Just back from a mini jazz tour of the UK and Belgium in 2015, Julie Dexter was settling back and reacquainting herself with city life in Atlanta. Julie explained that the tour was a great little adventure; the jazz circuit in Europe is always fun.
It was not too long into her return that Dexter received a call asking if she would consider presenting an award at the 6th annual BronzeLens Film Festival. She said she saw this as a crossover.
“My world is jazz, and this is all about film, but I thought this would be cool and different,” she said of the festival. “Every time I stand in front of a microphone, it’s to sing, but this is an opportunity to talk. I am happy and open to doing something different in the city and was excited at the opportunity to be a presenter.”
Deidre McDonald, the artistic director of the BronzeLens Film Festival, said that reaching out to Dexter was a brilliant choice.
“She performs all over the world, and this nicely ties into the representation of the role as the presenter of the Best International Film award category. When you look at it, they fit like hand in glove — international singer, international movie — you cannot go wrong there,” said McDonald. “We aspire to be international with our festival.”
Feeling elated over being offered the role as presenter, Dexter explained that her thoughts immediately went to dressing for the event and asking herself, “What should I wear for the occasion, which look will work?”
Tijuana Faizon, a stylist and fashion designer who owns a chic boutique called Design Faze, came to the rescue. For Dexter, it was about capturing the appropriate look for the night, while Faizon focused on expression and the elevation of Dexter’s individuality and style.
Faizon explained that the minute Dexter walked into the store, she projected an image, and the stylist remembered that “my job from that moment was to take that projected image and enhance elements of it.”
“Her sense of style was different, and I like that; it created windows of opportunity,” Faizon continued. “As a stylist, you want fashion to keep moving you, challenging your vision, and I saw that in this project. I wanted to put her in something that was appropriate for the occasion but still had that edge that Julie projected.
“We went with local designer TX2 Couture, and everyone was pleased when she tried on the design; it came out looking wonderful. We paired it with a two-toned leather belt and placed a statement necklace around her neck to centralize the visual of the garment.”
The outfit was a carol jumpsuit that is not seen too often these days, but it represented the image that Dexter wanted to project. Faizon explained at length how they tried a few different looks but kept coming back to this one. During the conversation, Dexter suggested that she wanted the outfit to reflect the intent of the night. She felt adequately attired and comfortable with everything hanging snugly in the right places.
Dexter said walking the red carpet and hanging out backstage was wonderful.
“I felt great in the clothes, no loose strings hanging anywhere and everything in its place,” she said. “It was great seeing Kathleen Bertrand, my fellow winner of the 2015 Women in Jazz award and dear friend. Kathleen is a fierce purveyor of the artistry of jazz and happens to be the visionary force behind the creation of the BronzeLens Film Festival. So, it was great not just seeing her, but being in her temple and really enjoying seeing the emergence of a new and dynamic Atlanta bubbling with energy.” –Lashley