THE IDENTITY ISSUE DECEMBER 2013
CONTENTS ONES J R E F I N N E J | R E V O C ON THE
3 Editors letter.. 4 STREETS AHEAD
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12 Soul Take Over 20 DIFFERNET KIND OF BEAUTY
24 Schizophrenic State of Fashion.
EDITORS LETTER AMY MONTEITH
As work began on the December issue, it’s focus and intent was undoubtedly clear, identity, ideals and diversity were to be explored. Inspiration came in many forms, but was mostly drawn from the idea that an individual can have many persona’s, challenging the generic notion that an individual can only absorb a single identity. Take a peek at our pick of London’s most opulent street fashion where we have concentrated on key winter looks as well as taking note of how an individuals sense of style can alter whilst in different environments. Get to know our cover girl, Jennifer Jones in her Soul Take Over photo shoot, inspired by the idea of being consumed by multiple identities. Be charmed and inspired with our “Different Kind of Beauty” article, which gives an insight into transgenders in the light of the fashion media and how the androgynous look is becoming more of a sought after style than a shunned one. It doesn’t end there; discover variance in style as model Roselle Davey exhibits both a tomboyish look as well as the aesthetics of a lady, in our Schizophrenic State of Fashion, shoot. Lose yourself in these pages and be inspired by these captivating stories. Enjoy the issue.
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Streets Ahead... Winter is here, and with this season comes multiple layers, heavy coats and a classic boot. This time of the year can be oh so unpredictable, it may compel you to layer up as many clothes as possible and break out the hat, scarf, glove ensemble. But then again you may find yourself just putting on a light coat to protect you from the slight chill in the air. Street style photographer Amy Monteith has taken to the streets in several of Londonâ€™s most fashion orientated areas, including Portobello Road and Camden Town, to bring us some of the best winter looks. Whether you need a heavy coat or just a light parka to brave the icy temperature outside, NARROWâ€™s street style has it covered.
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RIGHT | CAMDEN TOWN
LEFT | PORTOBELLO ROAD
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OVER A physical body allows space for more than one identitiy.
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PHOTOGRAPHER | AMY MONTEITH
MODEL | JENNIFER JONES
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Different Kind of Beauty. They possess the idolized attributes of all great supermodels, but is the fashion industry ready for a transgender presence? Words by Amy Monteith
ho decides how we behave and how we dress? Who says that individuals have to conform to the normative notions of femininity and masculinity? These are the questions on the metaphorical lips of the transgender community. Gender, although biologically forced upon us is very much open to interpretation by the people who surround us. The fashion community prides itself in embracing the unconventional beauties of this era yet the androgynous look remains controversial. Fashion is all about pushing boundaries, exceeding the limits and creating new norms, with the most recent of these being the blurring of gender lines within the fashion domain. When it comes to creating a seamless super model let us ponder the traits that are mandatory for their success. Is it the swan like beauty, the legs, the walk or simply their photogenic nature? The undeniable fact is it all comes down to whether or not they look good aesthetically and not which gender heading they fall under. A physical body does not define who you are; the phrase ‘mind over matter’ suddenly becomes clear.
Who are we as a society to judge, how individuals choose to present themselves. It is a personal choice based purely on what that individual feels like wearing, “it is indeed self-expression and a reasoned aesthetic choice,” states Gianmarco Bersani a transgender blogger. The fashion industry has not always been so accommodating for those who possess a different kind of beauty. Looking back, for transgenders and cross-dressers the fashion elite as well as the general public have thrust them into the shadows, and subjected them to discrimination and prejudice against the hands of the industry. An androgynous style first made an appearance in the fashion world in the 1920’s. Coco Chanel and Jean Patou began designing blazers, jumpers and open necked shirts for women; these women were branded as the bachelor girls. Alongside wearing the more masculine garments these women cut their hair and strapped their breasts down to accentuate the androgynous look. So why, we ask, if an individual felt imprisoned in the incorrect body it was rejected
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“The fashion industry needs a moment to adjust, to become more accepting of transitioned women in the light of the media,” by the fashion industry, but if it was merely a fashion statement it was deemed acceptable? “The world of fashion, apparently so open, still had not overcome preconceptions related to sexual identity,” comments Gianmarco Bersani. In the story of the exquisite April Ashley this is indeed the case. Ashley was one of the first British women to undergo gender reassignment surgery and became a sought after model, featuring in Vogue on countless occasions. However her success failed to last as her story was leaked to a newspaper and her career was ruined, exposing just how reluctant the fashion industry was to accept versatile models at the time. Well that was then and this is now. Slowly creeping into the pages of our magazines are the more unconventional beauties of this world. Although it wasn’t until 2011 that a transgender appeared on the cover of a high-end magazine, a fact that seems so astonishing today, transgenders are gaining visibility. That cover, featuring Lea T marked a key
point in the history of fashion for trans genders and demonstrated that these boundary breakers are welcome. It’s almost like the fashion world has had an epiphany and realized the true potential of an androgynous style. Isis King, one of the first transgender models to have any kind of impact on the industry made her first appearance on ‘America’s Next Top Model’ in 2008 on the 11th series and returned in the 17th. Since appeaing on the show she has become a staple in the fashion industry and has opened the eyes of those who had closed opinions on the transgender community. Close to follow in her footsteps are models such as Andrej Pejic and Lea T, both forces of nature in their own right. Both attracting copious amounts of attention from the fashion elite, they are changing the preconceived definitions of femininity and encouraging other transgender woman to step in front of the camera. “Transgenders or cross-dressers, are accepted by a large amount of people, but even more people hate the idea of seeing a gorgeous
advertisement and finding out that, that really hot girl, is actually a man,” comments Steven Mauve a New York cross-dresser, when asked why he thinks transgenders aren’t featured in magazines regularly. Why is it that we as a society have such difficultly in accepting those not like ourselves? It could be argued that people may find it upsetting that the girl on the cover is actually a man, and they possess so many idolized qualities that the fashion industry strives for. But surely it’s time to embrace their diverse beauty and not shy away from it. Many designers such as Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier are encouraging this movement by using transgender models in their recent advertising. Both of which take full advantage of Andrej Pejic’s sensational talent in their SS11 campaigns. Brands like American Apparel are also joining in with this latest craze by sending out open model calls for transgenders. Both designer and brand are embracing the transgender community. within the fashion domain. Not only is the blurring of gender lines becoming
more prominent, transgenders and cross-dressers are becoming less of a taboo subject in the light of the media Although the fashion industry never ceases to amaze it cant help but be predictable, embracing newcomers in glossy magazines and high-end campaigns isn’t exactly one of the industries strong suits, although it hates to admit it. Just like campaigns for plus size, mature and mixed race, the fight for transgender models in fashion publications is going to take some time. “The fashion industry needs a moment to adjust, to become more accepting of transitioned women in the light of the media,” explains Steven Mauve. With role models like Andrej Pejic leading the way and catapulting the androgynous style to the forefront of fashion it is almost certain that this movement will be noted in fashion history. What once began as an unthinkable model choice has gradually made its way into the glossy pages of our magazines, better to be fashionably late than never.
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c i n e r h p o z i h c S state of fashion
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PHOTOGRAPHER/STYLIST | AMY MONTEITH
MODEL | ROSELLE DAVEY