'Bird of paradise meets Marchesa Luisa Casati' | Street View | Chicago Reader

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'Bird of paradise meets Marchesa Luisa Casati'

How one visual artist's look channels the power of nonhuman companions


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  • Isa Giallorenzo

"Faux fur, snake skin, hooflike heels, and other abstract signifiers of animality have played a key role in my daily self-fashioning," says Danielle Rosen. The 30-year-old visual artist, photographed at the Garfield Park Conservatory, is fascinated by the relationship between human and nonhuman animals, and has spent time working on an Icelandic sheep farm in Vermont. There she performed daily massages on three sheep—Luna, Aurora, and Juniper—to remove burrs from their wool. Rosen complements the lush vegetation of the conservatory with a look that she describes as "Bird of Paradise meets Marchesa Luisa Casati."

  • Isa Giallorenzo

To match her canary-yellow faux-fur coat from Topshop, she sports a burst of yellow eyeshadow from MAC. From her left ear dangles a string of small colorful sculptures she designed herself, paired with a black hoop from local favorite Hvnter Gvtherer. For Rosen, style can be a form of armor. "Fashion allows me to molt and to build new permutations of being," she says. "It is a form of world building and a way to carve out new spaces for our bodies."  v

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