A Moment With: Coco Baudelle
Coco Baudelle has made it back to New York after a rare spring snowstorm. Her flight was cancelled and almost left her stranded in a beach town in Florida. The snow melted as quickly as it arrived and rain took its place, not letting up for the entire day. Born in Montreal, Coco moved to New York and became a model by chance—appearing in campaigns for cult makeup brand Glossier, and Mansur Gavriel. An actor and screenwriter by choice, she spends her days working on her first feature-length screenplay. Her distinct look, and elegant style has made her a recognizable fixture in the New York fashion scene.
If you’re an artist at this moment in time, there’s a sense that you need to be in a constant state of production and always showing new work. What is something you’ve been working on that requires longevity?
I love having a lot going on all at once, but working on long-term projects gives me a sense of purpose. Me and a friend of mine have been texting and emailing each other all kinds of photos, graphics and film stills we love for years, and we are both obsessed with horror films. So we decided to write a short together. I’m so thrilled about it because, in terms of visuals especially, the nature of the horror genre is so open it can be soft or harsh, fast or slow, bright or dark. It feels like you can throw in anything you like and there will be a way to tie it all together. We’re shooting it this summer.
I’ve also been working on a screenplay for a feature film for a little over a year now. I had this idea while on a trip back home in Montreal and I started writing it on the plane back to NYC. Some of it is inspired by my friend’s mom, a captivating woman who's had an incredibly adventurous life, rich in people and full of lovers. Some of it comes from my experience of being biracial in North America. The film is about connection.
How do you maintain self-discipline on a day meant for writing, or practicing lines?
I have to change my environment all the time. It keeps me excited and my mind fresh. Soon I’ll dip and go to the desert to finish my first draft. Something about time in the desert feels different than New York City. It’s like everything is slower and the air is clearer. I can’t wait to take my script out there. On lines--I love practicing on the street and on the train while pretending I’m on the phone with somebody. When you take a script and bring it out into the world, it takes a shape of its own and it’s really interesting to experience.
Which films do you find yourself coming back to for inspiration?
Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, Mommy by Xavier Dolan and Sam Mendes’s American Beauty.
How has your style evolved in the past five years?
I get really excited about clothing, especially pieces that had a life before I found them. The world reacts differently to you depending on what you wear, and I love to play with that. I think I’ve always found a lot of comfort and safety in basics and sneakers, but I also cannot describe how much I love to put on an 80’s Yves Saint Laurent tunic dress with a long French manicure.
What is something you never leave the house without?
You are an expert shopper, what has been one of your favourite finds?
I went thrift shopping with some friends in Newark one day, and they found the dreamiest soft pink Christian Dior nightgown with tags for $8 if I remember correctly. I wore it to an event and my photo ended up on the cover of a story in the New York Magazine.
What were you wearing during one of your favourite memories while living in New York?
One night for a party I pinned fresh roses and baby's breath in my hair and wore an old cotton halter dress. I remember blushing all night, it’s a look I’ll always remember.
In the near future, what are you looking forward to most?
Coco wears Chanel
Photos and Text by Marlowe Granados
A Moment With: Vejas
Vejas began as a Toronto-based label and within a short period of time shot to international acclaim. Vejas Kruszewski started the eponymous brand in 2014 and two years later won the oft-mentioned LVMH Special Prize and at nineteen, made him the youngest designer to ever be nominated. During the three years of the brand’s existence Vejas cultivated a distinct aesthetic, marrying sculptural silhouettes and luxury craftsmanship. VSP has the privilege of stocking exclusive pieces from Vejas’s final collection, which take inspiration from classical garments found in Renaissance portraiture. As Kruszewski makes Paris his new base, moving to heritage brand Pihakapi as creative director, we look to the remarkable legacy of Vejas.
What have been some of the primary influences you've gone back to each season that epitomize the spirit of Vejas?
Some of the primary influences that epitomized the brand are futurism, utility, and abstraction.
How would you describe the legacy of the brand?
The brand was really personal, and in hindsight uncompromising. It took so much work and strength for everyone involved to build this brand.. everything we put forth was steeped in emotion.
Your pieces are instantly recognizable, how do you approach the construction of a garment?
I try to hybridize and abstract different elements within the garment, reference historical construction details and catapult them into a new context, while retaining a wearable quality.
What are some of the key aspects in terms of consistently evolving as a designer? What propels you forward?
I think that stasis is scary, and creating something, anything of any sort, is a really important catharsis!
Text by Marlowe Granados
Photos courtesy of Vejas
No Title: Vejas
A Moment With: Anna Collins
Anna Collins recently made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week. While home in Toronto, she works as a dedicated ballet teacher. A friend of VSP, Anna stopped by to talk about her passion for dance, her entry into modelling, and gives us her top picks from our spring/summer collection.
There is a climate for change in many creative industries right now. How does it feel to be entering the modelling industry at this moment in time?
I think now more than ever I constantly have to remind myself to stay true to me. That industry can lack morals a lot of the time. I know as long as I stay authentically me—and avoid being pressured to act or be a certain way—I'm doing my best and I think that will lead to change if everyone begins staying true to themselves, not conforming to fashion or model norms.
Ballet is a very traditional and technical form of dance. Why ballet?
I think I chose ballet because it was one of the only things that made me feel safe as a kid and now for that matter. My life is very unstructured with no rules, and ballet’s the complete opposite and I find comfort in that. There is so much to think about in ballet so you don't physically have time to be anxious. The dance studio was one of the only places I didn't feel anxious in. It's basically a form of meditation for me and the only place I feel truly present.
What message do you try to convey to your students?
I’ve realized the impact every single word adults have on children and adolescents. I do not take this responsibility lightly. I'm constantly trying to create a safe environment where my dancers feel challenged but also nurtured. I teach coming from a feminist philosophy and a lot of dance can be related to that so hopefully my students can carry that into their lives. A studio environment is such an intimate setting and [I] appreciate how vulnerable my students are when they go for something and don't always succeed the first try. I always say, I'd rather see you make big mistakes than not try at all. Everyone hopefully at least has one teacher they cherish the memory of and have taught them something, and I hope I can be that teacher for my kids. leaving my students with an appreciation for themselves and others.
Is it true that you can read ballet, like music notes?
Yes! It's called Benesh Notation and was developed by Rudolph Benesh and became official in 1963. It has five lines like a music score and is fascinating.
What are you looking to achieve in the near future?
I have a hard time looking into the future but I just want to achieve good mental health and learn how to take care of myself more.
Photography: Aurora Shields