Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves
Our Own Selves
Hardcover, linen, 192 pages, 240 x 280 mm
Prestel Publishing has just released ‘Our Own Selves’ by Nadine Ijewere (b. 1992, the UK) – a gem that combines fashion with non-conventional beauty. This is the first monograph by the London-based photographer and features fashion editorials for brands such as Dior, Hermes and Valentino alongside personal works shot in Jamaica and Nigeria. As a landmark of her career can be considered her shoots capturing Dua Lipa and Selena Gomez which were later published in the British and the US Vogue. Ijewere made history with these two shoots as she was the first woman of colour to photograph a cover for Vogue. Now, she does it through the photobook format, presenting a dazzling overview of her work which we all can cherish in our libraries.
Her work and specifically her portraiture is exhuming power and positivity where the portrayal of community spirit makes us immediately feel the warmth of her photographs. This special energy honours beauty and identity that was before rarely seen in fashion magazines. Actually, the main reason why Ijewere decided to publish ‘Our Own Selves’ was for the future generations to have a reference point and a place of identification which the artist very much lacked during her teenage years. The absence of representation and inclusion of people of colour in the fashion world and overall, in visual culture, has had a great impact on our perception of beauty, yet in the last few years, we are witnessing a more positive trend – that of inclusivity. As with Ijewere, we are at the point where we get to face multifaceted narratives that expose us to myriads of stories and perspectives that escape the linear storytelling of the often-chosen standard.
Ijewere’s models are often street-scouted, and she specifically works with make-up artists and hair stylists who have expertise with various skin colours and hair types. Mainly to not transform these women into the widely accepted ideal but rather to embrace their culture and highlight their signature features. Through her use of dazzling colours and dreamlike sceneries, our imagination can go loose and free. This transparent process allows for identification – everyone can find a piece of themselves in the book, and that is so exhilarating. By confronting the standards of beauty and photographically investigating her own Jamaican and Nigerian heritage, she presents an inviting insight into her community.
Order ‘Our Own Selves’ here.