Laura Albert, Indie Fashion Fighter

The SF Chronicle just did a new fashion spread on Laura, and you can see all the great photos here.

Tony Bravo’s article had to be abbreviated for space; this is the original text:

A steam-punked Mad Max meets “Deadwood” meets Japanese anime

The writer behind JT LeRoy, Albert is known as much for her community involvement as she is for her novels Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (which was adapted into a film by Asia Argento in 2004). Among the non-profit endeavors Albert dedicates her time to are at-risk youth arts group Project Level, the annual Melange fashion show, San Francisco’s Academy of Friends, and a new partnership with Crossroads Residential Care, which serves young adults aged 18-24 with mental-health and substance-abuse issues. Catching kids “before they reach the point of no return on the streets” is especially important to her as a group-home and homelessness survivor. For Albert, a devotee of indie designers and local boutiques as well as European labels (she’s done shoots with both Christian Lacroix and John Galliano), fashion serves the dual purpose of expression and accessibility. Her layered, haute gutter-punk style rarely goes unnoticed in town or when she’s traveling.

“It touches people’s spirit,” Albert says of her wardrobe. “Fashion makes me accessible; I get so many compliments from a wide range of people who feel comfortable approaching me.” In an #SFSTYLE first Albert came to her shoot with an entourage of no less than five male friends whom she off-the-cuff nicknamed “the real housewives of San Francisco.”

“Why would I ever go anywhere without a group of gay men?” Albert laughs. Ever the writer, for her fashion “boils down to story … And accessories.”

Albert paired her signature Gary Graham “confederate” hat with a coat by the designer. Her “raccoon penis bone” necklace by Levi Palmer was made after an important totem in her novel Sarah, and the “Deadwood” dog tag is from Albert’s time writing on the HBO drama. “I’ve noticed a lot of my favorite pieces — the Civil War hat, the dog tags, my boxing boots — have a fighting or battle element to them,” Albert says. “It seems fitting.”

Laura Albert won international acclaim with her fiction. Writing as JT LeRoy, she is the author of the best-selling novels Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and the novella Harold’s End

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