The American Exotic

23rd April, 2013

AmericanExotic1Yesterday, I shared with you the thought processes that led us out west, to tell a tale not only about Rachel Roy’s beautiful Spring 2013 collection, but also of the American Exotic and what it means to seek a life of creative freedom. That’s a lot of ideas and intentions to pack into a few fashion photos, but I don’t think you can make truly layered work without weaving into it a story. It’s the way I approach every shoot I do; I think it helps the crew and especially the model to imbue depth into the pictures ~ so it’s crucial, whether or not that inspiration is ever revealed to the eventual viewer. It’s a bit like yogic breathing, in that you are asking your allies to forget everything else for a moment in time, and to instead inhale your ideas and live inside a shared narrative for a while. It’s about getting on the same inner rhythm.

In the end, the stories we transmit are rarely literal, but I believe that they are richer for having been informed by these cloudy dreams. In this instance, we started the pictures quite simply, apropos for the city girl who’s replanted herself in the desert, not quite sure what she’s looking for but trusting somewhere deep in her soul that she’ll find it. Very quickly, the colors and shapes of this strange landscape start to change her; she becomes more relaxed, more feral, more free. As she grows more comfortable in this strange space, she finds the confidence to venture deeper into the unknown terrain. Her own colors change as her mind is opening up, until BOOM! She finds her own meaning of freedom, and it explodes from inside her like a fluorescent smoke bomb. Yet still she continues her quest; she knows artistic fulfillment does not come to the complacent. She pushes further into the strangeness until she unexpectedly discovers an oasis that offers something far more wonderful than she ever dreamed to seek: true peace.AmericanExotic2 AmericanExotic5 AmericanExotic6 AmericanExotic4 AmericanExotic7 AmericanExotic3 AmericanExotic8 AmericanExotic10 AmericanExotic9 AmericanExotic11 AmericanExotic12 AmericanExotic13 AmericanExotic14 AmericanExotic15 AmericanExotic16 AmericanExotic17 AmericanExotic18 AmericanExotic19 AmericanExotic20 AmericanExotic22 AmericanExotic21 AmericanExotic23 AmericanExotic24|RACHEL ROY SPRING 2013| starring Gabriella Lopez |PHOTOGRAPHY| by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg |STYLING| by Kelly Framel |HAIR + MAKEUP| by Gloria Noto

|CLICK HERE| to go behind the scenes on the crafting of this saga

  • These photos are stunning! The video is really cool and embodies everything you spoke about. As a model myself it’s nice to hear that you are coming into the shoot with such a fierce direction and can speak on that. It’s difficult when you are modelling and the client doesn’t know exactly what they want, it leaves us guessing as what or who we are trying to portray or become in that shoot.

    Your crew did a fantastic job all around and the model is stunning.

    Great work and I loved reading you post!

    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

  • Cory Scott

    Beautiful sets and colors!
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    Xoxo Cory

  • Denisa

    wooow, that photos are amazing. Really perfect job.. I like that colors, model.. alll.. Have a nice day.

  • Peet

    These are gorgeous! I kind of admire the model for standing on all of those rocks in those stiletto heels though.:)

  • @bb@

    Love it!!!

  • Sgravalli Fashion Jewellery

    oh wow, this is gorgeous! So much inspiration. Collection, photos, model is so pretty, everything is so well done!

  • EPIC. The best shoot, yet! Well done all!

  • Eda Petuqi

    Simply breathtaking

  • rhodawong

    those are some amazing shots

  • Absolutely beautiful pictures!

  • erica jensen

    These pictures are incredible! She is so beautiful!

  • Viviana Alma Falcone Molinelli

    wow! the pics are truly amazing!!!!! xo, Alma

  • monkeyshines

    gorgeous and inspiring!


  • Ta
  • brunetteletters

    WOOOWWW the setting is amazing!!! You are always great with what you do!!

    Brunette Letters Blog

  • jen

    they get much better as they go along, actually feeling related to your inspiration. The first few don’t feel as magical though: just a pretty girl on some rocks. The coloured smoke was a great idea though.

  • These photos are beautiful!

  • The colors are so stunning and rich. I’m a huge fan of the natural makeup.

  • ray

    These photos are lovely but the use of the phrase “American Exotic” is insulting to any American who isn’t blonde and blue eyed. In other words “Exotic” to who? It’s 2013. Don’t we think its time to recognize that an American can look like anybody?

    • theglamourai

      Hi Ray,

      I’d love for you to read yesterday’s post; I think it will help you understand that the reference was to the landscape of the story.

      So happy you enjoyed the photos!

      • Maya

        Where is yesterday’s post? I don’t see it anymore…

  • Beautiful photos and video! That green jumpsuit is going to haunt my dreams tonight…it’s amazing!

  • Malibu PR Gal

    You guys did an over the top amazing job!!!!!! Every last detail is flawless!!!!!!!

  • Juliet

    Your writing is so pretentious and fake….trying way too hard to sound intelligent.

    • Mary G.

      I totally disagree. There is nothing “pretentious” about conveying a story. In fact, this is a current trend in business, in trying to enlighten leaders to the fact that everyone has a story, and being aware of that can only make the customer experience better. I am using the concept right now in trying to expand some of my “left-brain” engineers (both male and female), into being more open to “right-brained” thinking. They are practicing and exploring the concept, with some discomfort, but great results. I think Kelly totally hit it with explaining the “story” behind the shoot. It’s not about trying to “sound intelligent” but opening our thoughts to other experiences, even if those seem remote to us.

    • Grace

      Hahahaha so true, I’m just glad someone else said it before I did.

  • Amazing!

  • Vanessa Rachelle

    Oh Em Ghee this collection is amazing! Beautiful work Kelly

  • As an artist and a yoga teacher, I totally get what you are saying. It is essential to find your inner rhythm, and listen to your creative spirit. I identify with the reality of your process, as well as the journey we must take to express our soul.

    Personally I am wanting inspiration these days, and a pilgrimage to a beautiful and spiritually attuned place sounds wonderful. But sometimes that journey has to be internal, at least for a while.

    It is true, that a context for creative projects is helpful, and it opens the door for more creativity to flow.

    Lately you have been sharing your process, which I have appreciated quite a bit, and these last two posts in particular, have been in line with what I have been examining within my own process, on an internal and soul level, as well as on a practical level.

    Thank you for your sharing!!!

  • Dea
  • Amber Sexton

    beautiful photos and inspiring to hear how you work. ps-i would also wear each and everyone of these looks!

  • Shopopal

    I love every look! The blouses are so stunning! Very very nice!

  • Natalie Avery

    Kelly, this is great! I love the colored smoke that you guys added. Makes it all so much more dreamy. Too much reality and we’d probably just be wondering what a girl is doing wandering out in the desert dressed like that.

    PS, your writing isn’t pretentious and fake. I think anyone who says so either doesn’t understand it fully, or just assumes that work like this is all visual- no narrative or imagination required. Keep it coming! I love hearing the story behind the images.

  • rohita

    i am an indian, hence i am used to wearing colourful clothes all year round. i have to admit, though, that your shoot has stopped me in my tracks. i absolutely love every photo for evoking a sense of modern adventure. love love love! i have been following your blog for 3 years now and i must say you keep getting better.

  • pisicai

    your best so far. great job!

  • Mary Beth

    this shoot is absolutely fabulous kelly, i love it! keep up the great work and following your dreams – you’re making it girl!!

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  • Jane

    I’ve been more critical of your blog lately, Kelly, but I have to say, credit where credit is due…this shoot is Stunning! Your work gets better and better over time. It seems like you’ve matured from the oversimplification of your Orientalist Moroccan story (I hope). Though I encourage you to keep questioning yourself as to why, as an American, you are less stereotypical in your portrayal of the American “exotic” than the Moroccan “exotic”, and how we as Americans can become more open-minded in our understanding of other cultures. Lastly, I’ll say your use of the colored smoke is particularly genius. It references Indian Holi celebrations, the ethereal mood you were going for, and the concept of journeying to an unfamiliar place all perfectly, with just the right amount of that unusual twist that’s your hallmark. Great work!

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  • Jenny

    You’ve done a really beautiful job in styling these clothes. I say this because the clothes themselves don’t present very well on Rachel Roy’s website – they actually look quite boring. It’s only because of these pictures did I consider checking them out and purchasing them. Really wonderful work!


  • ela’s world

    absolutely stunning photos – amazing colours!

  • ela’s world

    absolutely stunning photos – amazing colours!

  • Love it!!

  • anintermediateagent

    Amazing job! This story is a pure heart-break (as in ‘breaking the mold’) and an inspiration, and the rendering of is perfect! To me, the fly-away dress-clad figure is the woman’s soul, calling her, encouraging, wanting to fly. Thank you for this!

  • The photos are gorgeous!

  • KekeB

    Love your work. You got me vary inspierd. The photos are fierce. I love the burst of color in some ofthe shots.


  • katrina

    These posts look so exotic, and wonderful.

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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