s that level of separation and it’s hard and it takes work when you’re sending and receiving to consistently remind yourself that you’re dealing with full people. Anyone sending me messages saying “I feel less alone,” or “I hate my body,” they’re just as full of a person, with just as full lives as I am, as any of us are. I have to remind myself that all the time, that’s a good exercise of mine.

Jumpsuit, Coat, and Scarf: Kenzo

This week you’ll be on Canada’s Drag Race as a guest judge! How excited are you to see the episode?

CJ: I’m very excited! I’m a little nervous, obviously. I haven’t seen any of it. You shoot for, well I was there for 10 hours shooting for what will probably be 15 minutes of the show. So I don’t know or have no concept of what they included, what they didn’t include, how they edited it. I’m excited, nervous, and I hope that the gays don’t turn against me!

The Drag Race fandom is notable for voicing their opinions! Good or Bad.

CJ: Yes! And so far I have yet to be on the receiving end of any gay backlash

Good! Let’s keep it that way!

CJ: Yeah exactly! I hope that this is not the first time

Shirt and Pants: Marrakshi Life, Shoes: Superga

The preview for the episode shows that it’ll be Snatch Game (a challenge where the queens have to do celebrity impersonations following the Match Game show format) which is the most beloved challenge of all time! What was that experience like not only getting to judge Drag Race but also the Snatch Game episode?

CJ: The way the episode went; there was a different guest on the actual Snatch Game but I was on the main stage. It was a scheduling thing, but I was actually there since it all happened on the same day. I was there in the morning and I watched the whole thing live. It was a great way for me to get acquainted with the queens. It’s episode 4 of the season so everyone watching will have seen 3 episodes worth of getting to know the queens, and I came in blind, so it’s a great introduction. It’s also so fascinating as a fan of Drag Race to see how unbelievably hard Snatch Game actually is. It seems hard when you watch it on the show but when you see how dry and slow and hot the actual shooting is. There’s no energy at all, there’s no flow, so to be witty and sharp and quick in that environment is impressive.

Have you watched Drag Race for a while, are you a fan?

CJ: Yeah I am, of course! I mean now though everyone is a fan. It’s relatively new to me though, I’ve watched it for about two years now.

Do you have a favorite queen from any of the Drag Race franchises?

CJ: I don’t think I have one favorite. Last season I was really bummed by the way things ended for GottMik, I was a huge GottMik fan. There are many queens I love, but they’re one of them

What was it about GottMik that you loved?

CJ: They’re enormously talented and fun! What GottMik represents; which I saw a little bit of when I was guest judging, is the broadening of what the definition of drag is. I’m not at all an expert in drag, but it seems from an outsider’s perspective that people like GottMik are leading the excavation of new territory, new ideas, new permissions, and that’s really exciting to watch

Would you ever do drag?

CJ: I would love to try! Now I have people around me that I can call, like makeup artists, that could help me. So I would absolutely love to try! I feel like I could probably make it work.

Oh you’ve got it! For sure!

CJ: Thank you! I don’t know what my style would be at all, I have no sense of that. I would like to explore.

Shirt and Pants: Marrakshi Life, Shoes: Superga

Do you have a sense of style now?

CJ: In my life? It depends on who you ask!

Well if I’m asking Connor!

CJ: I’d like to think so! Maybe it’s connected to coming out, the timelines would suggest, it’s only in the last couple of years I started to really have fun with clothes and started to care about them in a way as a form of expression at all. I’m relatively late to that idea. I had a lot of ideas when I was younger, which is partially connected to sexuality and partially other aspects of my personality, about certain levels of seriousness. I wanted to be taken seriously, and I think it’s also a symptom of being a child actor and growing up around professionals and adults. I always wanted to be seen as mature, and classy, and simple so the clothing I had reflected that. In other words, you could say, it’s boring. So it’s only in the last couple of years that I started to branch out. I don’t know how I would describe my style though.

Who are some designers that you like?

CJ: I’m obsessed with Bode, and J.W. Anderson. I’m no fashionista at all but it is something I’ve given more time, money and attention to! Hopefully I can find ways to surprise myself!

Besides acting, you’re also a director. Where would you like to take your directing career?

CJ: Forward, ideally! I’ve made shorts, documentaries, music videos and I’ve kind of tired myself of making short form stuff. I definitely want to make the next inevitable step and make a feature, which I’m working on literally right now. Hopefully in the next few years I can get a feature off the ground.

If there was nothing holding you back from making your larger than life film, what would that dream project be?

CJ: The film I’m working on right now, if it can pan out like it is in my head, that would be the immediate dream project. Last year I read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which is a beautiful, beautiful, queer retelling of the Iliad, which is a massive story on a huge canvas. I’d love to do something like that.

What kind of stories do you hope to share?

CJ: I don’t think there’s one descriptor, or one type of story. To me directing and writing is a way of better understanding myself. I find that most of the time what I’m fighting against is the temptation to go through life automatically. Writing and directing is a way of resisting that or forcing myself to resist automatic living. It’s a way of asking myself questions and accepting boredom. The stories I’ve been drawn to tend to be ghost stories, but not in the horror sense. Themes I come back to, that I’m interested in, deal with this relationship between loss and desire. Maybe it’s a queer thing, I mean it’s a human thing. The impulse towards it, the queer thing, this feeling of things you want but they slip away from you or they’re out of reach. Maybe that’s why ghost stories always appealed to me. I expect that to pop up in lots of things I make, but I’m not sure what form that would take.

Jacket, Sweater, Jeans: Sandro, Shoes: Prada, Necklaces: Stylists’ own

Would you ever direct and act in the same film?

No. 

Why not?

CJ: A lot of reasons, I have a lot of insecurities as an actor, which requires a lot of energy to combat while I’m working, that I don’t think I’d have that energy to give while directing. Part of the exciting thing about being a director, one of the most exciting things, is working with actors and being surprised by actors. You write something, or come up with an idea or stage a scene, and then actors breathe life into it, and you’re surprised, and you have to react, or you didn’t think this scene would play out that way or that line wouldn’t have that impact. I don’t think I could surprise myself in the same way, so I think in a sense it would be robbing me of the fun of being surprised by someone else. Also there’s so many brilliant actors who I’d love to work with, and friends of mine, and people I’ve met, and people who I’ve dreamed of meeting. I know myself, why would I get in the way?

Who are some of those people?

CJ: I have good friends for example, these two young british actors Joe Locke and Sebastian Croft who are two of my dearest friends, and they’re beautiful actors

Also Netflix actors right?

CJ: Yes! They’re in Heartstopper which is coming out next year sometime. Which is gonna be fantastic and they’re gonna be brilliant, and way, way more famous than any of us! So it’s people like that who are not household names but close friends of mine who I’d be very, very excited at the idea of working with. One of the most fun parts of doing anything, whether it’s acting or directing, is making work an extension of friendship. It’s the best way of making fun. All the things that I’ve made that’s been the most fun and satisfying are things that I’ve made with friends, or with people who become friends, where the work and the friendship is almost inseparable. Beyond that I’d love to work with Tilda, there’s more actors on that level that I’d also love to work with. It’s a great world out there of people who can surprise you.

What are your favorite films?

CJ: Oh my god, that’s just a mean question!

Sorry ‘bout it!

CJ: I mean it changes all the time! The movies that I’ve seen the most are; the Taiwanese movie Yi Yi by Edward Yang. Still Walking by Hirokazu Koreeda, which is extremely tender, detailed, I’ve seen that movie hundreds of times. Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki which is the most beautiful movie ever made. You know what movie I’ve been watching a lot recently is, A Sunday in the Country, a French movie from the 80’s, by Bertrand Tavernier. It’s a beautiful movie. That’s the movie where the first time you watch it, it seems very nice but doesn’t hit you over the head, but as you think about it more, it kind of expands inside you. I’m especially interested in and moved by how the camera moves in that movie. I’ve never seen a camera move like that, it’s like it’s powered by wind and not by grips. My friends and I went to go see a screening of, In the Mood for Love, a Wong Kar-wai movie last week, which I’ve seen a few times and always loved but for some reason this time watching it in theatres with other people at this point in my life, it overwhelmed me. I was a fucking hysterical mess. It’s strange, this amazing thing about art, that something you feel like you know can completely sneak up on you.

Jacket, Sweater, Jeans: Sandro, Shoes: Prada, Necklaces: Stylists’ own

Are there dream roles that you’d like to one day play?

CJ: I should have a better answer to this question, but I don’t really. I would like to do things that are different from what I’ve done before. I would like to be pushed to do things that I don’t think I can do. Specifically what that looks like, I don’t know. It’s always hard for me. I’m always most comfortable playing characters who are fragile, vulnerable and unsure. It’d be a good healthy challenge for me to play someone who’s really, really confident. I don’t feel like I think that’s at all a tool I have control over; confidence

While in New York, you visited galleries and museums. Were there any galleries, art work or artists that stuck out to you? 

CJ: I have this artist friend of mine who I’m obsessed with named, Bambou Gili, who’s a young Brooklyn based painter and she had a show which just ended, called The Nonexistent Night which is a riff on the Italo Calvino title, The Nonexistent Knight. She’s a beautiful, beautiful painter and also an obsessive Hayao Miyazaki fan so we bonded over that. She’s a genius and she’s gonna take the world by storm with these great sensual,  figurative paintings. So I love her and was very grateful seeing her first solo show. The only other art I went to see was at The Met, which I’ve been to a few times. It always, at least for me as a non New Yorker, feels like going to a different museum. 

It always feels that way!

CJ: I wandered parts of the museum I’d never seen before, there’s so much to see, and a lot of pictures to take on my phone. In the Greek section at The Met there’s this display with small glass beads in the shape of tiny fragile animals which for some reason struck me. It’s one thing for a sword or a marble statue to survive, but the fact that these tiny beads had survived 2400 years really touched me.

Did you see any glass bead animals while you were in Greece?

CJ: Not like that! The thing in Greece is like almost the same thing when you visit anywhere that has such a rich history. In Japan for example they call it “Temple Fatigue,” where you’re so inundated with history and culture that it almost becomes meaningless. Everywhere you look, everyday, you’re seeing something that has 2400 or 3200 years of history. I think the same thing happens in museums, where all these miraculous things are grouped together in such quantity that you kind of lose sight of it. But I did see some beautiful things in Greece.

As a Toronto native, tell me about what the experience was like growing up. How did it influence the person you are today?

CJ: I love Toronto more now than I ever have, I think I grew up and it was my home so I didn’t really think about it, it was just the place I lived. When I was a teenager I thought it was peaceable, but boring…but now I think it’s peaceable and boring!!! The intonations just changed! I’ve come to really value that quality. I have this weird relationship with Toronto where I don’t find it inspiring at all, no part of me is moved to tell Toronto stories, or set stories in Toronto. When I walk down the street I’m not moved by what I see unlike some other places, but I feel a great sense of safety while I’m there and warmth. My whole family’s there, I get to settle in a way where it’s really comforting. There’s an amazing film community, and amazing artists, and young people on the verge of really exciting work, so I feel really excited by them. Toronto is a major metropolitan city with about 5 million people, there’s a lot of layers to Toronto. 

Finally, who is Connor Jessup?

CJ: He’s usually not sure. He’s trying to figure that out. Like I said when I was younger it was very important to me to have a clear self image and work on a brand. Not in a careerist way, but in identifying who I am, the way I interacted with the world. I never really questioned that, that it came from an honest place. Now I feel like a lot of the foundation that a lot of that was built on was not quite true. I’m trying to make less assumptions and leave more open space, and be okay with that.

Shirt and Pants: Private Policy

SCREEN TEST: CAMI, BRENDA & ERIN BY MARCUS DERRICOTTÉ

Cami Opp @camilleopp at Wilhelmina

 

 

Photos: Marcus Derricotté @mderricotte

Makeup : Madison Personette @madisonpersonette

Hair: Stefani Annaliese @stefaniannaliese

Stylist: Memsor @memsor

Models: Cami Opp @camilleopp at Wilhelmina 

Brenda @brendamutoni at MUSE

Erin @erineliopulos at Next

 

 

 

Brenda @brendamutoni at MUSE models

 

 

 

Erin @erineliopulos at Next models

 

 

 

DIGITAL COVER: ARGENTINE RAPPER/SINGER NICKI NICOLE

Photographer: Brendan Wixted
Styling: Jacquie Trevizo
Creative Direction: Jacquie Trevizo x Marc Sifuentes
Styling Assistant: Tatiana Isshac
Hair and Makeup: Pablo Rivera
Production: Jacquie Trevizo x Jordan Frazes / Location: Vault Place Miami

Nicki Nicole is set to claim her spot as a wunderkind of the latin music scene. The Argentine rapper/singer’s career is a modern example of how social media has changed the music industry, with over 10 million followers on Instagram and a devoted fan base who in many cases push her Youtube video stream views over 30 million. In the span of two short years, the 21 year old Argentine artist has fine-tuned her musical aesthetic, blending traditional R&B with her trap music roots to create a trademark sound that is all her own. Nicole has already garnered the respect of veteran recording artists jockeying for their place to be a part of her next chart topping musical collaboration. Record industry establishments such as the Latin Grammy’s have honored Nicole with a nomination for Best New Artist and Billboard Magazine charted five of Nicole’s hits in their Hot 100 Chart. All this, in addition to her live performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and her profile piece in American Vogue, help solidify Nicole’s path to her dream of making music from the heart.

For her exclusive Iris Covet Book Digital cover, Nicki chatted with singer-songwriter Tkay Maidza about the women that inspire her, why she took her time producing her upcoming sophomore album, “Parte De Mi” and her post lockdown tour plans.

Listen to the new album “Parte De Mí” from the Latin Grammy nominated artist when it goes live October 28th at 6pm ET on all music streaming platforms! Listen to the title-track and watch the video here.

Corset: Serpenti , Head Scarf: via The Confessional Showroom Miami, Necklace: Betsey Johnson , Earrings: via TATA PR , Jeans: MTSZ via PR Solo

Tkay Maidza: How did you first fall in love with American hip hop music?

Nicki Nicole: I have always listened to American Hip Hop, but I think that I fell in love with it when I was about 15, 16 years old. I saw it for the first time on MTV when I was super young, and since then I’ve always been very attracted to it. But yes, I think I fully became infatuated with it when I was a teenager.

TM: I read that you started rapping around age 15 or 16. Did you ever write or experiment with other types of music before you started rapping?

NN: When I started making music I tried out all types of different styles. But I think I realized that the one that best suited me to evolve in my music was hip hop and freestyle. I started at 15, 16, and I think that was the time where I evolved my style the most as an artist.

Top: Zadig & Voltaire , Pants: Louis Vuitton , Earrings: Tiffany & Co

TM: Do you remember any of your first bars from that age?

NN: It’s difficult to remember specific bars now, but my first song “Wapo Traketero” is part of that first phase in my career where I fell in love with hip hop. I think that song describes perfectly what that moment was.

TM: What made you pick up the pen and actually write your own lyrics for the first time?

NN: I think mainly it was the desire to say things in a different way. It happened to me often that I was very reserved with my inner circle, and when I started writing I became quite open. So I prefered to say things that way, and that eventually led me to make music and made me who I am today. 

Pant Suit: ABODE  via Brooklyn PR, Bra: Honey Birdette via BLK PR, Earrings: Alexis Bittar

TM: Was there a big life event that happened, which caused you to feel the need to express yourself in a new way or were you just inspired by all the music you were hearing at the time?

NN: At the beginning everything that came out was from different inspirations, because I was very young and had little life experience to talk about. But as I grew older and lived through many different things, I started to write more about my own life. 

Bustier: Angelika Jozefczyk  via PR Solo, Shorts: Louis Vuitton , Earrings: LILOU PARIS @bemylilou via Brooklyn PR

TM: Who are some of your favorite American acts that influenced you early on in your career? What drew you to their music, persona or both?

NN: The ones I always listen to and that are a constant inspiration to me are Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, and Lil Kim. Beyond their music, I admire how they are as people, how they carry themselves as women, the life they each led and lead currently, they each truly are an inspiration to me in their own way. As for male artists, I really like Drake, Giveon… but out of everyone my favorite is Amy. 

TM: How would you compare Argentinian hip hop to American hip hop?

NN: I think it’s impossible to compare the two. They have separate styles, processes, and evolutions that are completely different. They each have their own style and flow. I wouldn’t compare them in any way. They each stand out in their own way.

Corset: Serpenti , Head Scarf: via The Confessional Showroom Miami , Sunglasses: Futuremood , Earrings: via TATA PR

TM: Are there certain styles or techniques that you pick up (or enjoy) more from one or the other?

NN: As for genres of music, I have to say I love R&B, Funk and Jazz. I really love listening and creating those styles of music as well. 

TM: In one of your past interviews, you said something really interesting about how you’re “never 100% sure of the music [you] release”, and how you feel like you could keep perfecting as a songwriter, that’s something I really relate to. I also have people around me that I trust to tell me when a song is done. Do you have specific people that you trust to help make the decision to call a song “finished”? Or is it more, “the deadline is coming up, now it’s time to wrap this up.”

NN: Yes. I have many people beyond my work who know me very well and whom I trust deeply. I usually show them my songs because they can give me their honest opinion, and it always helps me move forward in the process. Because of how I am, I feel that I could spend my whole life working on the same song because I get too into the details, and I feel that it is never enough. Therefore, having people I truly trust tell me when to stop, is always very important and helpful to me.

Pant Suit: Jovana Louis via PR Solo, Bra: Honey Birdette via BLK PR, Earrings: via TATA PR

TM: I heard that you’re currently working on your second album. Can you tell us anything about that yet?

NN: The album is coming out this year. It’s quite personal. It’s an album that has many rhythms, and also many different collaborations and special guests. I can’t wait for it to come out, to be able to show all these different sides of me and my music, and how it’s evolved.

Blouse: Simonett Shorts: MTSZ via PR Solo, Shoes: Freelance Paris via Maison Privee PR, Earrings: Lara Heems via @yayapublicity, Socks: Wolford

TM: How are you treating this project differently than your last body of work? It’s been 2 years since your last album, I imagine a lot has changed in your life since then.

NN: The first and second albums are quite different. “Recuerdos” was when I was just starting out, and all I wanted to do was release all the music I was making, without really worrying about having a definite concept or thinking about what could happen next. I just wanted to get my music out so that I could continue making more. With this album that’s coming out now, I was able to work on it with a lot more time. I let each song breath, not listening to them nonstop and obsessing over the details like I usually do. I worked on it and took my time and it allowed me to truly polish it and make it perfect in its own way. I think that’s the biggest difference, and I honestly cannot wait for it to come out. 

Bra Top: Anouki via TATA PR, Skirt: Annakiki, Jacket: Louis Vuitton, Socks: Wolford, Shoes: Nike

TM: Now that touring is back (finally!), what are your dream venues and cities that you want to perform in?

NN: Mainly I am super excited to perform in Argentina. It is something that we had to hold off on due to the pandemic, so now that touring is back on I really can’t wait to perform in many cities in my own country. After that I would love to play in Spain, Mexico, and hopefully the US soon as well. I really can’t wait to get back on that stage.