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Meet the Canvas: Pamela Wasabi

Pamela Wasabi is a woman of many hats: mother, food artist, fashionista. Each journey that lead her to one of those titles has made her and her style shift into territory that is distinctly hers.

Wasabi’s style is unmistakable. She sports long, wild dreadlocks that currently are a more natural brown, but have been purple or pink in the past. Wasabi also has several tattoos that all relate to nature and spirits, “I respect Mother Nature and bow to her as the supreme energy source. My tattoos are a way of marking myself with Her essence.”

She craves comfort that can be found in everything from tribal prints to looser, soft clothing. But primarily, she finds her style being derivative of her relationship with nature. “Nature is my inspiration for everything that I do in my life. From the way I raise my daughter, to the way I eat and the way I express myself through my art,” she explained. It is clear that her style has a connection with how she engages with the world. She described her hair as carrying a lot of spirituality and a sensual, organic comfort settled in her own skin. There is a serenity to how she talks about her style evolution that is indicative of someone who is comfortable and confident in their self. With ease, she says, “style will always reflect whatever path I’m going through in life – or in a day.” “For me, fashion has always been a way of expression. A choice we make to channel our thoughts,” Wasabi described. Wasabi explained how since becoming a mom to her daughter Violetta Sky, her style has changed. She articulated a need to step back and look at the bigger picture and “to find clarity and to let go of the unnecessary choices we sometimes fall prey to.”

She went to school for fashion, and while studying in Paris found herself devouring underground magazines and educating herself on cultures and styles. “I became educated in Japanese underground culture, photography… It’s all about studying the culture, observing. Fashion is born on the streets, not in an office,” she explained, ringing true. From there she began taking street style photos, and developed “Wasabi Fashion Kult,” a Harajuku-inspired movement within Miami in which Wasabi had developed a brand, store and ‘Zine. All of that has now changed. As she expressed, “I’m the artist. I want to cut clothes, and to dye my jeans, and to wear vintage kimonos, or to buy from local designers who are also aware of our environment. I just want to be. Not to make a business out of it.”

Currently, Wasabi is a food artist. While her personal aesthetic and her plating aren’t directly similar, the intention is. She described it as “rustic,” but is acutely aware of its inevitable change. Her natural philosophy is closely connected to her relationship with food as well. “It’s more of a search to acquire harmony with Nature, my daughter, my family and friends, our environment, the planet. It’s a matter of respect, of ethics, of symbiotic relationships,” she described. Her way of thinking is also closely connected to becoming vegan five years ago.

“Once you bite from this hook, a whole domino line falls right in front of your eyes,” she explained. She now uses natural soaps, cleans her home with vinegar, and makes her own toothpaste among other things. The rule of thumb, “If you can eat it, you can put it on your body.” Her current mission is trying to make her own eyeliner.

For Wasabi it is more than just avoiding chemicals. It is political as well, “I do not want to be part of a society that feeds on greed, and gluttony, or instant gratification impulses without remorse,” she continued, “I do not want to contribute to capitalist, self-centered companies that have no empathy for the lower spirits and weaker living beings of our planet.”

Her vegan choices have definitely affected her style. She doesn’t wear leather and she seeks out designers that use eco-friendly materials. Her relationship with her spirituality is reflected in her personal style, it isn’t surprising either that the fibers with which her clothing is made are also as organic as the process that went into choosing to wear them.

While Wasabi has a more holistic approach to fashion than most, the crucial detail is the emphasis on being comfortable in your own skin. In order to be in tune with all that is natural, it has to come from a place within. The short version of Wasabi’s take on style, “it’s all part of the same picture. It’s a lifestyle where you want to achieve harmony and be real, by being you.”

By: Elyssa Czynski // Photography by: Janel Kilnisan