We are thrilled to share these stunning self portraits by artist and designer Coco Villa, wearing select pieces from Myfawnwy 2021 and a green skirt and pants of their own design.
Photographed in June on 35mm film in North Carolina.
Read our interview with Coco below!
Can you tell us a little bit about your art and design practice?
I am equal parts fashion designer, dancer, and photographer. In its simplest form, I am a self-portrait photographer. I typically choreograph a movement piece and photograph or film myself dancing in my own designs. I'm always doing a bit of everything, but I go through phases of concentrating more on one than the others throughout the year. I think they all exist quite harmoniously in front of the camera.
Can you describe your studio space? What would we see if we came to visit?
My studio is split into a few spaces. One room is dedicated to sewing. I like this room a lot. It's very colorful (the garments make it colorful. The walls are white). One wall is covered in photographs, sticky notes, and sketches. This changes frequently. I use it as a moodboard for each project. It has two clothing racks, two desks, two mannequins, a bunch of shelving, and usually a mountain of fabric on the ground. Sometimes you can see the hardwood floors. Sometimes you can't.
What kind of music have you been listening to lately?
Recently, I spent a day unplugged, bathing in the sun, frolicking along mountain tops with friends. I wanted to carry that pleasant high with me, so I made a playlist. Each day has felt casually magnificent since. It's a bit all over the place but it starts with Cheree by Suicide and ends with Elsa by Los Destellos. The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest is definitely my go-to album when I'm in the studio, sewing, dyeing, dancing, photographing, etc.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I like to pay attention to my dreams. They're often very colorful, textured, very surreal, and very sensual. They are fairly futuristic and engulfed by natural elements.
How did you become interested in movement as an artistic medium?
I've always loved to move my body and dance. I was a painfully shy kid, usually when it came to speaking or using my voice but I grew up dancing salsa, merengue, and cumbia. I think dance was a way to balance that shyness. I heavily relied on movement as a form of communication and expression or simply as a practice to let myself go. I relied on feeling a sense of explosiveness, soft or not so soft. It is something else.
Do you have a favorite place to be?
In a body of saltwater. Preferably where the water looks like Pantone 2995 C. I think I've seen this shade of blue in the Caribbean.
What are some things that bring you joy?
I love phrases/expressions in another language that make absolutely no sense when translated. Spanish is my first language, so this is always a messy brain activity.
I love to lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling.
I love eating a cold melon half with a spoon.
I love a hot sweaty day at the skatepark.
I love talking to my mom about brain activity and human behavior.
A lot of things bring me joy (: