In an age where we are saturated with content, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate fact from fiction, to work out what is real and what isn’t. This is something we constantly think about at FQ. So in this, our authenticity issue, we’ve scoured the fashion landscape to bring you stories of new designers, and uncovered models and writers who have boldly embraced their unique identities.
In our beauty section (page 115) we have an incredible shoot from hair stylist Michael Beel, who has exclusively featured women with grey hair. Of the decision to use models from ages 49-78, Beel says, “It seems like we don’t celebrate older women and in particular women with grey hair.” It’s a sentiment echoed in an article by Samantha Murray Greenway (page 52), who says, “Fresh-faced youth will always be appreciated for the wonder it is, but as populations get older (the median age in the US reached a record high of 38.9 in 2022) we are beginning to appreciate the benefit of holding age in similar esteem.”
Not content to only look at age and size (see our insider’s guide to plus-size fashion on page 62), we took the theme of authenticity to a new extreme and endeavoured to execute a fashion shoot like we’ve never done before. Teaming up with creative agency Stanley St, we devised our first AI shoot (page 106) and let me tell you it was easier said than done. As our art director Georgia Bramley said at the time, it was like doing a shoot backwards. Over 100 iterations later and the AI we used still hasn’t exactly replicated the clothing from New Zealand fashion designers. “Could AI replace everything – from location to models to make-up artists to stylists?” asks Stanley St’s executive creative director Brad Collett in our feature Artifice (page 56), which investigates the role of AI in fashion. My answer right now would be: not yet.
As we delved into the AI universe, we were simultaneously undertaking our cover shoot (page 26) in the world’s fashion capital, Paris. While I didn’t make it on set for this one, a team of Kiwi creatives worked to put the stunning feature together. Cover star Lucy Rosiek was shot with no make-up at all. In fact, the only thing she had on her face was skincare by Emma Lewisham. The shoot has a certain je ne sais quoi. In a way, when I look at those scenes, I feel like I’m there too, right beside the river Seine. You can almost smell the patisseries and feel the heartbeat of the city pulsing through the pages. It has to be said, sometimes you just can’t beat the real thing.