What does it mean to be American? What does that word, and this country, mean to you? As the delicious smells of BBQ mingle with the the fresh ocean air for this July 4th holiday weekend, we can’t help but contemplate our own complex relationship to all things American – the snap, crackle, pop of all the brilliance and vulgarity…we just love to love it and love to hate it! That’s the duality, isn’t it? America brings to mind images of hot dogs, fireworks, pool parties, the babes of Baywatch, the smell of McDonalds French Fries, Elvis Presley and endless extremes of glitter, confidence, optimism, success and excess. At the same time, we have to question the skeletons in the closet of this country, like, why can people not afford basic medical care in America?
American character is filled with a restless, frontier spirit and attitude of individualism with a practice of no retreat. It’s this ballsiness and comfort in your own skin that we admire, even to the point where we can ignore the weird denial of evolutionary theory and bro-filled bar culture that permeates from coast to coast. Although we consider ourselves global citizens and embrace our Italian alter-egos Valentina and Francesca, our celebration of freedom and fierce individuality are decidedly American characteristics that never fail to light our inner fire. Like so many other Americans, we have adapted our roots and familial narratives to become a part of the amalgamation of cultural fabric that is the US of A. Combined with freedom of expression, we have a dangerous and wonderful cocktail of creativity, entreprenurial spirit, love, longing, and ambition.
Another aspect of America that we throughly embrace is the distinctive American aesthetic. Yes, we adore everything about the sophistication of European history, architecture, and fashion – yet there is nothing like the fundamental joy brought on by the classic American sensory experiences. What is more sacred and delightful than stepping into a plush-seated, chrome-topped all- American diner filled with overflowing mid-century design and filling your mind with everything hungry, greasy, powerful? Every cinematic detail about the interior design, typography of old Coke posters and the extra large metallic glasses dripping with gorgeously overflowing milkshake makes us feel like iconic characters out of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. We relish those simple, artful, classic, American experiences.
If you really want to reflect the America spirit this Fourth of July, forget dressing in the rational red, white and blue and instead take aesthetic inspiration from a classic American film! Hollywood and entertainment is such an interesting part of American culture, and American movie characters have always transcended the silver screen to become icons and ambassadors to our friends overseas. For this editorial, we decided to channel our favorite cinematic rebel outlaw duo – Thelma and Louise, directed by Ridley Scott. The pair represent the sexy, sharp spirit of the American woman – demonstrating original girl power and female camaraderie. We ditched their jeans and re-imagined the two friends frolicking in the waves of Santa Cruz while flirting their way out of getting caught.