Rebellious. Blonde. Couture.
Nestled deep within lights of the Hollywood lives Alabama Blonde; a Melbourne born multi-disciplinary artist, creative director, and designer. When she's not playing with her tiny snake Vampyra or her new black sphinx kitten named Gomez, she's creating mood boards, managing multiple teams, FaceTiming with Ellen von Unwerth or styling some of the world's most thought-provoking up and coming artists. Her playfully sexy and rebellious pieces have been featured in publications such as Elle, Paper, & Nylon (just to name a few); and her own personal style is that straight out of riot grrrl's dark fantasy. Fan Grrrling is an understatement on describing how we feel about womxn that run their own show while creating masterfully created pieces that both empower the wearer and keeps true to the spirit of fun.
We managed to catch up with Alabama for a few questions just in time for tea:
FK: Hi Alabama! I've got to say, I'm a big fan of your work. I see Alabama Blonde basically on all corners of the internet. Being that you're transdisciplinary; let's start with fashion in general. When did you just know that fashion was the direction your life was going to take?
AB: "I don’t think I have ever really known haha, it is just something which never leaves me. I feel like any time I finish a project, or a collection, I always think that’s the end… and then something else pops up, and I realize I’m not done yet.
Fashion is just so much a part of my visual language. The power of getting dressed, the vulnerability of getting dressed, that visual armor + declaration of aesthetic… it has given me a voice which I feel empowered by... and I want my garments to be a vehicle of empowerment for others+
FK: Where do you draw inspiration from now in contrast to when you first began?
AB: "I have always been inspired by music and texture, I LOVE texture. I guess the landscapes of LA are so different to Melbourne. So I think LA has become something that while discovering, I am also finding influence + inspiration in. The people, the energy, the climate and the city. I think for the first time in my life I am being confronted by a need to express myself through color. Generally I have worked in a palette of heavy blacks. LA has definitely encouraged me to break out of my attachment to the color black. I will save pure black for the way I dress myself, in art I am feeling more exploratory."
FK: How did you get into styling for other clients?
AB: "Kind of by accident - it was generally a case of either photographers working with a mood board or brief which suited the vibe of the AlabamaBlondebrand - or musicians requesting pieces, and then I’d style a whole look… which then turned into a number of looks for tours, album packing, music videos + press… Then I guess through that I tended to be hired for a particular esthetics. I think I am still hired as a stylist for specific projects + with briefs which reflect the visual language that is AlabamaBlonde… and the 90’s. Because I definitely fuck with the 90’s haha"
FK: How far into the game were you when you decided to start your own brand?
AB: "The very beginning. I realized very quickly that I couldn’t really work for anyone else when it came to fashion. I finished my degree + swore I’d never work in fashion… and then one thing led to another, one order/request at a time… + here we are. AND I am very grateful to every client - who continued to knock on my door, every time I was about to hang up my hat."
FK: The images I often see your brand represented in showcase women as being highly empowered; as if a superhero (or villain). As a woman that owns an independent fashion label, can you share your view on the importance of women empowering other women?
AB: "It is so important, and unfortunately not always as common practice as I’d like. Unfortunately insecurity tends to be one of the main factors hindering us from empowering one another. Hopefully we can continue to uplift + inspire one another - and realize out support of one another is far more powerful than to not. I personally hope to continue to empower not only women, but people identifying as any gender, particularly those who voices aren’t being given the volume they deserve. I heard a fact today, that spiders could take over the world - if they all worked together. So I feel like that sentiment is the same for us… I’d rather we realize that before spiders do though."
FK: Where do you see your brand going in the future?
AB: "There are a lot of musician and artists who I am dying to collaborate with. Anyone with an amplified and unapologetic voice who is using their talent + their work + their platform to bring about positive change in the world"
Follow Alabama Blonde on Instagram at @alabamablonde @striketheblondecasting
Model: @natrenelle @uniteunite us for @reservedmagazine
4. Alabama Blonde
@applemusic @literallyloneard @satya_linak
Photo: @ellevonunwerth for @kingkongmagazine