Singapore-based fashion photographer Felly Loi is back with a compelling topic for her latest shoot: ‘Ambivalence of Androgyny’. Citing Grace Jones, Tilda Swinton and Elly Jackson (lead singer of electro-pop duo La Roux) as her muses, she hopes to translate the hybridity of the ‘new gender’.
“The society forms a religious ritual by dividing the notion of one’s sexuality based on one’s biological gender. Growing up in an Asian culture, I find myself on the side of the majority, where societal definition of a male and female takes centerstage. It wasn’t long before I started feeling incessantly confused by these stereotypes. I was also perplexed with the idea of conforming to it as well. Therefore, in Mark Twain’s great words, I dare say it is time for us to pause and reflect.”
– Felly Loi
Set in a dimly-lit setting with a backdrop that resembles raw, unfinished plastered walls, her story is amplified with the casting of model Nicol Roblin as the androgynous character – a sexually-appealing figure with a deadly edge. She is seen in a consistently red wardrobe, approaching the other characters played by models Connor Haugen and Elvira Maurcheva, and captivating them in an alluring yet menacing manner.
As the story unfolds, we see the main character as she struggles to find her true calling – an indication of the ‘new gender’s ambiguous and polysemic nature in the fast and ever-changing landscape that we live in.
According to the photographer, the androgynous character in the story takes her characteristics from the Venus Flytrap. “It is a carnivorous plant that is commonly found in the tropical wetlands on the east coast of the United States of America. Despite conventional standards, I actually think that the Venus Flytrap is an incredibly beautiful plant,” says Loi. “It is vibrant and the way how it closes itself to catch insects and bugs is just so magical. I actually think that’s what gives the Venus Flytrap so much personality.”
“Like the Venus Flytrap, the androgynous character (Roblin) is strong-willed and assertive by nature. She may be susceptible to the judgements made by others, (just like the weather conditions that the plant is being exposed to), yet she is able to defend herself and even overpower her opponents in the game of love, even if she has to do that in a gradual manner. In the end, she is triumphant and she gets what, or rather, who she wants.”Photography – Felly Loi Stylist – Jessica Ye Stylist´s Assistant – Seah Kaiming Make up & Hair – Zennie Casann using La Biosthetique, Jas-you-nic Promade and MAC Cosmetics Make up & Hair Assistant – Arella Choo Model Nicol R & Connor H @Upfront Models and Elvira M @Looque Models Retouching – Sebastian Tan
This fashion spread is published as part of the January 2016 issue ‘HYBRIDITY’