I've been fascinated all year by Mr Style a/k/a Ray and his perfectly idiosyncratic and individualistic site ("http://wherethelightsend.blogspot.com) . Something about the pure and uncorrupted energy of his writing and the languidness of his beauty made me feel like here was a very interesting young talent to track. That is what makes doing TI so exciting for me these days. I feel like its been allowing me to mingle in an underground internet network , a kind of secret society of talented and beautiful new kids bent on making their mark on the worlds of taste and style. I hold Mr Style to be a prime example of this ideal. Around the time of the last Paris Fashion Week I planned to catch up with Ray but ... you know how it goes in that city. Decadent mayhem spoils the best laid plans. Last week Ray Q&A'd me for his blog so I insisted on returning the favor by investigating further the new brand of fabulousness represented our erstwhile Mr Style. This is what I found out
TI: How old are you and where are you from Mr Style?
RT: I' m 21 years-old and I was born and I grew up in the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia
TI: .How do you feel about Paris as a city to live and work in?
RT: It's fabulous being in Paris ! Everything looks good ! There's this tradition of good manners, good-lookin people, being refine and so chic !!!!!! I adore seeing all those socialites yeah ! it's also very funny !!! however i cant believe the streets are dotted with dog poop !!!! you must have seen it right !!?
TI:Where do you go to school and what are you studying?
RT: My school is in Paris, it's called ESEC ! it's a cinema school because i wanna be a movie director ! this is somethin so great i guess ! being able to give my fantasies, my dreams, a life. that's lovely right ! it's magic ! it's just a very strong artistic thing and that's exactly what turns me one
TI:Who have you been working with in terms of fashion?
RT: Well to be honest, i cant really say im workin in fashion since i had only one real experience. actually just after the parisian fashion week, i've been assisting Nicola Formichetti and his team ( so many cool people ) on a Harper's Bazaar shooting with photographer SØLVE SUNDSBØ. amazin moment but i cant really reveal the names of the many models that were there nor the clothes chosen ! but trust me, it's pretty major ! yeah im just so proud of it !! you know it's just somethin i couldnt imagine !! plus it happened just a month after i came to Paris so.....
TI.Do you feel like your background gives you a unique perspective and taste point in fashion?
RT: Yeah definitely. you know in Tahiti you have no luxury shops, no Purple mag (they dont deliver in this hidden place of the world ) !!! so ive always been quite frustrated ! so the only way i could get closer to "real" fashion was to read a lot of books, own a lot of magazine etc. so i have almost no experience but i do think i know " what's good " ! you know it's like at school, there's the theory and the practice !
TI.How important do you think the internet via your blog will be in building your presence and career in fashion?
RT: Actually, when i started my blog, it was so trendy ! it was the Cory Kennedy mania ! so i was like i need a blog, i need to talk about hype things, it has to look that way etc. but i never thought i would get that much attention with the blog after only one year !! now i have lots of possibilites thanks to it which seems surreal ! but it's true ! however i feel like every trends are born to die ! so well maybe in a decade it will be over and blogs would look vintage ! i dont know
TI:.Who are some of the current talent (designers/stylists/etc) who inspire you?
RT: well there's a lot of talented, gifted people all around the world ! but you know, sometimes it's just sad seeing how people just doesnt care about them since they havent done any Vogue covers or runaway shows in Paris !! so well im like everyone !! i love Balenciaga or Margiela !! also Prada and Burberry and Lanvin too and well Nicola Formichetti or Karl Templer are pretty good stylist !! oh and the wonderful Carine Roitfeld !! i must admit im a fan !!
TI:.I notice that there is a kind of global digital network of new fashion talent all discovering and promoting each other right now. How deliberate is all that for you?
RT: I guess it's something going on right now because there's a lack of communication ! the young stylist would love to be part of Vogue but let's face it, the people there doesnt wanna loose their places and privilege status ! so the only free places remaining are blogs and internet ! but being featured in an online article for example isnt something that powerful !! but it's the only way though, if you want people to know things about you at least ! or you need to create a kind of buzz !!! that's a bad example but Paris Hilton sex tape, released on internet built her !!!
TI.Speaking of which how do you engage people like Terence Koh or Nicola Formichetti for your blog?
RT: Well the stories are really different ! im actually very spontaneous and impulsive and one day as i had added Terence Koh profile on myspace, i just thought i had to send him a message ! and that's how it all started ! sometimes i think my english may sound innocent and sincere so the people agree with my requests !!! now Terence is calling me " deer " !! isnt it cute ! and for Nicola, i discovered his blog just after he launched it ! so i was sendin comments each time i felt like i needed to ask somethin ! but he never answered at all ! however i received in my email box one morning a mail from him ! it was the picture of the Vogue Homme Japan cover !! and i just couldnt believe it ! i was so so so excited and glad ! i even thought for a moment that it was a joke ! therefore i sent him emails and he answered ! in a way that's what happened with you right !?
TI.What is your ultimate ambition in this industry? To be an editor? A stylist? The publisher of your own magazine?
RT: Of course my dream is to have my own mag, a bit like Katie Grand's Pop magazine !! but you need money and a good team that you can rely on !! a team that shares the same tastes ! so well i guess im too young for it ! however being a stylist is something i'd really love to do !! maybe if Nicola read this interview, he'll give me one more chance !!! lol !! oh and i forgot to say that Purple mag is my very favorite publication as it's perfect visually, so witty when it comes to the content and the interviews are always very good !! yeah i dream of being the editor in chief of Purple mag also !
TI.Why do you do your site in English as opposed to French?
RT: The reason is quite simple ! not so many people speaks french whereas english is known everywhere !! it's also a way for me to pratice and work on my english !! so many people are sendin me comments like " please take english courses !! we dont understand what do u mean " !!!! moreover im not chauvinist at all !!
TI.How important is it for you to advance your career through the traditional print mags like Self-Service, Purple or a V?people?
RT: Well following the traditional steps is the way chosen by almost everyone as we know where we'll get !!! only the fearless people or artists dare not to do it the way it has to be done ! so well for the moment, i feel like it's better being myself and doing what i like and adore than being intern for example at Elle or Paper mag..i dont know !! moreover we all know how bad is it being intern ! plus i dont how to make the coffee ! so i'll be fire immediately
TI.I adore your look. How do you have any icons or influences who inspire your current visual? Does it impact the way you style other people?
RT: Oh well thanks if you like my look !! it's lovely but well i dont think i have a style at all !! i think style comes with time and life ! and it's a question of attitude, way of behavin !! it has nothing to do from my point of view with brands at all !! and that's the problem i have with today's youth obsession considering for example the Olsens as icons ! i dont wanna blame them but wearing Miu Miu or YSL total look doesnt mean they have a great style at all !! they're just nice and powerful buyers !!! that's probably why Lagerfeld seems obssessed with them too! so well i dont have any icons but i admire people that dare to be themselves !! today we're promoting individuality but we're afraid of it, which is a lame situation !! i hate for example all those fashion rules !! now that we have Agyness, it's like nothing is impossible which is wicked ! finally thank god !
TI.Where do you see the fashion world going? What does it lack that you want to see brought into its pages?
RT: I think fashion is becomin more and more important and powerful as we give so much attention to our image ! so well i fear we'll get into a style crisis someday! it's gonna be the anarchy ! it's probably already happening no !!.???? moreover with internet, now we get aware of all the new trends the minute they're out on the catwalk !!! which is problematic ! in the past, what was shown at Elsa Schiaparelli would appear in the streets a year or two after havin been shown !!!! now the minute one trend is seen at Dior, the world is adopting it right after !! so the brands are no longer as "visionnaire" as before !!! we can even say the streets are much more influential sometimes ! and some influences comes from what's outside the fancy and golden fashion bubble !!! remember Galliano show with models dressed as parisian homeless people !! and the street-style photograph trend is just another sign of how the world can be as fabulous and daring and truly as avant-garde as the fashion elite !
thus i think that's probably why ID mag is so successful right now ! they're turning every unknown guy/girl-next-door into hype creatures, elegant beasts...etc ! it's so avant-garde and that's artistically risky to take people that arent as perfect as models and make them look good ! im so impressed when i see they use normal people, wearing insane designs and see how it works !!!! sometimes the beauty comes from what's dark, dusty or ugly ! that's probably what i want to see now ! the world is a lie especially in fashion !
TI: Oooh what a sexy prophecy. Thank you so much Mr Style. I loved getting your POV