Editor’s Note: “An Afternoon With Melanie,” starring Melanie Gaydos, is a physical zine, available for purchase at Brooklyn’s Alt Space, 41 Montrose Avenue. The following words and photos have been unedited, pulled as is from the original work.
I first met Melanie during NYFW and instantly I felt a connection. Knowing her only through work that consists mostly of conceptual and avant garde projects, I was instantly captivated by her and her energy. When you google “Melanie Gaydos,” you will find an amazing body of work consisting of beautiful fashion shoots, films and features, but they mostly portray her as a character, alien or some sort of mythical creature. Although the images are gorgeous, it doesn’t showcase her real beauty—the beauty that I was so deeply inspired by.
We shot on a weekday afternoon at my apartment in Bushwick. It was one of those days where everything seemed to be extra quiet and moving slow. As I clean my apartment I begin to visualize the shoot in my head. I hear a knock on my door; its Cheryl, my friend and photographer. We talk about the inspiration behind the shoot; I share with her a video Melanie was a part of called, “Whats Underneath Project,” for Stylelikeu. After finishing the video, we looked at each other with teary eyes and a smile recognizing that this was going to be a magical journey.
Knowing that I have a few minutes before Melanie arrives, I run out to buy flowers for her. As I return I hear a soft “Hello” from a radiant-looking Melanie. I walk over to her and give her a hug and a bouquet of lavender daisies. “Are those for me? I’ve never gotten flowers before,” she said in her soft angel-like voice. If you have ever met Melanie before, you will agree that she has an energy about her that is soothing; hanging out with her is like riding on cloud nine.
The idea of the shoot was to showcase Melanie as Melanie—no character, no script. Makeup consisted of baby oil and the wardrobe was mostly white, translucent and whimsy garments. Often fashion celebrates adversity by either disguising or amplifying imperfections, rather than evolving with a new standard of beauty because ultimately it’s the imperfections that make us perfectly unique. As we listened to our playlist, that was just as whimsical, consisting of Hundred waters, Young Magic, The XX and Goldfrapp; the entire afternoon felt like a breath of fresh air.