Justin ... It’s almost impossible for me to look at this photograph knowing you are no longer with us. I remember this day perfectly. There are moments in life warm yet fuzzy ... some are sharp, but the shards bring pain. Then there are the ones that are perfect. You can close your eyes and you are there... you can smell it, hear it, taste it, feel it. These moments are crystallized in time. This was such a day with you in this photograph.
It was November, 2012. Six years ago. Me, you, + Michael created a concept for a holiday film from Topshop to the world. You worked at the brand at the time, and we wanted to create something magical. Heartfelt. Cinematic. Dazzling. I believe our shared desire to move people - to cause others to pause and wonder and marvel “I haven’t seen something like that before” - this longing is the mutual purpose that bound the three of us together.
I took this photograph of you standing proudly next to Michael. I had just sang my rendition of “Winter Wonderland” atop the piano, the performance to emulate Michelle Pfeiffer in “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” (Michael’s idea of course). We had taken over a London night club and turned it into a singer’s lounge from another time... the dress sparkling, the atmosphere filled with smoke, the shoe turning just so, the camera on a circular track, hypnotically winding round and round as I sang. But the real magic - yes that moment that stops time - You said to Michael, “did you see that, did you?!” The moment my lips pronounced “when it snows, ain’t it thrilling?” tiny flecks of perfectly formed snowflakes danced down from the ceiling of the lounge, filling the frame, spectacular and wondrous ... We three know how this magic trick was created. But the visual on camera, only magic.
This was the type of person you were and how I will always remember you. Justin. With the ever smiling eyes ... the endlessly optimistic heart ... a truly brilliant mind. Oh darling, what a light. What a beautiful blazing spark you carved on this earth and in so many of our souls.
I will miss you terribly, my friend. Your imprint will last forever. He who made it snow.
He was the magic.
We love you.