“I just love the art of costumes, textures, and fabrics,” muses Barbie Ferreira. Clad in a green cardigan with large cat-eye glasses perched on her face, the 25-year-old gushes about her experience of stepping into character for our February cover shoot. The thing I’ve come to learn about Ferreira over the years is she’s a shape-shifter. The way she moves fluidly between themes, characters, and costumes is as effortless as breathing. So when we presented her with the idea of collaborating on a high-fashion concept for this story, it’s not surprising she jumped in wholeheartedly. “Every time I do something, it’s a different vibe. It depends on how I’m feeling that day or what I’m trying to portray,” she says. Ferreira thrives in the worlds of fantasy and imagination. Whether it’s the cool outfit galleries littering her Instagram feed, a bold new hair color (her latest choice being a gorgeous copper shade), or an epic red carpet ensemble, she simply doesn’t miss.
“The movie is one of my favorites,” she tells me of our shoot’s Orlando theme. “The looks, the costumes, the queerness of it all—I love every chapter of it.” In the Virginia Woolf novel and early ’90s film of the same name, the titular character Orlando ages only 36 years in the story’s nearly 400-year timeline and changes their gender from man to woman. “I loved the universe it created, where it was just accepted that Orlando all of a sudden is wearing this Marie Antoinette clothing,” Ferreira says about the film’s wardrobe. As such, our shoot traverses the story’s theme of gender fluidity, with Ferreira posing in looks ranging from a pussy-bow blouse tucked into vintage trousers to an otherworldly corset paired with a caged skirt. It’s also no coincidence that a movie Ferreira considers to be one of her all-time favorites stars Tilda Swinton, an actress heralded for her metamorphic abilities. “I love that the movie itself is very ideal in that way, where this character just transforms and everyone comes to accept it,” Ferreira adds.