Stacey Jones Trades Orange for Gowns
Fans of Uzo Aduba have been eagerly anticipating the return of her glowing face in the new season of her Netflix smash hit Orange is the New Black. The show was made available this week, sooner than the announced release date for this weekend. But they may not immediately recognize her in the pages of As If Magazine’s current issue. In Orange is the New Black we see her clad in orange jumpsuits and dingy white tee-shirts, the uniform of the female convict inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary. In As If, styled by the magazine’s Fashion Director Stacey Jones, Uzo is dressed replete in rich fabrics as draped luxury. Her natural exuberance flies through the pages, the fashion acting as a graceful frame.
The shift may be a shock to fans who don’t know Uzo outside of the show. In OITNB (as fans call the show) she plays the lovable and terrifying “Crazy Eyes” (a.k.a. Suzanne Warren) who suffers from an almost terminal lack of affection that she expresses too strongly, sometimes with violent results. The piece in As If is all about expression, which is something Uzo has been forced to embrace. With a name that is hard to pronounce (he mother once told her, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka”), and a gap in her front teeth, Uzo’s journey to self acceptance and expression was a long one. But she’s arrived. “The moment she walked on set she transformed into the woman who belonged in the clothes she wore,” says Tatijana Shoan, the photographer and writer of As If’s piece. The bold clothing that Stacey Jones dressed Uzo in matched Uzo’s vigor making the choices seem obvious, when they’re really the result of expertly balanced energy and style.