A Conversation With: AnOther Man’s Peghah Maleknejad
Toronto-native Peghah Maleknejad has made her way across the pond and onto the UK’s fashion scene at AnOther Man.
We wanted to capture one of the personalities behind the unorthodox editorials found in AnOther Man, King Kong, Dazed and Paper Magazine. What we found was a modest, calm, and collected mind.
Glossi Mag picked her brain to see what inspires her and to get her thoughts on the rapidly changing fashion industry.
What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in fashion, since I was a kid. I had this idea that it would be a fabulous life. As I got older, I realized it’s obviously not that at all. It just became a way of being creative and that’s why I enjoy it the most.
So it became a creative outlet for you?
Yeah, exactly. It’s no longer about what kind of lifestyle it gives you. It’s more a creative outlet to have.
Do you remember your first inspirational fashion moment?
I don’t remember an actual moment, but I did watch a lot of Jeanne Beker when I was growing up. A lot of Fashion Television. I grew up watching it religiously and I think that was my initial inspiration, but I don’t think I have a particular moment, no. Fashion inspiration happened throughout my childhood. It was always there.
When you’re in the process of creating and developing, where do you find your inspiration from?
I mostly look to films and their characters. I always start there for any shoot that I do. I love movies and I think it’s a nice place to start. I also think musicians are always inspiring, but I mostly look to cult films.
What is it about the films or characters that you’re drawn to?
I like a developed character; it’s kind of a fantasy that you’re looking into. Depending on what the shoot is, you can usually find a character for the individual in almost any film. I find film has always just worked for me.
Do you have any examples of developed characters that have inspired you?
I recently made a mood board after watching the movie Doom Generation with Rose McGowen, who is a very cult figure. I was inspired to do a shoot based off her character, Amy Blue. I usually develop from that starting point. I like a woman that’s headstrong, rebellious, sexual, a femme fatale – a quirky femme fatale.
What projects are you most proud of?
I don’t really like this question, because I’m not there yet. I’m really happy with the way things are going, but I think I still have a ways to go before I can say I’m truly proud of something.
Who would you say are your style icons, if you have any?
David Bowie. In terms of big icons and someone who I think always got it right, it’s him.
He had a lot of different looks and different eras, what would you say are your favourites?
I think they’re all great. From the beginning to his later years. It was all cool.
What makes a designer or label exciting for you?
What I’m attracted to, aesthetically, is a mix of playfulness and a feeling of luxury. I think it’s the right balance between those two things – that’s when you can tell something is well constructed, but also fun.
Are there any new designers on your radar?
Central Saint Martins A/W 16 Collection was really good. A lot of really strong designers showed for that and one of them, whom I really love, is Richard Quinn. He’s really good and his women’s wear is a little bit fetish and disturbing, yet beautiful. It’s really grand and tailored. He’s definitely on my radar and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.
Do you have any treasured items you keep with you?
My grandmother’s ring. I never take that off. Everything else I lose or replace.
Who is the one person you’ve worked with who taught you the most?
I’ve been lucky to have a lot of people help me throughout my career so far, which is a rare thing in this industry. The last person I assisted for has definitely opened some big doors and I owe her a lot.
What did you learn from her?
I learned how to tap into inspiration. That’s one of the biggest things – just seeing what she would be inspired by and how she got to those points. I don’t think my brain ever worked that way before. I never really thought to look into art, movies and music, or it wasn’t as intense, whereas I learned to look into those things now. She also pushed me to work really hard. She taught me to just keep going and going and don’t stop. I think in this industry it’s important to be able to do that to keep up.
One of your latest projects, ‘Pleasures of the Flesh’ for King Kong Magazine, features high-end bondage brand Fleet Ilya, as well as pieces made of PVC and mesh – textiles popular in fetish subcultures. Do you think fetish-inspired fashion will be gaining notoriety in the mainstream world?
Yeah, I think it already does. It’s everywhere now. If you look at the men’s Spring/Summer 2017 collections you see it in a lot of brands. For example, Comme Des Garcons, Louis Vuitton, and Balenciaga. And Raf Simons’ collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which is very fetish. I think it’s just going to become more and more out there, which is interesting.
I find it really interesting that brands like Zana Bayne has been dressing people like Lady Gaga and Beyonce with her bondage wear, which is quite a move for that trend or style.
Exactly, see its everywhere. She does really good stuff. Also in Toronto there’s Leather Atelier, not as intense, but still cool stuff.
@otherpeoplesdeaths – They post the deaths of interesting people, and I use it as a source of inspiration. I discover many interesting people that I had never even heard of before.
@decorhardcore – It’s weird home decor. It’s like, really tacky, weird shit.
Favourite item of clothing to wear: Shoes. I have a lot of shoes. A good platform is always nice.
Favourite item of clothing to use in a shoot: I don’t have one; it depends on what you’re doing. I like to shoot a nice coat, but it ultimately depends.
Karina is a contributor at Glossi Mag.
As a lover of the unconventional and celestial, you can find this Gemini either on the hunt for vintage treasures, having a tarot card reading or eatin’ some hot stone bibimbap.
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