Sometimes going back to basics is just what the doctor ordered. After the last three months of what felt like continuous travel (Paris, Naples, Amalfi Coast, and then back and forth between LA and NYC while filming Blind), I declared December “my month of centering back into me.“ Where had my daily mediation ritual gone? And yoga? Na’ma’stayhome. (A really bad joke I picked up in California, sorry.) Since settling into “my month of centering back into me,” just sitting for a few moments and listening to my breath has been a revelation. And any suggestion of makeup, blowdrying, or high-heel wearing felt almost offensive to my inner disposition. Hey…! I’m centering-in here. Thank you.
What’s really impressive about The Brave Collection is that while it’s inspired by tradition—handmade in Cambodia by local artisans—its designs maintain a progressive, fashion-forward feel, appealing to a modern woman with a love for travel and unique aesthetics.
Their signature bracelet spells “Brave” in the Cambodian alphabet. The Buddhist flag pendant, which is featured in some of the line’s necklaces and bracelets, represents compassion and wisdom, while The Water Buffalo Tooth pendant represents a small piece of the greater whole. Hmmm…just writing those sentences makes me all cosy an’ calm inside…
Perhaps the reason why Jessica and I hit it off so well—in an almost fate-like-way—is because her bracelets are an extension of the old-school friendship bracelet; they’re handwoven by women, bought by, and given to women. In other words, it was friendship bracelets that brought us together, and it’s friends that we now are. In fact, true to tradition, Jessica actually gave me one (so yeah, we’re official)—which I have since worn every day (except in the shower, as I was specifically instructed not to. Tick!)
I think a part of the reason why The Brave Collection resonates so deeply with me, is its essential mission: The celebration of female bravery. Let’s face it, just being a woman on this planet is an act of bravery. We are surrounded by predators and violence—too many of us, survivors of assault, have to fight harder than any man for a decent paycheck, and have been marginalized by the media for as long as we can remember.
This shoot was inspired by a synergetic concoction of centering in, going back to the basics, dissipating ego, and celebrating female beauty and bravery on an essential level. We shot at both Griffith Park and Bronson Canyon in LA. I didn’t blow-dry my hair, wore minimal makeup, and no shoes. I felt like me.