SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY lykke li / sadie frost / th e lens of rankin / daisy lowe / eniko is every thing
B E AUTY 72
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The Great New Wave Photography by Step hen Ward. Diamond Day Photography by Andrew Cow en. Beauty Trend: SS 11
A Nat ural Phenomenon Beauty: they say
Beauty Scrapbook Val Garland.
Heartworn Highway A lesson in letting
it’s all about symmetry.
FE ATURES 58
Rihanna The new and improved.
Through the Lens of Rankin Take a look
through the lens of fashion photographer John
Elle Elle MacPherson’s early years.
Heart-Wrenchers Benedict Brink on boys
Astrolog y The year ahead with Susan Mill
Trend Report SS 11
Eniko is Everyth ing Photography by Benn
Somewhere Along the Way Photography by Will Paterson’s Curese Photography by Will Dav
Andrew Weatherall One hell of a career
with no use-by date.
Persona l Works Michael Avedon.
Publish My Love Turn the page with Mot to Dist
Mar y McCartney From where she stands.
R E T T E L S â€™ R EDITO 03
They say good things come in threes. Three bean salad, three man and a baby, three times a lady, haiku, stooges and celebrity deaths. Spook the third has prove to us that adage is true. With three times as much music, fashion and mental stimuli we are proud to present Threaded III and want to thank everyone who contributed to its release into the wild. The holy trinity of magazine creation is patience, perseverance and people- their blood, sweat and tears is the snap, crackle and pop in our three ring circus. Enjoy! AW
ARIANE HALLS is a very tall Scorpio who loves dress-ups and lives with a pair of lesbian cats. She whores herself for publications/ companies such as Gay Bash, but got her first pay cheque teaching piano to small children. She likes a partner who has terrible taste in music, especially if they notice her complete set of Billy Joel records. On a first date, she hopes you’ll turn up in a 1973 Corvette. Her Mum told her: “Don’t marry someone that doesn’t speak English”. What she lacks in political correctness, she makes up for in dishwashing ability, so it’s OK to take her home to your mother.
CONTRIBUTORS It takes a lot of heart to put
together a magazine… HANNAH LACK is an underpaid Capricorn who loves words and lives in the forests of East London .She writes for publications/ companies such as Dazed & Confused, Another Magazine, and Nowness, but got her first pay cheque as a bunny girl. She likes Berlin, where she hopes to move soon, watching Adam Curtis documentaries, and eating anything except eyes. On a first date, she hopes you’ll turn up, and believes that nothing sets the mood like death metal and bubble bath. What she lacks is financial support, she makes up for in job titles, so be it.
MAX BLAGG is a Cancer with Leo rising, with love of feet and penchant for nail polish. He writes for publications/ companies such as 10, Aperture and Interview, but got his first pay cheque for pouring concrete. When he was sixteen he was 5’4”. He likes long walks, short poems, Monica Vitti, and being told he is clever. He prefers a partner who does whatever he says. On a first date, he hopes you will remain partially clothed. What he lacks in charisma, he makes up for in volume, so what?
SOPHIE WARD is a capricious Leo who loves basking and lives in stratospheric orbit. She writes words for publications/companies such as Oyster, Harpers Bazaar, and Paper Castle Press, but got her first pay cheque sweeping the courtyard of an office. She likes doing yoga at home, watching ridiculous comedies, and eating raw vegan sweets. On a first date, she hopes you’ll enjoy some red wine, and believes that nothing sets the mood like evening candlelight. What she lacks in brevity, she makes up for in grandiosity, so live with it.
DAISY LOWE Nineteen-year-old Lowe is a DJ, fashion designer and a model. As the daughter of über-cool designer and one-time musician, Pearl Lowe (who has friends such as Sadie Frost, Liv Tyler, Kate Moss and Jude Law), and Gwen Stefani’s rocker husband Gavin Rossdale – plus the stepdaughter of Danny Goffey of Supergrass – her rock ‘n’ roll credentials are a mile long. Whether she’s partying with
Peaches Geldof or backstage at London Fashion Week, Lowe’s look is more cool indie chic than prim and proper – think stripes, bold colour, volume and the latest designer accessories from the likes of Miu Miu and Botkier. Her fresh-faced beauty and huge almond eyes were also major drawcards for the campaigns of both Agent Provocateur and French Connection. After posing topless on the cover of
“I love that fashion crosses into my other passions in life - music and art”
i-D magazine with her musician boyfriend Will Cameron Jr of Blondelle, Lowe more recently signed on as the face of shoe giant Dr Martens, and has designed a capsule diffusion line for her mother’s namesake fashion label
R I H A N N A ‘I wanted to stand ou
t. And the only way I could do that was by taking charge of my image’
RIHANNA, to judge from the photos on these pages, isn’t especially shy and retiring. She is, however, a person who puts up walls, “figuratively speaking” she says, to shield herself from prying eyes. Sometimes, so adept is she at constructing an impenetrable facade, that she is unreachable, unaffected – that she feels nothing. Other times, she’s less successful. “There is a vulnerability that shows through too,: she says, though it can be hard to detect. Her barricades, literal and metaphorical, are firmly in place when we meet, at a photo studio in north London. Plasterboard sightscreens protect her modesty as she strikes provocative poses for the camera. In between shots, she shrugs on a towelling robe and retreats into her dressing room, from whence emissaries are dispatched to apologise for the late running of our interview. I’d been warned in advance that timekeeping wasn’t Rihanna’s strong point. So naturally I’m flattered, even touched, that I am required to wait a mere, six-and-a-half hours for my audience. When, at last, she is ushered in to the empty bar that has been set aside for our conversation, it has gone 11pm on a Saturday night and I’m slumped in front of Match Of The Day, a deflated footballer after a home defeat. Rihanna is now rather more beautiful, and had a thick head of cherry-bomb hair extensions and 14 tattoos. But she’s no less contained than she had been on set. A former teenage beauty queen, she’s tall and elegant, soignée even, with cool, almond eyes and skin pale enough that she was taunted about it at school. She’s approachable without being warm, talkative without being anything other than businesslike. Rihianna is a huge, extremely bankable star, a multi-platinumselling pop phenomenon to rival Lady Gaga or her friend Katy Perry or any of the handful of singers who straddle pop and dance and hip-hop and R&B, appealing equally to little girls and nightclub DJs. But she’s perhaps the least known of all her contemporaries. Gaga is studiedly bonkers; Perry is sugary sweet and vauntingly ambitious; Beyonce is charming and relentlessly professional; Lily Allen is spiky and smart; Amy Winehouse is a car crash; Britney and Christina are over; but who’s the girl the blogs insist on calling RiRi? Her first line of defence is her name. Rihanna is her middle name and her stage name, but her real name is Robyn Fenty – she still has the accent to prove it – and her shield went up early, to protect her from a physically abusive, alcoholic, crack-addicted father, who was ejected from the family when she was eight or nine and has been
an intermittently troublesome presence since, leaving her mother to raise her and her two brothers. At school, she says, she now somehow distant and self-contained. Other kids found this off-putting. She didn’t like the girls, or the teachers, who were “a pain in the ass”. “I kept to myself,” she says. “I just wanted to make music that would be heard all over the world.” If she hadn’t been “scooped up” by an American record producer holidaying on the island, who spotted her talent and flew her to New York to record a demo, she would have been “f***ed”. At 17, knees trembling with terror, she auditioned for Jay-Z, at that time president of Def Jam. He signed her on the spot and her first single, “Pon De Replay”, released in August 2005, reached the top ten in 15 countries. Rihanna’s memories of this period chiefly concern her struggle to prove that she was no one-hit wonder. “It made me upset that people thought that was all I was made of,” she says.
“It was like, ‘I cannot wait to show you all.’” Her fame arrived almost overnight, and the adjustment was difficult. “I had ridiculous schedule,” she says. “It was kind of unfair. But I just kept going. I was focused on getting people to respect me as an artist, making my stamp in the industry.” Her steeliness allowed her to deflect the unpleasant stories – not least those back in Barbados – suggesting she must have slept her way to success, so sudden was her elevation. Barbadians, she says, are “not very good at complimenting people. Because they think it gives you a one-up on them. It’s weird. People can’t be honest and giving.” Her selfpossession also encouraged her to rebel against a record company she felt was limiting her opportunities. “I wasn’t 100 per cent or even 75 per cent in control of my image or my sound,” she says. When she was 18, with two hit albums already under her belt, “I said, ‘If you guys keep this perfect image of me, people will never notice me.’ I kind of blended in. It was safe: the blonde, curly hair. It was a formula. I didn’t want to be like all the other artists. I wanted to stand out. And the only way I could do that was by taking charge of my image and my sound. And it worked. Good Girl Gone Bad was a big turning point for me.” This, her third album, released in 2007 (she was still only 19), introduced a raunchier Rihanna, as its teasing title suggests. It spawned eight successful singles, including the monster hit “Umbrella”, with Jay-Z, which topped the UK charts for ten weeks, the longest consecutive stay at No.1 since Wet Wet Wet, in 1994. Now she was a global star and she needed her psychic barriers to defend her from paparazzi invasions, the prurience of a public she condemns for judging famous young women to impossible standards, the obloquy of online haters. But her career was flying: Grammy awards, sell-out tours, record sales in the multiple millions. She ended 2008 as Entertainment Weekly’s Diva Of The Year.
And began 2009 as the world’s most famous victim of domestic abuse. On the night of 8 February, on the way home from a preGrammy Awards dinner, she quarrelled with her boyfriend of two years, the singer Chris Brown, and he beat her face to a pulp. A photo of her – battered, bruised and bloodied almost beyond recognition – was leaked to the scurrilous gossip website TMZ, causing a considerable scandal. Brown eventually pleaded guilty to felony assault and received five years probation and a restraining order. She has discussed the events of the night she was assaulted – her interception of an incriminating text message from an old girlfriend on Brown’s phone; the ensuing row in his car; his sudden attack, punching and biting her face – on a number of occasions, not least in a long and detailed interview with one of the grande dames of America TV, Diane Sawyer. She appeared on that show in the hope that people would stop asking her about it. “I didn’t feel like talking about it a million other times.” She says. Has it worked? “Clearly not!” After the attack, Rihanna briefly returned to Brown, before leaving him for good. She felt embarassed and humiliated by what had happened, and angry with herself. The relationship with Brown, she tells me, “was a situation I always told myself I would never allow myself to be in. It’s something I would force my girlfriends to get out of. But there I was, sitting in it. I witnessed [physical abuse] happening to my mum and I always said I would never let that happen to me, and then it was happening to me. Now, when I look back at it, it just bugs me out that I couldn’t see it for what it was.” She had been naive to stay with Brown, she says, but “sometimes when you’re on the inside of a relationship like that, you can’t see it clearly for what it really is. I left, but I still took a while to really feel I was done. And when I finally felt like that, man, it was the best feeling. It was so freeing. I wasn’t confused any more. It really made me look at life in a different way. It made me strong. I know I would never let it happen to me again. It’s a moment in my life that I wish would disappear. In my head, it’s already gone.” The public’s perception of her was changed, too, she thinks, by the assault. “Before that, I was just a little girl from the island, singing pop music. It was easy to think I was shallow. I had everything. It seemed like I had no problems in the world. And all of a sudden, one day, boom! Everybody realised that I do have problems.” What she didn’t want was pity. “I have too much pride,” she says. “I would rather put on a face. I would never let anyone see me cry. And I’m not like, ‘Please cry for me, I’ve been in a bad relationship.’ I hate that you know that and I don’t want you to remember me for that. That’s the defensive part of me. Even if I feel really sad about a situation, I put up that wall so hard that I almost believe myself that I don’t care. She says all this evenly, without a trace of anger or discomfort. Rihanna is by no means frosty, but she does seem to float above the conversation somehow, unconcerned by it. She laughs in the right places, smiles, maintains eye contact and gesticulates – duckegg-blue nails slicing the air – and yet she remains remarkably composed, even when discussing the most painful details of her private life.
Still, her most public response to her moment of personal crisis was less equable: her fourth album, the strident Rated R, released in November 2009, was significant departure from what had come before. With newly shorn hair and kohl-blackened eyes, elaborately tattooed and wrapped in barbed wire or poured into leather, she reinvented herself, against the wishes of some of her advisors, as a fierce sexual adventurer. Her videos were violent, overt and confrontational. In “Run This Town”, with Jay-Z again, she was rabble-rousing revolutionary. In “Te Amo”, a lesbian dominatrix. In “Hard”, a military drill instructor. For “Russian Roulette” – a song, she says, about “the pain of love” (sample lyric: “I lick the gun when I’m done/’Cos I know revenge is sweet”) – she was tortured, interrogated, shot in the throat, run over by a car and drowned. Her record company, she says, had wanted her to make another collection of upbeat pop songs. “That would have been fake,” she says. “who would sing happy songs after going through a time like that? Rated R was really personal to me. I couldn’t have worn a happy face.” “It seemed aggressive,” she says of her look at that time, “but it was more defensive.” She uses the siege metaphor again: “It was like putting up a guard wall, this tough image that people couldn’t get past, to me.”
Most strikingly, this summer she collaborated with Eminem on “Love The Way You Lie”, a typically excoriating articulation of the contradictory impulses felt by both the domestic abuser and the domestic abused. A huge hit, it was accompanied by a video in which the Hollywood starlet Megan Fox plays a particularly pulchritudinous victim of sexual violence, by turns terrified and the turned on. This seemed ambiguous at best: was the video intended to excuse the perpetrator by explaining him? Was Rihanna’s line – “Just gonna stand there and watch me burn/That’s all right because I like the way it hurts” – meant ironically? “It means I would have to liek the way it hurts right? Because I’m still here. I say I don’t like it, but I’m still here with you. So clearly I must like it. That’s the mentality of a woman in that situation. That’s the cycle of domestic violence.” The song, she thinks, “paints the perfect picture of what it’s like being on the inside of a relationship like that. It’s two people who’ve been through this on different sides of the fence saying this is what the mentality is. Eminem confronted himself on the record and I like that he did that, and I also had to confront myself.” She’s clearly proud of it, and of her ability to reveal herself in song.
‘Nothing in life comes easy. Everything comes with a sacr ifice’. But Rihanna is still somewhat embattled. She still feels misrepresented: “People think I’m overly sexy. It bothers them for some reason. Girls don’t like to see other girls dressed sexy. It’s a little intimidating. I don’t mean that in a cocky way. But public figures can become annoying. They see me a lot and every time they see me my ass is out or my boobs are out, so it can get a little irritating. I get that.” But she is determined not to allow public censure to get in her way. “I have to do what makes me happy, what I feel like doing. There’s always going to be somebody not liking what you do.” It seems as if she might leave it there, but then she continues. “People have a lot of crazy opinions on things. Things I say, things I wear, places I go. It’s just stupid. It’s bullshit. I’m a 22-year-old human being. It’s fine for me to go to a club. People are hypocrites. They can’t wait to say something horrible.” She’s talking about the anonymous hordes who make denigrating comments about her on websites. “Most of them are just unhappy with themselves. It’s women who are mad at other women. They should take a look at their own lives. A lot of people don’t have the guts to confront themselves. They don’t have the balls.” After this flash of irritation, she’s back to talking about her own plans. For her latest album – her fifth in as many years – she has softened, but only a bit. Loud, based on the six songs I’ve heard, is a bouncy collection of insistent, four-on-the-floor club anthems; lilting, Caribbean-tinged pop songs; and MOR power ballads. There’s an instant spring-break soundtrack, the tipsy “Drink To That (Cheers)” – “for all the semi-alcoholics” – and an up tempo pop smash in the making, in “What’s My Name”. Lyrically, Loud is not as conflicted as Rated R, but it has its moments. There’s a techno track called “S&M”, on which Rihanna notes that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones/But chains and whips excite me.” “Don’t hold back,” she admonishes on “Skin”, “You know I like it rough.”
Two nights – and two cancelled appointments – after our interview I go along to Sketch, the Mayfair restaurant slash postmodern folly, to glimpse her again. She’s only an hour late this time, which presumably counts as embarrassingly early. You’d want to get this over with, too, though , if you were about to take the leading role in an enactment of the gruesome music industry ritual known as the “playback”. In Rihanna’s case, this means climbing on to a white dais, taking a seat on a red velvet unbiased MC (“Incredible!” “Amazing!” “Just... wow!”) to introduce five new songs to a room full of Londoners only interested in the music – the free hamburgers and watermelon martinis being an entirely incidental, but strangely eagerly received, fringe benefit. “Thanks for coming to listen to my silly music,” Rihanna says, winningly, into her microphone. “I wouldn’t call it silly,” says the MC, at which a recently swallowed vegetable tempura makes a late appearance of its own, through the conduit of my nose.
Rihanna looks ravishing, of course, in a matching white jacket and thigh-grazing skirt over a nude, low-cut bodice, her hair pinned up. But even her reliable froideur struggles to ease her through this ordeal. By the end she’s babbling helplessly about meeting a nineyear-old girl with a brain tumour who could only be comforted by listening to “Umbrella”. I blame the MC for this, as I’m sure does she. Wrapping up painfully, he asks her if she would like to make a final comment about the new album. She would: “Buy it, bitches!” Not that I have much evidence for this, but in private, when Rihanna lets her guard down, I suspect she’s probably quite engaging: fun, feisty, forthright. She loves clubbing, and Caribbean food. (In London, she recommends Mahiki for the former; Ochi in Shepherd’s Bush for the latter.) She swears like a rapper, bogles like a pro, and she might not say no to a Jameson and ginger. She’s loves music (on the day of the shoot her iPod plays Mary J Blige; Jay-Z; Lauryn Hill; and Kings Of Leon) and movies, which she’s about to break into with a role in Battleship, a blockbuster starring Liam
Neeson. But her greatest enthusiasm may be for fashion: she made a beeline for Topshop during her time in London, and the day after the playback she’s off to Paris for the Prada catwalk show. From there it’ll be back to LA, to her boyfriend, the baseball player Matt Kemp, and to the new house she’s renovating in Beverly Hills. I’ll bet it has impressive fortifications. “I’d tell her to go for it,” she said, without hesitation. “Nothing in life comes easy. Everything comes with a sacrifice. If this is what I love to do most, then I have to put up with the s*** that I don’t love that comes with it. And I have to work.” And with that, she offered a practiced hug and moved across the room to where a wilting video crew had set up to record a Q&A for a mobile-phone website (they’d been waiting all day, in a pub down the road). It was after mid-night now. Her team looked exhausted. Rihanna’s smile was dazzling, perfect, and inscrutable.
E H T H G THROU NKIN A R F O S LEN Extraordinary photographer Rankin doesn’t fit into any frame work – the celebrity portrait photographer who enjoys shooting everybody is the same documentary photographer who experiments with capturing landscapes. The man is talented, witty and self-deprecating and I couldn’t wait to present and exclusive Through the Lens of the iconic John Rankin. Rankin’s works are breathtakingly intimate, at time paradoxical, refined and always stunning, no matter what the subject matter. Each and every single image Rankin shoots captures something original and quirky about the sitter, something truly honest – something we, as members of the public rarely have a chance to see, especially if the image happens to be one of an idol. He doesn’t have pre-conceived notions about anybody, which is precisely why he was able to capture the Queen laughing, really laughing, in a shoot to commemorate her Silver Jubilee. Experimentation seems to be part of the winning formula for Ranking; a film star might have been photographed hundreds of times by countless professionals but when Rankin asks them to parade with a trombone or sweet talk a mannequin or have a male star don a dress, the end result is thoroughly unique and completely his own.
There is no doubt that Rankin loves women. Even though his style of capturing the fairer sex is completely different, Rankin is very much like the iconic Peter Lindbegh in that respect – both try to coax the truth behind the artifice. Rankin literally strips the subject bare and captures a seductive glamour that is at times – depending on the subject – fun, flirty, sensual and sexy. These women don’t have any material
trappings, just the freedom to express their personalities. Rankin creates a world around each one, encasing them in crisp, clean lines or purple luxury, releasing a veil that usually exists between the subject and the audience, drawing the audience into the sheer femininity and exquisite fantasy of the image. Ever one to collaborate with charities, in 2007 Rankin worked on an awareness campaign for Woman’s Aid, where his portraits were shot against stark white backgrounds, reminiscent of case file photographs the police use to document the victims of domestic violence. Through his lens we saw vulnerability in these women. Yes, there was fear but there was also the will to survive – the hopeful belief that things would change for the better. Rankin has never been one for just taking pretty pictures; his images draw out and capture the true essence of who the sitter is and the message they are trying to convey, whether it be a playful cheekiness, confident sexuality, the struggle to survive or innocent joy at just being photographed. Rankin’s talent for photographing ‘real people’ was enhanced in 2009 when he advertised for distinctive members of the public with a sense of British eccentricity and enthusiasm to take part in one of the photographer’s most ambition (error in original
copy) project to date; Rankin Live! This saw Rankin Photograph 1,500 members of the British public for the ever changing exhibition, which took place at London’s Truman Brewery. This landmark campaign was followed by two projects in 2010 when Rankin travelled to South Africa with the BBC to shoot the documentary, South Africa in Pictures. Whilst there he explored the country’s rich photographic traditions and discovered how the country’s photographers have captured this complex and turbulent nation. Rankin might be best known for his celebrity photographers but when he teamed up with Oxfam and made his way to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the images he shot there shone a completely different light on one of the world’s worst conflict zones. These (error in original copy) end result wasn’t so much about technique as the need for the world to understand the reasons behind choosing to make these images – these simple portraitures focussed on the love and solidarity and the sheer joy that can be found in one of the most devastated areas in the world. Rankin captured the spirit of the people he photographed, taking us all on a journey From Congo with Love. There are so many Rankin photographs that strike a cord with their inherent cheekiness or the stark truth they portray, that to choose a favourite is an impossible task. While the team at the Hub HQ could spend a week immersed in this mesmerising world of stylish images trying to choose our favourites, we thought it would be better to ask the man behind the lens himself, which photographs are his favourites and which ones stand out the most for him… “Ten Times Rosie is a collaboration between fashion designer Paula Thomas, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and myself. Paula Thomas founded the Thomas Wylde label five years ago and the book takes the reader through the ten themed seasons she’s created so far.” “Portraiture has always been a central aspect of my work. I love connecting with people, working with them to get, not only a great photograph, but one that captures a little bit of who they are. These Portraits of Liv Tyler and Ricky Gervais are taken from my new collective book – Rankin Portraits. It unites unseen imagery with old favourites taken over the last 20 years.”