Damsels in Defiance

Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello awakens a new lineup of rebellious muses as the spirit of writer and activist Nancy Cunard comes alive in his Winter 2022 collection

This feature appears in the pages of V138: The Sound of V issuenow available for purchase!

Talia Ryder 


Leather jacket and sunglasses SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO

“A woman is the very existence of nature. Our government is [not only] going to destroy thousands of women’s lives due to the new bans on reproductive healthcare but is also passing legislation to destroy our planet. Having to live every day feeling dehumanized by your own government is depressing, but having the strength to keep going and finding happiness despite that is empowering. I don’t understand how our lawmakers could lead with such hate and ignorance—maybe it’s because they’re scared of things more powerful than them. In my own field of [acting], I try to only do projects that represent women in a way I can be proud of. I look very closely at what is said to my characters—there is too much out there that puts women down, and I don’t want to be a part of [that]. Sometimes people don’t even realize they’re writing [about] women in a degrading way. I’m [also] cautious about apologizing in films and strive to make sure my reactions are appropriate—I would never want to downplay something that I [would] find unacceptable in real life. I try to stay true to the character while also thinking of what message I’m sending to the [audience]. Storytelling allows people to see inside a character’s life in an intimate way, offering a perspective they may have never seen before.”—Talia Ryder



Charlotte Lawrence


Silk blouse, foot leggings, accessories SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO

“I think to be a woman today is to be strong and brave, to be resilient and intelligent, and to take shit from no one. All of us collectively want to cry and scream ‘F U’ to the Supreme Court, and then crawl into bed and stay there. But instead, we’re standing up for ourselves and every woman, fighting with strength for the rights that have been taken from us. And still saying ‘F U’ to the Supreme Court all while staying resilient. I think one lesson we can learn from yesterday’s woman is to never give up. They marched and protested and fought until change was forced to be made. I hope we can all collectively follow those footsteps and fight this fight until we win. I love being a woman in music. Every time I step into a session, I make sure to establish that everyone in the room is equal. We leave our egos at the door, and our only purpose is to have fun and make music. I’ve only ever worked with kind, good people, so I’ve honestly not run into many adverse challenges as other women in the music industry have. I feel really grateful for what I do. It’s so crazy to me that I get to word vomit all my emotions, insecurities, fears, wants, and regrets into a 3-minute song and then release it to the world. And if my music helps even just one person with their emotions and problems, it makes it all worth it.”—Charlotte Lawrence


Anja Rubik


Leather jacket and bracelets SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO

“In today’s world a woman’s [superpower] is her uniqueness, her strength, and her compassion. Women are naturally matriarchal and caring and are filled with empathy. That is also why we need more women leaders—now more than ever. Our current systems are failing. I am very fortunate [that] my industry celebrates women and is mostly run by women. Additionally, in recent years, there has been a very healthy and needed shift—and what is nowadays considered beautiful in fashion is diversity. My position in fashion gave me a platform that I try to use to support other women and have a positive impact on society. We should all remember, fashion is the industry that drives [social and political] movements faster than any other in the world, and we can use that power to make change! Without my success as a model, I wouldn’t have been able to build my foundation. SEXEDPL is a platform that [I founded] which provides young people, parents, and adults with comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education [relating to] human rights, gender equality, relationships, and reproduction.”—Anja Rubik


Kitty Chicha


Short faux fur coat, foot leggings, shoes SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO


“Right now, being a woman is being human. [Women] have transcended many norms that [were put in place] to [limit] us. We have struggled with many judgments from society, and we’re still battling them each day. But I believe that if we continue to fight, one day we will be able to live equally—especially within [film]. In navigating this industry, I have faced the struggle of male co-stars getting special treatment on set. I also have been told, like many other [women in film], that ‘When you get older, your career might expire.’ I feel like aging is part of being human, none of us should suffer during that process. Depending on who you ask, people in Thailand see me as a rebel or role model, but I am just an actress. And, apart from work, I just want to be more of my authentic self, which people [may] not be happy with. But being happy within your skin takes time and a lot of faith [from] within. Once you master this it won’t matter who accepts this [authentic] version of you. But this is easier said than done. I still have to go through the struggles [of] everyday to prove that this [version of myself] is in fact my reality.”—Kitty Chicha


King Princess


“I have no idea what the essence of today’s woman is. I am a nonbinary queer who is watching, as we all are, the dismantling of basic civil and human rights in this country. I know that being a part of any at-risk group in this country requires empathy—for each other, for groups whose safety is at stake, and for ourselves. It is an intense lack of empathy held by the Republican Party that has resulted in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This is not an easy time to be alive for any non-white or male person. Navigating the music industry as a non-male person requires more self-assurance and preservation than being a man requires. And in my music, the message I want to convey is the power of vulnerability, honesty, and emotion. I want people who listen to my music to feel like they’re not alone in their feelings—however explosive they may be. Someone who inspires me is the late, great Betty Davis—the queen of funk. From her music, to the way she performed on stage, her style—everything about her was next-level. And for me, fashion and clothing are a type of armor. It can dictate so much about how you feel, I get emotional when I wear something that feels right on my body.”—King Princess

This feature appears in the pages of V138: The Sound of V issuenow available for purchase!

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