Discovering Interconnectedness: Harold Julian & Joyce Oreña

Beauty In Vulnerability And Diversity: What We Share With Flowers

Photographed by Harold Julian

An exploration of the interconnectedness of all living beings, their vulnerability and diversity, and the ever-changing visuals of flora at a moment’s glance

The life of a flower is a precious thing to witness, beginning from a burgeoning bud to a momentary bloom before reaching a delicate end, withering away with time, petal by petal. There is something innately intriguing about our experience of flowers, something that author Michael Pollan describes as “so deeply drenched in time.” Perhaps, as he writes in The Botany of Desire, it’s because we “can scarcely look at a flower in bloom without thinking ahead, whether in hope or regret.” 

Vogue Philippines beauty editor Joyce Oreña and photographer Harold Julian were drawn to this transience, only to find something deeper: that living beings, in all our vulnerability and diversity, are interconnected, bound by and cast into time. 

“This started with our fascination with flora, and interconnectedness and diversity naturally followed,” Oreña explained. “It was also about fleeting beauty—a loveliness that is all the more precious because of the realization that nothing lasts forever, but that is what makes it all the more exquisite.”

Coiling stems and saturated blooms are pressed flush against dewy skin and rosy cheeks across an inclusive cast. It’s another analogy to flowers: as each one is distinctly beautiful in its own way, so are people. “Like flowers, we are all distinct and diverse,” Oreña mused. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

For Julian, the story struck a personal chord, unexpected in the exploration of something as mundane as a flower. “Growing up in Hawaii exposed me to the concept of diversity at a young age. I was surrounded by different cultures, and I loved finding where others originated from,” Julian said. “It felt organic to explore this concept [in this story], and I will continue to incorporate it more into my work in the future.” 

Vogue Philippines: November 2023 Issue


Photographs by HAROLD JULIAN. Makeup by ERIC VOSBURG. Hair by RYUTA SAYAMA. Beauty Editor: JOYCE OREÑA. Stylist: Ise White. Models: Hsu Chen of Supreme NYC, Neil Varel of New York Model Management, Valerie Celis of Ford Models. Casting: Eric Cano. Stylist’s Assistant: Anabel Fischer. Hair Assistant: Narumi Baba. Shot on location at Chrome15 Studio at Mana Contemporary.

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