PICTURE: #1 IN TEN ACTS
Flora Collins has a distinct beautiful otherworldly bearing all of her own. Merely observing her briefly, she metamorphoses from an ingénue, a Renoir girl and most of all a Bridget Bardot of Contempt, And God Created Woman or in short the actress, then at her most rapturously beautiful.
When I did a formal portrait of Flora in 2009—which hangs in front of her bedroom—she’d just tuned 16 or about. Remarkably, before the photo-session commenced, she was quick, assured and decisive in what to wear, retiring any assistant from me or her mom, the writer, Amy Fine Collins of Vanity Fair. Result, a low-cut, brilliant, ultramarine blue number, with miniature pearl-like quotations scattered about it with such dazzling effect.
Long story short, she sat, I shot and we ended up with an exquisite portrait, which, with her permission, I may share with you at the end of the series.
Presently, in between heavy, exerting school schedule, she managed to make herself available for me in order to execute these series of photographs. Her schedule made it impossible for us to shoot in the daytime—lacking daylight, we settled for an all-interior photo-session. Hopefully, in the next coming months when I revisit her again in the spring, I can get some outdoor pictures of her. Besides the Bardot aspect—the translucent skin, marvelously pronounced eyes, precious full lips—she’s also, in her sweetness, rosiness, picturesqueness, a Renoir girl and the master made pictures that vividly evokes Flora Collins!
Iké Udé /November 21st.
Manhattan, New York
Pink, purple, and blue
Favorite Fashion Designer:
Stacey Bendet for Alice + Olivia
Favorite Shoe/Accessories Designer:
Flora by Gucci
Favorite Stylish Film:
Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd
The Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, and the East Village
My room or any restaurant with incredible food
Who is your style icon?
What item of clothing would you rather starve for?
What is your overall impression of how people dress in general?
People mimic each other too much.
And what do you recommend that they do otherwise?
PICTURE: #1 IN TEN ACTS
SPECIAL GUEST INTERVIEW:
FLORA COLLINS TALKS ABOUT HER 1ST OUTFIT
What items did you use to compose this particular outfit?
I used an Alice + Olivia top, Alice + Olivia leggings, and Kenneth Cole heels, and a Turkish evil eye bracelet.
How did you find the various items that you are wearing?
These are longtime staples in my closet. Frankly, I’ve forgotten how or when I found them!
How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?
I’ve owned the Alice + Olivia top for years and have found that it’s a very versatile piece. I can wear it during the summer with shorts, as a cover up at the beach, or as evening wear. I adore how my navy polka dot heels symbiotically match the spotted dress and the turquoise bracelet. Essentially, I was connecting the dots!
Where do you normally shop for clothes and accessories?
I shop at H & M for casual wear and at Stacey Bendet’s Alice + Olivia for eveningwear. But my most frequented “shops” are either my or my mother’s closet.
How much role does money or the lack thereof play in one’s endeavor to dress very smart or beautifully? Money has little to do with how beautifully one dresses. Being confident and taking risks are the keys.
What special recommendation would give somebody who admires your style but don’t know where or how start?
Don’t be afraid to clash or wear a lot of black.
Name six famous personages—past or present—who you would invite over for dinner/drinks because of their impeccable individualistic elegance?”
Carolina Herrera, Gene Meyer, Rachel Roy, Helena Bonham Carter, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, the talking flowers from Alice in Wonderland, Madeline.
As a result of your style, what is your impression of how you are generally perceived in public?
Amy Fine Collins’s daughter
And how would rather the public perceive you?
Presently, what do you think accounts for the poor appearances in how people generally dress or don’t dress?
People think they have no time to look good. Also, celebrities who have no experience with designing are taking over the fashion world, and these reality stars, actors, or singers are the “icons” to whom the masses look up.
In retrospect have you ever worn something that you now find particularly regrettable?
Definitely. I change my style around every year or so. I’ll look back at pictures and cringe at flared pants, an untucked shirt, or a dress without the right accessories. But who knows, I might go back to dressing that way in a couple of years. It’s all a matter of mood, age, and time.
In the end, do you dress to: (a.) please others, (b.) please yourself or (c.) hopefully be in agreement with everybody?
I dress to please others or myself. Style-wise, I rarely care about being in agreement with everybody.