Go For Gold — part one

In our latest photo series ‘Go For Gold’ we seek to not only represent the weird and wonderful contributors who have made the zine what it is over the past two years, but those who inspire them on the daily. While we all may idolise people online, on the streets or from viewing their work, it’s important to remember that inspiration is cyclical — we all have someone who we admire more than most, be that a friend, a family member or a mutual follower. More often than not, the objects of our inspiration rarely know of their desirability and impression on others’ lives.

Teaming Polyester contributors up with a person of their choosing who has made a profound impact on their own life, ‘Go For Gold’ is all about celebrating the femmes in our lives that teach us the importance of building meaningful relationships with those around you. From the duos interviews and accompanying portrait — the power of feminine friendship is palpable,  and inspirational in itself.

In part one of this series, we caught up with Chloe Sheppard — who shot the series  — and her role model of choice, Polyester online editor Gina Tonic. Our second pairing is the unforgettable, artist Jender Anomie, who brought genuine London legend, DJ, writer and all round icon Princess Julia to the shoot in matching handmade clown costumes.  Below we chat to the two pairs on the importance of their relationships, as well as championing collaboration and admiration in the creative scene.

CHLOE SHEPPARD AND GINA TONIC:

Chloe on Gina…

“Gina and I met through Polyester, the first time I actually met her in person was whilst I was selling zines at one of the launch parties, and she got so drunk that she passed out next to me at the booth I was sitting at. One of the main things I find so inspirational about Gina is the way she writes about fat issues. It is so unapologetic, and so true, and for me so relatable. The subjects Gina writes about are usually so unrepresented and made to feel like something you should be ashamed of, but in her essays it’s the complete opposite. It makes me feel like I am not an outsider and helps me feel proud of who I am. I picked Gina to be shot with because I feel like our values are totally the same, she inspires me very much, and there aren’t many people I feel like I really look up to in this industry, so to be able to work with someone that I actually do admire, for this, was perfect.”

Gina on Chloe…

“We met unofficially at the Polyester issue 5 launch, when I infamously passed out next to Chloe for the whole night. A fab first impression, as usual. I would also say that Chloe is an inspiration to me because she is many things that I wasn’t only three years ago: Confident, successful and happy. I feel like we serve to inspire each other as plus size women from similarly artistic backgrounds. Just by existing and being positive about that existing, it’s a radical representation that many people out there need. Viva la fat feminism, us broads gotta stick together.”

JENDER ANOMIE AND PRINCESS JULIA

Jender on Princess Julia…

I picked Julia because we’re both culture creatures, with an enduring love of parties! Julia’s lifestyle is something aspirational to me, she hasn’t let anyone tell her who she needs to be. She’s eternally beautiful, youthful, imitable and glamorous. Honestly your fave could never! She’s charming, funny and has some great stories to tell. I wracked my brains for ages and finally remembered I met Julia when she got out of a taxi outside the George and Dragon. I thought to myself ‘who is this hot like fire twenty-something that just got out this taxi’.  I remember someone introducing us and she complimented my outfit and I did the same! Took me a while to realise she wasn’t in her twenties. Julia inspires me because seeing all of the things she has achieved makes me feel emboldened to do the same for myself!”

Princess Julia on Jender…

We met through mutual friends, you can’t miss Jender can you! She’s got an iconic look and when I first saw her she was like a magnet drawing me into her world! It was like I’d always known her. I love her self portraits actually, they show a girl with a defining style. And I love how fearless she is, she puts the fun into fearless. There’s that thing humour, which comes across. As you can tell I’m a huge fan.”
Photography by Chloe Sheppard. Makeup by Thomasin Waite. Art direction + accompanying interviews by Ione Gamble. Introduction by Gina Tonic. Custom clown suits available to order from Jender Anomie’s Depop. Chloe, Gina, Jender and Princess Julia all wear Nike Air Max 97 Metallic Gold, available 18th of May.