ART DIRECTION / PHOTOGRAPHY Kathleen Burgess
MODEL Samantha Candeloro-Wolter
Throughout the past few years, the trend of western fashion has seen cowboy hats and rhinestone boots emerging onto fashion runways, city streets, and Instagram feeds. Iconic statements by recording artists Lil Nas X and Solange, in addition to elegant Dior collections featuring the trend have emerged at the forefront of pop culture and celebrity style.
While ‘Cowgirl Chic’ aesthetics follow the resurgence of the Wild West, these looks shoot me back to a nostalgic time where mini-me played dress-up with fairy wings, boas, and her staple pink cowgirl hat. At a young age, I felt fearless in my fashion choices and my body as I rocked the hat around my house with a rhinestone tiara atop it.
In this series, I chose to explore the cowboy hat as a symbol of confidence, using the editorial process to examine my childhood experiences. There was a time as a teen when shyness and self-consciousness swarmed me to anxiety. As I continue to go down the path of reconnecting with my inner child, I strive to regain the confidence in my beauty and passions that surged when I was a kid. The intent throughout the production process was to ignite a similar child-like enthusiasm and playfulness in my model and friend, Sam.
Like a kid organizing their own living-room runway, I have learned that every day I have the power to manifest what brings me joy. A part of this daily practice in confidence is putting on hats I’ve never worn, or ones that I’ve previously denied from being “acceptable”. By wearing these hats and rewiring my system of thoughts and perceptions, new ideas can flow and change the colours of my cosmos.