AD ASTRA

...shunning the mainstream in favour of independence

by Shawden Sheabar
Every designer’s visions and ideas, suspended in the clear vacuum of a given time and place, propagate freely through channels, get looped into the world wide web, pushed through the convoluted media outlets and frayed electronic filaments – all in search of a home within like-minded audiences who will share and partake in the imaginarium. The carrier vessel of celebritude, streamlines these vehicles of transportation and acts in a similar respect, helping to propel and transmit the good word.

When you think about it, why are they called stars? One could say they are visible to the masses, their span radiates the entire universe, to the far interstices of the space we live in. There are some so spectacular they trail a blaze in the black-holed pupils of their admirers, eyes glowing, cognition dormant in a dream state. They share their luminance with us every evening and are now expending a bit of that light in helping to promote young and emerging designers.

Thw NJAL platform allows visitors can browse and shop the spectrum of celebrities wearing breathing embodiments of our young generationals and fearless renegades of the future. Tokyo-based designer Yuima Nakazato designed the world tour costume for Black eyed peas Fergie who was seen on stage unfurling her outfit as though the lateral doors to mothership earth were slung open. With the unleashing of NJAL’s new range of organic tees, Coco Sumner is too part of the celebrity-alliance, seen in the designs of Berlin-based Patrick Mohr, one of the key figures in the trefoil skill-set including Spon Diogo and Aoi Kotsuhiroi – all masterminds behind the eco-friendly project.

Returning back to her roots, fashion industry veteran and recent model turned designer, Elle Macpherson was shot in the call-to-arms designs of London-based Gemma Slack, known for her armour-like sheathings. Others supporting the cause include Estelle, La Roux, Rox, Mila Jovovich, Katie Holmes, Alice Dellal, and Lady Gaga to name a few. Musicians, models, actors, and social-cats alike are all gravitating to the core of fresh concepts living at NJAL and contributing to their growth.

This is a major stride in the direction of securing exposure for undiscovered talents around the globe. Many popular personages are usually snapped up wearing well established and deeply rooted brands so it’s a nice breather to see a shift in the equation from what is deemed commonplace. The pendulum swings once again. Times are changing, and it looks like we’re migrating from a top-down approach to its inverse proportion. People nowadays like to mix and match – high street to underground, fast-fashion to emerging labels to upscale – take your pick.

Looking to the street-style archives envisaging everyday people, models, fashion editors, etc, it’s very rare to find any one entry where someone is fully dressed head to toe in a single brand from one specific market tier. It helps too that we are entering an existence where exclusivity is sought out, and the mainstream is shunned. What better an avenue than the budding talents at hand to provide us with shots of this independence, sovereignty, and courage to put their work forward and share with us who feel defined by the marrow of our quintessence.

For those who seethe vehemently at the thought of celeb-culture and what it symbolises, you are heard. It’s well known some crowds don’t carry with them the best repute. Migrating often times into a zone of superficiality and artificial creation, which makes you want to extradite yourself from any association and cognisance of their existence. You know who you are. Narcissism and pompousness be gone, dreaded in-crowds, bloated egos and social climbing ladders be gone. None of that holds any significance nor contributes to the commonwealth.

That’s why many may choose to inoculate themselves from exposure to such viral diseases of the being. Rightfully so, this is a verity of many business sectors and the universe as a whole – you’ll find it, not in everyone certainly and not just within the borders of Tinseltown. As Ian McKellen once said in an interview to Time Magazine: “When you spend as long as I have doing beautiful work which is only seen by a few thousand people, to be involved in popular entertainment without lessening one’s standards… that’s fairly appealing.” There it is, sound thinking and normalcy do exist despite being under the microscope of the public eye.

The key is knowing too how to put the preeminent status to good use, channelling it to the betterment of our society and helping those who might need a small push forward. This has been seen before through involvements in charities, foundations, and responsibility for causes around the world. These stars do exist and they are now taking a bit of that limelight and squeezing onto the ripe spores of today so they may grow into the stellar hybrids of tomorrow.