AMELIAN KASHIRO X DICKO CHAN || Photography: Dicko Chan || Styling and Model: Amelian Kashiro Hamilton || Makeup: Nathaniel Heijl || Hair: Anna Lyles

We are excited to announce and share a new project of collaboration initiatives we have been cooking at PAWAKA. An editorial initiative of visionary responses, giving artists the freedom to fuse their creative energies by expressing their interpretation of PAWAKA shapes and identity. The inaugurating collaboration is Amelian Kashiro x Dicko Chan.

Amelian Kashiro Hamilton and Dicko Chan are nonconformists. With an unconventional interpretation of beauty and style, the two LA based creatives embrace difference and aim to empower the marginalised. Both artists have been strongly influenced by their multicultural backgrounds, so that their collaboration with PAWAKA calls attention to questions of identity.

I am a nexus of cultural forces. I have been exposed to contrasting worlds and my background is rich and different. This is my most powerful tool. With a unique past influencing a fluid present, I carry fertile ground for self expression. I have many mediums but I have always found pleasure in the strengths of self presentation and clothing - I preserve, save, covet, search and scour for pieces that can speak for me without my having to say a single word. - Amelian

The styling of AMELIAN KASHIRO X DICKO CHAN was done by Amelian, who also models the looks herself. The fashion pieces are all curated from her own vintage collection and pay tribute to her African American and Asian heritage. The aesthetic of the collaboration feeds on dramatic makeup, bold colours, striking patterns and a dynamic interplay of subject, skin colour and being of two worlds but not fitting into one. The setting is a stylistic feature that underlines the theme of identity defined by cultural difference.

Both Amelian and Dicko welcome the idea of imperfection in their work. They do not shy away from showing eccentric human peculiarities, an unaltered subject or kinks and frays in outfits.

It’s all about being real and embracing vulnerability. That is what it means to be authentic. People like us don't fit into predefined categories of belonging - so we create new worlds for ourselves. Because we don’t have a predefined structure or comfort zone, there aren’t any fixed rules that govern our identities. Once I realised this, I knew I could be anyone and fit in anywhere. - Dicko

Amelian Kashiro Hamilton is a stylist, wardrobe artist, vintage fashion collector and oil portrait painter currently living a nomadic life and enjoying the freedom of not knowing her next destination. She was born in Alaska and grew up with a mother from Tokyo and a father from East Oakland. Although diamond mining opportunities in the Republic of Congo (ex Zaire) required her father to leave Alaska, the family remained a tight-knit entity. Amelian has the greatest admiration for her hardworking parents who realised their dreams, whilst also ensuring their four daughters’ wellbeing. On the occasion of a return from Africa, her father brought home traditional fabrics that her mother then used to tailor Japanese garments. American, Japanese and African influences make up Amelian’s multifaceted identity - cultural difference has stimulated and influenced her longing to express her layered identity.

Hong Kong born, LA based artist and photographer Dicko Chan gives a voice to those who are not conventionally acknowledged as beautiful by mainstream culture. His photography tells the story of minorities and of those who are overlooked. He believes that being creative is about redefining existing categories of meaning - about going against predefined, idealised standards and about rethinking what it means to be human.

Nathan Hejl’s makeup for this shoot was strongly influenced by Malick SIdebe, Seydou Keïta, Jamel Shabazz, Hassan Hajjaj and Irving Penn's work with Issey Miyake.

PAWAKA means fire / energy / inner drive. You burn, you act. You react.

Your identity is shaped by forces of past, present and future possibilities. Identity is you — and more than you.

The interaction of energies - of temporal forces and of people and cultures - is what defines our human lives.