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THE PHOTOGRAPHER

NAME:  Monty Stilson
WHAT DO YOU DO: Photographer
WHERE DO YOU LIVE: New York City
WEBSITE: montystilson.nyc
INSTAGRAM: @montystilson
FACEBOOK: @MontyStilson

cool oman in silver yoga leggings doing splits
TELL US YOUR STORY:
I was born in Utah in 1958 and spent most of my childhood and young adulthood in Colorado, circa 1975. In all these years I’ve gone through many incarnations: Hippy, pot, denim, Rocky Mountain High culture of the 70’s. Punk - Post Punk era in the East Village of Manhattan from 1980 onward and lived through every nightclub opening party, closing party, and installation party. And the opening of the envelope party…because one had to party with a purpose! The Money Galore Era of the decadent 90’s in lower Manhattan. The somber and sobriety of the tragic early 2000’s. And the recovery.    

I was always a nonconformist. A quiet rebel.  I was and still am frightened by strict, imposed cultural norms. Hence my love for silver, shiny pants. Although I greatly appreciate and practice politeness, fairness, kindness, self exploration…it all its forms! The birth of my daughter was life altering and life giving and I am truly blessed to know love that deeply. My yoga practice over the past six years has had the most recent, mind altering impact on my life and I feel so grateful to the teachers and influencers I’ve met along the way.  

middle aged man night time yoga pose

Are you happy and content or are there big things you want to achieve? Happy-ish. Never content. So much I want to accomplish. Some goals I’ve fallen short like my handstand press by 60. So it’ll have to be 61

Who inspired you? Too many to mention. Really. Pop Stars, Rockstars, Cab Drivers, Composers, Directors, Makers, Laborers, Yogi’s and Yogi wanna Be’s.  

What’s next in your journey? Funny coincidence you should ask as I was just journaling this question this morning. My inner self is the next journey. Monitoring my reactions. Discovering my desires. Fulfilling my needs. Manifesting my wants. Creating a better future. 


WHAT’S SOMETHING BRAVE OR WILD YOU’VE DONE IN YOUR LIFE?

A challenge you overcame: Still Overcoming...Crippling Self Doubt and a constant battle with Low Self Esteem. Paralyzing Body Dysmorphia.

Something unexpected or out of character: Having a child not being a child, (although some would argue I’ve yet to fully reach adulthood!)

Something that didn’t go as planned or had an unusual result: Long term relationship…and I better leave it there.

WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?

Your beliefs: My personal philosophy is somewhere between the Yoga Sutras, the Spirituality of Quantum Physics, the Gnostic Gospels and Sun Worship. Oh, and Ancient Aliens because I need a wee bit of odd cult tossed in!

Things you’ve done: Cocaine fueled disco nights in Aspen in the late 70’s. Macrobiotics in the 80’s. Vodka and Veganism in the 90’s. Currently living a vegetable based, grain free, paleo diet that includes chocolate, coffee, and red wine.

What other people say about you: GROW UP, FREAK!

Or just something you like about yourself: I like Freakishness!

man wearing silver snakeskin leggings in yoga pose

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I’m a bit of a peacock. Not that I’m beautiful or gorgeously iridescent but rather short, balding and have a roundish, frosty mug. But I do love interesting clothing and beautiful shoes. And as a visual creator, I love lines, color, proportion, texture and specularity. I still have a few pieces of Japanese designed coats from the 1980’s that I LOVE although I did have to have the shoulders cut way narrower. I love vintage inspired denim. Levi 501’s. Plain black tee’s. And some of the Under Uniqlo pieces I bought when the store first opened in SoHo NYC. In fact, I wore one of their button down, white cotton, poplin shirts today. Such an amazing cut. Thankfully, I liked them so much at the time I bought six of them. The line was brilliant but sadly short lived. I carry a camouflage diaper bag as a shoulder bag that a client of mine made over a decade ago. Still Brilliant!    

TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS AND WHY YOU VALUE IT?
One of my favorite New York fashion experiences is late one misty, foggy night I was walking down a very quiet 5th Avenue just below the New york Public Library. Out of the shadows and coming towards me was the most amazing silhouette I’d ever seen and made ultra dramatic from the back lighting of the street lamp. I was shocked that someone dressed so beautifully would be out alone on such a quiet night. It wasn’t until this gorgeous being was15 feet away that I realized it was a very dark, homeless man that had completely draped himself in broken umbrellas. I’m certain the silhouette was intentional as the balance and asymmetry were perfection. I was in awe and shocked at such unexpected, late night genius!

Also, I STILL love to see my daughter sleeping but now that she’s 19, it’s only when she falls asleep on the sofa that I get to experience that protector, parental feeling. Sometimes her boyfriend is sleeping there too. I don’t enjoy that nearly as much! I was never a dog person and I come from a long line of "dog dislikers” but my daughter had to have a puppy and I again fell madly in love. My small, fluffy, white pooch Chicken is my constant shadow. Yes my fluffy shadow is named Chicken thanks to my daughter Lark. I live in an aviary.

FAVOURITE QUOTE OR MOTTO: Be a conscious, peaceful rebel.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PAIR OF KAPOW MEGGINGS?

JAKE THE SNAKE for sure! A wee bit shiny, slightly silver, kinda dark, a kickass print, and a whole lot of Rock and Roll. Perfect for peeping out the bottom of some rolled up vintage jeans, or shocking a yoga class out of deep introspection!

yoga man in shiny black male tights doing evening pose

IN THE PRESS

  • “An athleisure fashion revolution”

  • “The best when it comes to colorful and funky styles.”

  • “Incredibly comfortable. Like never want to take them off kind of comfy.”

  • “Gives you the freedom to be yourself.”

  • “I felt empowered, as if the meggings were a superhero costume.”

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