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by Rashida Taylor
011: SLEEP

fashion editorial with photographer


So, here we are, in the dreamy, blurry, unruly place of sleep. Or at least trying to be. Tired as hell. Overworked as fuck.

What are your sleep philosophies? I’ve been wondering—if we meet, eat, fight, or sleep with someone in our dreams, did it really happen? Who’s to say that when we are awake we are in the “real” world, and not the other way around? Simulations are all around us: time, separated into “weekdays” and “weekends,” labour, categorised as “high” and “low” skilled. According to who?

If your Dad, Mum, Grandad, or Auntie works nights and sleeps in the day while you are in the “real” world simulation, are you missing your chance to really be with them? If your relatives living elsewhere in the world sleep six hours later than you, do you miss them too?

The way the simulation is set up right now makes it possible to work and stress so hard that sleep is not restful, but busy with the terror of conscious thought instead. When was the last time you really slept—without an alarm set, without waking up at 4 a.m. to add something to your to-do list, without counting the number of hours you’re going to get before you close your eyes, without the demands of the simulation (work, bills, taxes, etc.) featuring in what should be your wildest dreams. Do you know what your wildest dreams would be without these interruptions?

If the dream world is the real world, dreaming about work should count as overtime.

I maintain that Stillpoint Magazine‘s issue themes are spells that we cast as we choose them. Again, my life shaped itself as living research, as in the months leading up to the release of this issue, I entered the busiest, least restful period of my life. Project after project, deadline after deadline, meeting after meeting, uneasy sleeping. The research question becomes how to move from the fitful, restless, laborious, toil-and-trouble kind of sleep, to sleep that is restful, joyful, multidimensional and complete? How to enjoy sleep spacious enough for our loved ones to be with us—those that have moved on, and those that are still here? The hypothesis? Another kind of spell; a “rest-as-reparations” remedy:

One heaped tablespoon of camomile
A handful of valerian root
A kiss on the forehead
A slight breeze
A moment of laughter (see here this)
A no phone zone
Six sprays of lavender water
One cup of warm water
Three tokes of bushweed
An unclench of the jaw
One chapter of Tricia Hersey’s
Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto
A sky clear and dark enough for stars
A room quiet enough to think and breathe
Two shoulders, released from duty, falling

What else shall we add? I ask you genuinely, because I truly believe sleep should be a collaborative project—something we can do together, something we must fight for, and something that we allow each other the space to do, properly. So let’s get to it.

Take it easy,

Rashida xx

Orezime wears Bustier by Stolen Studios. Kyara wears Coat by Marc Martha and Collar by Rysia Pierzchala.

Orezime wears Bustier by Stolen Studios, earrings and necklace model’s own.

Kyara wears coat by Marc Martha.

Orezime wears coat by Marc Martha.

Kyara wears earrings by Shivani Tyagi and top by Renato Brás. Orezime wears dress by Renato Brás.

Kyara wears earrings by Shivani Tyagi and top by Renato Brás.

Orezime wears Silk Organza Cocoon and dress by Maximilian Raynor.

Kyara wears jacket and trousers by Anciela, and earrings by Shivani Tyagi.

Orezime wears canvas top by Renato Brás, bracelet and underwear model’s own. Kyara wears earrings by Shivani Tyagi.

Creative Director/Styling: Rashida Taylor

Models: Kyara Chapman, Orezime Esseh

Hair Stylist: Kreszend Eva Sackey

Makeup Artist: Oley Njie

Styling Assistant: Amirah Iga

Set Designer: Kate Holford

RASHIDA TAYLOR fashion editor

Rashida Taylor is Head of Fashion at GUAP Magazine, a writer, and stylist based in London, encouraged by artistic expressions of the Black experience in all its various forms.

AMY PESKETT photographer

Amy Peskett is a London based image maker specialising in photography and creative direction, with a portfolio instantly recognisable within her niche of retro but modern inspired work. She transforms her raw imagery into romanticised, cinematic lo-fi vision. Inspired by everyday life, her emotions, the arts and influences around her, she created images for fun in her bedroom during lockdown and posted her work online, where she started to get noticed. This went on to her working with some of the biggest brands, musicians, and magazine covers within her first year of being in the industry. Find her on Instagram @amypeskett.

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