“Tainted Love” by Dirk Mai

Everything comes full circle eventually. Seasons change, hearts break and mend, the sun peeks through the curtains every morning. Trends rise and fade and re-emerge, over and over again. Fashion is cyclical, and so are we. We fall in and out of love, we forget and remember to be kind to ourselves, our moods shift endlessly like diamonds in the sun, emotions ebbing and flowing like a warm thunderstorm in the summer. We grow and bend and change and try not to make the same mistakes twice. We look back in order to to look forward; we remember that history has a tendency to repeat itself. This editorial by Dirk Mai feels like a love letter to our past and future selves, the way we feel the growing pains of change deep in our bones, the way what goes around always finds a way to come back around.

Capitalizing on athleisure’s near ubiquitous resurgence, the editorial gives a cheeky wink to the trend’s roots dating back to the 1980’s, featuring the ethereal Gillian Rae strutting and stretching in neon workout wear, polka dots, leather pants, and a shimmering metallic power suit that lives up to its name. Rae, whose magnetic beauty is near otherworldly, is a striking study in how to be sharp and soft at the same time. Her highlighted cheekbones, outstretched limbs, and glossy pout mesmerize each frame as she points her toes and arches her back like a rockstar lost in the moment.

She is bold and unselfconscious, a hurricane of emotion written defiantly on her face, even as she sinks into shadowy sunlight. We don’t know whether she is in love or out of love, yet she burns with a quiet desire, a daydreamy longing that fills the room. It’s fitting tribute to the decade of decadence, a reminder of the time when there was no such thing as doing too much. The clothes were loud, the hair was big, and the attitude was untamed. Yet as this editorial captures, there was a gritty and unapologetic honesty that, decades later, as we move through our own tainted cycles of opening our hearts and bending over backwards, feels as jarring and refreshing as a thunderstorm in the middle of the deep heat of summer.

L’Agent Goodies…