“I was always strange,” begins fashion aesthete Stephanie LaCava’s new memoir, An Extraordinary Theory of Objects. The statement affirms itself. Broadcasting one’s private idiosyncrasies in the couture world–a demnese of curated surfaces and affected perfection–seems especially outlandish. Or rather, particularly brave.
More boldly still, LaCava enhances her HENRY reading by incarnating her childhood self. She channels the voice and tics of an overwrought girl who yearns for womanhood, but whose fantasies chafe against the real anxieties of adolescence. Young LaCava salved this friction with whimsy, imbuing trinkets–from preserved beetles to antique cameras–with talismanic power.
Many of these artifacts ornament LaCava’s loft, where we filmed her lying prone in the classic position of juvenile play. Once jujus, the curios are purely decorative now. LaCava need not rely upon them for a verve she draws from within with abundance.
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