Hocus Pocus: Casstronaut Interview

Images by John Soares / Courtesy of Cassie Meder

The Stylised Nazgul

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By James Joseph

Underground Shoes

From our AW14 print issue ‘Hocus Pocus’, our interview with Casstronaut…

Where did Casstronaut come from?
The Cassie girl was born very late on a night in January. The name Casstronaut was coined later in school when I was described as being spacey and not entirely interested in school. I was always off somewhere else. Additionally, Casstronaut is just the coolest nickname I have.

Sum up your illustrations for our readers.
My illustration work is a testimony to my attitude toward beauty. Working in fashion has me so bored with beauty and frustrated with society’s recently adopted doctrine that beautiful = good. I enjoy juxtaposing beautiful women into disturbing themes or delicate animals contrasted with formidable battle armour. I suppose you could say I make things uglier. Creepier. Darker. But still ethereal. So it confuses people I think – which is what I want. I want people to ask why they think something is bad or good, beautiful or ugly.

Why dark style, or culture?
I probably fit in more aesthetically than philosophically. Aesthetically, darkness is elegant, mysterious, timeless, and much easier to be honest. I couldn’t begin to imagine how much time I would have lost if I actually had to coordinate colours every morning. As far as philosophically, my frustration with society is deep. The culture I know and grew up with is one that typically ignores anything that isn’t babies or puppies.

I don’t necessarily think we should embrace or seek out negativity or darkness, but I do believe that in order to love, to be happy, to be successful, we have to be human first. Which requires real stuff like pain, sacrifice, and loneliness. All of which have negative connotations, but really shouldn’t. It’s our attitude about those realities that should be adjusted, not all of reality itself erased.

How would you describe your personal style?
I really have no idea. The closest thing I can compare it to off the top off my head is a Nazgul. Lots of fabric. Lots of texture. All black. Some metal here and there. Although no horses. But a matching cat!

Your style icons?
I get most inspiration for everything from movies. So I suppose I couldn’t say one person or another, but people’s work more like. I’m a big fan of science fiction and horror/thriller. So a lot of Guillermo Del Toro, Ridley Scott, Darren Aronofsky, the Wachowskis, and Star Trek end up in my brain chemistry.

Two most important moments that influenced your style?
The beginnings of my modelling career influenced me quite a bit. I began right after high school and everyone seems to dress poorly in high school, so that was fixed pretty quickly. My design and art career changed a lot too. As an artist you’re able to simplify and analyse most anything much better, so I feel limitless to what I can pull off. When I see some- thing on the runway or in the movies I think to myself, “it wouldn’t be too difficult to adapt or recreate that look”.

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casstronaut interview

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