photographer/stylist: nicholas ray
affectionately known around beacons as “nickopedia,” nick can tell you the whole story about a piece of clothing, from the sewing techniques to the social developments that went into making it. read on as he rattles off all sorts of references in his interview for this week’s edition of “styled by.”
so what did you do with bunny?
it initially started off as a theme i do a lot with the mannequins with a masculine/feminine combination of things ...of that 30s-style, hepburn with a modern twist. one of the looks was done as a sort of a school uniform, or alternate reality school uniform.
is that the one with the long skirt? i love that one.
that’s with a samurai pant. there’s a note written in french pinned to it: “to whom it may concern.”
another look is influenced off of ads from old interview magazines from ‘85, ‘86. old liquor ads, the whole power-look. those purple pants were gianni versace, that sort of dictated how the whole shoot was going to go. and one look was a boxer.
you’re a music man. tell us about your work.
i play in bands but a lot of what i do now is incidental music...stuff for films...but i’m also working on a series of installation pieces where i provide looped video and music together.
your music has allowed you to travel a lot. has your multi-culti-ism influenced how you make art?
i would say multi-cultural music has had more of an influence, even looks that i might come up with. i don’t think you go to other countries and you see (traditional dress). i think there’s a westernization in most countries of american style of clothing, fetishized. you don’t see a lot of the traditional flair unless you’re in towns that are known for it, like in italy. it’s funny, even in milan, the homeless guys had really nice glasses frames (laughs). that was such a milan thing!
yeah, i really think of you as someone with a real eye for quality and craftsmanship over trends. where did that come from or how did you cultivate that?
a lot of that came from my background in vintage from a very young age, going with my mom to estate sales and garage sales and secondhand clothing places from the age of 5 on. and i have a background in wardrobing. i’m a terrible sewer but i can identify the quality in which things are made. but i do have an appreciation for the cheap and badly-constructed too. the stuff that may only last one night. when i was younger, stuff that i would make would wear out in a night (laughs). “outfit! one night only! catch it between these hours!”
apart from being a beacon's closet buyer and style connoisseur, nicholas applies his refined taste to his music too. listen to his band, viva l’american death ray music, here..