We’ve made many blunders in building our insightful, empowering community of communities. One of the biggest was outpacing ourselves with shooting more people than we could edit and post in a proper manner, resulting in subpar video footage that no longer correlated to our newly acquired video skills. It is distressing for us to exchange multi-dimensional portraits for a photo summary (however spectacular our summary may or may not be), especially with our innovative Brits. Their elusive ability to affix romantic history with street style produces a sartorial depth that opens your mind and takes you to places you may not have otherwise gone.
The remarkable Russian, Tess, is transformative, whether she pairs a rose-print gown with a kimono and sparkly flats or if she sports frothy crinolines under a classic black dress. Evidence of Leanne’s elegance is in her silk prints and the punk aesthetic that she injects them with by adding black leggings and her own body art (i.e tattoos). A collage of floral tights, crochets, leopard and vintage lace (not to mention the edible layers of her colorful hair) renders Liria rapturous. Chains, black leather, and gold tuxes demonstrate that Tom is a descendent of tough rockers like Keith. Hermione, Tom’s girlfriend, is pointedly heavenly in her kaftans and 70s airs. Finally, making the plebeian scholarly, Mikey blends Scottish kilts and schoolboy blazers with tulle masks and albino platinum brows and locks.
We can’t wait to deliver a deeper, finely filmed look into the phenomenal Tess, Leanne, Liria, Tom, Mikey, and Hermonie on our next voyage to London. In the meantime, sometimes a picture can say a million words.
Tess Yopp is a fashion stylist living in London. She was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. “Growing up there we didn’t have much,” she says, “nothing like how much children have here. Our country was separated from the rest of the world. For a long time we didn’t even have jeans.”
Leanne Wierzba is a curator living in London. She was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. “I have always had a fun relationship with history,” she says, “because I grew up in a city that had none. Anything that was over 50 years old got bulldozed and rebuilt.”
“I was becoming a bit discouraged that there wasn’t a place for me in the world. I came to London and I saw the Lanvin collection and I almost cried. That’s why I went into fashion, because of something beautiful. What I’m wearing now is actually a Lanvin dress that I purchased when I first moved to London. I think it represents my dreams.”
Liria Pristine is a knitwear designer based in London. “I studied business and accounting at a Toronto university,” says Liria. “I didn’t finish school after I saw the schedule had so much accounting. I didn’t study art. It wasn’t in my family and there’s no exploration of art in Canadian schools. I think studying when you’re older makes more sense. You know yourself better. I’d even like to go back to Central St. Martins now.”
“The inspiration for this necklace comes from seeing cleavage as an icon. It’s about the kind of attention that men and women give boobs. The reactions that the necklace gets is funny — people look away.”
“I like to be alone, but it’s better to be alone with a craft and a hobby than to just be alone in the dark.”
“In school I always got comments like, ‘Did you raid your dad’s closet to get dressed today?’”
“Ray Caesar is an inspiration to me. He’s British but he worked at a Children’s mental institution in Toronto. He’s a digital artist, and he always makes art for himself and no one else. He has such an attention to detail, color, and texture. I can look at this book for ages.”
Tom Cawte is a musician and Hermione de Paula is a fashion designer. They met one another 4 years ago after a party in a squatting house in London. Hermione says, “He looked a bit like Bob Dylan.”
“I can make a million dresses with a print, but you have to edit down and learn what it is that makes something special.”
“I’d never walk down a straight and narrow path. I’ve never thought about doing anything other than music. I know artistic success isn’t easy. The biggest challenge is to ensure that you’re always moving to the next step and the next place — to keep the momentum going.”
Mikey Woodbridge is a musician who currently lives in London. However, at the time that we interviewed him, he was living in Brooklyn, NY. “When I hear music it’s all about the person who’s singing,” he says. “That’s what matters.”
“Songwriting comes from life experience. It’s the way I communicate with the world. I hate talking. I feel like if you want to know the real me it’s in my music.”
“The more crazy I am the more I understand about myself. For example, if I wasn’t dressed like this I’d feel out of place!”