Toyin Ibidapo is an incredibly influential photographer for Boys by Girls, as her book "Cult of Boys" has been a really big inspiration. What started out as a scrapbook project where she photographed 100 boys and documented it with text and poetry, soon turned into a beautiful publication. After her contribution to our last issue "A Place Called Youth", where she brought to life old photos frozen in time, needless to say we were very excited to have her on board for our new issue “Lessons”. “Becoming” is also the first story that Way Perry (our new contributing editor) styled for the issue; and to have Way and Toyin work together for the first time in many years on this project after Toyin's return to the fashion industry was special. We knew the results where going to be quite magical.
The story “Becoming” is inspired by the veils that Muslim women wear as part of their culture. Toyin wanted to play with the challenge of how that would disrupt ones day to day life and chose to throw this challenge at a boy to see what he would do with it. Toyin brought in Chris Arundel at Storm Model Management, who with his strong and inspirational, embraced the challenge, taking full advantage of the garments he was dressed in.
Way styled Chris exclusively in Issey Miyake A/W 13 collection; we see an oriental inspired collection of bright colours and meters of fabric that have an odd samurai flair and wrapped loosely around Chris’ frame. The collection enabled Toyin and Way to play with the idea and created a colourful story that one can look at many times and find new truths in it every time. The pair also strip Chris down to highlight the parallel of what is and what could have been, had the rules in his world been a little different.
Some of her images verge on the documentary side, showing us a more relatable view of what could have been. By doing this she challenges a lot of ideas in this feature and gives the viewer the chance to look at these shots and create their own story, teasing us with impressions that snowball in front of us.
To view Toyin, Way and Chris’ 10-page story in full, click here to buy the new issue.
Photography TOYIN IBIDAPO
Fashion WAY PERRY
Styling Assistant JACK SCHOKMAN
Model CHRIS ARUNDEL (Storm Models)
Words by Annie Ounstead.