If HommeGirls has a muse, high on our list is the singer/poet/artist Patti Smith. Think of her on the cover of her 1975 album Horses, photographed by her then boyfriend Robert Mapplethorpe in a white shirt from the Salvation Army, her black jacket slung over one shoulder . la Frank Sinatra. (Apparently Mapplethorpe’s only styling request was that she wear a shirt that didn’t have any stains.) It’s an image that the feminist writer Camille Paglia once described as the most electrifying of a woman of her generation.
Later in her career, before heading out on tour, Smith would pop into agnès b.— the men’s store not the women’s—and pick out a few things. In fact at one time or another, her whole band wore agn.s b. suits. As Smith tells us in our hommage to the French designer, patron of the arts and all around citizen of humanity, “I have pretty much a uniform. I’m a person who doesn’t like feeling like I have a bunch of new clothes on, on stage. I’ll wear the same T-shirt through a whole tour and I’ll wash it in the sink, or I’ll wear the same black jacket. I wear clothes for comfort and because they speak of who I am. The clothes that are suited to me I’ll wear forever.”
At HommeGirls, what we have come to appreciate over the past couple of years, is that you can’t always judge someone by their jacket. HommeGirls is more than a look—it’s an attitude. And that attitude comes in more guises than we had ever imagined, no jacket (or trousers, or button down shirt) required. What made this issue so gratifying—and so much fun—to put together, was discovering just how far we could go breaking our own rules. Discovering new HommeGirls is also something we love—the excitement of seeing how this attitude we keep talking about is deep inside so many out there. Some of the new faces you’ll encounter in this issue include the brainy performance artist Nora Turato (who looks particularly smart in the latest from Alexander McQueen); the actress Ísadóra Bjarkardóttir Barney (a self-described libra who embraces her own gender fluidity and cuts her own hair); the model and psychotherapy student Celina Ralph who is recognizable as much for her cool confidence as for her shaved head; the polymath Reign Judge who has an appetite for basically everything; Lala Takahashi, daughter of the Undercover designer Jun Takahashi, who refuses to be hemmed in by an old school uniform in a fashion story by Takashi Homma. (And the list goes on!)
Of course we will always have a soft spot for the classics. Irina Shayk in the season’s suped up suit by Peter Do is our idea of heaven. But as she shows us in the story by photographer Donavon Smallwood, life is just more interesting when you start to Shayk things up.