Olivia Holt cover shoot for FAULT Issue 29 Screen section

Olivia Holt X FAULT Magazine

Olivia Holt - FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Screen section cover

Photography: Benjo Arwas | Styling: Courtnee Scully @lalaluxe | Make-up: Tonya Brewer | Hair: David Stanwell @thewallgroup | Post-production: Nadia Selander | Director of Photography: Scott Smith | Editor: The Pioneers | Production: Kiley Coleman | Thank You to Saksfifthavenue.com

By most standards, actress and musical performer Olivia Holt appears to be on the precipice of a career breakthrough.  With her new role as Dagger in Marvel’s latest superhero incarnation, Cloak and Dagger, alongside co-star Aubrey Joseph, the 20-year old, Mississippi-bred talent is very quickly establishing herself as an on-screen force with the talent and fortitude to portray characters substantially more complex than audiences have previously seen from her.

In addition to her new show, Holt has been working daily on writing and recording her brand of music, which she describes as pop that pays homage to her soulful, Southern roots. The success of her recent single, ‘Generous’, which gained one million views in just five days after its release in late 2017, should serve as teaser to fans of what to expect.

Holt recently took the time to talk with FAULT about the new show and her unguarded approach to her career and to life.

FAULT: Can you remember the very first performance you ever put on for an audience?
Olivia Holt: It was an audience of four as a kid: my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister. That lasted for a very long time until they were totally over me forcing them to sit down and watch me perform. But, I’d say for like a legit audience the first thing I ever did was ‘Annie,’ I think. I played an orphan and I loved every second of it.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Full shoot and interview available exclusively in FAULT Magazine Issue 29 – available to pre-order now!

How did you prepare for the role of Tandy?
Olivia Holt: Tandy has a lot of layers. She’s not just one note. She is a cynical human being. A lot has happened to her and she experienced something very traumatic as a child and is sort of living in survival mode and with that a comes lot of responsibility. She’s sort of the parent in her mother-daughter relationship. She’s having to take care of everything and everyone around her and I think that’s a lot for a teenager to deal with. So she have a lot on her plate.

I would remember being a physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of some of the days just because of some of the stuff that Tandy is dealing with, whether that be her relationship with her mother, or addiction, or sexual assault. So, preparing was not an easy thing, and I think I’m still preparing. But, I think she was learning and so I was learning too. We were sort of finding where we fit in our lives. That was that was an interesting journey to go on.

How was it like working with your co-star Aubrey Joseph?
Olivia Holt: He is a gem of a human being. He is just so down to earth, talented — a great scene partner but an even better friend and I feel so grateful to work with somebody who has this insane work ethic and who is genuinely nice and so passionate, not just about his character but  about the story that his character and my character share. I just think we have an awesome, special connection and the fact that both of us get to tell that story is so surreal, and I think we’re both forever grateful for it. But, I love working with him.

What can we expect from you musically later this year?
Holt: I’ve been in the studio almost every single day writing and recording this year. I actually feel like I’ve been able to prioritize music rather than bouncing around and trying to balance both acting and music. This year has really been focused on honing in on the music and making sure that I’m involved in putting in the work to find my sound and, lyrically, what I want to do. And, it’s been an incredible journey just exploring all of that. I have a few things coming up this year that I’m really excited for people to hear.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

How would you describe your overall sound and what are some of your influences, musically?
Holt: I’m making pop records but I grew up in the South so I’m very drawn to organic instruments. So there’s a little bit of soul, a little bit of alternative — it’s artistic and cool and it just really showcases my energy and my personality and the way I talk. They are all stories coming from my real life experiences or things that I want to experience. So it’s all very personal and vulnerable and that’s my creative outlet for my specific headspace, in hopes that people are going to be able to relate and feel things when they hear my music.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

What is your FAULT?
Olivia Holt: Acting and music are my creative outlets. It’s a way for me to escape and a way for me to be vulnerable and have that space to connect with people. But I want the projects that I work on and the music that I make to move people and make them feel alive and to keep curious and to thrive and to live so fiercely… I want to change people for the better and I want them to live a fulfilled life and hopefully I can do that through what I love to do. I want to create an environment for people to feel wanted and loved. I think that’s my fault.

~

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

FAULT Reviews: ‘And Every Day was Overcast’ – An Illustrated Novel by Paul Kwiatkowski

OVERCAST-COVER-HI

Memories of childhood humanize us as adults. With age, our version of that time is deformed then reassembled. What fragments bleed through are tailored to a narrative designed to hide vulnerability.”

-P.K., And Every Day Was Overcast

 and every day was overcast2

If the absence of vulnerability is a hallmark of adult self-retrospection as the first three lines of Paul Kwiatkowski’s debut novel, And Every Day Was Overcast, suggests, then the candid recollections of book’s protagonist, P.K., certainly break the mold. The narrator’s willingness to cast aside vulnerability in the service of brute honesty is all too evident as he recounts the ten years of his youth spent in Loxahatchee, Florida during the 1990s. P.K.’s youthful exploits are told in such nerve-bearing detail that not much is left to the imagination.

Take, for example, P.K.’s account of how he willingly exposed himself to a drifter to score alcohol for him and his friends. Another section of the book describes how P.K. witnessed an acquaintance commit a random act of cruel violence against the school outcast, then abandon the victim’s unconscious body outside a 7-Eleven. The friendless, unfortunate boy, named Cobain, is never to be seen or heard from again, leaving the P.K. to ruminate in remorse through the course of his young adult life.

Worse than my guilt and fear was the relief I felt” laments P.K. “I told myself that his evaporation was a small death that had brought him to a better place.”

 1-And-Every-Day-Was-Overcast-2

Yet another passage from the book describes the 40 hours of court-ordered community service P.K. spent under the wing of an HIV-positive ex-drag queen named Cody, who introduces him to the secret lives of supposedly straight, well-to-do yuppy men who cruise for sex in drive-in theater parking lots and dingy gas station bathrooms in their off-hours away from work and home. Such are the types of memories many would try to bury as far into the depths of their psyche as possible. Instead, they are brought to light by the narrator in a graphic novel that reads like a yearbook from one of the most dysfunctional high school experiences imaginable.

Kwiatkowski’s Florida is more than just the sunny, resort-ladden getaway destination its tourism department would have one believe. Its magic and charm are certainly not lost on the author, though both take a form that is much less that of the Disney variety. The author admits it took him leaving the state to fully realize just how much Florida’s topography influenced his adolescent experiences, though he’d always had it in the back of his mind that the state functioned on a plane quite different from other places.

I grew closer to the Bahamas and Jamaica than I did Georgia” says Kwiatkowski, who is currently based in New York. “So I think when you grow up in that cultural landscape you’re aware that you’re a little bit distant from the rest of America.” Shows like America’s Most Wanted, which Kwiatkowski says never ceased to showcase Florida’s pedophiles, rapists and murders, only helped to validate the author’s suspicions about the Sunshine State.

 and every day was overcast3

Narratives like the vignettes found in And Every Day Was Overcast have been told countless times. Kwiatkowski’s book calls to mind Larry Clark’s seminal film Kids (1995), which drove a slegde hammer into the whimsical, John Hughesian notions of young adulthood many had often considered the norm. The novel continues this tradition,recounting the awkward and often ill-advised exploits of listless teens, though it exchanges the New York’s skyscrapers, yellow cabs and rushed pedestrians for everglades, palm trees and alligators. Still, the novel’s presentation is quite ground-breaking in its own right. And Every Day Was Overcast blurs the lines between fiction and memoir by juxtaposing countless photos taken by Kwiatkowski (most between the ages of 13 to 18) with vivid prose. Its narrative is as much dependant on the text as it is images to fully tell P.K.’s story.

I didn’t want it to function as just a photo book where people would be like ‘Oh these photos are really pretty.’ I realize that they’re snapshots and that they’re nothing special,” says Kwiatkowski. “I’m sure a lot of people have the exact same types of pictures from their past.”

As a whole, Kwiatkowski’s novel succeeds in doing much more than simply conveying the isolated experiences of one idle teenager with a penchant for drugs, pornography and reckless sexual encounters. Through a marriage of images and words, the novel illustrates the result of adolescent malaise against Florida’s eerie, subtropical backdrop. Perhaps less noticeably, And Every Day Was Overcast is also the story of a man fortunate enough to have actually made it out.

and every day was overcast

 

Words: Carolyn Okomo
All Images: Copyright 2013 Paul Kwiatkowski/Black Balloon Publishing. andeverydaywasovercast.com

FAULT Favourite: designer Gabriella Marina Gonzalez

Gabriella Marina Gonzalez35061 (Medium)

FAULT Favourite London-based accessory designer Gabriella Marina Gonzalez’s new collection, ‘Nigredo E’poche’, is every bit as haunting as her last seven. While its name is derived from the French phrase La Belle Époque – a golden era in Europe’s cultural history – her morose artistic ethos bleeds through each meticulously constructed piece.

‘Nigredo,’ which means blackening, can be defined as the first stage of self-awakening. Gonzalez’s unique spelling of ‘E’poche’ combines both the French term ‘Époque’ –meaning ‘era’ – and the ancient Greek term ‘Epoché’ – a philosophical notion that challenges one to suspend judgment of commonly held beliefs through conscious detachment.

In this sense, ‘Nigredo E’poche’ permeates throughout not only Gonzalez’s newest designs, but also her approach towards her work. She openly describes her carefully-crafted leather goods as targeting the ’emotionally dispossessed’. It’s the sort of phrase that one would normally associate with heavy irony but, in Gabriella’s case, it seems to have been meant in earnest. She seems to genuinely lament the plight of consumers – her customers – in an increasingly frivolous and superficial society. It’s a peculiar – but fascinating – standpoint for someone operating in an industry so completely in thrall to celebrity culture.

Gabriella Marina Gonzalez3784 2 (Medium)

It is a finely balanced stand-off: even if Gabriella can’t help but acknowledge, through the words she uses to describe her collections, the precepts of the dark era in which we live, her work stands as the ideal response. Its honesty and raw integrity evokes the words of Edna St. Vincent Millay when she famously declared “Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare./Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace…”

‘Nigredo E’poche’, which features hand-molded leather shin guards, harnesses and bracelets adorned with special-made brass fixtures by product designer Michael Antrobus, turns Gonzalez’s alchemically philosophical musing into a reality.

Gabriella Marina Gonzalez3670new1 (Medium)

 

In your last interview with FAULT Magazine (FAULT Issue 13), you said that you don’t really follow other designers, or even take notice of celebrities that wear your clothes. In an industry that often idolises fame and celebrity, what barometers do you use to measure your own success?

Gabriella: I’ve never desired to become part of something too far removed from the artistry. I do not feel that belonging to a particular circle measures my success, nor do I want to surround myself with certain types of people in order to confirm it. It’s limiting. I made an active decision very early on not to fall into a lifestyle that created any illusions about what part I really play in this world.

‘The Celebrity’ is a strange phenomenon to me, a modern religion, manifesting idols from projected persona’s. How can one identify with a stranger in pictures without comprehending the journey? I guess because they like the clothes? It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but is it sufficient? I find it unnerving that people don’t want to peek behind the curtain. It’s a distracting frivolity that makes reality a little more bearable. [One should] Actually trace the development of the idea. Try to understand the hard part instead of the part that is suspiciously handed to you.

My reality has never been glamorous, it’s not what I’m in for. By the end of a collection my hands are swollen from weeks of leather working and the last thing I want to do is pretend to not be physically and emotionally exhausted. I use my craft as a means for exploring my (understandably obscure) thought processes. Each collection becomes a sort of personal research project of my mind. If through this I achieve a better understanding of the world and those around me then this is all the success I need.

 IMG_1656 (Medium)

What piece from your collection are you the most excited about?

Every piece evokes totally different associations and sets of emotions for me. I have a soft spot for the halo [headpiece] this season because it’s so stylistically different to my usual work.

 

You partnered with product designer Michael Antrobus for this collection. How did you hook up with him?

I approached Michael about a potential collaboration about seven months ago. We brainstormed for a while. Finally, I decided I wanted to do something with bells to symbolise a temporal map of one’s movements through vibratory frequencies. We spoke and I explained that all the bells I was sourcing were too reminiscent of reindeer and he suggested making the bells for me. The end product is a perfectly functioning bell with a great sound in Michael’s signature simplistic style. There is no pretension in his work, it’s just raw and I find a lot of beauty in that.

 Gabriella Marina Gonzalez36411 (Medium)

How do you know when a collection you’re designing is complete?

Nothing is ever complete. I have to force myself to be satisfied with however far I have taken a concept. It continues to unfold in my head but I may not explore it again in a collection.

 

What can we expect from your next collection?

I’ve had a craving to make garments lately. I enjoy taking advantage of the fact that I haven’t limited myself to a specific discipline so I’m playing with the idea of a full on knitwear range. It will continue to be individually handmade, and available from the newly launched online store.

Gabriella Marina Gonzalez35691 (Medium)

 

Words: Carolyn Okomo
Photography: Olivia Richardson
Styling: Arndt Stobba
Hair: Dave Noble
Makeup: Nicola Moores
Model: Billie @ Select
Special thanks: Beyond Retro

FAULT Focus: ‘Vogue Africa’ visionary Mario Epanya

MEP

Mario Epanya, the man behind the mock Vogue Africa covers that commanded the fashion world’s attention, hasn’t lost his zeal for showcasing talent from Africa and the diaspora. In fact, in the three years since he posed the question of why no Vogue edition exists for a continent with over 1 billion inhabitants, his dedication to this slice of the industry seems only to have grown.

Fashion is not only Paris, New York and London” says the Cameroonian-born photographer. “There are so many people who have their own interpretation of fashion and I want the world to know that.”

Mario Epanya photography

Mario Epanya photography

Building a Vogue Africa is no longer a crusade Epanya is pursuing, though certainly not for lack of interest. The photographer has come a long way since the period in 2010 he now refers to has Vogue Africa-gate: during that year, he lost his bid to acquire a Vogue Africa license, though not without creating a huge buzz over the potential for an African edition of the venerable glossy. His photography was the centerpiece of GLAMAZONIA, an exhibit that debuted at the annual FashionAFRICANA event held in Pittsburgh this past December. He says he’s even been asked to acquire the license for African American fashion and culture publication Honey Magazine, though it’s still yet to be known whether he will take up the offer.

Like Epanya, those tied to the African fashion industry aren’t waiting to receive Vogue’s blessings. London-based quarterly Arise Magazine, for one, has been published since 2008 and organizes an annual fashion week. Other publications include Paris-based FASHIZBLACK and Lagos-based FAB Magazine, which partnered with Africa Fashion Week London to run the event back in 2012. The internet has also seen the growth of Africa-focused fashion and culture blogs and online publications like AfriPOP!, Africa Style Quarterly and African Fashion Guide — a site that promotes sustainability in Africa’s fashion and textile industry.

l

Mario Epanya photography

Mario Epanya photography

Mario Epanya photography

 

To this day, Conde Nast maintains a position that Vogue Africa is not yet commercially viable, though Vogue Italia’s May 2012 ‘Rebranding Africa’ issue certainly deserves a nod. Its editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, continues to play a pivotal role in promoting African creativity in fashion; she’s also mirrored Conde Nast’s view, expressing on many occasions that greater investments must be made in the continent before an African edition of the publication can be established.

21

Mario Epanya photography

Epanya calls Vogue Italia’s Africa edition “a beautiful beginning,” though he adamantly opposes Vogue’s posture that it’s too soon for a Vogue Africa. In fact, the photographer has been working with another global trend purveyor — the L’Oreal Group — to create packaging geared towards its African consumers since March in light of promising sales figures. Other initiatives, such as United Nations-sanctioned Ethical Fashion Africa, have employed high fashion designers like Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood to connect fashion houses to African artisans and create jobs. Another Ghana-based organization, The WEB-Young Designers Hub, was created with help from the French Embassy to support fashion designers in the country. With the world evidently taking notice of Africa’s potential as a high fashion player, only time will tell when the Vogue franchise will follow suit.

“I think sooner or later, there will be [a Vogue Africa]” says Epanya. “I don’t when — maybe in ten, twenty years. I don’t know. But, they will have to do it.”

Rroberts

Mario Epanya photography

With his personal pursuit for African recognition through the Vogue brand well behind him, Epanya now dedicates whatever time he can spare on his own publication, Winkler Magazine. It’s hard work, he admits. At times, he’s even considered abandoning the project altogether, though he hasn’t done so quite yet. He hasn’t because, to Epanya, the work is necessary in demonstrating Africa’s potential as a prominent high-fashion and cultural hub.

“Of course, there are problems in Africa — I’m not denying it,” Epanya says. “But there is also beauty. There is also creativity, and you’ve got to take time to look at it.”

Words by Carolyn Okomo

Images by Mario Epanya