Over and over, slowly but surely, a new concept has been forming in my mind. It is an idea about a new mindset for living and the work I create. It is a whimsical, ethereal notion about seeking (and finding) beauty in otherwise mundane, everyday places and things by the way we choose to engage with them.
I’m so happy to announce that I made Toronto Life‘s annual list of Toronto’s Best Dressed People! They’ve chosen me and 16 other Torontonians to feature in the eighth edition of their yearly style round up. Their Best Dressed Class of 2018 includes a chef, a drag queen, a painter, and other stylish and talented professionals.
While looking for different ways to explore and promote Sororum I linked up with director and fellow Ryerson University alum Jessamine Fok. We had worked together before on a previous project and when the opportunity presented itself to create something new we took it. Her cinematic storytelling skills and my creativity and fashion pieces joined forces to tell a story celebrating womanhood, sisterhood, and the beauty of African wax prints.
I’ve been gone for several weeks. Truth is, so much happened in the last weeks of 2017 I had trouble even keeping up in my own life. But the new year is bringing a ton of new opportunities and I’m gonna start sharing them with you now.
It’s taken me a lifetime but I think I’m finally beginning to love my hair in it’s natural state. I’m finally starting to see the unique and exquisite beauty in my golden kinks and coils. What I once tried to subdue, I’m letting flourish.
I was shaking. Sitting on the edge of this concrete ledge my body felt tight and stiff with anxiety. We were about two stories up which isn’t that high I suppose but still, every second up there felt like an eternity. I tried to calm myself because I didn’t want to let the fear show on my face.
After about a minute it was over. I had to come down. I didn’t care whether we got the shot or not. Then I looked at the camera to see the results. ‘Wow,’ I exhaled in relief, pleased to see what we’d captured.
On Monday I conceptualized the idea and did the prop styling. On Tuesday I executed the idea, including the hair, makeup, and photography. On Wednesday I did the post production to bring the most out of the images that I could. Today I am publishing it. Sharing this departure from my normal style as my 100th post. An exploration of myself as the artist, the muse, and the canvas as a way to heal.
How do you define home? Where you live now? Where you grew up? Where your family is? Or something else? Oftentimes how I interpret where home is depends on how I feel, who’s asking, or any other possible variable. My definition of home feels like it’s always changing and lately I’ve been thinking about where exactly that even is for me.
Kealan Sullivan is a Toronto fashion OG. In a city where fashion boutiques in the downtown core are here today and gone tomorrow, Sullivan stood her ground as a highly respected, successful business woman for over 10 years. As the owner behind 69 Vintage, her life revolved around sourcing and selling the best secondhand pieces she could find to a city full of discerning thrifters.
Now that she’s entering a new chapter, I caught up with Kealan to see what I could learn from her entrepreneurial spirit. She opened up about how she started her business, how she ended it (on purpose), and what she’s passionate about now. From creating a runway collection (which I’m wearing!), to traveling, to reconnecting with herself, Kealan is doing it her way.
The air is hot and sticky with moisture, even as the sun is beginning to set. Distant sounds of voices and car horns can be heard in the dense air as a large, heavy gate slowly opens. This is Lagos, Nigeria.
More specifically, we find each other in Victoria Garden City, a comparatively quiet and gated residential neighbourhood where one must pass a security post to enter. Welcome! I’m so excited to share an inside look at my world in a way I never have before.