LONDON — Last night in a small gallery on Rathbone Street, celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Tyler The creator showed up for the opening of photographer Renell Medrano’s debut solo show, Pampara.
“Pampara is me going back to my Dominican roots and exploring that in-depth for the first time; my adult self returning to the culture and community I was surrounded by growing up. I wanted to pay homage to the loving energy and beauty of the Dominican way of life and let it shine for the world to see,” Medrano said.
On display upstairs is a photographic documentation shot over a one-week period of Medrano’s homecoming to the Dominican Republic, which was the birthplace of her parents. Downstairs, to accompany the photographs, is a short film featuring the subjects of her work and nearby in a corner is an installation of 1,000 plantains, all of which will be donated to feed the animals at London Zoo.
“I wanted to bring [the exhibition] to London just because I wanted to bring it elsewhere than just my city to shine light on my heritage and my culture somewhere else. I love the energy here. It’s different and unexpected,” Medrano said.
The photographer was wearing an all-black Junya Watanabe ensemble paired with Maison Margiela split-toe shoes. Her hair had been cut into a sharp bob with a blunt fringe and she accessorized her look with thick-rimmed glasses and a diamond grill on her bottom tooth.
Jenner and Hadid rocked up straight off the Burberry catwalk to show support for Medrano and the photographer’s boyfriend and rapper A$AP Ferg, was also in attendance. The rapper had flown in to surprise her.
Tyler, the Creator treated guests to an impromptu dance on the overcrowded stairwell while Jorja Smith looked sensational in a blue velvet ensemble, posing for a photo with Medrano.
Rapper Giggs, who was also in attendance, wore a bright look from Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton collection while recent BAFTA winner Micheal Ward sported a black Burberry trench to the party alongside his Top Boy cast mates, Kadeem Ramsay and Hope Ikpoku Jnr.
Guests danced and sipped on Ciroc cocktails while Places+Faces founder Ciesay provided the music with a live DJ set.
Medrano has previously shot campaigns for Chanel Fragrance, Supreme x Nike, Louis Vuitton Fragrances and many more. She recently photographed Jay Z for the cover of The New York Times.