James Gillespie, Closets
James Gillespie

James says that there isn't any separation between his clothes and his personality. I can see exactly what he means when he espouses wanting to feel like he is on a rowboat off the coast of Iceland covered in mist with his preference for dark colors, natural fabrics, and shrouds. He is about to embark on a journey of his nomadic existence by leaving NYC and moving to the woods outside of Seattle to make his album, where he feels that the different set of boundaries and a quieter place will encourage his creativity and tap into his affinity for native music. His hoods, exaggerated turtlenecks, asymmetrically draped coats and chunky cardigans work on the boat in Northern Europe as much as they do in Manhattan and in the forest. I don't really see how he survived the suburbs of Orlando, where shocking as it seems, he did try fitting in for a minute in cargo khaki shorts. James was born in Ohio, raised in New Mexico and Florida, and then at 16 moved to Sweden. Scandanavian culture is his biggest reference point, everything from the natural beauty of the intense darkness and cold to the indigenous culture of the Sami tribe, where everything means something, from their intricate dress to their shaman drumming to their attunement to nature in their traditions. Feathers are James' fetish accessory and he wraps himself in them when he performs. However, he is still striving to achieve the unapologetic dark artistry of his favorite singer, Karin Andersson of Fever Ray, whose originality manifests in things like her performing in a Buffalo hide. James' favorite cartoon character is his tattoo, Snufkin, the Finnish archetype who follows his heart and his dreams and wears his clothes until they fall apart. When you wear your clothes until they fall off, the meaning of them takes on mythological proportions, much like everything does in James' life.

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