Have you ever wondered what comes to the mind of those who encounter you for the first time? What happens in these very first few seconds as someone who’s never seen you before lay their eyes on you… What in the world are they thinking? Have you ever considered that before you even spoke or perhaps even met, there is already an existing expectation or perception? You could think, and this could be indeed considered as a very superficial question as we are indeed talking about appearance… But aren’t we all so sensitive to our visual environment, to distinctive symbols around us, to the images that the the world reflects and what it translates? It seems to me like we evolve in a society where the attention span is so short, that we base our judgments on few distinctive elements and signs to instantly make an assumptions and elaborate an opinion on something within less than a minute. We are all guided by our vision, and attracted or repulsed by what seems appealing or not. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Whether it’s how we judge food or even a place, our senses are guiding our actions. So, how much does our image speak for ourselves? Meaning, does it really serve us well or could the portrayal be purely misleading?
Fashion industry is so fascinating in this regard as so many brands base their marketing on such few, but extremely important and distinctive visual elements that will allow us, within seconds, to understand, or at least have a sense of their entire branding strategy. Whether it’s an artsy Céline add or a rock &roll androgynous Saint Laurent one (by the way, can we please talk about Hedi leaving!?), it says already so much about the products we’ll be able to get from them. If we compare the way labels brand themselves and how our own appearance might become our own, walking branding, what does it say about us, and especially about the person that we truly are, personality wise. I for example, like to toy around with my image and tweak it in many different way to perpetually re-invent myself. I often get asked the question “what does it feel like to be so exposed on your social media and blog”? Well, I truly believe, that us all, as visual humain beings are being affected by image perception. As un-superficial as we claim to be, the willingness to be detached from our images can also be thus… reflected in our appearance, and therefore reflect our choice to show that we actually don’t care.
I always thought that the image, the appearance, or the terrestrial envelope so to say, is an extension of who we are. It isn’t necessarily who we are. I like how it says something about me without me having to even open my mouth. I like how it’s a canvas to reflect a bit of my universe, a way to express my creativity, share my story and play with people’s idea of what I might be like, to then be the complete opposite. This is I guess why I love fashion so much. It is one of the greatest tools to play with perception. But then comes in the matter of subjectivity and how different people can perceive things in complete different ways. It is like looking at an abstract art photography with your friend, and you both seing two completely opposite things.
Since, I changed my hair color, I felt like the perception people had of me has become slightly different too, while I, on the inside, didn’t feel like I had changed. The adjectives are suddenly different. I hear “edgy, dark, sexy” instead of the usual “bubbly, cute and feminine” I used to get all the time. I won’t hide the fact that seing myself in the mirror now, makes me have a complete other approach to myself as well. It makes me want to dress differently, look at people differently, sometimes even act differently… So, to an extension, my appearance, is in a way, also leading me to become someone new, through my words and actions. I think both our body and mind work together and serve each other. Some manage to detach their mind from their body to such extend that they don’t even feel physical pain anymore. But good luck on mastering that…! You know what, and I will make a funny comparison, but my friends and I we love tiramisu. And honestly, it’s so hard to judge a tiramisu by it’s appearance because often the ones that don’t look that great are the ones that tastes the better. Fact is : you gotta try them all.
I’m so excited you guys as this is the first article I am posting an with my dark hair. I made the change a few weeks ago while shooting mx first L’Oréal Campaign in Paris. It was such a thrilling moment. It is possible that I go lighter soon again, but for now, I am so happy with this color which I think definitely adds an interesting twist. I had the pleasure shooting these images a few days ago while sporting this gorgeous Ermanno Scervino dress around the Milk Studios in Los Angeles. Nothing beats L.A weather… I promise it’s the best thing in the world. What a luck to be here. I am pinching myself every single day and wish you could all come and visit me. We’d go and hang by the beach in Venice and sing songs around a fireplace. I’ve also been enjoying spending some quality time with the team, and James who’s been travelling less with us, shot this new article that I hope you guys will love. I’ll speak to you soon. x
Photography by James Chardon