In our editorial series, Studio Visits, we explore varying creative processes by connecting with creatives of all types. Since its founding, LCD’s intention has been to support and nurture contemporary arts and independent creators with unique points of view. This series will focus on the personality behind these individually developed processes, by examining the people and passions behind the work.
Here we talk to Courtney Madison, an LA-based stylist and LCD's latest Guest Fashion Editor. Her creativity transcends fashion and we admire her seamless approach to all facets of style. We were excited to visit her beautiful LA home and shoot her in a few self-styled LCD looks.
Ganni Seersucker Maxi Dress, J. Hannah Glacé Hoop Earrings, Adam Selman x Le Specs The Last Lolita Sunglasses
Tell us what you do!
If you would’ve asked me 4 months ago I’d say stylist. But now? Landscape designer? Manager of expectations?
Tell us about a place you have lived that has impacted your work. How have you found that the culture of this place has infiltrated its way into your creative processes and outlook?
Moving to LA changed my life! I am originally from Toronto and I remember feeling like my dreams were intangible living there. Within a week of working in LA I was on the Sony lot helping Katy Perry get dressed. Since then I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful people open doors for me and I’ve worked really hard to claim my own space in those rooms and open doors for those behind me. As far as opportunities go, it always feels like the sky’s the limit here. As inspiring as that feeling is, my goal always remains to work really hard and let that speak for itself rather than get caught up in the idea of Hollywood.
Pleats Please Cap Sleeve Tee, Pleats Please Straight Leg Pleated Pants
How do you exercise your creativity within your daily routine?
Every day is so different for me but my best days are the ones that start with some sort of physical activity. Working out might not sound creative but I definitely feel like it’s key for my mind and body to wake up and feel energized.
I’m a very visual learner and have a bit of a photographic memory so I often save images for reference and use them to show clients what I’m thinking. Not every reference should come from the internet so I need to balance my online inspirations with reading, visiting creative spaces, and walking outdoors. I consulted on a landscape design project recently and walking around neighborhoods really helped me to see how gardens develop in the context of the spaces they’re in.
Name a few things that inspire your creative decisions.
Is it a travel job?
Pleats Please Cap Sleeve Tee, Pleats Please Straight Leg Pleated Pants, Ambush Heart Necklace
What’s your favorite part of being an independent creative?
I love that I am meeting new people constantly. Since I work on so many different types of projects and often on large productions I get to interact with so many different specialists and I really love the variety. Set designers, Florists, Cobblers, Milliners all teach me something new every day! I also love that when I finish a project I have the flexibility to take time to travel.
As a creator, how do you keep an equilibrium between bringing your own unfiltered creativity through vs tailoring your choices towards a specific project?
I am always trying to find that balance. I find it helpful to look at what I do as creative problem-solving. I’m grateful that I get to bring my ideas to the table but ultimately I know that it’s only a success if it generates a solution on all fronts.
Rejina Pyo Betty Dress, Tiana Petrullo Transparency Pendant, J. Hannah Glacé Hoop Earrings
Do you have any other outlets or mediums for creativity that you seek?
Traveling! Seeing how big and beautiful the world is keeps me humble and engaged. Since international travel doesn't seem like an option this year I have been watching a lot of Nowness especially their residence and garden series which have become my happy place during quarantine. Beyond that, I am excited to safely explore more of California.
Where do you feel most productive?
Although work often takes me on the road or around the city for long stretches at a time I feel most comfortable creating at home. I’ve put a lot of love into making my house my own hideaway. For my birthday last year I converted my garage into this green indoor-outdoor pool house and I am more thankful than ever to have that space now. It has lots of natural light and a big wood slab workspace but also an overstuffed sofa I can curl up on and read or watch something when I need some inspiration or disconnect for a moment.
Stussy IST Hood, Stussy IST Sweatpant, Ganni Linen Canvas Coat
I am so lucky that I have had the opportunity and privilege to work with so many exceptional people. So many people that have really become masters of their crafts. As someone that is good at many things and exceptional at none I love and appreciate anyone that has taken the time and effort to really hone in. Two within my network that come to mind are Walter Chavez, the master carpenter that helped create my visions at home, and my close friend and custom tailor/designer Enrique Urbina that can make fabric come alive. One creator I reference often is Ilse Crawford. If you're not familiar with her work she is the mastermind behind the original Soho House designs as well as why Aesop stores have sinks in them. She fascinates me. As a designer, academic and creative director she has a simple mission to put human needs and desires at the centre of all that she does. This only seems to be all the more relevant now. Imagine a world where everything was designed to support and enhance human behavior and actions in everyday life?
I feel it coming.
Favorite place in the world?
I think I come alive in a special way when I am in Europe but especially Italy. I joke that I’ve always been an old lady. Sometimes when I am there I have moments when things seem so familiar that it’s almost like I’ve been there before. Overall Italy has all my favourite things - good food, good people, the ocean, and the arts. I've been fortunate enough to spend some time there over the last three summers. Last year we traveled the Amali coast booking things as we went and keeping to small towns and avoiding the crowds. Over lunch one day we decided to go to Sicily. It was such a magical place. We rented a villa in the middle of nowhere and had this exceptional view of the mountains. It’s been my screensaver since. I look forward to exploring more one day hopefully soon.
Mara Hoffman Nazaret Shirt, Gabriela Artigas Double Apse Ring, Baserange Elastic Bell Pants
An outfit that you would be happy to have on repeat?
I don’t know about just one outfit but I love volume and color and neutrals and simplicity... I have a big closet for a reason BUT when I travel carry on only!
LCD stands for Lust, Covet, Desire… what are you currently LCD’ing?
For Black Lives to Matter.
Ganni Silk Stretch Blouse, Ganni Scrunchie, The Book Club Glasses, Baserange Italian Fleece Sweatpant, Charlotte Chesnais Heart Ring