Glamazoid Angie Anggoro on steering the scene and be-seen in Bali. Words: Tony Stanton. Image: Otkidach Anastasiya
Hi Angie. You’re something of a legend in Bali styling circles and it’s time we did an interview with you …
Legend, that sounds soooo limiting or dead …
I’m pretty much here and not dead yet, still fascinated and taking notes on what’s happening on the island. I mean I have witnessed your growth at The Yak 🙂 Circles like cycles are transient here so I don’t know what you are talking about hahaha.
Where are you from and how did you grow up?
I come from a mixed racial background and grew up in different places prior to Bali, and that tasked me with adjusting myself to different places all over the globe. I don’t want to bore anyone with details (and I prefer to keep a certain air of privacy too…). Being a gender ambiguous person I do have to check my surroundings, but being a nomad, it’s easier just to ignore it as you’ll be that strange kid. So it was fun. Asia was easier because people just don’t want to have anything to do with you while in Europe people try to rationalise your behavior. I was a proud weirdo.
How did you get into fashion and styling?
I don’t really know how exactly. I did modelling when I was young, my parents were against the idea of me doing anything with fashion. I was educated as a hotelier – my parents wanted me to become management but I expertly manipulated them and ended up learning the art of Bakery and Patisseries instead, which then kind of halted due to my political activism that saw me exiled by the family to Europe.
You see I wasn’t politically correct, I was a total black sheep, which I think is fabulous, but not in the eyes of the family. Hence I decided to just move to Bali and join the hippies which I thought was a hilarious idea.
I ended up doing the fashion thing in the day and doing clubs at night. Styling came later. I started by helping friends and clients to put looks together to create moods and stories, making it presentable and pleasing to the eye. I like good pictures, ones that have something going on, rather than just a plop of shit crammed into a frame.
What’s changed in the world since you were a kid?
How do you view gender politics today, and how does it affect you?
I’m from a rigid, boring multi-cultural and multi-religious background which focuses on trying to box me into a good old functional part of the beehive society, where I have to follow rules according the norm, whatever that is. The norm of propriety, gender, gender-role, gender-expression and also sexuality. It was a place that I would want to look back at yet I love the contrast of values and traditions. Younger me asked so many questions and the adults never gave me straight answers. It comforts me to know there are many ways or facets to see things or situations. But I know what was/is real because I had to make my own decisions, you see… I wanted to be my own person, and I thought and still think I can just be myself as others are taken (a cliché but true).
What’s the most difficult part about what you do in styling?
Synchronising taste between artists: photographers, make up, hair, models and clients. In Bali I’ve acted as my own art director and producer, but I like it … it’s exciting.
What type of photographer do you most like to work with in terms of their work ethic or direction?
I don’t have a type, I just like it when they deliver on time and are nice enough to send copies to the crew, post publication. I know what I don’t like, when they get too conceptual because they can’t capture the beauty. It’s embarrassing.
What’s the most difficult styling job you have ever had?
Can’t think of any, I’m lucky I guess, I actually enjoy what I’m doing.
If you weren’t living in Bali where would you be?
I am where I want to be. It’s hard to imagine living in a place where you don’t want be. But maybe I would be in some farm in Patagonia somewhere.
Have you ever felt prejudice about who you are as a human, and if so where has that prejudice come from?
Not so much here, as I stay away from assholes and the ignorants. From time to time I hear some racial remarks such as ‘you are not like normal Asians’ (I still don’t know what normal Asians are) or some bitchy women talking about how all the eligible white dudes are all having yellow fever because the locals are young and easy (I don’t have the heart to tell them it might be their own problem). I think in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious place like Bali, assumptions aren’t the best thing to have, as it does tend to lead to prejudice.
When were you happiest?
I’m happy when I can be grumpy. Happiness is what you make it. But I know I’m happy when I’m among my closest friends.
When were you most sad?
I hope that would never happen!
What would you say is your strongest quality as a human being?
My humour, definitely.
Who do you most admire in fashion?
My friends, they have such individual taste and most of them are making money from it. Smart!
If you were to have your time again, where would you live and in what era?
I still have my time! Although Paris in the ‘90s was so much fun, but I’m fine with now.