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The grit, the grace, and the in­ex­haustible ro­man­ti­cism in the uni­verse of Miss Jones

Red Magazine - - Editor's Note / Contents - WORDS PRIS­TINE DE LEON PHO­TOG­RA­PHY JOSEPH PAS­CUAL

Dress, Alice McCall, LCP, 10th Ave. cor. 39th St., BGC.

Pho­tog­ra­phy Joseph Pas­cual Styling Kim Jones and Ria Pri­eto Cre­ative di­rec­tion Nimu Muallam Makeup Mayesa de­los San­tos Hair Jan Edrosolan

This page: Bac­carat Rouge 540, Mai­son Fran­cis Kurkd­jian, Rus­tan's Shangri-La and Adora

In the mid­dle of the dizzy­ing blitz of Paris in March of this year, where Dries Van Noten’s rac­coon-eyed army stalked the run­ways while a hound of street style pho­tog­ra­phers doc­u­mented the equally fan­tas­tic fash­ion furor hap­pen­ing out­side, Kim Jones was on her phone, The Sar­to­ri­al­ist’s Scott Schu­mann shoot­ing her close by.

“It was crazy to see ev­ery­thing!” she says of that mo­ment, partly in awe, partly gen­uinely weirded out. “It kind of scared me a bit. I just stayed look­ing at my phone, I didn’t know what to do. I sort of just rein­tro­duced my­self to him [af­ter] and said hello.”

Af­ter view­ing, shoot­ing, and writ­ing about the fu­tur­is­tic, sci-fi-in­spired Louis Vuit­ton col­lec­tion and the Kym Ellery as­sem­blage that re-in­vents the 19th cen­tury corset, Jones re­turned to Paris again last month to doc­u­ment the new sea­son’s most fash­ion­able and freak­ish. “I have an up­com­ing trip to Italy by the end of next month,” she adds. “This sea­son right now is re­ally more in prepa­ra­tion for fash­ion month, when I’ll be go­ing to all four fash­ion weeks.”

Jones is ob­vi­ously ev­ery­where. The United King­dom-born, Aus­tralian-bred all-around cre­ative based in the Philip­pines has been pro­duc­ing digital fash­ion con­tent for

Miss Jones in Aus­tralia, San Fran­cisco, and parts of Europe, at the same time col­lab­o­rat­ing with long­stand­ing pow­er­houses like Gucci, Louis Vuit­ton, and Net-A-Porter.

Of course, her days weren’t this fren­zied when she first ar­rived in Manila at 22. “I was ac­tu­ally liv­ing not far from here, in Pa­song Tamo,” she says. “When I came here, I didn’t know any­body, not a sin­gle soul. I just had dis­tant rel­a­tives in Davao!”

Her web­site then was also pretty much un­known. Now one of the most vis­ited in Asia (which led a lo­cal mag­a­zine to call her one of the most in­flu­en­tial Filipinos on­line), the site back then served only as a kind of mood­board. “I started my web­site even be­fore I’d got­ten on TV. But it was very anony­mous,” she says. It fea­tured ev­ery­thing from pho­tog­ra­phy and mu­sic to in­te­rior de­sign and other cre­ative mis­cel­lany. They didn’t al­ways have some­thing to do with fash­ion, but al­ways con­clu­sively evoked some en­chanted imag­i­na­tion. Ex­hibit A: Lau­rent Che­here’s whim­si­cal pho­tographs of houses up in the eerie air.

“Work­ing in fash­ion was only like a dream! [I was just] a shel­tered, young girl who liked dou­ble click­ing [on pic­tures] and sav­ing col­lages and run­way shots,” Jones says ex­cit­edly, with that thick ac­cent you can’t quite eas­ily pin down as ei­ther Aus­tralian or Bri­tish.

In fact, much of Jones is just im­pos­si­ble to pin down. One mo­ment, she was co-host of the 15-minute life­style show Etcetera: her look suf­fi­ciently pretty, her dic­tion flaw­less, her pres­ence not so pow­er­ful. The next mo­ment, she was get­ting mar­ried to the golden boy of lo­cal tin­sel town, grac­ing mag­a­zine cov­ers here and there, buoyed in pop fan­tasy as the lo­cal paragon of beauty. It’s hardly an over­state­ment, when a mass pop­u­la­tion still vaguely ob­sessed with the look of fair-skinned chini­tas wel­comed the reign of one Miss Jones.

“There was this so­cial me­dia craze then and ev­ery­thing be­came so much more ac­ces­si­ble. If you wanted to work in fash­ion or be a writer and stylist, you could. I took that op­por­tu­nity and de­sire, and ran with it.”

From in­spi­ra­tional re­posts to styl­ized travel pho­tos in Aus­tralian beaches, and now, cre­ative shots of col­lec­tions from Paris fash­ion week, her blog has cat­a­pulted Jones into one of lux­ury fash­ion’s lo­cal muses. In­vest­ing in clothes is de­cid­edly part of the job, she says, laugh­ingly con­fess­ing her hope­less ob­ses­sion with on­line shop­ping at Av­enue 32, Moda Operandi, Matches fash­ion, and Far­fetch (“Oh my

gu­lay! It is a dis­ease. I am ad­dicted!”), yet also her dis­taste of sim­ply re­ceiv­ing clothes from brands and bran­dish­ing them on her site. “I pre­fer to buy on my own,” she says res­o­lutely.

Op­po­site page: Top, Si­mone Rocha, www.si­mone­rocha.com; ban­deau, Coo­bie, www.shop­coo­bie.com.

“It’s more au­then­tic, even more cred­i­ble to a cer­tain de­gree.”

What might have es­tab­lished Jones as an au­thor­ity in fash­ion is how each look, how­ever care­fully styl­ized and cal­cu­lated—think walk­ing in San Fran­cisco’s muddy for­est in a long im­pec­ca­ble Gucci gown (“The dress was com­pletely ru­ined af­ter”)—at­tests to a taste that’s all her own.

In the mid­dle of an era where run­ways em­ploy max­i­mal­ism to achieve some sem­blance of in­di­vid­u­al­ity, even with her en­vi­able ar­se­nal of de­signer gowns, LV heels, and Mai­son Margiela blaz­ers, Jones doesn’t seem so sat­is­fied with the pic­ture. She fa­vors sub­tlety over spec­tac­u­lar panache, real inspiration in­stead of overly chaotic lay­ers of rein­ter­pre­ta­tion. “The fash­ion in­dus­try is the sec­ond big­gest pol­lu­tant in the world af­ter oil,” she says, per­tain­ing to how sea­son af­ter sea­son, the run­ways and the archives al­ready have so much clut­ter to con­tend with. Dress­ing up has be­come syn­ony­mous with dress­ing too much.

“We’re in a sea­son where more is more is more,” Jones com­plains. “There isn’t a lot that shocks us any­more. In this decade alone, we don’t have that defin­ing look. Peo­ple ar­gue that it might be norm­core. Oth­ers ar­gue that the aes­thet­ics of the noughties or this decade is [about] in­di­vid­u­al­ity and anti-estab­lish­ment… I don’t know,” she says, trail­ing off as if con­tem­plat­ing on how the in­dus­try can han­dle a barely per­ceived pseudo-ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis.

“I would love to have been born in the ’30s. So I could be in my mid-20s in the ’50s. There’s a cer­tain ro­mance about that era,” she says of the decade when de­sign ran with mad flights of the imag­i­na­tion, and the worlds of fash­ion, lit­er­a­ture, tele­vi­sion, mu­sic, and ar­chi­tec­ture were seem­ingly on the verge of a dif­fer­ent re­birth—and likely ev­ery­thing would show up on her mood board. “That’s why I love trav­el­ing so much; it’s about us­ing the beauty around you and be­ing in­spired by that.”

Heed­ing this call, af­ter sea­sons of sim­ply sprint­ing from one fash­ion mo­ment to an­other, Jones will tem­po­rar­ily be set­tling in one of the world’s largest fash­ion cap­i­tals next year. “It’s re­ally what this year is about: sow­ing the seeds to be able to make it easy when [my hus­band and I] go to New York. I think it’s im­por­tant that I go there. It’s just me de­cid­ing what sto­ries I want to take, where I want to take my brand cre­atively and busi­ness-wise.”

Jones is im­pos­si­ble to pin down. In fact, some­times she can’t even name what she does, let alone what she’ll be do­ing a year from now. It’s easy to al­low her the moniker of muse or trav­eler, al­beit from a dif­fer­ent time, culling inspiration from wher­ever in the world she’s in.

This page: White skirt and top, Matičevski, www.ton­i­mat­icevski.com; heels, Aquaz­zura, www.aquaz­zura.com.

Op­po­site page: Coat, Ellery, www.ellery­land.com; skirt, Alice McCall, LCP; heels, Ni­cholas Kirk­wood, www.nicholaskirk­wood.com.

Inset: Dress, Alice McCall, LCP.

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