When my friend Amanda Dugay aka Red Bird asked me to assist her at a photo shoot, I knew that something amazing was going to happen... It was a punk rock inspired photo shoot, in the middle of the woods in New Hampshire. And, the model was this amazing 17 year-old girl from NH, named Anna.
I was amazed by Amanda's styling process. And I had the chance to chat with her about how much her personal style influenced the shoot.
I asked her if she saw any similarity between her and Anna. And, Amanda says: "I saw her as this vagabond teenager wandering the woods, fiercely independent, aloof, maybe having just escaped the confines of a family or school trip. That was me in high school, I used to go to the cemetery near my house and smoke cigarettes and write poems.. cliche but true. That's how I planned this shoot-- with this memory in mind. I dressed her in layers of artifacts, pieces I've found and collected over the years, with some vintage thrown in. I dressed her with a memory of my young self in my head. I think perhaps I see some of myself in Anna as a person too, not just as a model-- she's so playful and excitable, I was so much like that back then".
Nicolle Saylor Photography/ Amanda Dugay Styling/ Maya Landi Hair and Make-up/Anna Mills Model
Amanda as Anna, grew up in a small town in New England. Amanda said that she was lucky to had a tv and radio in her room so she got exposed to music and pop culture at an extremely young age. According to her: "Some people think kids shouldn't watch tv much, and part of me agrees, but personally I enjoyed it, and learned from it-- especially from MTV-- it blew my young mind. Those discoveries kept me interested in learning about things outside of Maine-- like the Riot Grrl movement, punk rock, pop, and subculture fashion".
Amanda told me that she was a big fan of PJ Harvey, Courtney Love, Robert Smith, Kim Gordon, Erica Jong, and Tori Amos in High School. And she continued, "All my idols were writers or musicians, and they still are. I still really like all those people too" She says that her current style is HEAVILY influenced by her adolescence and by those people.
Amanda back in her High School days
"I was really into the trend of jeans under dresses which was "wild" and "new" back then, ha! And wearing boots with dresses, which I started doing then and am known for doing today. I'm not really a heels kind of girl. I bought a pair of combat boots at the Army/Navy store my sophomore year and those boots were definitely the gateway drug".
"I particularly loved Courtney Love's rebellious style, the juxtaposition of sweet and tough. It fit my personality then and still does. I've always been a tomboy with a streak of super girly girl in there somewhere. I really vacillate between owning my female sexuality and enjoying dressing and showing off my curvy body to being someone else entirely-- a stomping rough and tumble boyish character in jeans and a men's blazer, with messy hair".
"Rock 'n roll has always influenced me too, the rebellion and hedonism of it, the lack of care for rules. Rock speaks to my soul, it makes total sense to me, it elicits a very intense physical response... and I think I inherited my love of rock from both my parents. They are such huge music fans. Plus I heard my dad used to wear some questionable hippie outfits back in the day and had long hair, much to the dismay of my mother's parents. When I shaved off all but my bangs a few days before my 18th birthday my mother was furious. The haircut made total sense to me!"
Thank you so much to Amanda Dugay for being such a talented artist and an amazing friend!
For more information visit her website Red Bird Vintage