Based in Los Angeles multidisciplinary creative Devi James loses themselves in the world of fashion. “I started shooting my cousin when I was in 8th grade and she was in fourth grade. The photos to this day are timeless and dear to me. l would iron her hair, and use the thrifted pieces I’d find to photograph her on disposable cameras.” In the last year Devi has worked on a variety of projects ranging from editorial shoots, art directing music videos as well as more commercial work. The self-taught creator describes themselves as still learning and practices the art of makeup as well as styling.
Throughout the years they have observed the need for a multi-media showroom in their community and is currently working towards opening up their own in the summer of 2019. “I’ve seen where showrooms are lacking, I aim to represent the multi-media creatives of today…specifically independent brands and individuals who need proper representation; not just the typical representation where these designer clothes hang in a showroom to collect dust. We will build a hub and a conscious community to support these amazing creatives. I call the agency “They LA” Los Angeles’ first Showroom and management company with the focus on queer/alternative/non-binary progress. Services will include all areas of fashion and art; from consulting, design, photography, makeup, hair, styling, production, brand management, graphic design, custom design, casting and more.”
They LA is Devi’s largest creative endeavour to date. Described as a “future hub for creatives” the space will similarly act as a home for their personal creative output. In this all-round creative space “the possibilities are endless”. Plans going forward is to create art, a clothing and makeup line as well as music via the startup.
Unpacking the process of creativity Devi states that their approach is multifaceted and largely depends on the type of project they are working on. With many creative friends, Devi finds it easy to build on and expand concepts for projects. Ideas sometimes only become reality years later they explain and sometimes they are instant. “There are moments when I have to wake up in the middle of the night and write down a lyric or a thought or a dream, and it quickly becomes the concept for my own personal project or an idea for a client or someone I’m collaborating with.” Continuing this train of thought they state that a lot of design and styling lies in the curation of such ideas.
“I build looks by concept, colour, tone, texture, proportion, and treat most of my shoots as I would a painting. I don’t like building looks with too many eyes on me. I usually like one or two individuals to add input, preferably people who do not rush, force, or negate the sometimes slow process of executing a look. If I’m not having fun, something is wrong and I have to step back and reevaluate the situation.” Rarely looking to industry trends for inspiration, Devi oftentimes builds their mood boards on cinematic, historical and religious references.
Devi defines the message of their practice as follows, “Beauty. Redefining gender. Mental health. Timelessness. 5th Dimensional Perception. Telepathic Communication. Romance. Taboos. Contradiction. Current political issues. Abnormalities. Nature. The balance of the universe. The state of the present, a glimpse of the future. QPOC to the front of the line!!”
Photography – Luka Booth
Hair – Samantha Lepre
MUA – Gigi Goode