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Fairytales: Petra Collins and Alexa Demie

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Petra posted a photograph of a fairy, and I wrote to her and said, ‘I want to be a fairy,’ and she was like, ‘Well, let’s make you a fairy,’” Demie says of the origins of their friendship, laughing. The Fairy Talesphotography book was highly anticipated by fans, imitated by artists before its release, and sits in the niche TikTok subcultures of fairy-core, dark feminine energy and the reclaiming of hyper-feminine aesthetics. Retelling childhood stories, Petra Collins and Alexa Demie play with juxtaposition: dark and light, violence and kindness, delicacy and tension. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Here, their subversive folk tales are brought to vivid life via handwritten stories the pair worked on together, alongside illustrations by artist Evita Flores and art director Sandra Leko’s gloriously whimsical pastel pink layouts.

You approach them with innocence, and you revisit them as an adult and realize there’s more going on.It was super cathartic because I hadn’t created artwork since my last book, and there was a real sense of discovery where we were just playing. Once upon a time, there was a subversive fashion photographer who released her book this week…oh, wait! Subconsciously, those kinds of scary folk tales and the magical, sweet fairy tales that I grew up reading meshed together on this project, which was so perfect with Petra—she loves that aesthetic of blending something beautiful with something a little ugly or sexy or even terrifying.

The photographs, are stunning, magical, and transmit an aura that, for me, would make this book 5 stars. Vogue may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. As children, Petra and Alexa were both enamored with fairy tales, which provided an escape from their own painful realities. I was excited for some fairy tales gone rogue, especially being that i didn’t grow up with the originals, but the text is pretty much useless.Fairy Tales is] a collaboration with the photographer Petra Collins -- a body of work that reimagines the female creatures who inhabit folk- and fairy-tales, who are often cast as one-dimensional monsters or temptresses.

My grandmother would tell me a lot of Mexican folk tales when I was little, which were really scary, but I was so fascinated by them all,” she says. The stories by themselves are quite one-dimensional, but completely come to life with the photography. Alexa Demie is an actor, musician and multi-hyphenate talent who currently stars as ‘Maddy’ in HBO’s EUPHORIA.This trope recurs throughout the book, challenging ideas of empowerment and restriction, symbolic of the patriarchy and our power to repurpose oppressive devices. The darker European folklorists, from Charles Perrault to Hans Christian Andersen, spun stories with little resemblance to the Disney-sanitized versions we grew up on: The queen in Snow White wished to devour the girl’s lungs and liver, for example, and the evil stepsisters in Cinderella cut off their toes with a knife to fit into the glass slipper.

For both Collins and Demie, the project was rooted in the darker corners of the fairy tales that they grew up with. Alexa is currently working on her first EP, developing and producing film and TV, and engaged in social impact work focused on equality and representation, especially for the Latinx community and the next generation of youth. Demie, who was raised in Los Angeles by her Mexican mother, grandmother, and aunts, had a similarly rich tradition of Hispanic folklore to draw on when it came to collaborating on these tales.The handwritten text is harder to follow; I’d recommend treating them as poems and re-reading the book to grasp the intensity of the stories told.

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