Solange Knowles Writes Love Letter From Jamaica, Lensed By Jackie Nickerson For Dazed Magazine | Archives

Solange Knowles by Jackie Nickerson for Dazed SS 2018 (6).jpg

Talent Solange Knowles is styled by Katie Shillingford in ‘Runaway Bay’, lensed by Jackie Nickerson for Dazed Magazine Spring/Summer 2018. Knowles pens a seven-part thank you and reflection on Jamaica. She begins:

I’ve been following Joni. First through her words, then through her truth, then through her melodies and the way I dance and drown in them. Then through her jazz, through chords that ease themselves into one another without ever showing their shadows. Through her exodus. To Topanga, and then to Laurel, and now to Runaway Bay, without even trying to find her.

I’ve been looking at photos of this house in Runaway Bay for five years. Wanting to know if it could tell my secrets. If it could hold me. If I could write music, and drink wine, and draw sketches, and sleep well naked and invent new ways to say how I feel. If I could burn my sage, and wash my hands with Florida water right there on the porch until I feel renewed. 

Solange was referencing legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell who spent time in Jamaica, unable to sing or birth lyrics. Instead, writes Vogue, Mitchell painted on the walls of the bedroom of Itopia, a stone-walled house built in the 1600s as part of the Cardiff Hall estate on the North Coast of Jamaica.

Solange posted a now-deleted Instagram message: “Joni Mitchell painted murals in this house. I wrote songs in this house.”

The name ‘Runaway Bay’ comes not from the fact that this is a perfect getaway spot in Jamaica. That would be modern marketing. ‘Runaway Bay’ was an escape route for slaves The area is rich in caves, giving runaway slaves both shelter and secrecy as a place to regroup before choosing whether to remain on the island and move on. Read The Jamaica Maroons and the Danger of Categorical Thinking.

Another gift in the photo shoot is Shillingford’s choice of Paolina Russo’s athletic corset, worn on the cover. Russo won the prestigious L’Oreal Professionnel Young Talent Award at the Saint Martins BA fashion show in May 2018. She is now working on a Masters at Saint Martins, with industry eyes lasered on her prodigious talent and visionary future in fashion.