I believe we all have a hundred different facets that reveal themselves in different circumstances. Whether with certain people, certain situations, or certain periods in life, our minds have a multitude of layers. I don’t think that we are born and remain with one way of being. Our perception of things evolves and changes as we go through life and experience more of it, which is so beautiful, isn’t it? I’ve always been all about embracing an open mind and there’s not a single day when I don’t ask myself a thousand questions. I am perpetually questioning everything that is around me to a point when it’s sort of unbearable. Like, have you ever wondered why you may like one color while your friend doesn’t? Do you perceive color in a different way? Or, why does our taste for certain foods change over the years? Why is it that we change? Why is it that we are all unique and have such distinctive characters. Are we born with it? Is it a result of education or of life itself? There are so many different elements that define who we truly are deep within, and I believe these are forever evolving.
So, how does one properly capture one’s essence? I like to think that values build our personalitys’ canvas and this might highly depend on the way our parents have raised us. I know for a fact that living in three completely different countries with clashing cultures really opened my mind and taught me to have a broad vision. I had to be flexible, tolerant, receptive to and curious about things, adapt very quickly, make new friends on the spot, but also not be afraid to move again (which is sort of the “unfortunate” skill I developed that is now useful as I travel so much and tend to miss my family and friends all the time). I’ve learned to hit my benchmarks no matter where I go and this is really all a result of the kinds of people I surround myself with. There’s nothing I appreciate more than spending a quiet evening with my best friends, having deep conversations. Sometimes, a single conversation can completely change everything. It can shift your way of thinking… and eventually, your life.
When I say everything, I mean the way you approach or envision things. I read this fascinating article about the humain brain and how it can foster one of two distinctive types of mentalities, the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. The growth mindset mostly represents creative people, all about deeply furthering one’s analysis of things and never shutting down the learning process. The fixed mindset, on the other hand, embraces the knowledge already learned, has strong opinions and values, and perpetuates them overtime without having a particular interest to see things differently. People with fixed mindsets tend to be more methodical and mathematical. We are all so different and yet when we come together and share our stories, magic happens.
Lately I’ve been spending so, so, so much time songwriting and been very, very present in real life. I mean, actual life, off the computer. Maybe that is also the reason why I post less…! Oops. Please excuse this guys. You know that each time I’m back, I have bags of things to tell you about. And we get to know each other on a deeper level, which is fantastic isn’t it? With each experience, good or bad, a song gets filled with emotions and layers. The tracks are all coming together, which is so exciting… and yet, as I sat down the other day to listen to them, I realized that the person who was singing all the words comes off as someone so different from who I am used to showing publicly. I grew up as an only child and used to spend so much time on my own, creating. This process made me explore the depths of my consciousness, places where it’s not always all pink and cotton candy fluff. I learned to embrace melancholy as something beautiful and something that nourishes my happiness, because without bad there is no good. I have to say, in my music, my words are very much tortured, vulnerable, weak, and sometimes even twisted.
I think you will be very surprised to discover the universe of my songs, which is so different from what you’ve known of me these last four years. It’s a layer that usually shows only when I am by myself, but when I do music, it’s like the whole world shuts down and this hidden side comes out again. Sometimes, I even like to project myself in situations I haven’t fully experienced, wander in the obscure places of my mind to build fantasy worlds and get curious about who I could have been if my life turned out a different way. This is why I wanted to call this article Alter Ego. It’s to celebrate these different, deeper layers we all have in us and this “alter” self we can from time to time project ourselves to become, as if we’d channel a character. I’ve lately been having fun wearing wigs, and more specifically a dark bob that I actually wore when going out. I found that a completely different side of my personality comes out as soon as I put it on, and it’s so fun to see people react to it!
In this series of pictures I channelled these different characters: Stella, Miranda, Lexi and Ivy (you guys met some of them on Snapchat already!) each one of them with it’s very unique, crazy story. I had the best time ever projecting myself in their shoes and letting my self feel what they’d feel and see what they’d see. The whole shoot is inspired by Steven Klein’s modern, yet frightening aesthetic with a little spice of David Lynch’s strange surrealism. Cibelle and I shot these in L.A. near Beverly Boulevard on one hot afternoon, and here is the result. Enjoy their stories.
P . S I wanted to specify as it can be confusing for some, that the stories you will read bellow aren’t based specifically on my life experiences neither has the text been written as my own self. These are projections of certain characters, like a comic book heroin whose personality is exaggerated for the purpose of the Alter Ego conceptualisation. It’s an idea, sort of like a mini story explaining the life of each one of these girls who all have their very unique personalities, which I think we can all find ourselves in.
S T E L L A - RAVEN
She wakes up and lights up a cigarette before even considering coffee. That’s just her preference. Not that it fills her up completely… she doesn’t even smoke it. It’s just nice to start the day with some soothing, gray, dusky mist, like one of Charles Baudelaire’s poems. She then puts on her black lipstick and rolls her eyes to her reflection, because there’s nothing more boring than narcissism… or any kind of self absorbed activity, in fact. This is why an old, cheap Nokia phone is the only communication tool she allows herself to carry. And if someone doesn’t like that, well they can just drop her a letter. In the mailbox.
She’d drive but she prefers to take the metro, just so she can stare at people in the eyes and imagine what each one’s name and occupation might be… Until it eventually becomes awkward. Which tends to happen more than often. She then rolls her eyes, again, because it’s amusing how people get scared when they’re being looked at for too long… They get uncomfortable and move differently.
No one really knows what she’s doing during the day, but at night she’s working in a bar, serving beers and having here and there conversations, some meaning full, some not, with strangers, ones she’ll see again, and those who never come back. And yet, she always keeps a little notebook filled with notes and sketches of the faces that come and go and the strangest conversations she might have heard… the ones that touched her heart and soul in the most curious ways.
TOP : Nasty Gal / PANTS : Iro / NECKLACE : Minusey
M I R A N D A – BEAUTY BEHIND MADNESS
Miranda is a short haired girl that rarely goes out without her dark, cherry lipstick. In fact she rarely goes out at all. The day scares her off. Not that she is a vampire of any sorts, even though her white porcelain skin is something she tries her best to take care of. No. There’s something about the brightness, the exposure and the awkwardness of day light that makes her wanna stay in until dusk. It’s the lack of mystery, a certain absence of grace that she tries to escape as much as she can. The subtle light, the late evening flare, it’s when the shadows come and dance on the skin and the bright lights of the city awaken, when the colors get darker, blurring our vision, smoothing the imperfections and letting it’s strange mystery float around… that’s when Miranda wakes herself up from her usual nap time, pushes Igor, her loyal, fluffy black cat away and pours herself a glass of cold almond milk before putting on a pair of black satin sandals to get ready.
She’ll walk in the middle of the night by herself, cherry on the lips, sound of her heels resonating in the empty streets. Her walk is somehow frightening, like a clock that ticks or a bomb that waits to explode, but never does… just a cold, sharp “clack, clack” that freezes the street while she moves around slowly, yet with all her focus, elegance and determination, like a feline, perfecting each and every single of her long, fluid movements.
She seduces without even trying. And she loves it. In the end, however, she doesn’t want to be someone’s pretty toy… she adores the game, the pleasure of the endless chase. Especially when she is the predator. It’s like playing chess, no different. However, for some reasons her heart always remained a rock to sweet words caressing her ear. Love isn’t of her taste. It’s somehow boring and sad, it seems. She much more prefers to sleep by herself, in the comfort of her dark, black wooded bedroom where minimalistic art and graphic or nude photography by Helmut Newton fill in the space, surrounding her with still, frozen beauty and comforting her in her enjoyable loneliness.
BODY : Koreswim / SKIRT : Wanda Nylon
L E X I – DARK LADY
It always felt to Lexi as if she came from another world, maybe because she never really fit in… or because she never really wanted do. Something deep within always pushed her to think she was different, and she never really knew if it was a good thing or not, but learned to embrace it. In her own way. As a kid, she used to draw pages and pages of Japanese inspired horror comic books, that was her ultimate fun. Until her teachers caught her doing so in the middle of the classes, landing her each week in detention. It’s okay though because no matter what, attending school was just a way to please society. She already knew all she needed to know.
Science, however, always fascinated her. The very action of trying to understand each object under a hundred thousand different perspectives, observing it and analyzing it to have a greater, broader scope of vision is her thing. Sometimes, during quiet afternoons, she’d sit on the cold, white tile floor of her bathroom and play for hours on her old Rubik’s cube, assembling it in just a few seconds and then messing it up again in the most complex way possible to solve it for the fun. Her mind runs like a horse, a drum machine that just won’t stop pounding beats on repeat.
Insomnia keeps her awake at night and often, at 5am when the soft morning light projects the first strays of sun, she’d sit on her knees, in her bed, her shutters covering her face with dozens of linear shapes and she’d open one of her old magic books, the ones she’d gotten in old, dusty libraries and drowns in this mystical world that always intrigued her. She believes in the energy of things, the forces of nature. Fear occupies a very little place in her heart, the rest replaced with an immense curiosity to unravel life’s most intriguing mysteries. Questions… So many questions. She is fascinated by the future and what it holds and even found some answers in the cards that she plays to get herself to sleep. If anything, her rituals are away to protect her beloved ones. She likes to think she can become somewhat of a protector that came down from somewhere far away to stay in the shadow, yet look over and protect the ones she cherishes.
DRESS : TY-LR Australia
I V Y - DOWN TO BUSINESS
Nobody can ever tell Ivy a word without her having a hundred things to say back, and eventually shut everyone’s mouths. She has never been here to mess around, it’s either straight to the point or she’s out. Why complicate life? Things are after all so simple and time is so precious. Time is everything. Ivy has always been very forward, not only in regards to her career but speaking of her life in general. Born in the tinniest, dirtiest, most boring part of the city, a suburb where average age doesn’t get much younger than 75 years old, she lived in a small 1 bedroom apartment with her entire family, and three dogs. It’s not a big wonder why she had to get the hell out there as soon as possible and make her own living.
Her skills at school would overpass all of her fellow friends who’d eventually start stealing her homework and books to copy all of her notes. She’d of course never let them and end up fighting with half of her school which regularly lead her to come back home covered in bruises and cuts. Her father always wanted her to be a boy, and in fact, she always wanted to be one too. She loved the hustle, the battle, the dirt. And her attitude was nothing but classy, rather bulky and quiet insensitive. She liked working at this local burger fast food stop to earn her pocket money and save it up for later. She knew at time would come where she’d need it. And the smell of fries and cheese somewhat soothed her in a way.
Her best skill however has always been to find stuff out, to dig and learn stories about everything, everyone and anything which eventually got her to become somewhat of an underground agent, or spy as some would call it. Her eager mind, precise focus and ability to get out of any situation by manipulating things around her got her the job of a lifetime and she finally moved out of her her old town to come to the big city. She spends her days rolling in her black truck, taking photographs, following mysterious suspects and living through the shadows of strangers whose sins only she knows.
SUIT : Kenzo