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16 Young Creatives On The Importance Of Personal Expression

Fashion
Photographed by Alex Black

“Fashion is my escape; clothing lets me fantasize and become whatever I want”

What role does fashion play in self-expression? Just ask photographer Alex Black. Fascinated by the ability of young creatives to use fashion and personal style as a means of expressing themselves and their identities, she decided to document it.

Black brought a group of 16 subjects into her studio on the premise that they style themselves. They were presented with racks on racks of clothing and put together their own looks—using the pieces that spoke to them—in a way that felt true to their individual identity. As Black says, “Fashion is the subject’s voice in the image, a vehicle of self-expression and manifestation of their individuality.”

Below, meet the diverse crew of creative 20-somethings, and hear their thoughts on using fashion as a means of expressing themselves—and why that’s so important.

Photographer/Director: Alex Black
Director of Photography: Ryan Wolf
Stylist: Lex Robinson
Makeup: Ames Amore
Hair: Kazuto Shimomura
Producer: Andres Sebastian

Photo by Alex Black

Sydney Robins, 25, stylist and social media specialist

Describe your style in three words.
Loud, ironic, vintage.

How do you express yourself through clothing?
Fashion is my escape; clothing lets me fantasize and become whatever I want. I love being able to choose a different persona based on my vibe.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
Expressing myself through clothing is how I connect with people, so it's weirdly fulfilling. When I'm out or traveling, I meet like-minded people everywhere because they're either drawn to me or vice versa. I'm dressing exactly how I feel, and the opportunities that come from that are always surprising.

Sydney is wearing a Namilia jacket, Tripp NYC top, a Glazed NYC beret, a Laruicci earring and lock necklace, a Mister Bieber necklace, and a Mulberry and Grand choker.

Photo by Alex Black

Idairifer Luis, 19, student, model, and stylist

Who are you?
This question doesn't have one single answer, as I am a multifaceted and rather complex individual. It's also hard to have a set idea of who one is since our identities are not fixed—they're in constant evolution and development.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
I'm from a place where individuality and self-expression are sort of frowned upon, while conformity is celebrated. Moving to New York has enabled me to not only dress but live authentically through clothing, which has become a non-verbal semantic through which I'm able to depict different facets of myself.

Which piece is your favorite?
The bright orange Christian Dior jacket is my favorite piece, for sure! It was the muse for rest of the pieces; I essentially based my whole look around it.

Idairifer is wearing a Dior Homme vest, Acne Studios pants, Saint Laurent shoes, Miaou belts, a Laruicci earring, and their own necklace and nose ring.

Photo by Alex Black

Jordan, 19, filmmaker and vlogger

Who are you?
I'm Jordan: a filmmaker, vlogger, and the gay friend every straight girl wants to go shopping with.

How do you express yourself through clothing?
I just dress how I feel. I don't care about gender or rules when it comes to clothes. It's all about what feels good.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
I just made a film about gender-fluid fashion, through my eyes as a queer, black man. I want everyone to see that a person of color can be as masculine and feminine as they want. The two don't have to negate one another.

Jordan is wearing an ASOS sweater, Dior Homme bucket visor, a Laruicci earring (right), and their own earring (left).

Photo by Alex Black

Olya Anikina, 27, model, occasional translator, aspiring set and food stylist

Who are you?
A human and a professional hustler.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
As humans, we tend to stereotype people based on their clothing. We just assume that we have it all figured out. I try not to trap myself in a particular style and challenge myself to change. But, at the same time, the older I get, the more comfortable I become with myself. Previously, I tended to wear more boyish clothing and have a buzz cut. That was my own way to escape getting sexualized and seeming weak. Now, I am learning that strength is not masculinity, it's just there inside of me. I'm no longer afraid to be feminine, neither do I feel obligated. It's a new chapter for me, and my hair is the longest it's been in over eight years.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
Style and self-expression are beautiful things, it's an art form and has helped me to get through certain things in life. Some days, it was the only thing that could get me out of the house. I cherish it!

Olya is wearing a vintage blazer, DROMe pants, Salvatore Ferragamo boots, a Laruicci necklace, and their own earrings and pin.

Dusty, 26, model and artist

Who are you?
I'm me!

Why is personal expression so important to you?
I feel that everyone should show who they are in every way. Why hold back? I go all out to show people that this is who I am. I'm comfortable and confident.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
I love life! In matter of fact, I love my life. I just want to inspire others to do whatever the fuck they want. Own that shit.

Dusty is wearing a Belstaff jacket, a Fendi zip-up, Coach pants, and a Julie Vos bracelet.

Photo by Alex Black

Jackie, 26, performance artist

Who are you?
My name is Jacquelyn Emmarie Alberts… a girl with a vision.

How do you express yourself through clothing?
I’m a tomboy that also loves to celebrate my body and sexuality, so I try to wear pieces that express both male and female energies.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
Art doesn’t always need context, you can make it for no reason. Create your own reality

Jackie is wearing a Calvin Klein top, Namilia pants, Christian Louboutin shoes, a Balenciaga bag, a Zana Bayne choker, and their own mesh tank, sunglasses, and rhinestone choker.

Photo by Alex Black

Jessica Wu, 22, stylist and producer

Who are you?
I am a wardrobe stylist and producer based in NYC.

Describe your style in three words.
Comfortable, classic, minimal.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
Personal expression is important to me because I mostly see my clothing and accessories as intrinsically valuable, at times with no regard to monetary value. Most of my own current wardrobe is composed of pieces from my mother and grandmothers on both sides, so they carry a special history.

Jessica is wearing an ASOS blouse and a Laurence + Chico vest (worn underneath).

Photo by Alex Black

Jalen Dominique, 23, artist and model

Who are you?
I'm Jalen, a 23-year-old artist and model born and raised in Texas. I believe my purpose is to promote change, push limits, and to make the world as uncomfortable as possible.

Why did you choose these pieces?
I love color and not matching.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
Everyone has something to offer, and everyone has a different perspective. Life is all about gaining knowledge and connecting with others. I feel that it's mandatory to do so in a positive way, not only for your own relief but to possibly be an inspiration to others.

Jalen is wearing a Cult of Individuality jacket, a Sacai hoodie, Valentino pants, Dolce & Gabbana shoes, and their own jewelry.

Photo by Alex Black

Harper Slate, stylist

Who are you?
A young NYC-based artist.

Why did you choose these pieces?
I thought, What would Bowie do?

How do you express yourself through clothing?
When I look at my clothing, I think, Who influenced my choice? What do they represent, and what kind of message does that give off? You can say a lot with what you're wearing! Own it.

Harper is wearing a Blumarine top, Chanel pants, Hilfiger Collection shoes, a Miaou belt, and their own socks.

Photo by Alex Black

Jimi Lucid, 23, musician

Who are you?
I'm Jimi Lucid, a musician and artist from D.C.

Describe your style in three words.
Punk, apocalyptic, and bliss.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
To me, it's an art form and an extension of my personality. Personal expression is a necessity of the human soul, and I wouldn’t feel alive without my ability to express myself through fashion, music, and art.

Jimi is wearing a McQ Alexander McQueen sweater and boots, Marcelo Burlon pants, Represent jeans, a Zana Bayne choker, a Laruicci necklace and cross earring (right), and their own bandana and ring.

Photo by Alex Black

Lauren Ericks, 19, vintage clothing flipper

Who are you?
I am 19 years old, I love my pet bunny Leo, going to gigs with my friends, dancing until my feet hurt (even so, I keep going), picking through thrift stores for hours, and traveling.

Describe your style in three words.
Groovy, psychedelic, and colorful.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
Be yourself. Don't let the weird stares, sometimes creepy men, and people who conform to the norm in society bring you down. You want to go to the store in those six-inch platforms and flashy dress? Do it! Absolutely wear what makes you happy and what you feel good in. My number one goal is to inspire people to not be afraid to be themselves. And be nice, because that's so much cooler than sticking your nose up in the air when someone is trying to appreciate you. Be yourself, feel good about yourself, look fly, but also don't forget to just be nice.

Lauren is wearing a Nike jacket, a Tripp NYC top, a Glazed NYC beret, and their own choker.

Photo by Alex Black

Joslin Farley, 22, vintage store employee

Who are you?
My name is Joslin! I'm 22 years old, and I'm from Seattle, Washington.

Why did you choose these pieces?
I love holographic stuff! It's probably my go-to fabric of choice in any given situation. You can also never go wrong with fishnet, either.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
Often people come up to me and say, "Oh, wow, you look so cool, I wish I could do that," and I always say, "YOU CAN!" There is always room for more colorful, zany people in the world, so if you want to dress crazy, do it.

Joslin is wearing a Tripp NYC mesh top, a Laruicci earring, ISLYNYC bangles, and their own turtleneck.

Photo by Alex Black

Daniel Walters, 22, student and model

Who are you?
I am an art history student, a lover, and someone that's always keen on growing and changing. So any further terms I might use to describe myself would be likely to change by the time this interview gets published.

Describe your style in three words.
Tonal, streamlined, curated.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
I think that personal expression and style are extensions of the ideas we have about ourselves and the world around us, so we should keep that in mind when we get dressed to go out into it.

Daniel is wearing a Faith Connexion jacket and pants, Gucci boots, and a Glazed NYC beret.

Photo by Alex Black

Skyler Hawkins, 20, model

Who are you?
I am a model from Texas, living in NYC.

Describe your style in three words.
Extra, feminine, curious.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
Being from Texas, I never felt like I could truly express myself until I moved to NYC. Having that feeling now is so amazing, and I never want to go back.

Skyler is wearing a Fendi jumper, Namilia pants, Gucci shoes, and a Laruicci choker.

Photo by Alex Black

Manchao, 24, student

Who are you?
A finance student who's in love with fashion.

Why is personal expression so important to you?
To me, having a specific style is the most direct and efficient way to express my attitude to the world, even to people who have no idea who I am.

Why did you choose these pieces?
I chose the denim jacket since the cut is incredibly unique; it's repurposed with a back zipper. As for the Gucci T-shirt, it carries the memory of my precious Vogue internship experience, and I also like the way the yellow fabric makes my skin look.

Manchao is wearing an R13 jacket, Gucci T-shirt, Christian Dior earring, and their own necklace.

Photo by Alex Black

Rhea Carter, 25, singer

Who are you?
Rhea Carter, a rapper from Chicago.

Describe your style in three words.
Keep it cute ;).

Why is personal expression so important to you?
It's identity and can be conversation-starting.

Rhea is wearing a Versace dress and a Georgine bralette.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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