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THE LEGENDARY ISSUE
# F u t ure
B eau t y # F as h i o n
INDIRA CESARINE Editor in Chief & Creative Director
Photography by Indira Cesarine. Dress by Marc Jacobs and jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz. Fashion Editor - Phillip Bloch, hair by Zaiya Latt, make-up by Hector Simancas.
FASHION DIRECTOR Indira Cesarine
STYLE DIRECTOR Phillip Bloch
Photography by Daniela Federici. Shirt by Burberry, tie by Thomas Pink, jacket by Robert Graham and sunglasses by Ray-Ban. Stylist - Erin McSherry, grooming by Misha Shahzada
FASHION EDITOR US Brendan Cannon
FASHION EDITOR UK Rebekah Roy
Photography by Indira Cesarine. Jumpsuit by Marc Jacobs, bracelets by Matthew Campbell Laurenza, ear cuff by Annelise Michelson. Fashion Editor - Indira Cesarine, Stylist - Brendan Cannon, hair by Porsche Waldo @ Ebony Design and make-up by Renee Garnes @ Wilhelmina.
BEAUTY EDITOR Roberto Morelli
SENIOR COPY EDITORS Marianne White, Rod Bastanmehr
Photography by Indira Cesarine. Hat by Christopher Nemeth, jacket by Bolongaro Trevor and chest plate by Opus Prime. Fashion Editor - Brendan Cannon.
ASSISTANTS TO INDIRA CESARINE Chris Kim, Kathryn McTeague JOHN NEWMAN
CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITORS Danny Flynn, Deborah Latouche, Erin McSherry, Irene Manicone, Jeff Kim, Jules Wood, Sabina Emrit
Photography by Bryan Adams. Jacket by Spencer Hart and shirt and tie by McQ Alexander McQueen. Stylist - Lotta Aspenberg. Photography by Bryan Adams.
CONTRIBUTING JOURNALISTS Ben Mirza, George Wayne, Liz Hazzard, Marianne White, Rod Bastanmehr
Oh Land Photography by Indira Cesarine. Dress and boots by Saint Laurent. Fashion Editor - Indira Cesarine, hair by Adam Markarian, make-up by Mayia Alleaume @ Bryan Bantry, manicure by Yuki @ Rona Represents. Photographed at The Dream Hotel.
ADDITIONAL COPYEDITING Jessica Natale, Lindsey Rhoades
EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS & INTERNS Aleksandr Villamariona, Aline Bartoli, Andrew Krebs, Ashley Russo, Davide Parella, Dennard Dale, Jai Crocker, Jessica Natale, Jillian Benante, Kathryn McTeague, Katy Engelhard, Mary-Linh Tran, Michael Briales, Nicole Brenny, Randy Garcia, Rebecca Chodorkoff, Shane Miller, Shannon Connellan
Photography by Jonathan Bookallil. Top, skirt and shoes by Diesel, body chain by Laruicci and jewelry by Iosselliani. Stylist - Jules Wood, hair by Joseph DiMaggio and make-up by ChiChi Saito.
RJ MITTE Photography by Indira Cesarine. Fashion Editor - Brendan Cannon. Shirt and jacket by Dior Homme. Grooming by Debbie Gallagher @ Opus Beauty using Oribe. Photographed at Milk Studios.
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SOPHIE KENNEDY CLARK Photography by Simon Emmett. Hair by Tyler @ One Represents and make-up by Liz Pugh. Fashion Editor - Rebekah Roy.
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Photography by Indira Cesarine. Sweater by Dior Homme, vintage trousers by Get Reol, rings by Versace and custom made jewelry. Fashion Editor - Indira Cesarine. Additional Styling by Danny Flynn, grooming by Roberto Morelli. Photographed at Hotel Wilshire.
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Special Thanks to K&M Camera, Milk Studios, James Goldstein, Gloria Martinez
Photography by Indira Cesarine. Hair by John D @ Wallgroup, make-up by Katey Denno @ Wallgroup using Chanel. Photographed at Milk Studios.
All Interviews are by Indira Cesarine & The Untitled Magazine unless otherwise noted in credits.
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Photography by Indira Cesarine. Dress by Jean Paul Gaultier, harness by Skingraft, headdress by Leka, jewelry by Cartier, Balenciaga, Cast of Vices, and Maison Martin Margiela. Fashion Editor - Indira Cesarine, hair by Gregory Russell, make-up by Stephen Dimmick.
The “Legendary” Issue of The Untitled Magazine is by far my most ambitious undertaking to date. The issue took over one year in research, planning and production. I wanted to take a look at culture as we know it, and what sculpts our collective consciousness as a whole – including the “legends” that have shaped our perception of reality, and define our everyday lives. From the music we listen to, to the clothing we wear, to films we love, our identities are impacted by a handful of people that manage to creatively influence the world over, and change our cultural currency as we know it. Call it charisma, magnetism, ingenious ability – they have something that everyone craves, and as a result their influence is infinite and indefinable. Many of the ‘legends’ in this issue have inspired me personally from very early days, almost before I can remember. They continue to do so today even more than ever - with their passion, strength, and visionary talent. I am equally overwhelmed on a daily basis by the amount of brilliant new artists who are breaking through with an intensity that is exciting to behold. For this issue I personally reviewed hundreds of the most interesting up-and-coming artists in order to curate our “future legends” section. Who are the legends of tomorrow? These are our predictions of the most promising talent of the new generation across fashion, film and music. These emerging artists all have something exceptional, challenging the norm with their unique qualities and represent the new wave of influencers. It was a staggering issue to produce, as there were so many incredible contenders, but I think you will enjoy our predictions. Looking back and looking forward, this issue celebrates the people who make our lives interesting, enrich us and inspire us with new ideas and new directions. Who has defined our history and who will define our future? Indira Cesarine
c o n t r i B ut o r s NICK RHODES Legendary Duran Duran founder Nick Rhodes’ creativity doesn’t stop in the recording studio - he is also a compelling photographer. The English rockstar plans on curating and showcasing his massive collection of photographs that he’s accrued over the decades, which enjoy a cinematic and personal quality. He managed to take a break from recording his new album to photograph up-and-coming sister duo The Bloom Twins for this issue. BRYAN ADAMS bryanadams.com Bryan Adams is a jack-of-all-trades. The singer-songwriter, musician, actor, producer, activist, and photographer contributed to this issue of The Untitled with his compelling photographs of John Newman. The Canadian born artist has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2006), Canada’s Walk of Fame (in 1998), and the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2011). He was also honored with the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award in 2010 due to his overwhelming work in charity and social activism. GEORGE WAYNE Considered by his peers to be ‘the Modern master of the Celebrity Question and Answer’, the Jamaican-born style scribe and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor sits with another downtown icon and uber-stylist, Phillip Bloch, for a rollicking and riveting Q&A you will not soon forget. Not convinced? Turn to the provocative Untitled exclusive to find out exactly what we mean. PAMELA LITTKY pamelalittky.com Since she began shooting at a young age, Pamela Littky’s unique relationship to her subjects and sense of humor has left an indelible imprint on her work. The photographer shot Byrdie Bell and Meg Myers for our “Future Legends” section and captured the artists intimately and unpretentiously. Littky extends the same emotional, quirky aesthetic that characterizes her environmental portraits to her self-directed projects. Her immersion in the rural desert towns of Baker, California and Beatty, Nevada serves as the basis for her forthcoming book, Vacancy. GAVIN BOND gavinbondphotography.com This talented and fearless photographer has captured unique images of some of the world’s most recognizable models and celebrities. His images have been seen in GQ, Complex, Tatler, and Vanity Fair, and have been met with critical acclaim. His portfolio sports images which expose unexpected moments, as he approaches his subjects with a unique frankness and efficiency that can not be taught. In this issue of The Untitled Magazine, Bond used his talented eye to photograph Taryn Manning. Bond works and lives in New York City. SIMON EMMETT simonemmett.co.uk London based photographer Simon Emmett is best known for his striking candid portraits and sleek spreads while his timeless imagery, in both stills and film, shows a client base that ranges from A-list celebrities through to luxury brands. Simon is constantly moving between his personal, editorial, and film projects and has recently finished filming his first feature documentary. His stunning work with Sophie Kennedy Clark for this issue will be celebrated in years to come. Phillip Bloch phillipbloch.com Stylist, TV correspondent, writer, designer, actor, ex-model – there’s nothing that Phillip Bloch can’t do. The powerhouse stylist entered the scene as a model and eventually took control of Hollywood’s fashion by styling the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek, and most notoriously, Michael Jackson and Halle Berry. Phillip contributed to this issue for our cover story with Brooke Shields, not only as fashion editor, but also as interviewer of the iconic actress and model. Also don’t miss his Q & A with George Wayne, “A Style Memoire”.
Andy Warhol photographed by William John Kennedy, circa 1964
FACTORY DAYS Of all the cultural totems that New York City has produced perhaps none shine more brightly than Andy Warhol, the pop artist who came to define the city much the same way he defined the era: through vigilant irony and a distinct sardonic flair. Though born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Warhol has come to embody New York during the turbulent era of the 1960s. His multifaceted persona has been identified as the original con artist of the art world, a one-trick pony, an astute lover of all things American, and even a prophet of pop culture. His oft-quoted refrain, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” has proven, for many, entirely too true. Yet of all the varying opinions of Warhol, there is no denying that his most important role was largely as a figurehead of the 1960s cultural zeitgeist. At the center of his influence stood The Factory. Between 1962 and 1984 The Factory would inhabit three locations, residing first in Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood at East 47th street, until it moved downtown to the Union Square West neighborhood where it remained until 1973. Then it moved again just slightly north of Union Square Park. The symbolic transition in its move downtown hints at a larger meaning behind The Factory as a creative hub during New York’s most buzzing period. Warhol’s studio was the cultural scene made tangible. For many, The Factory was the great equalizer, a space that galvanized the beginning stages of a cultural shift that would obfuscate the differences between fame and the ordinary. It was there that Warhol’s identity shifted from lover of celebrity to a celebrity in his own right, hosting legendary parties wherein the underground denizens of the downtown scene would rub shoulders with some of the culture’s most esteemed elite. Here, anybody was allowed. And out of this multifarious crowd of scenesters he created his own unique brand of Warhol superstars.
“New York City during The Factory era changed from an old-world interpretation of art to the modern-world interpretation of art,” says famed photographer William John Kennedy, The Factory’s unofficial party photographer. Kennedy captured some of the most important and legendary moments in 20th century popular culture. He was introduced to Warhol via friend and fellow artist Robert Indiana (the man behind the famous “LOVE” sculpture) at MoMA’s Americans 1963 exhibition. Both Indiana and Warhol had work in the exhibition, and Warhol spoke excitedly of his forthcoming studio space. Yet it wasn’t until Kennedy actually stepped foot in what would soon become The Factory, that he understood its full breadth. “Total amazement,” he says, referring to his initial reaction upon entering. “Amazement of the piles and piles and piles of Andy’s artwork in various stages of completion.” Beyond its cultural capital as the hippest place to rub shoulders, Kennedy is quick to remind what the key goal of the space itself represented. “The Factory was
Andy Warhol with his Marilyn Monroe screen-print, photographed by William John Kennedy, circa 1964. Image courtesy The Andy Warhol Museum
energy of the city at that very moment in time.”
an art factory. It was set up to churn out Andy’s creative visions, and that is what occurred… It was the epicenter of creative inspiration, a revolving door of creativity and mayhem–controlled chaos. Probably the most creative souls on earth passed through those doors.”
Much of that was embodied by The Factory’s open door ethos, which mirrored New York’s own sense of perpetual embracement of outsiders. Insofar as the city itself had become home to an ever-increasing number of radical and creative youth, The Factory largely followed suit. “The Factory always had an open door to anyone,” Kennedy remembers. “You could just walk in right off the street. There were celebrities, magazine editors, museum people, and a wild assortment of hangers-on who sat around smoking pot and waiting for Andy to order lunch… it didn’t matter if you were black, white, gay or straight - you just had to be interesting to survive.”
A precious few of those famous souls got to wander the Factory’s foil covered halls without being captured by Kennedy’s lens but, according to Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, it’s the portraits of Warhol himself that are by far the most evocative. “The Kennedy photos are perhaps the most intimate portraits of Andy that I have ever seen,” Shiner says. “They capture him at the point of his arrival as a true art star and yet he remains his humble, fun-loving, playful self in each frame. They humanize him in a way that few photos do, and if anything, they add to the mythology of Warhol as the benevolent, happy person that he truly was, and yet is rarely celebrated as.”
Still, the most impressive element of The Factory mythos was that Warhol’s work always seemed to come first despite an endless parade of stimuli that the studio offered. Indeed, The Factory, named after both the monochromatic color scheme of its foil -covered interior and the conveyor belt of assistants helping with silk screening, lived up to its productive title. “Throughout the whirlwind, Andy stayed relentlessly on-task, creating his art without interference from this mob scene,” Kennedy recalls.
In fact, it’s that very intimacy that Shiner is most interested in exploring through the exhibiting and archiving of Kennedy’s photographs. While people look at The Factory era as the apex of creative hobnobbing, Shiner remembers the art world of the era as something more insular than its mythology would have one believe. “It is important to note that the ‘art world’ in NYC in the 1950s and 1960s was a relatively small group of people and galleries,” Shiner explains. “The early pioneers of the art scene were filled with passion, energy and excitement, all helping to make sure that art was a part of the vibrancy of a newly powerful America.” Still, even Shiner is quick to acknowledge that for its relatively inclusive size, the art scene was in no small way fostered and filtered through Warhol’s radical new gaze. “That Warhol defined this moment is by no means an understatement; in so many ways, The Factory and its ever-rotating cast of characters perfectly represented the
It was paramount to Warhol that his creative space was teeming with as much creative energy as possible. It was largely this idea that made The Factory a place of both productivity and nihilism at once. For Shiner, an understanding of Andy and his work requires an understanding of The Factory as a creative space. “It reflected his personality as an eclectic and eccentric place to express oneself,” he says. According to Shiner, the difference between the energy of the work and the energy of the people is negligible. “It served as a retreat when Andy was there working late into the night all by himself. It grounded him, fueled him and inspired him in countless ways.”
To understand Warhol, Shiner explains, one needs to understand the degree to which he represented the medium’s collaborative potential. Warhol’s Factory was a legendary space precisely because it managed to capture the way in which he was inspired by his Factory members just as much as he inspired them. That very symbiotic energy helped foster an environment that produced some of his most immediately recognizable works, such as the iconic Marilyn Monroe prints, the creation of which Kennedy happened to be there first-hand to document. “Andy was standing in the doorway of the fire escape at The Factory and next to him was a stack of rolled up acetates he used to make his silkscreen painting,” Kennedy recalls. “I asked him to hold one up just as this magnificent light was pouring through the door. He reached over and pulled one off the roll and it happened to be Marilyn. I fired off six shots and some of my most iconic images happened in that split second. Sometimes it is just fate.” In a sense, Kennedy’s photography is the closest the public will ever get to re-living the era itself. To him, the most fascinating element is largely the culture’s continued obsession with the era of The Factory’s reign. Even after all these years, The Factory and its denizens are a source of constant inspiration and tribute in the annals of fashion, music, and art. “People tend to romanticize the era that my photographs capture because it was such an amazing time teeming with life and change,” Kennedy remarks. “Everyone was inspired, and everyone was part of it.” Nowhere was this persistent fascination with Warhol and his superstars more apparent than in 2013’s Academy Award nominated Dallas Buyers Club. In the film, Jared Leto (who took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), plays Rayon, a transgender AIDS victim at the height of the disease’s scare in the 1980s. Rayon’s tight-fitting scarf caps, bleached eyebrows, and a uniquely colorful make-up pallet are more than a little reminiscent of one of The Factory’s most infamous figures: Warhol muse and superstar, Jane Forth. “It’s funny, you know, I’ve had a partner for 18 years now and he has a twin brother and when we went to see [Dallas Buyers Club] I didn’t tell the twin brother that the character was designed off of my look,” says Forth, whose own awareness of the film’s inspiration came from a New York Times article that referenced the similarities. “At the end of the movie he came up to me and said, ‘Wasn’t that bizarre how much [Leto] looked like you in that film?’ And I said, ‘That’s because the look was created from some photographs of me!’” she laughs. Forth has been the inspiration for many of the era’s most historic trends—from Diane von Furstenberg’s wrap-around dresses, to the proliferation of colored eye shadow—but she still considers her time as a fixture of The Factory to be her contribution to popular culture. “At a lot of the runway shows I’ve seen them do the whole look - the faces I created,” she said, “and that makes me feel nice. I say if I leave this world and I’ve been an inspiration for something then I feel successful - that’s success to me.”
Andy Warhol with Bob Dylan and his Elvis Silkscreen, photographed by Nat Finkelstein, circa 1963
that would frequent the studio, as well as on street corners, where Warhol would often be seen handing out copies to passersby. This same era saw the emergence of the disco boom, which prompted a newly developed downtown scene that Warhol and his posse frequented. While The Factory still remained a well-established gathering ground for some of New York’s most hip figures, suddenly Max’s Kansas City and Studio 54 became new hot spots, where Warhol was often spotted with some of the epoch’s most famous faces, from Brooke Shields to Blondie. There was no larger catalyst for radical changes in The Factory’s spirit than Warhol’s attempted murder in 1968 by radical feminist Valerie Solanas. Solanas had been a fringe fixture in The Factory’s scene and had written the 1967 S.C.U.M. Manifesto, claiming that the next wave in progressive feminist politics would require the elimination of men entirely. On June 3, 1968 — the same year that saw the rise of the Black Power movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the growing presence of anti-war activism, and the rise of the Manson Cult — Solanas arrived at The Factory hell-bent on violently settling a perceived grudge exacerbated by her then-undiagnosed Schizophrenia. She shot at Warhol three times, the final bullet entering his lungs, spleen, stomach, liver, and esophagus. She also wounded two others. Everyone survived, but many say Warhol was never the same afterward, and neither was The Factory’s carefree atmosphere.
Forth represents a decidedly different era in The Factory’s history, having come into the fold in the late 1960s, when the institution was in a transitional state, shifting from artist’s lounge to legitimate studio. It was during this era that Warhol began to seek commissioned portraits of wealthy political and cultural figureheads such as John Lennon, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, and, most famously, China’s communist leader General Mao Zedong. In 1968 Warhol launched Interview, the magazine produced by The Factory and noted for featuring conversations among some of the culture’s most celebrated figures. The publication began circulating through The Factory itself, handed out to the crowd
“The Factory always had an open door to anyone. You could just walk in right off the street,” Kennedy recalls. Though he wasn’t around The Factory for the period after it, he could still feel the larger ripple effect the shooting caused. “Things changed unfortunately and it was much more guarded after that horrible day.” The general vibe that The Factory took in the months following the shooting made for a truly altered space, focusing heavily on Warhol’s recovery. The studio’s open door policy shifted into a closer-knit
Warhol superstar and muse Jane Forth, 1971
more interesting than what was really the case… but it became a place of mystery and a place that everyone really wanted to visit.”
circle of Andy’s confidants. The party atmosphere changed to better accommodate Warhol’s increased focus on his work and the drugs were suddenly nowhere to be found. “Those were earlier days. I was in the non-drug days,” Forth says. “He didn’t do the drugs, he didn’t want the craziness. He was over that. That phase was over. Now it was down to business.”
Shiner and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary and are fittingly honoring it as only Warhol would have wanted: with a party. “We are celebrating this milestone full-tilt Warhol-style, with a jetset-themed party that harkens back to Andy’s global lifestyle in the late 70s and early 80s. There are going to be lots of fun surprises…I’m especially thrilled to be directing the museum at this point in time as I was one of the hundreds of people standing on queue the night of the original opening in May of 1994.”
Many still consider The Factory only on the basis of its hard-partying days but Forth’s fondness extends far beyond the chaos that colors this nostalgia. For her, people tend to consider the era on its most exaggerated level, while it was the quieter, more intimate moments that proved most memorable. “People want to look at the wildness. Maybe they look at the quiet days as boring, but I really looked at it as like, ‘Boy, this is magical. This is a very magical time in my life.’” For an icon like Forth, whose own sensibilities are still being cultivated and referenced today, The Factory represented more than just a “scene”. It captured the era in all its energetic confusion, in all its creative impulses. It was a space in which the creative talents of the era found inspiration. That, to her, trumps the clothing and the imagery tenfold. “The pendulum always swings back,” Forth says, referring to the endless enchantment with Warhol’s time and place. “There are special times in life and they don’t come that often. You have the roaring 1920s and you’ve got the 60s which are very special, transitional times.”
So far, there seems to be no shortage of new findings, with the most exciting among them being Warhol’s recently uncovered Time Capsules: 608 boxes, one filing cabinet, and one trunk filled with oddities from Warhol’s everyday life. Shiner and the other curators are just wrapping up the six-year-long cataloguing process, proving once and for all that Warhol’s reputation as an artist with an unending set of surprises seems to be firmly in place. Kennedy, whose photos are the cornerstone of the museum’s Pittsburgh location, seems to be in agreement. “It is hard to look around today and not see a little bit of Andy everywhere.” For anyone who ever stepped foot in The Factory or dreamed of what a moment in the studio might have felt like. The Factory was, in the end, perhaps his greatest work of art. For Kennedy, it made good on Andy’s most obsessive passion: fame. “Who hasn’t heard of Andy Warhol?”
Shiner agrees wholeheartedly. “It was a period of great social flux, immense hipness and growing pocketbooks. It is the moment in time when America becomes the dominant culture power in the world, and New York City the epicenter of the art world.” To him, The Factory’s reputation was the best embodiment of the elusive Warhol himself and cemented him and its walls as legendary. “It became as much a part of the Warhol myth as Andy himself,” he says. “I’m sure that urban legends about The Factory are much
Article by Rod Bastanmehr Jane Forth Interview by Indira Cesarine
In today’s world, the presence of fashion struts far past the narrow runways and finely manicured showrooms. All around us fashion impacts and shapes the realms of culture before our very eyes. Designers are revered as artists, turning silhouettes into their palettes, creating masterpieces with fabric and stitching. Like artwork, their designs are met with both praise and disdain by the media and public. Those with talent strong enough to weather the ups and downs claim their place through the seasons and styles. What sets those designers apart from the rest? Some easily come to mind - Coco Chanel, Valentino, Christian Dior, to name a few. They are legends of their time, with a cushioned place reserved in the realm of fashion history. As fashion has evolved, a handful of names continue to push boundaries and climb their own ascent into hallowed status as legends, setting the bar for seasons to come.
LEGEN DS Jean Paul Gaultier never received formal training as a designer. First hired as an assistant by Pierre Cardin in 1970, he created his own label within a few short years. By the late 1980s, Gaultier began to gain worldwide attention for his use of skirts in his menswear collections. His notoriety would skyrocket soon after when Madonna infamously revealed his pink cone bra ensemble onstage for her 1990 Blond Ambition tour. If there was any doubt of this one garment’s mark in fashion history, in 2012 the brassiere was auctioned off at a selling price of $52,000 at Christie’s Pop Culture auction in London. From 2003 to 2010, Gaultier occupied the role of Creative Director for French luxury brand Hermès. Since his departure he has focused primarily on his own collections, always infused with theatrical elements. For his Spring / Summer 2014 collection, the designer created a runway cabaret, drawing inspiration from stage and screen. Influenced in part by Dancing with the Stars, the show featured Amy Winehouse lookalikes and a performance recreation of a scene from the iconic film Grease. The models danced down the runway, wearing signature Gaultier garments that defined his style over the decades. Never one to shy away from pushing boundaries, Gaultier continues to challenge norms with his work, melding haute couture and streetwear style, defying gender-specific fashion, and championing the use of nontraditional models in the process. A recent retrospective of the designer’s work at the Brooklyn Museum entitled The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, highlighted Gaultier’s impact on his craft and culture on a whole.
walk-through exhibit featured over thirty years worth of archive pieces from multiple collections, from 1980 through presentday. The show captured the breadth of Armani’s decade-defining innovations, masterfully presented in a single space.
Italian-born designer Giorgio Armani became prominent within the fashion industry for clean-cut, tailored menswear. Eventually his womenswear reached a similar iconic status. His presence in America was firmly established after designing the fashion for the film American Gigolo in 1980, featuring Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton, putting him on the map in Hollywood. Once quoted saying that “the difference between style and fashion is quality,” Armani has maintained a dedicated following throughout his career. This past year, the designer staged a fashion show and retrospective at the 97,000 square-foot SuperPier in Chelsea, New York. The
Yohji Yamamoto’s infatuation with design dates back to the late 60s, although he showed his first collection for Yamamoto in Paris in 1981. He was quickly deemed the “avant-garde’s Far Eastern couturier” by the fashion elite for his distinct asymmetrical designs. His highly inventive collections focus on experimental cutting and draping. He is known for his dialogue with the male and female form, most notably with his androgynous ‘anti-fashion’ approach to design. He is credited as one of the originators of the ‘deconstructionist’ movement that changed the course of fashion history in the 80s. His sober yet sophisticated designs
Before securing his famed position as Creative Director for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld was an aspiring designer freelancing for the Roman couture house Tiziani. Lagerfeld has since gained global notoriety as creative director of both Chanel and Fendi, as well as numerous creative collaborations. These range from a luxury crystal stemware line he created with Swedish art glass behemoth, Orrefors, to liquor branding campaigns in which he designed an iconic wine label, to film direction, such as the short Once Upon A Time in 2013, a biopic starring Keira Knightley as Coco Chanel. He is also a passionate photographer, known to shoot most campaigns for the brands he is aligned with, as well as having produced volumes of stunning portraiture, such as The Little Black Jacket collaboration with Carine Roitfeld featuring 113 images of models and celebrities wearing the Chanel signature look. For Chanel’s Spring 2014 collection, Lagerfeld sent garments down the runway that, while staying true to the refined look of the brand, found a new type of modern vibrancy. The line had more than 90 looks, each with their own story. The designer, famed for saying “what I enjoy doing most is something that I’ve never done before,” proves to be a man of his word. Each season he presents a breathtakingly dynamic take for the revered brand.
Jean Paul Gaultier Collection
Final Collection of Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs - SS14
Left to Right: Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs SS14, Yohji Yamamoto SS14, Jean Paul Gaultier SS14, Chanel SS14, Armani One Night Only Retrospective, NY 2013
again naming sixty-eight-year-old award-winning actress Jessica Lange the face of the brand.
cemented his position as an innovator, gaining him international recognition. In 2003 he launched Y-3, a collaborative project with Adidas which presents a sportier, more accessible version of his designs. Over the years he has had his share of accolades, including the award for Master of Design by the CFDA in 1999, Japanese Medal of Honour in 2004, Honorary Royal Designer for Industry from the Royal Society of Arts in 2006 as well as France’s Commandeur of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Although today his style remains highly conceptual and continues with an exploration of the asymmetrical, his latest collections are a departure from his signature monochromatic looks. The Spring / Summer 2014 line is infused with bright fluorescent colors with a newfound intensity. The groundbreaking designer is famously quoted as saying, “With my eyes turned to the past, I walk backwards into the future.”
Alexander Wang, who ironically paid his dues as an intern for the aforementioned Marc Jacobs, seems years beyond his age of thirty. Rebelling against the norm, Wang left formal studies to design his first collection. In 2008 he won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award at twenty-five. Wang, known for his downtown, grungeinspired fashion with clean lines and strong tailoring, was named Creative Director for Balenciaga at just twenty-eight years old—an announcement met with surprise by some. Wang himself admitted to having doubts when first taking on the role. His debut collection was lauded for his ability to pay homage to the line’s legacy. For Spring / Summer 2014, Wang showed a nostalgic collection referencing his youth, “when fashion was fun.” It featured midriffbaring ensembles, pleated skirts, logo branding and t-shirt cuts. This June he will go up against his former mentor, facing off with Marc Jacobs for the CFDA’s title of Womenswear Designer of the Year.
Marc Jacobs is no stranger to acclaim, having been the youngest designer ever to receive the CFDA Award for New Fashion Talent— arguably the highest honor a designer can receive. Five years later, the CFDA awarded him with The Womenswear Designer of the Year Award for his work for Perry Ellis. Just one year after, the company fired him for a collection deemed as “grunge.” Jacobs took the helm at Louis Vuitton as Creative Director in 1997, a role he maintained until this past season. Though the designer will now concentrate on his own lines, his work with Vuitton will be celebrated for years to come. At Louis Vuitton he broke barriers designing the line’s first ready-to-wear collection and bridged the gap between art and fashion by incorporating the work of contemporary artists into the label’s ensembles. For his final runway show for the fashion house, Jacobs showcased a line that aesthetically mirrored the seventeen-year arc of his career with Vuitton. Although the affair was tinged with melancholia, Jacobs brought his signature energy to his departure through the dramatic presentation of forty-one monochromatic looks, with a backdrop of fountains and carousels. The collection was an ode to the women who have inspired him over the years, including Coco Chanel, Rei Kawakubo, and Miuccia Prada. This past year the designer entered the world of beauty with his self-named cosmetics line. This February he turned heads
Each wholly unique in their work as well as in the trajectory of their careers, these designers have made their mark beyond the world of fashion. Aside from their ability to captivate an audience, each defy the parameters that were set before them. They have taken the notion of simply creating fashion to task by prioritizing risktaking in their body of work. Through collections, exhibits, personal actions and collaborations, these artists challenge norms and defy standards. They created new metrics for their peers to follow. Their Spring/Summer collections highlight their power to inspire as well as their innate abilities as cultural bellwethers; with the exception of Marc Jacobs’ wistful pièce de résistance for Vuitton, many designers incorporated joyous palettes and a return to the whimsical, perhaps to usher in a feeling of economic growth for the world at large. The impact of their collections will spread its wings far beyond the very notion of wearing clothing, forecasting the tone of tomorrow. They are each in their own way true legends in their own time. Article by Liz Hazzard
BLONDIE Blondie; L-R: Gary Valentine, Clem Burke, Deborah Harry, Chris Stein, and Jimmy Destri, 1977
FOREVER After forty years existing as figureheads of rock, Blondie is back with a new album, a world tour
and enough buzz to have snagged a number of headlining slots at the South By Southwest music festival this past March. During the 1970s, a crop of seminal rock bands burst onto the downtown New York scene, chief among them Blondie. Fronted by co-founder and lead singer Debbie Harry, the band came to embody a new era of genre-melding music, taking elements of new wave and punk, and eventually merging them with pop, rock, reggae and the soon-to-conquer disco scene. The result was a sound definitively their own. The excitement over the band’s recent rekindling should come as no surprise. Co-founder and lead singer Debbie Harry spoke exclusively to The Untitled Magazine about Blondie’s history, their reunion, their new album, and how they all but predicted today’s fusion-heavy musical soundscape.
The endless series of live shows helped Blondie develop their downtown following, but the band’s founding members, Debbie and Chris Stein, were no strangers to the city’s music scene. “I was in a girl group called the Stilettos, and later on Chris joined and at that point…we sort of branched off and decided we wanted to do more of a rock thing,” she says. From there, Debbie and Chris made a point of unifying different sounds previously considered unconventional. “We brought in the synthesizers because that was a relatively new thing at that point…We got Jimmy Destri to play keyboards and synthesizers. I think that that’s what really cemented our sound.”
In their four-decade history, Blondie has sold a collective 40 million records worldwide, garnering enough love and respect from the industry at large to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Of nearly 300 inductees up to that point, only 38 were women, giving Debbie the distinct honor of being the 39th female inductee. Debbie inarguably possesses the ability to rock with the best of them. “I honestly never expected anything like that to happen, but I think ultimately it was one of the best things that did happen to Blondie because it legitimized us and I think that a lot of people take notice of that.” Since reuniting in 1997 after a fifteen-year hiatus, during which Debbie pursued a solo career, Blondie has continued to do what they do best: put out work that captures their love for music in its most original form. In the interim years between their breakup and their reunion, the band’s influence pervaded the fabric of popular culture, spawning progeny like Garbage and No Doubt, and influencing eventual contemporaries like Madonna and Courtney Love. Even among artists whose style and sound are direct descendants of Debbie and her bandmates, Blondie occupies a specific niche in the pantheon of great rockers.
Blondie’s musical aesthetic has both evolved and endured, consistently sounding fresh even with its historical context firmly in place. Much of this, Debbie says, is thanks to a desire to break through long-established barriers that at the time prevented artists from experimenting across genres. “Everybody was really sort of sectioned off into either straight rock or straight reggae, or they were straight pop,” she remembers. “We sort of mixed it up a little bit.” Debbie gives credit where credit is due, noting that it was Chris’s intuition to experiment that pushed their sound into the forefront of music culture, irrespective of its unconventional appearance to the mainstream.
Blondie was, first and foremost, a major tenant of New York’s downtown scene, and a pillar of the growing punk movement which would soon burrow itself into the heart of the city, but the band’s various influences had a much wider scope. “We wanted to have the style of each player come through. That’s sort of what made the sound of Blondie, coupled with the sound of my voice, because we considered ourselves an urban band—a New York City band—and we felt the influence of all the different styles of music that were around in the city and we tried to incorporate what we were hearing and what we liked, so it seemed kind of obvious to us.” As for her particular musical influences, she points to the female vocalists of yore. “I got a lot of influence from R&B girl groups—that sort of real singing, and then later on moved into more of the rock thing, and there really weren’t a lot of girls to copy or emulate or imitate.” In the absence of female rock icons from which to draw inspiration, she had to pave her own way. Blondie’s humble beginnings have become the stuff of legend, with the band getting their start playing the Bowery’s seminal music space CBGB & OMFUG, and eventually helping to define the very ethos of the beloved and notorious venue. “I think we played every weekend for seven months,” Debbie says, “but it was just a hangout then. It hadn’t been popularized to any great extent. It was just a local bar, you know?”
It was those days at CBGB, as well as Debbie’s presence in the era’s most beloved hotspots (like Max’s Kansas City) that got the band signed to Private Stock Records, who eventually released their self -titled debut in December of 1976. Poor sales and tepid interest from the industry prompted the band to buy out their original contract, and led to their signing with Chrysalis Records. They re-released their first album the following October, and found that their eclectic styles and sounds were finally striking a chord with some of the era’s most revered critics. Rolling Stone compared the band to Phil Spector and The Who, going on to say Debbie had “a bombshell zombie’s voice that can sound dreamily seductive and woodenly Mansonite within the same song.” Yet it wasn’t until the decade’s end that the band would see mainstream interest intensify. Their third album, 1978’s Parallel Lines, proved to push their sound into increasingly progressive directions, most notably in their worldwide hit “Heart Of Glass.” The song topped UK charts in February of 1979 and US charts the
CBGB achieved mythic status in its own right, largely thanks to its instrumental role in breaking some of the era’s biggest bands, including The Ramones, The Police and Talking Heads. Back then, superstardom didn’t come quickly or easily. According to Debbie, in the days before instant stardom and label scouting came to shape the industry, it seemed that up-and-coming bands were more often down and out. Debbie, for example, started out as a daytime waitress at the famed Playboy Bunny Club. “Our breakthrough was kind of gradual because there wasn’t a lot of interest in the early days,” she says. “Everybody wanted to record and everybody wanted to move up and into the music business, but at that point there really was no interest from any labels or managers.” Debbie saw a positive side to that reality. “It definitely gave everybody a chance to sort of get their shit together, as it were.” Debbie Harry by Denis O’Regan, circa 1978
Blondie album artwork for Autoamerican by Martin Hoffman, 1980
following April, and was hailed as the band’s first iconic blending of reggae and disco—the amalgam that would go on to define their sound most ubiquitously. 1980’s “Rapture,” from the band’s fifth studio album, Autoamerican, would receive similar praise for its forward-leaning aesthetic.
contemporaries helped change. “It’s kind of nutty, I can’t believe what goes on,” she says of the Austin, Texas music scene. “It’s kind of insane but it’s really good. I think the premise is really great. We did three really divergent shows, but I think the audience blend down there is really healthy.”
For Debbie, these songs are exemplary of their catalogue not simply because of their success on international charts, but because they prophesized musical trends in the decades following. “They were the early crossovers, and they were, I think, instrumental in shaping what people did in the future.” For “Rapture,” Debbie and her bandmates practiced what their music preached by immersing themselves in the various scenes that influenced them sonically. “We made friends with some of the graffiti kids and got influenced by live performances that we saw,” she says. “Also from some of the early recordings of Sugarhill and Grandmaster Flash.”
For Debbie, festivals like SXSW represent the encouraging changes that have occurred in the music industry since Blondie’s rise to fame. “There’s avenues of creativity that didn’t exist previously. I always say to young bands or young musicians that playing live is essential to your development and honing your craft…You have to survive. You have to make a living.” She urges these upstarts to ignore detractors. “People went crazy when Bob Dylan went electric; he was threatened. There were death threats. Anytime there’s any sort of radical change that comes along it’s really met with a lot of resistance. I think nowadays people are a little bit more open-minded because we have so much exposure to so many things.”
With hip-hop still a decade from becoming mainstream, the cultural mash-up represented in their music may have had some scratching their heads, but the band found the aesthetic and sonic blend a natural pairing. “Rapture” became one of the era’s first lyrically-driven rap songs, and for Debbie, that was a major push towards the genre’s legitimacy in the mainstream. “I think that what we did was of real importance to the whole rap thing, because until then it had been about scratching and using tracks from other bands. Ours was the first rap song to have its own music that was written specifically to surround a rap.”
After years at the forefront of genre fusion, it seems that the music scene has finally caught up to Blondie. Yet the band’s penchant for experimentation shows no signs of slowing down, with Debbie describing their upcoming album, Ghosts of Download, as having a Latin influence that builds off sounds both familiar and new. “Chris has been very interested in cumbia and reggaeton,” she says. “I think that this is an ongoing influence, because he has always tried to incorporate some of these rhythms.” Debbie is first to admit that much of Blondie’s signature sound has been the result of her former partner’s sonic sensibilities, citing that he “really has a great feeling for swing – not a traditional swing, but sort of a Latin or reggae feel.” This desire to explore the non-traditional is precisely why today’s artists are still banging on Blondie’s door. Their new album features multiple guest appearances, including Gossip frontwoman and icon in her own right, Beth Ditto. “Everybody knows Beth and knows Gossip and what a wonderful singer she is,” Debbie says, describing the collaboration as natural and as easy as it comes. “We reached out to her, and she just said ‘Yes.’”
It’s this emphasis on freshness and innovation that has allowed Blondie to thrive well into the 21st century. Now, as their 40th anniversary approaches and the band gears up for a new set of releases, their music seems more relevant than ever, thanks in large part to a rapidly diversifying mainstream sound that has Debbie herself experiencing a new series of “firsts” in her live performances. Their SXSW showcases this March showed firsthand just how much culture has evolved past the genre insularity Blondie and its
Along with Blondie’s New York, a documentary slated to air on The Smithsonian Channel late August, fans seem to have no shortage of things to look forward to. The band is about to embark on a world tour to support their tenth studio album, which began with a headlining spot at the world famous Glastonbury Music Festival in England last June. They will release their new, full-length album as part of a two-disc set honoring their four-decade-long career. Blondie 4(0)Ever features the new album Ghosts Of Download, as well as a live performance from a 1977 show at CBGBs, and a Greatest Hits disc featuring some of the band’s original records as well as newly recorded renditions of classics. “They are the original songs, and they’re faithfully reproduced, but we wanted to just do a fresher version,” she says. “I’m very excited about that whole package.”
it… Our producer, Jeff Saltzman said ‘well you know, we should really try to do something different with it, so why don’t we make it a ballad.’ So we started out making it much more sinister—kind of menacing,” she says. “It’s such a universal song. I mean everybody in the world knows that song. It’s kind of amazing and it’s gone way beyond the club kids.” Those club kids have grown up, but newer generations are sure to respond to Blondie’s well-established legacy. Blondie’s 40th anniversary may signal their transition into legendary status to some, but to Debbie the band is still made up of outsiders looking for a home beyond the parameters of the establishment. The days between their endless weekends on the dilapidated stage of CBGB and their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held major milestones and accomplishments, yet taken together they tell a singular story about a band ceaselessly fascinated by new sounds.
The record itself will prove to be an artifact of New York’s most quintessential era, with album artwork by none other than Andy Warhol. “It’s a beautiful image,” Debbie says. “Andy told me verbally that I could use it as an album cover, but I never had it in writing, so we had to sort of go through the foundation again and re-negotiate the whole thing.” The legwork proved worth it; as Debbie sees it, linking one of the 20th Century’s most prolific figures as to the band’s 40th anniversary release captures what their music strives to harness—namely, the bustling creative energy that helped define the era. “It’s indicative of the time period, that portrait. It was done in 1980, 1981, which was the high point right before the band broke up, so we thought that it was appropriate for that.”
“It certainly hasn’t been all fun and games, or an easy trip… I think there’s been a consistency in thinking ‘oh what the hell, what am I doing? And why am I doing it?’” The ability to overcome challenges, though, is the attribute Debbie points to that makes someone legendary. “It’s people that… continue regardless, come hell or high water…” Debbie says. “We’ve definitely had our ups and downs, and I think this sounds kind of strange, but because we came from sort of this anti-social, kind of punk scene, we’ve had to fight for our position.” That eternal underdog role that Debbie inhabits has gone a long way in establishing her as one of rock’s most iconic figures, and has helped make Blondie one of the most prolific, genre-bending projects in contemporary music. Yet to Debbie, the most successful element of a 40-year career has been staying true to the band she formed all those years ago. “Of course there are a million things I would do differently but it’s all in hindsight so it’s practically valueless, really… I can’t regret anything because I’m still working and still doing what I love.”
The album also features songs that fans have been hearing for the better part of a year at the one-off concerts they’ve played, most notably a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s classic “Relax,” which has become a fan favorite at their shows. “We were doing the song live as part of our encore, and when we got in the studio, we thought, well, since everybody knows it, we should just record
Debbie Harry interview by Indira Cesarine
Top left - Debbie Harry, circa 1970s; bottom left - Debbie Harry with Chris Stein, 1970; bottom right - Debbie Harry at Max’s Kansas City, 1978
Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, directed by Woody Allen - Sony Pictures Classics, 2013
We have seen many leading ladies emerge in Hollywood and world cinema over the last 100 years: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot to name but a few. Along with their natural beauty and allure, their unique presence in the creative hinterland of cinema has been a source of continual inspiration for many a director and screenwriter.
LEADING L ADI ES Much like the world of art and literature, the world of cinema would be nothing without its female muse to inspire and admire. With Hollywood’s cutthroat environment making it an immensely challenging industry in which to succeed, it takes a special talent, irrespective of gender, to break through its myriad barriers. However, when this breakthrough does occur, it tends to result in astounding longevity for that talent, and a level of stardom that rarely burns out.
appearance as a rainbow-flag-wielding protestor outside the gates of the Kremlin in Moscow. It’s for these reasons and more that Swinton has become such an endearing fixture in the film industry, in both Europe and Hollywood. Her latest project, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is a fabulously bonkers comedy by her old friend Wes Anderson. Swinton plays the rich and imperious octogenarian Madame D (who Swinton portrays with fine comic tuning), who later becomes the love interest of an eccentric hotelier played by Ralph Fiennes. The film is already a smash with Anderson and Swinton fans alike, and is yet another testament to her acting abilities; gone is the demure and serious leading lady, and instead we see the emergence of a brilliant and comic actress. She also recently filmed Jim Jarmusch’s romance drama vampire film, Only Lovers Left Alive, which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was released in the US and UK in April 2014. In the film she plays Eve, the vampire wife of a bloodsucking musician named Adam. The role is a testament to her ingenuity in choosing to play cutting-edge characters that defy the obvious. Despite the popular vampire theme, the film, largely thanks to the brilliant casting, manages to be an eccentric original.
Here are five contemporary leading ladies who have broken the mold in more ways than one. They’ve risen up from throngs of hopefuls who desperately try and make their mark in cinema. These are the ones who seamlessly move from melancholia to joy, intense to light-hearted, in a way that sends cinemagoers into frenzy. With her porcelain skin and svelte figure, Tilda Swinton is a physical product of the European Avant-garde; her fearlessness and prowess are aspects which many actresses in the mainstream simply do not possess, and that make her stand out time and again. She spent her early career working with the likes of Derek Jarman and Tariq Ali, and her background as the daughter of aristocratic parents and a devotee of communism in her youth, all undoubtedly helped forge her into the creative chameleon we see today. Much of Swinton’s star quality can be attributed to the roles she has chosen and been picked for over the years. From voicing the minimalistic and atmospheric Blue by Derek Jarman, which describes Jarman’s life and vision shortly before his death from AIDS-related complications, to playing Jadis, the White Witch, in Andrew Adamson’s blockbuster reimagining of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Australia’s smoky-eyed and husky-voiced Cate Blanchett is the epitome of leading lady magic. From her acting skills to her looks and composure, she has superseded Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman as Australia’s most desirable acting export, and it’s easy to see why. Flourishing like a butterfly, from the world of film to theatre—most notably in David Mamet’s 1992 play Oleanna and the Company B production of the Shakespeare classic Hamlet, in which she played Ophelia—Blanchett effortlessly mixes the high acting attributes of classical theatre with the more illuminating qualities needed in order for an actress to succeed on the big screen. It’s a special concoction that gave way to an array of cinematic glory when she starred in Shekhar Kapur’s 1998 masterpiece Elizabeth. There have been many actresses throughout the years who have taken a stab at playing England’s Virgin Queen, but Blanchett embodied the role like no other. She was every inch the stoic royal matriarch, wrestling to save her kingdom from bankruptcy and foreign invasion. Partly thanks to her years spent working in the theatre, Cate Blanchett understands
There are many reasons why Tilda Swinton stands out among her contemporaries, from her ability to move gracefully from independent cinema to mainstream, to always maintaining a firm grip on her integrity as an actress when it comes to the projects on which she chooses to work. She also utilizes her stardom as a platform to support social causes for which she feels passionately, particularly LGBT rights. She recently took a stand against the Russian government’s vicious anti-gay policies, even making an
two; from then onwards she has been the toast of Hollywood. As the frustrated debutant Rose DeWitt Bukater, who gets entwined in a doomed love affair with working class boy Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, she brought audiences across the globe to tears with an outstanding and emotional performance. It’s not often such a young actress can synthesize the fabled alchemy that Winslet did, that is required in order to capture an audience’s imagination through an entire film. Winslet has always been a dab hand at dramatic roles, perfecting the ability to work her emotions in rhythmic timing with the plot. Aside from film, she’s able to transfer this to the small screen as well. After all, who could forget her performance in the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce in which she portrayed the self-sacrificing protagonist constantly at war with her narcissistic, calculating daughter? A prime example of her capacity to inhabit several different cinematic mediums with ease and grace, Winslet won a Golden Globe as well as an Emmy for her dramatic performance in the series. Many classed Kate Winslet as a one-trick-pony after the huge success of Titanic; little did they know that our collective love affair with her was just beginning. After five Academy Award nominations for various roles, her portrayal of Hanna Schmitz in 2009’s The Reader was the one that finally earned her an Oscar win for Best Actress. Although she is still a much-underestimated comedy actress, these tides are shifting as well. Her talents for black comedy in particular came into the spotlight in 2011, with Roman Polanski’s Carnage, an adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, and prior to that as well, when she starred in Nancy Meyer’s 2006 rom-com The Holiday.
Kate Winslet in The Reader, directed by Stephen Daldry - The Weinstein Company, 2008
the imperative to diversify her roles. This became obvious when she starred in Richard Eyre’s Notes on a Scandal in 2006, a psychological thriller that touches on the contentious subject of paedophilic relationships, with Blanchett playing a teacher who has an affair with one of her underage pupils. Blanchett continues to prove her capabilities over and again. Her blistering portrayal of Jeanette ‘Jasmine’ Francis in Woody Allen’s most recent dramatic comedy, Blue Jasmine, wherein she plays the film’s protagonist, tipped the film from a run-of-the-mill Woody Allen affair to a brilliant slice of contemporary cinema. The neurotic, self-centered, and ultimately self-loathing attitude that Blanchett brought to her character was a stroke of genius. It’s been remarked, and you can see why, that Blue Jasmine is her defining role for this decade. She recently won the Oscar for Best Actress for her work in the film. The moment the award was announced, the camera panned to Blanchett, mouth agape, shocked that it had gone to her, having not won an academy award in over a decade (in 2004 she took home the award for Best Supporting Actress in The Aviator). Rarely does Blanchett rest on her laurels, always marching forward with grace and elegance. Like a contemporary Grace Kelly, she is the classic embodiment of beauty and talent.
Dystopian Chicago is the backdrop to Winslet’s latest film Divergent—Neil Burger’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s novel—in which she plays the primary antagonist Jeanine Matthews. Critics have already been raving about her performance. Reimagining this tough, super intelligent character for Hollywood could not have been an easy task, but for Winslet, with her pristine acting pedigree, Jeanine was reborn for the big screen. Setting her acting skills aside, Winslet’s consistent genuine attitude and palpable passion for what she does appeal to audiences across the board. Remaining ever -grateful for the opportunities she’s had gives her an air of humanity that so many other actresses often lack. There’s been a seismic shift in Hollywood’s attitude over recent years with regards to its portrayal of older actresses. Once upon a time, when an actress reached her mid-forties, the casting guillotine would hurtle down, and leave her in the wilderness, or destined to play secondary characters who loiter in the background. At the recent Oscar ceremony, two prominent actresses of maturity were nominated: the seventyeight-year-old Dame Judi Dench and sixty-four-year-old Meryl Streep, both of whom have continued to amaze and delight audiences worldwide, and whose box office appeal seems to just be getting stronger.
It’s been a long time coming, but Kate Winslet finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this past March. Ana Martinez, the ceremony’s director, said out loud what a lot of us had been thinking: “We’ve seen Kate shine in her roles and fans around the world have been anxiously waiting for this special day to come.” It was a truly memorable moment and Winslet remarked “I feel very honoured twenty years into my own career to be standing in such a poignant place and being celebrated in such a spectacular fashion.” Her starring role in James Cameron’s critically acclaimed Titanic alone could have made Winslet a legendary leading lady. Beating out competition from Gwyneth Paltrow, Gabrielle Anwar and Claire Danes, she secured the role at the tender age of twenty-
Judi Dench, the elder of the two, has been a tour de force for over fifty years now, from the big screen to the small. She’s become a national treasure in the UK, with plaudits and awards amassed over the years. Her achievements include powerful performances at the National, Royal Court and Old Vic theatre, comedic roles on TV such as the long-running BBC sitcom As Time Goes By, and of course her varied roles on the big screen, from playing M in the James Bond series to her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love in 1999. Some may hesitate to say it, but Dench has broken the mold. She has shown the world that age
Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive. Directed by Jim Jarmusch - Sony Pictures Classics, 2013
is merely a number, and if your acting skills are strong enough casting directors will still lobby to get you in a leading role. Dench’s forte has always been the theatre, which she has partaken in since the mid-1950’s. Acting alongside greats like Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud in their prime, their influence has never left her. Like many actors and actresses, theatre has also proven to be a lifeline when work on TV and film would hit a dry patch, and Dench has repeatedly said that she owes a great deal of her success to the world of theatre, because it’s there where she can flex her acting talents to their greatest potential.
compliment and push her skills perfectly. Streep embodies the leading lady to ideal degrees, and possesses a carefully honed roster of skills, from the ability to convey a world of emotion with just a raised eyebrow, to a distinct back catalogue of accents. There’s an endless list of memorable and defining roles that Streep has undertaken in her long career, and if one were to list them all it would take up page after page. In recent years we’ve seen Streep move into playing great women of the past and present, from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the film The Iron Lady (2011) to her cameo role in the upcoming film Suffragette, as the antagonistic suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst. It’s a tough call to pick the role which made Meryl Streep a household name and made the Academy verily sit up and pay attention to her. The Deer Hunter (1978) was the first time she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress; it wasn’t until 1982, however, that she was nominated and won in the category for Best Actress in the touching Sophie’s Choice. This year saw her record-setting 18th nomination for her role as Violet Weston, the fearsome Oklahoma matriarch in August: Osage County. Although Cate Blanchett took the award this year, she still managed to break a record, which is a testament to her powerhouse status in Tinsel Town.
As a theatre actress first and foremost, it’s there where she gained and perfected her skills, which she parlays easily into film. There are few actresses working today who can bring as much emotion to their roles as Dench can. One of her more recent notable performances was her role in the heartbreaking Philomena, which tells the story of an Irish mother who tries to search for her son years after being forced to give him up for adoption. She was subsequently nominated for an Oscar for the mesmerizing way in which she crafted this story. Speaking to the BBC about Philomena, Dench said “I feel a huge responsibility because people know her and therefore they will look at the film and want to recognise Philomena in me.” She later remarked, “A friend said, ‘I can’t see a vestige of you in the film’ and I said ‘You couldn’t have paid me a bigger compliment’. I like nothing better than to be told that.” Of all the quotes Dench has made about her career, it’s this one that sums her up in a nutshell: “I think you should take your job seriously, but not yourself - that is the best combination.”
Both Meryl Streep and Dame Judi Dench have effectively ushered in a new era, where talent precedes age in Hollywood. It’s a trend that will likely continue, with the likes of Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet and those other quintessential leading ladies continuing the success of Dench and Streep. Perhaps Blanchett herself said it best in her Oscar acceptance speech this year, in which she bestowed praise upon the other nominees. “To the audiences who went to see it and perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences: they are not. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people.”
When it comes to Meryl Streep, there is little left to say about her. The New Jersey-born actress is now classed in the vanguard of living legends and has repeatedly been called the world’s greatest living actress, surpassed by none. Streep is a true alchemist when it comes to her craft, and she’s cleverly chosen roles that both
Article by Ben Mirza
THE REBELS What makes a legend legendary?
Mick Jagger photographed by Patrik Andersson
The word legend possesses several meanings: a beacon of light, the key to deciphering a map, an individual who achieves astonishing levels of fame in his or her field, and finally, of course, a story. This particular definition brings to mind the tales we have stored in our collective consciousness, and the legends we have woven and painted to represent our most notorious of notorious icons, all in some way tinged and tainted. Theirs are the stories replete and teeming with pitfalls that include substance abuse of astronomical proportion, drunken public tirades, frequent or recurring altercations with law enforcement; revelations of latent racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism; allegations of spousal abuse, child molestation, or even murder; and of course the often abrupt and equally incendiary culmination of it all: a bullet to the brain, a needle in the arm, a car in a ditch, etc. Is it the darker angels of our nature that draw us to these characters? Do we see a bit of ourselves in them? We must, otherwise how could we be so gripped and compelled by their seemingly willful desire to train wreck their lives and the lives of those around them? Here, we explore these legendary rebels and what it is about them that makes their stories so terrifying, delectable, and heart-wrenching.
“You only live once. And the way I live, once is enough.” Words of wisdom? Perhaps not. Coming from the mouth of Frank Sinatra, this axiom translates more like self-fulfilling prophecy. Indeed, the legendary king of croon could teach us all a thing or two about how to seemingly careen toward our own demise, yet inexplicably rise up like a phoenix to be reborn again and again. There is something compelling, albeit indelible, about his irreverence toward and disregard for convention. It informs and imbues the music he made with aspects otherworldly, inimitable and ultimately timeless, which placed him among legends (and maybe even preserved him into old age). The life he led was sordid from the start, demarcated by illustrious highs (awards, accolades and comebacks that beat every odd imaginable), and cavernous lows (rampant alcohol abuse, failed marriages - most notably to Mia Farrow, whom he married at the age of 50 when she was 21 - and that one time he hired the mob to beat up his drummer). Yet unlike many other legends of similar stripe, Sinatra’s life spanned nearly the length of the entire 20th Century. The same cannot be said for the likes of Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse, both of whom died at the cursed age of 27 after airing their emotional instability in the public realm for the entirety of their short careers, and after they had each successfully (though perhaps not by design) parlayed their respective images as fuckups and lost souls into the art they made, letting those images shape for us the very meaning and context of their legacies. Cobain’s suicidal leanings arguably preceded his reputation as the father of the grunge movement, all of which in turn colored the entire opus of his work and the ethos of his existence in darker, more ominous shades. Would his music have the same meaning now had he not lived his life in a state of rebellion against life itself? Would his music feel as profound as it does now without our sentimental attachments to his life story? We’ll never know. What we do know, however, is that he is the epitome of a distinct and ultimately seductive artistic archetype: he whose self-hatred begets something more beautiful than the sum of its parts. Many aspire to this; scant few achieve it. Winehouse achieved it, in many ways, in the same manner as Cobain: by simply living outside the parameters of social etiquette. She would not got to rehab, no. She would not play the role of the once twisted, now absolved rock star that emerges from the abyss of drug abuse happier, healthier and redeemed in eyes of the media. Instead she threw it all back into the faces of those who tried to contain her, and made better music the further she sank. These stories—the stories of artists who recede into their own doomed worlds to be swallowed, rather than progress into some Aristotelian and ideal iteration of themselves—scare us as much as they beguile us.
Frank Sinatra mug shot, 1938
get away with murder and still have throngs of women lined up around the block to marry him. Michael Jackson is a legend among legends. His is the first name to roll off of the majority of the lips of those asked who tops their list of influential entertainers. His status is untouchable, and the mark he made in history could damn near qualify him for sainthood. Monuments will be erected in his honor, likely for the rest of time. This ubiquitous reverence for him is what makes his story so strange and beautiful, and is also what makes the tension between his brightest and darkest aspects so dichotomous. His childhood was snatched from him too early, and in a shamefully public manner. This is likely the causal tie to his subsequent fascination with children as an adult, and the unsubstantiated yet mighty compelling allegations of child abuse, for which he was eventually tried and acquitted. His psychological unravellings (the whitening of his skin, mysterious outings as a Muslim woman, and the construction of his massive fantasy-themed residence called Neverland Ranch) were displayed for the entire world to see. His music, however, remains and will remain sacred in pop culture’s hallowed halls forever.
“It’s alright letting yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back,” spoke Mick Jagger, once upon a likely drug-fueled time. With Mick, we find an example of a living legend who has followed his own advice, traipsing in and out of that doomed world throughout his career, seemingly straddling the line between life and death with the grace and ease of a trapeze artist. After all, his rumored pact with the devil is what he claims kept him from following suit with his rock star cohort who have lived hard and died young. Perhaps it’s this very mythology that has helped keep the Rolling Stones’ popularity unparalleled and undiminished over half a century. There has never been a band more emotionally polarizing in history than the Stones. Those who love them are fanatical, and those who don’t often seem to take issue first and foremost with Mick’s willful, unabashed impudence. Charming and annoying all at once, he represents the type of legend who could
Whitney Houston’s story is somehow uplifting and depressing in equal measure. Her voice is singular among R&B and pop stars. She ruled the 80s and 90s with her unmatched beauty, energy and talent, and was crowned in 2009 by The Guinness Book Of World Records as “the most awarded female act of all time.” Yet her self-destruction began forming long before that, when she married Bobby Brown in 1992, who as far as the public eye is concerned, roped her into a world of drugs that would eventually take her down. By the early millennium, she was visibly beginning to come apart—losing roles, missing shows, and generally displaying odd behavior, culminating in her infamous interview with Diane Sawyer
ionism, met his end upon crashing his car into a ditch after day drinking with his mistress, Ruth Kligman. In her memoir, Kligman (who survived the crash) claims that he would not take his foot off the gas pedal as they began careening off the road. This, along with Pollock’s notorious moodiness, has led many to question whether he wasn’t in fact on some sort of unconscious suicide mission when he got behind the wheel that day. Heralded as one of the most famous painters in American history, he was as notorious for his work as he was for his volatile personality (he was posthumously diagnosed with bipolar disorder). His alcoholism was as much a fuel for his creativity as it was a necessary crutch, required to mitigate the depths of his artistic brilliance. He invented a style of painting that remains unrivaled in its ingenuity (it is said that it is literally impossible to replicate his drip paintings). For Pollock, the artistic process he would undertake to make them was a journey into the mires of his own psychological world, which he often couldn’t get back from. That famous admonition of Mick Jagger’s, to go ahead and lose yourself but be damn sure to find a way back, was something Pollock failed to heed to his own demise. Jean-Michel Basquiat distilled the world down to something simultaneously prophetic and quotidian through his art. He was a pioneer in his exploration of sociopolitical and racial tensions through painting. His talent, outspokenness, and his adamant interrogation of deeper truths about the individual granted him iconoclast status at a shockingly young age. Unfortunately, much like Pollock, the burden of this inner searching was immense and at times unbearable. He found solace and reprieve through substance abuse. As his depression deepened, so did his heroin use, and despite a brief go at sobriety, he was found dead in his studio from an overdose at the age of twenty-seven.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, by James Van Der Zee, 1982.
in which she declared that she “makes too much money to ever smoke crack,” though admitted in the same breath to using large quantities of cocaine. Her musical career systematically fell apart throughout the early 2000s as she continued to spiral. The world thought she finally hit rock bottom with the atrociously distasteful reality TV show she produced with Brown, which was followed by their subsequent divorce and her relative disappearance from the media. She reappeared in 2009, however, as hopeful for a comeback as the rest of the world was. Instead she wound up dead in a bathtub in 2012 after accidentally drowning in the midst of a drug-induced stupor.
Woody Allen is perhaps one of the most prolific and recognizable directors in the contemporary history of cinema. At the age of 78, his career has spanned half a century. He has produced over 40 films, in many of which he’s also starred. He has won countless awards, including four Oscars. There is an entire floor of his publicity agency dedicated to his own personal PR. Yet, his reputation remains complex, spotty and questionable. He is not a fuck-up, per say, in terms of the typical over indulgence, self-worship and obsession with excess that we so often see from other legendary rebels. His dark side comes with more insidious connotations - he is simultaneously claustrophobic and agoraphobic, if that says anything. And what must be the millions upon millions of dollars he invests in said PR has paid off with gusto, as he is perhaps the only man in modern history that can get away with marrying his girlfriend’s daughter. For background: he has wed three times, and has generally conducted very public and sordid romantic relationships, many of which have resulted in multiple adopted and biological children, the two most infamous of which are scandalously linked to each other.
Sid Vicious is one of history’s more mysterious and legendary disasters, perhaps due to his brief lifespan. Rock and roll’s bad boy incarnate, he defined for the world what it means to not give a fuck, nearly inventing an iconic sneer to serve as an emblem of this sentiment. Not as if we needed the reminder. He basically emerged from his mother’s womb shooting heroin (much of which she herself supplied for him over the course of his short life). In fact, during much of the recording of the Sex Pistols’ first album, Never Mind The Bollocks, Vicious was lying in a hospital bed receiving treatment for Hepatitis C (which he contracted from intravenous drug use). After allegedly murdering his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, in their room at the Chelsea Hotel, he was ordered into rehab on Riker’s Island. The night of his release, his mom threw him a party, during which he procured and consumed a lethal dose of heroin. Though he was more legendary for the insane life he led than for his contribution to music, the Sex Pistols, and therefore punk rock as a movement, wouldn’t have been the same had it not been for him.
In the early 80s he began a courtship with Mia Farrow who was his muse for the decade. However in the early 90s, they parted ways after she found erotic photographs of her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi, in Allen’s home. Soon thereafter, he married the twentyyear-old to the horror of the public. Though he adamantly and perhaps justifiably defends his actions (“What was the scandal? I fell in love with this girl, married her. We have been married for almost 15 years now”) there is new information emerging that casts a different light on things. Allegations that he molested a daughter he and Farrow adopted are currently swirling in the
Jackson Pollock, legendary for spearheading Abstract Express-
Jackson Pollock action painting photographed by Hans Namuth, 1950
is larger than life. He won two academy awards for his work in Braveheart, and has received reams of accolades. He captivates and seduces, and reels his audiences into the various universes that he creates through his roles. Yet off screen he’s anything but a charmer. Arrested back in 2006 for drunk driving, the manically devout Catholic decided to show the world his true colors when he lit into the officer on duty (whom he famously referred to as “sugar tits,” perhaps not realizing that women are allowed to be cops too), launching into an anti-Semitic and racist invective, which proceeded to go viral.
media, and the typically mum Farrow has given her first interview in decades in which she speaks directly about Allen, stating that she feared for her life after she found out about his affair with her Soon-Yi. Ronan, Farrow and Allen’s only biological child, summed up this nutso family best, when on Father’s Day 2012 he tweeted the following: “Happy father’s day – or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day.” “I’ve hacked off so many people in Hollywood, who the hell would give me an Oscar?” Among icons from the movie world that have led lives demarcated by bad behavior, Mickey Rourke stands out. In the 80s he was a golden boy, skyrocketing to fame based on roles in films like Rumble Fish and 9 ½ Weeks. He left acting in the 90s to pursue professional boxing. This makes sense, as he is clearly a man who needs an outlet for his aggression. In 1994, he was charged with spousal abuse against his then wife, Carré Otis, and though horrifying, this almost seems pale in comparison to his behavior over the course of his spotty career. He is known to have been drunk, violent, and unpredictable to the point of achieving pariah status in the industry. Director Alan Parker has said that working with Rourke “is a nightmare. He is dangerous on set, because you never know what he is going to do” - hardly a ringing endorsement. Yet Rourke’s story turned out to be one of redemption—the kind of redemption that Hollywood flocks toward like a moth to a flame—when in 2009 he emerged (with what can only be described as an alarming amount of facial plastic surgery) as the star of The Wrestler, for which he was showered with awards and praise. Only time will tell if Rourke really has turned over a new leaf.
They say that life imitates art. In James Dean’s case, this was proven pretty patently. Most famous for his role in Rebel Without A Cause, the film nearly prophesized his own death, as he died by crashing his Porsche head-on into another vehicle at 85mph. At twenty-four years old, he only lived long enough to act in three films, yet such was his impact on the medium, that he became the first actor to posthumously receive an Oscar nomination. “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” Earnest Hemmingway singlehandedly shaped an entire literary cannon, published seven novels, and won a Nobel Prize in literature and a Pulitzer for fiction. He traveled to war zones, managing to present at both the Normandy Landings and the Liberation of Paris, fought tooth and nail for the disenfranchised, and survived a bushfire, anthrax poisoning, as well as two successive plane crashes which left him in chronic pain. His status as a legend is indisputable, and unassailable. He also happened to be an epic drunk (there is a classic cocktail which bears his namesake). He married three women, purportedly plagiarized 19th century Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev, had more affairs than he could likely count, and generally behaved like a bull
Mel Gibson is the living, breathing argument that actors are really just normal people who are great at pretending. On screen, Gibson
Hunter S. Thompson, 1976.
conducted with frightening single-mindedness, even constructing a new style of journalistic research called “Gonzo”, wherein the observer immerses himself so deeply in the story he wishes to tell that he becomes part of its very fabric. Thompson’s pieces almost always turned out more like ethnographies written by an LCD-addled genius (which he was), the most famous of which, was “Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas,” serialized in Rolling Stone Magazine and eventually collected into a book and adapted into an iconic film, with Johnny Depp in the lead role. Regarding his rampant and defiant use of and love for substances, he once said, “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” Per his own wishes, his ashes were blown out of a cannon at his funeral.
in a china shop wherever he went. He was found dead at the age of 61 after blowing his brains out with his favorite shotgun—a poetic end to a life defined by as much good example setting as bad. Charles Bukowski on the other hand set mostly terrible examples. A reprobate and degenerate, he lived more like a derelict, wild animal than a human. “What matters most, is how well you walk through the fire,” he once proclaimed. Indeed, Bukowski seemed to face this very trial each day he lived, struggling to contain what one could only imagine must have been a debilitating misanthropic worldview (“I don’t hate people. I just feel better when they aren’t around,” he’s known to have said). He didn’t gain any notoriety until his late forties, after Black Sparrow Press began publishing his work. Until then he had held a job at a post office. Despite the alcohol-soaked sponge that was his mind, his poetry moved mountains. Despite his slovenly, antisocial lifestyle, women would show up on his lawn to lobby for a chance to sleep with him, which invariably provided him with fodder for his writings, which in turn fortified his inexplicable sex appeal. Miraculously, Bukowski lived into his 70s.
So what makes a legend legendary? What can we learn from this motley crew of fucked up legends, these case studies in rebellion? First and foremost, what they show to us is that legendary status isn’t achieved solely by those who strive to do good things in life. It is not necessarily defined by those who guide humanity toward the light, so to speak. There is a whole cast of legends that in fact guide us toward the darkest, most insidious nooks and crannies, both out in the world and deep within ourselves. Theirs are the stories we love to hate, and hate to love. They are stories played out by people who crash their cars, marry their daughters, say awful things on the record, drink themselves into oblivion and refuse to apologize for any of it, all the while making beautiful art. Is the world better off for their contribution to it? No one can say, though it is certainly more colorful.
Hunter S. Thompson didn’t make it quite that far before calling it quits, so to speak, when at the age of 67 he shot himself in the head. The last sentence of his suicide note read, “Relax—this won’t hurt.” It seems what really hurt him, rather, was the imperative to stay alive. The stress he likely experienced in capturing the world through his keen yet terrifying lens eventually got the best of him. He never finished high school, because he was busy serving out a prison sentence for abetting a robbery. He went on, however, to launch a successful career as a journalist—one which he
Article by Marianne White
Sid Vicious photographed by Adrian Boot, circa 1977
Vivienne Westwood Spring / Summer 2014
When it comes to fashion legends, to omit the Queen of anti-establishment fashion, Dame Vivienne Westwood, would be a serious crime. Westwood has been an inspiration for generations of designers, artists and musicians. Along with her former boyfriend Malcolm McLaren, she orchestrated a revolution felt far beyond the fashion industry, and has been leading it for over 40 years.
V I V I E N N E
W E S T W OO D
Rebel with a Cause In 1971, McLaren and Westwood opened “Let It Rock,” a boutique offering a radical take on the biker fashion craze sweeping through post-bohemian Britain. Westwood, once a primary school teacher, tested her creative mind and flexed entrepreneurial muscle for the first time. There was no better place to do this than on London’s trendy King’s Road, made famous in the 1960s by Mary Quant as a hub for sartorial genius.
of 18th century-inspired menswear accessorized with lipstick and eyeliner, turning a feral beast to flamboyant Lord Byron. Her famously tongue-in-cheek redefinition of the high heel mixed Barbarella dominatrix style with fairy-tale giants. These keenly adopted inspirations, whether historical, futuristic, or downright obscure, made her a force to be reckoned with in an industry that too often has stale moments.
In just a few years, Westwood would become the exemplar of fashion we know today. This shift toward notoriety came in 1976, when McLaren became manager of one of the most groundbreaking groups in British musical history: The Sex Pistols. An amalgamation of anti-establishment fury, antagonism and sheer otherworldliness, they were the perfect vehicle for McLaren and Westwood to initiate the marriage of music and fashion. This was no shotgun wedding; music and fashion had been intimately linked since the 1950’s Teddy Boy explosion called Elvis Presley its poster boy.
Westwood’s recent collections have been described as “gloriously crazed” by all corners of the fashion press. And they’re right: Westwood continues to create madcap fashions that brim with childlike fantasy. A medieval tone swept through the Spring/ Summer collection she debuted at Paris Fashion Week, a theme Westwood dubbed “Pilgrim’s Progress”. One could class it Game of Thrones chic, the palette shifting from strong Plantagenet blues, reds and greens to rustic tartans and more earthy colours. Codesigned by husband Andreas Kronthaler, the couple concocted a wild dream sequence of gowns fit for notorious medieval women, but with a modern twist. Tangled nests of lace perched precariously atop models’ heads and a spider’s web of chiffon cascaded from shoulders to ankles. Prints and patterns were inspired by the countryside; traditional garden herbs and flowers mixed together, quintessentially English. This collection was not solely a regal affair; the medieval shepherdess and tavern wench inhabited Westwood’s spotlight too. Ripped bodices and coquettish frocks nipped in at the waist provided magical explorations in femininity. Striking pink, gold and apricot punctuated the collection, giving it that Westwood trademark.
Together, McLaren and Westwood executed a vision in which style wielded as much strength as music in perpetuating an extreme new subculture. Known as “punk,” Westwood went all out in her influences to create a collection of truly shocking garments. Having previously experimented with biker fashion and fetish wear, she turned the fetish element up several notches, melding elements of sex work, BDSM, the military, and outrageous makeup. It was something no one had seen in fashion’s history. Westwood has said, “I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the system.” Rechristening the King’s Road boutique “SEX,” the time was ripe to launch punk style across the UK. Attention came swiftly, with the BBC and various newspapers up in arms over what they deemed the systematic degradation of Britain’s youth.
Westwood’s Fall/Winter collection explored 19th century grandeur, pinpointing couturier Charles Frederick Worth as inspiration. Patterns alluding to psychedelic dreams and Ancient South American prints added an extra pinch of creativity that few others would think to mix in. Many dresses seemed to drip like honey from a spoon, more constrained than usual for Westwood, who layered contrasting fabrics and colour schemes and topped looks with sashes and militaristic headbands. Outerwear was key in this collection, with flowing coats descending like fierce clouds in a violent rainstorm. Westwood’s palette was as gloriously schizophrenic as ever - sage green with pastel pink, stark black against vivid red. Like all of Westwood’s collections, it was a magnificent marriage of art, eccentricity and boundary-pushing conceits.
This cleverly constructed sartorial and musical creation bewitched young people alienated by popular culture. Punk didn’t just give pop culture a kick in the backside, but bit its ear off and spat in its face. Westwood and McLaren did what no one in fashion had - brand an international cultural revolution that would change the face of pop music forever. Westwood’s vision, rooted in disruption of conformist society by celebrating individualism, earned her fame she hadn’t imagined. From working-class Northern girl with little creative experience to global fashion sensation who sparked a cultural movement and became a living legend, one of Westwood’s most memorable quotes sums up her raison d’être: “Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.”
At seventy, Westwood still shows other designers how things should be done, and that fashion is about protest and creativity, never conformity or fear. The word trailblazer seems a trite platitude, but there is simply no other way to describe her. The ability to conjure beauty from such disparate inspirations is the essence of Vivienne Westwood.
In the years since punk subculture made its mark, Westwood has continued to explore and experiment. Her famous foray into “New Romanticism” (defined by Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet) ditched the sneering, confrontational attitude of punk in favour
Article by Ben Mirza
Bottom left- Gia Carangi, 1994. Top left- Halle Berry at The Academy Awards, 2002. Bottom left- Phillip Bloch & Brooke Shields 2001. Top Right- Studio 54
A STYLE MEMOIRE The Infamous George Wayne Sits Down For A Candid Chat With Stylist Extraordinaire Phillip Bloch About Dressing Legends & Living The Fashion Lifestyle
the closet, and I broke that door down. I got out of high school and went to Studio 54 and that door was busted down… David LaChapelle and I were busboys there together. GW: Tell me some stories from Studio 54! PB: I had broken glasses, my hair was curly and frizzy and Steve Rubell would always come in and say ‘Your hair is a mess, take those damn glasses off!’ I remember Madonna from those days… She was very good friends with the bartender in the upstairs room… I think the most amazing thing I ever saw was Valentino did a Thanksgiving party and they had pilgrims and Indians – it was so opulent and decadent and rich… you just don’t see those budgets at parties anymore… GW: How did you become a model? You walked the runway for Gaultier… PB: Yeah, Gaultier and Galliano… I walked my very first runway for Galliano, right out of high school. I was working at Comme Des Garçons at the time in SoHo and then I went to Tokyo and I ran into Jean Paul Gaultier on the street and he started talking to me and says ‘Oh, where are you from? You should come to Paris and do my show.’ I said ‘Oh no, I’m going to go to Bali to do mushrooms’. I was a man with a purpose. GW: I love it! PB: You know, I was modeling to travel the world and to meet cool people. For me, what was always important was being cool. Like, I thought cool was it. Some people want to be smart, some people want to be sexy … I wanted to be cool. GW: Were you thought about as a cool kid or were you a nerdy kid? PB: Depends on who you ask. I had very permissive parents so I was cool for that fact alone. I had parties at my house… I
George Wayne: What’s your fashion melody? Phillip Bloch: What’s so exciting now about fashion is that wind of change in the air… from the way the shows are, the new kids in the industry… it’s so stupid to do a trend piece anymore because everything is a trend: it’s long, it’s full, it’s skinny… GW: Would you consider yourself to be the innovator of the movement of celebrity stylists? PH: What makes somebody legendary…someone like Laurie Goldstein. She mixed the grandfather sweaters with the lacy skirt and the beaded camisole… I think that was one of the last really great movements in fashion that was created by a stylist. Myself, I brought the new Hollywood glamour. I took old Hollywood glamour and I made it new, and that’s how I got known. Then Rachel Zoe did the boho-chic thing. GW: I’d like to think that Rachel Zoe took your blueprint and ran away with it… PB: She and I are very good friends… I don’t think she stole it from me because we were friends. What I consider my last day in Hollywood, I called her on the phone and said ‘Girl, it’s all yours.’ GW: I look at your resume and you must not sleep! Honey, not only that but you’ve had so many books! You’ve done movies… PB: I’ve starred in movies! It’s really fascinating as a kid from Long Island who wasn’t really that special – I’m not that tall, I’m not that beautiful, I’m not that smart, I’m not that anything… but that was the right combination. GW: Was your first love to be an actor or was it to be a stylist? PB: Funny you should ask that question because when I started, I got out of high school and a gay guy couldn’t have had a career in the 80s or 90s… I mean, you could if you stayed in
has won an Oscar in the past ten years, ask them what they wore and nobody knows. Ask about Halle and they know what she wore when she won. We’d never seen a dress like that. Everybody remembers that speech and they remember that dress and I thank her for that. I gave a lot of these people their first time at the Oscars. GW: It seems like you’re always there for that seminal moment… PB: I’m the Forrest Gump of fashion! I did Michael Jackson’s last photo shoots - an Ebony cover and then we did a Jet cover. I wanted to give him real military, not that Cap’n Crunch shit he was wearing - it was such an injustice to the genius he was. The great thing about him was that he let you do your job and he asked you questions. He never told you what to. The night before the shoot, we were at the Carlyle hotel and he came hours late with Blanket, a little gypsy-looking kid … it was a Sunday night with an entire room full of clothes and we were waiting… there were all these calls saying he’s coming, he isn’t coming, and unceremoniously there was a little knock at the door and he was there with Blanket. We went into the other room where all the clothes were; everybody was going to come and he said ‘No, just Phillip and I and Blanket’, and we went into the room and we went through all the racks of clothes, piece by piece. GW: Every single one? PB: Every single piece. And he asked questions and I explained ‘Oh this is from Paul Smith’ and he said ‘Oh, who’s that?’ It was fascinating to me… he didn’t know anything about pop culture. He didn’t care. Now, again, I don’t know what was an act with him and what was real… At one point we were looking at clothes and out of nowhere he says ‘So you worked with Halle Berry?’ and I said ‘Yes, I dressed her for the Oscars’ and he said ‘She’s so pretty’ – he was like a little child… the most exciting moment of the day was when we finally went downstairs to the sarcophagus…it was two or three in the morning. Michael had on these Hugo Boss women’s jeans size 0, this Cavali snakeskin women’s jacket size 0 and we had this little boom box and all of a sudden his song came on and… it was just magic! To be able to be a part of those moments and give people those moments is magnificent - they changed my life. I did River Phoenix’s last photo shoots as well, a cover of Detour and a cover of Spin. GW: So what was it like on the set with Brooke Shields for the cover of Untitled? PB: When you’ve known someone since you’re seventeen it’s really interesting to get to work together… the two people that have been the most professional to work with are Cindy Crawford and Brooke…Cindy Crawford one day said one of my favorite lines in the business. We’re at a shoot and she said ‘I’m not sweating, am I?’ and I said ‘No, you look amazing.’ And she said ‘I’m concentrating so hard to just sweat down the center of my back so it doesn’t show.’ That’s Cindy Crawford. And I have to say, of all the women that I’ve dressed, she’s the one who makes me feel a little giddy… GW: What’s the newest project? PB: Being the creative style director for the NFL. My father, somewhere, has made that happen. Joan Rivers, the first time she met my father she said, ‘Mr. Bloch, congratulations, isn’t it a blessing to have a son that’s working?’ Isn’t that just classic?! GW: Who would you like to work with out of the current young Hollywood women? PB: Selena Gomez … Taylor Swift… again, listen, it’s not what it was. They’re not Nicole and Salma and Jennifer. GW: We should be proud that we were a part of the real deal.
was best friends with Gia Carangi. I remember coming to the city and I met one of the bookers for Wilhelmina and I ended up moving in with her and then she introduced me to Gia… I remember one day we went downtown and she went into a building to buy drugs and all of a sudden she starts getting into this argument with the dealer and tells me to wait outside… So, I stepped outside and all of a sudden you hear POP, POP, POP and Gia comes running out and says ‘Take off, lets go!’ She was cool. Like, she had a Vogue cover and a Cosmo cover at the same time and there she was looking like shit and yelling ‘Get the car going!’ GW: Was she really more ballsy than Madonna was? PB: Much quieter than Madonna. GW: What was it about her that made her a star? PB: She had that androgyny thing but she wasn’t androgynous. She just didn’t care. Iman was coming in capes and big hats and Gia was in torn jeans. She would go out a window in the gown and jewels to get drugs, and she would say ‘I’m going to the bathroom for a minute.’ She was rebellious, I just loved it. For me, that was iconic. To me, Gia was everything. GW: So you’ve worked with some of the nicest gals in Hollywood – Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, and you’ve also worked with some of the most notorious divas… Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Faye Dunaway… How do you prepare for a day of fittings with someone like Faye Dunaway? PB: She talks in third person! One of my favorite quotes is ‘Oh my goodness, we can’t have our leading lady stepping on pins!’ During the Northridge earthquake we were fitting her for the Golden Globes and we came into Armani and the earthquake was the Monday afterwards and so people at Armani kept saying ‘Is everything okay from the earthquake?’ and she was really annoyed… and at one point she says ‘Earthquake? What are you talking about? I’m hosting the Golden Globes!’ GW: Who are the more recent people that you’ve had the distinct pleasure to work with? PB: Charlie Sheen… Lindsay Lohan… GW: Do we have to mention Lindsay? PB: I’ve had the best experiences with her, except she took a gown and cut it in half. GW: Who does that? PB: She’ll leave the house and say ‘Okay I’m leaving now. You guys can stay here, just close the door when you’re done.’ There’s this innocence about her… You know who else was really interesting for me to work with? Oprah was really interesting because she’s Oprah. She shows up and all the minions kind of pop up and then when she’s with you, and she’s all yours… GW: What about the most famous of all? Which is probably Halle Berry. She put you on the map! PB: I was on the map before Halle and Halle knows that. What put me on the map was Salma Hayek and I. I put that tiara on Salma at the Oscars in 1996… I dressed 13 people for the Oscars that year. That put me on the map. Salma in the tiara with the blue eye shadow. And Amy Spindler wrote an article about me in the Times right after that and that’s also what put me on the map. GW: What happened with you and Halle Berry? Let’s cut to the chase. PB: We’re a part of each other’s history... You know, you begin to hate what made you famous, you resent it. People resent the song that made them famous…I dressed Halle... GW: She becomes known for that dress, that hair… PB: To this day, you can ask anybody, out of everyone who
LOR D E 52
New Zealand born songstress Lorde, whose meteoric rise to fame had jaws dropping over this past year, has in one swift move, beginning with her debut album release in September and culminating in her double Grammy win this past January, stolen the metaphorical tiara from the pop princesses of yore. For example, Miley Cyrus’ miasma of embarrassing public performances and cringe-worthy music videos left her reputation resting precariously on the edge of oblivion. Subsequently, the public seemed ready for a new, slightly more serious face of the teen pop cohort. Lorde was there at precisely the right moment to step into the shoes vacated by her contemporaries, who all seem increasingly more interested in partying than making music. Lorde rocketed into the stratosphere and bewitched the public at large with a collection of songs that are pure pleasure for the ears and the mind. Let’s not forget that the seventeen-year-old Lorde, real name Ella YelichO’Connor, pens all of her own songs, and does so without a hint of any superficial, attention-grabbing lyrics in them which, for a teenager, is an amazing achievement in and of itself. at the Brit Awards. It’s not just the studio wherein the singer works her magic, but on stage as well. Her recent tour stops in the US have been hailed as “a show not to miss.” Fans and critics alike have been clamouring to find out whether the teenage star can truly cut it on stage; the answer is yes, yes she can.
Lorde’s pied piper effect on the world is a wonderful thing. With the exception of Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey, it’s been a while since we have seen such a young pop star emerge that wasn’t fashioned together by industry giants such as Sony or EMI. Lorde, rather, is a lone star and entirely self-created. She’s regularly been hailed as the antidote to sexual provocation and materialistic glorification that pervades the world of pop. For many, Lorde is difficult to dissect because she doesn’t fit into the category of over-sexualized and under-talented teen sensation. Not to say that she’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but her personal and professional style are unlike anything we’ve seen. There’s been some tongue-in-cheek debate going on as to whether this seventeen-year-old is in fact a thirty-five-year-old woman in disguise, thanks to her alarmingly level-headed and astute demeanour. In interviews, when she retreats from being Lorde and becomes Ella again, she is ever the introspective and sensible young woman, someone who genuinely understands the capricious and often vicious world of pop music, which can galvanize one’s crash down to earth as quickly as it can their ascension to the pedestal.
It’s obvious that Lorde is no Britney or Christina; she doesn’t have the traditional pretty pop-girl look. Her physical beauty isn’t some superfluous creation structured by Maybelline and Yves Saint Laurent, it’s natural and earthy, a teen version of Tilda Swinton. Her maturity extends above and beyond her look, as she takes on heavy subject matter in her songs as well. In “Royals,” for example, the feisty teenager lambasts hip-hop’s perverse obsession with luxury culture, giving its vacuous elements a proper rollicking. Clearly, she doesn’t hold back on biting social commentary. Other songs of hers both revel in and revile the drama of teenage angst and life in general. The musical arrangements can go from melodic and almost economically stripped down to powerful and ear-clanging: a true microcosm of the schizophrenia we all suffer during our teenage years. The lyrical motifs that occur throughout Pure Heroine cop a stern wisdom that most people her age don’t possess. Yet on the other hand, the album as a whole brings to mind all of the impulses and fragility of youth.
The public eye, along with the bigwigs of the music industry, have seen something in young Lorde. Recently she won two Grammys, one for Song of the Year and the other for Pop Solo Performance, beating out competition from the likes of Macklemore, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and pop veteran P!nk. In a note posted to The New Zealand Herald titled “Holy Crap” she went on to say, “It was a crazy day & my friends & family over here are still freaking out. I just wanted to say thank you for the time you’ve given me these past 14 months…finding out about me online or in between these pages or in your headphones. …Without your support, there’s no way I would ever have gotten to stand in the middle of the Staples Centre & perform in my school shoes. …I can’t wait for tonight’s show. Together, we’ll make it magic. I’ll see you there. … xxx L.”
Lorde has changed the tides of today’s pop world on enumerable fronts, most notably in terms of artistic freedom, fearlessness to tackle the contradictions of the genre, self-confidence that doesn’t stem from a team of makeup and hair stylists, and the ability to speak directly to her audience. These things are so very often plastered over or left in a corner to rot away. However, she has taken it upon herself to make sure that their prominence shines brightly through the work that she produces. The New Zealander’s legendary status has already been sealed. Even if one were to take away Lorde’s musical genius and just look at her as a young woman, they would still say she got it right. With her freedom from record label interference when it comes to her looks, style and opinions, she’s achieved something which no other female pop star of her age has.
Since the release of Pure Heroine, not only have her fans danced for joy but some of the living legends of pop, like Elton John, David Bowie and Katy Perry, have joined in. Elton John specifically praised the song “Tennis Court,” describing it as “one of the most touching, beautiful things on earth.” With the Grammys already in the bag, 2014 has seen the awards and nominations coming fast and in large quantities for the young muse. Lorde was nominated for Favourite Breakout Artist at the People’s Choice Awards, winning Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, along with scoring nominations in two other categories. To top it all off, the singer bagged the award for International Female Solo Artist
The big question that people will soon be asking is: will the songstress’ sophomore album be able to surpass Pure Heroine? If she keeps up her current attitude then the answer is a definite yes. Article by Ben Mirza Lorde photographed by Charles Howells
Amidst the electric spirit of 1980s punk rebellion, British fashion designer Pam Hogg emerged as a self-taught, quirky powerhouse who quickly became a fixture of the fashion scene. “I went to art school to be a fine artist, until I discovered print design and its process. With no rules to follow, I just made it up as I went along, and I still do today.” Pam’s eclectic body of work embodies a forward-leaning hybridization of art and fashion. The offbeat designer’s work raises the proverbial middle finger to the mainstream fashion world, making her a visionary in the process. “I design out of the excitement of discovery rather than a targeted market,” says the artist, admitting that in order to keep working, she still must produce clothing that has a relative commercial appeal. “To stay in the game, a selling collection is what counts. I’m making moves to be able to do both.” Though she understands the balance between a mainstream sensibility and a personal vision, Pam is, above all, interested in following her own instinct, the same one that surprised even her. “I had no intention of being a fashion designer. I had been making my own clothes from an early age, so it was just something that came naturally to me.”
PAM HOGG the controversial imprisonment of the feminist punk rock group. “I generally make some statement with my work, and it had been killing me that the season I’d decided not to show was the one where my biggest statement could be made, and could actually have a voice.” The potential for a wasted opportunity was eating away at her. “I was in turmoil for two days; I knew I couldn’t not show after that request.” With just three weeks to prepare, Pam quickly decided on the title, COURAGE, inspired by Pussy Riot’s stance upon leaving jail. She found that “the collection I had quickly formulated in my head became a dedication and a celebration to them and gay culture.”
Pam’s unconventional attitude translates into her myriad mediums of expression. Not limiting herself to only one artistic realm, she has explored fine arts, filmmaking, and music production, expressing her original point of view in each new medium with the same freshness and courage that has made her a subversive fashion world darling. Though her work consistently challenges the expectations of the mainstream, Pam has been praised by some of its most well-established veterans, including BBC’s Terry Wogan, who called Pam “one of the most original, inventive, creative designers in Britain.” She pushes the boundaries of her fashion collections with inventive catwalk presentations and highly conceptual fashion films. “My vision expands into another dimension. With the endless possibilities in filmmaking, I see my pieces work on the catwalk and in film, but limited time and finances doesn’t often allow for both at the same moment.” It’s clear that Pam’s creative flexibility is an essential ingredient in the development of her work. “When I design, I approach it with absolute openness. I’ll then hang onto an idea and let it take me in a direction which I’ll follow and explore. At any given time, something may spark off a totally new idea that takes me into the unexpected.”
Pam’s crossover with music is embedded in her persona. In 1993, Pam garnered attention from a onstage performance with industrial noise band Pighead. She was asked to open for famed Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry. She formed a band, called Doll, in just five days to play the gig. Doll would later go on to serve as a supporting act for British post-punk band The Raincoats, furthering Pam’s deep ties to punk’s cultural cannon. Pam’s prolific influence is no secret; aside from Debbie Harry, she’s inspired the likes of icons such as Kate Moss, Siouxsie Sioux, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Claudia Schiffer, all of whom have donned her adventurous attire. Constructing nearly every piece herself— “especially the finale garments that are more couture”—Pam stays busy, constantly thinking about what is to come. “As soon as one collection is finished, I’m designing the next. It never stops. The more intense it becomes toward the show deadline, the more the ideas pour out, but I have to bring it to an end.” Pam’s mind is, according to her, always racing, and when she’s finally ready to get back into the studio, “all of the unused ideas start to formulate. By then they’ll have found a new life and direction.”
Pam is no stranger to the unexpected. During her first runway show, she crafted nearly one hundred different looks, which she then had to pare down to fifteen using an elaborate, last-minute organizational method to match models up with pieces that fit their size. It wasn’t until she arrived backstage minutes before the show on no sleep, however, that she realized the backstage assistants had dressed and categorized the pieces without reading Pam’s careful instructions. “At first, I was in shock,” she remembers. “I thought I would have to cancel the show.” Yet, by the end of it, with the models walking on stage in undone bustiers and unlaced shoes, Pam had found a strange beauty in the chaos. “That would probably have been a disaster for most designers but for me it actually worked out beautifully.”
Always innovative, Pam Hogg continues to create memorable moments as a legendary figure in experimental fashion. What will we be seeing from Pam in the future? What new boundaries will she challenge? The key, Pam says, to knowing what’s next is to let the mind do the work, “that’s a question I can’t answer, as its still formulating and unknown even to myself until I get back into my studio and let it unravel.” As for now, the Victoria and Albert Gallery in London has one of Pam Hogg’s wedding dresses on view for their “Wedding Dresses 1775-2014” exhibition, alongside other iconic designers including John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood, and Vera Wang.
This same element of surprise can be seen in her most recent collection, which serendipitously came together in the final hour. “This season, I’d made the difficult decision not to show. However, just three weeks before fashion week, Amnesty International contacted me asking if I’d give recognition to Pussy Riot within my collection, due to Fashion Week and the Russian Olympic games coinciding.” Pam had no intention to debut new work, but ever the provocateur, she couldn’t pass up an opportunity to comment on
Photography by Rachell Smith Stylist: Irene Manicone Hair by Oskar Pera Make-up by Harriet Hadfield
Deep Cotton photographed by Carter B Smith.
“Write bad songs. Write lots of bad songs. Because to get to the good songs, you need to write the bad ones first.” Chuck Lightning and Nate “Rocket” Wonder comprise the American neo-funk duo Deep Cotton. And as it turns out, they have written a plethora of really good songs. In addition to being highly sought-after producers and recording artists, they are also on the frontline of the next wave of Afrofuturism—a movement that took root in the early 1990s as an emergent cast of black artists, writers and musicians began interrogating the dilemmas faced by marginalized cultures through their creative work. As founding members of the Wondaland Arts Society in Georgia, they have become figureheads in the genre’s evolution. This past fall, Deep Cotton released their debut EP, Runaway Radio, a collection of songs that the band says has the potential to “fix the ills of the world,” or as they’ve dubbed it, a fixtape. Most recently, they’ve had their hand in executive producing long-time friend and Wondaland founder Janelle Monáe’s groundbreaking sophomore album, The Electric Lady, which features the likes of Miguel, as well as Prince - whom they worked with directly and describe as “the epitome of the word ‘amazing’”.
The inhabitants of the Wondaland collective comprise a slew of multicultural artists, musicians and innovators who come together to “talk about universal stories in unforgettable ways.” The pair describes this progenerative hive – which now hosts more than 18 residents – as a unique nexus of art, music and science. “I think in general all of us are into innovation, all of us are into technology, all of us are into magic and storytelling,” Chuck says. Not only is Wondaland helping to support emerging artists from the genre, but it’s also helping prompt larger conversation about otherness through the collective’s music and unique forms of expression. “For us, it’s meant a lot because we’ve sort of gathered together like a tribe, to help each other create a movement and look out for each other. The power of the collective has been something that’s really helped us.”
The band has already been hailed for having carved out a seminal space for a new wave of Afrofuturists, but their breakthrough moment arrived in a quieter fashion, when Andre 3000 from Outkast came to their studio to collaborate on one of the tracks for Radio. “It was like watching a hero create, and being able to create with them,” Nate says. “The lessons we learned were really important, and it’s a great song.” And it was in the middle of that same session that Andre taught the duo about striking the perfect balance. “Dre was like, ‘I feel what you’re doing right now, but its got to be something a little bit better,’” Nate recalls. “’You got to give them something to take home with them once you’ve got the club part of it out the way, you have to make them keep what you did in their head’…That was a very clear moment for me to understand that that balance was really important.”
This sort of intellectualism underpins every aspect of their work and aesthetic. The inspiration behind their moniker, for example, stems from an idea put forth by one of their biggest musical muses, Jimi Hendrix, and speaks to the larger idea governing the duo’s art. “I think more than anything there was this quote that Hendrix had, where he said he wished that they’d had guitars in cotton fields a long time ago, because a lot of stuff would have gotten straightened out. We’re huge Hendrix fans, so there was something about that quote.” For both Chuck and Nate, Deep Cotton attempts to capture the same type of vibrancy that Jimi painted the American landscape with. Their work truly focuses on “the magic that can happen in America when we all sit down and look at history and culture from the perspective of freedom and freedom fighting.” In fact, for the neo-funk duo, the idea of freedom is something akin to a muse. “I guess you could say we’re like futurists,” Chuck says. “Ancient futurists, though, that are here in America just doing what we can to tell some stories that’ll free folks, that’s all.”
Their industrious work ethic, combined with the diverse and varied sources from which they draw inspiration, make their art meld seamlessly with their lives. In turn they have created an existence in which they live and breathe the ideas put forth in their work. “We just kind of try to create with an open mind and we have a lot of energy and freedom, and we let that be the way that the product takes place,” Chuck says. “We’re always looking to tell stories and provide images and ideas, so we’re trying to go as far and as deep across various disciplines to try to get us close to that type of truth.”
It seems that same magic was perhaps what allowed for these two to cross paths. They met as dorm mates in college, while Nate was studying computer coding and Chuck was “working around with scripts,” and decided to collaborate. “[Chuck] was reading Shakespeare, and I was in the other room, just making music or being loud or whatever, and he walked in the room and was like, ‘Open up a track.’ and I was like ‘Okay’ and then he got on the microphone and started yelling.” The jam session started off, Nate explains, as a game of one-upmanship, but neither one would allow the other to see their surprise. “I was shocked but I wouldn’t let on that I was shocked, and so I just started making sounds that sounded like I could shock him.” These so called “punk prophets” would soon become highly sought-after producers as a result of the partnership they fused.
The future for these futurists is wide open. Their full-length debut, I Have A Scream, will be coming out imminently, and the two are also working on a collection entitled The Vampire Love Suite. “I guess you could say it’s an audio motion picture about two vampires who fall in love.” And of course, the continuing growth of Wondaland keeps them busy. “We’ve got some other stuff that we’re working on which is just Wondaland stuff…secret projects that you’ll find out more about as it progresses. We’re really excited. There are some really big seeds we’re planting right now.” Until then, they will continue to do the thing that they believe makes for true legends. “Push it. As much as we can. Music and all the other parts, to the point where we can really have an impact.”
ba n ksy effe c t Of all the things that have come to define the new millennium, perhaps none capture the zeitgeist better than the mainstream embracement of “the street.” What “the street” means is a great many things to different people, but as hip hop shifted from shelling genre mixtapes with much underground chatter into a dominant industry in its own right, and the fashion world shifted its lens from the catwalk to the sidewalk, there seemed to be an emerging statement being made: that anyone, anywhere, can achieve prominence, that culture is dictated by the people, that the conversation surrounding the nature of art had changed. We’d seen both ends of this spectrum explored independently. Jean-Michel Basquiat had become a postmodern art darling after using the notorious downtown tag SAMO; and we saw Curtis Kulig’s “Love Me” tag end up on everything from mugs, to t-shirts, to beanies and every item in between. This new breed of street artist, however, wasn’t interested in assimilating its style into traditional artistic landscapes. With a similar multicultural bend as other big historical art movements, street art finds its roots everywhere from France to England to stateside metropolises.
Nowhere was this shift more apparent than in the rise of street art. Its name can change depending on the conversation but the link between the terminology and the general ethos of street art never seems to waver. The idea is that, perhaps for the first time in history, art culture had started to trickle out of galleries and elite circles, and has suddenly become available for the people again. In those early stages of street art’s emergence writ countercultural and monocultural at once, the medium stood in quiet, revolutionary opposition.
Of this new class of artistic provocateurs, two developed their voices and their sensibilities most recognizably during the early stages of street art’s immersion into the mainstream: Shepard Fairey and Banksy. The former’s aesthetic would come to define a momentous election; the latter’s identity remains ever elusive. While on polar opposite ends of the spectrum both in terms of style and sensibility, the two nevertheless have come to stand as the figureheads of the movement of artistic savants. The way street art has crafted a revised dialogue around the nature of artistic expression, and that most basic question that has plagued postmodern intellectuals - “What is art?” - has gone a long way in developing a more democratized culture. Street art is a self-proclaimed act of rebellion against the actual institution of art, much as art once seemed to be exclusively a rebellion against the culture that surrounded it. The vagaries of street art’s beginnings mirror the larger discourse surrounding the form, where the discussion about street art’s legitimacy often trumps the actual art itself. This general confusion surrounding where street art fits in the broader narrative of the art world seems to be central to its very thesis. In that sense, artists
Banksy’s Parking mural, 2010, 908 S. Broadway, Los Angeles
Banksy “Maid in London”, 2006
most often lumped into the category found themselves to be the projection of the culture’s more postmodern desires, self-referential and self-assured at once.
function is a testament to its time and place—one in which wariness of all things pretentious has left a crater-sized gap between the art world and the public at large. For most, the end of the public fascination with the intelligentsia gave way to a general disconnect between creative industry and culture itself, making the realm of “the art scene” increasingly insular, catering to a wealthy elite more interested in proximity to than a relationship with the art itself.
What street art “is” exactly is what even those with the most cursory understanding of the medium know it to be—visual art created in and on public spaces, often unsanctioned, always provocative. The provocations themselves differ largely depending on the artist and climate; the term is often blamed for a simplification of the work being done. Yet it captures the most important motif that binds all the work: the use of space. The deconstruction of the museum as a curatorial space has, since the turn of the 21st century, turned every inch of the world’s most well established metropolises into a blank canvas. The most legendary figures of the movement— Shepard Ferry and Banksy—are contributors to more than just a paradigm shift in the conversation surrounding art; they’re vital to changing the notion of the museum or gallery space as context. Instead of allowing an institution to help define art, and place it in a specific conversation with the space it inhabits, street art places its focus on art in conversation with the world at large. By breaking the fourth wall, the movement has become something not only intrinsic to contemporary popular culture, but rather a progressive element of how we view public space and the tangible role of the city.
Banksy’s work in particular has found a lurid fascination with the highbrow/lowbrow threshold. His evolution in form, from freehand graffiti to his now signature use of stenciling, crafts a photorealism that requires very little in the way of interpretive analysis. This accessibility is what makes the themes of his works—anticapitalist, anti-war, and generally anti-establishment—most potent. Their effectiveness works thanks to Banksy adopting the sort of sardonic wit and sharp directness of twentieth-century marketing. By fusing wordplay and imagery much the same way commercial enterprises do in the act of a sale, Banksy fuses the sensibility of commercial culture with the subversion inherent in street art, and through it creates, intentional or not, a very telling link between commodity culture and the contemporary art world. Yet in much the same way that Banksy is able to comment on art as commodity through rebellion, Shepard Fairey comments on the notion of art as rebellion largely through commodity. This distinction captures the cyclical way in which street art manages to speak to itself and about itself. “The real message behind most of my work is ‘question everything,’” Fairey has been quoted as saying. The excitement over street art’s gradual immersion into the conversation surrounding art and culture was notable and
So what makes street art something aside from a fad, a momentary hiccup in a culture ruled more and more by those who can afford to participate in it? What makes it iconic, largely, is that its most forward-thinking figures don’t seem to be taking their work too seriously. This wryness with which street art has managed to
Shepard Fairey mural, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, 2010
remains important because of the very fact that it has continued to challenge our preconception of what it is that separates the casual observer, the religious museum attendee, and the collector.
and search for meaning in the sticker.” This is a hilariously vital statement from the notoriously caustic street artist, key because, because it manages to subvert the assumed intention of an art form that is already subverting the assumed intention of art.
Street art’s rise in the mainstream American consciousness spiked after 9/11, which was no coincidence. The medium’s preoccupation with rebellion was fused in the spirit of its form. It is still largely illegal, heavily combatted by authorities, and often the result of numerous public statements decrying it an eyesore on an otherwise gorgeous city landscape—the latter being a phrase most mayors must use. Yet, with Banksy’s work—and Fairey’s as well, though its ties to American politics would go on to be strengthened a little deeper into the new millennium—there was a very distinct post-ennui cynicism in place that felt largely to be the voice of the American public during the Bush administration.
Eventually Fairey would be the aesthetic face of skate brand and conglomerate Obey, and Banksy would go on to not only become a euphemism for street art itself, but the basis for a hoard of new graduates from the street art school of subversion, all while remaining completely anonymous. This anonymity in effect was part and parcel of his very iconic and mythic status as an artist. Many would go on to emulate his style, copying everything from the sensibility of the aesthetic to his references (a mix of commercial art figures, like Mickey Mouse or Ronald McDonald, combined with political imagery, like the Gaza wall or the naked child running from the atomic bomb).
His work during the first half of the 2000s was his most official and prolific: 2002 brought Existencilism, his Los Angeles debut held at 33 1/3 Gallery in Silver Lake, followed by a warehouse installation and exhibition titled Turf War that steadily heightened his popularity. However it was the 2006 show, Barley Legal, that is to be credited for the American mainstream’s embracement of Banksy. Around the same time, England and America’s tenuous relations were tested with the Iraq war, a controversial unifying of opposing ideologies that prompted an international ripple effect.
Nowhere was this adoption more evident than in the rise of Mr. Brainwash, a Los Angeles-based street art figure with ties to the street art underground of France and England (his cousin is street artist Invader, who uses discarded Rubik’s Cube squares to create tactile mosaics of Pac-man ghosts on walls and street corners). He was also tasked with, and interested in, doing a documentary about street art in the early days of its popularity. Through his cousin, Mr. Brainwash (aka Thierry Guetta) met Fairey and even the elusive Banksy, filming them as they traveled the globe, tagging every flat service in eye-shot with some of their most memorable pieces. They ventured stateside, to Guetta’s current residence of Los Angeles, attempting to place an art installation in Disneyland.
Of course, this could be seen as an overly political context to apply to what many could read as a definitively non-political spectrum of art. Street art’s very appeal is that it prompts more conversation than it actually participates in, and this sense of chronological contextualizing and its postmodern appeal are fully realized; Banksy and Fairey’s works are brash and confrontational in what they say about politics and life during wartime just as much as they are apathetic to any thesis of the sort. In a sense, street art’s growing reputation as an increasingly legitimate soapbox is something that Fairey has attempted to combat time and time again. His most immediately recognizable work is, for many, the Obey Giant, a manipulated photo of wrestler Andre the Giant from a supermarket tabloid that Fairey crafted into a sticker campaign. When placed all over a cityscape, the imagery manages to get at that quest for meaning and pattern recognition, yet largely isn’t meant to get at anything. Fairey himself has stated, “The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate
Allegedly at Banksy and Fairey’s own push, Guetta decided to pursue street art himself, having become an unwitting student through the mere act of documenting. The result is in and of itself a parable for the pains of commercial art: Guetta began tagging the greater Los Angeles area using both stencil (as learned from Banksy) and stickers (a tip adopted from Fairey), with the phrase “Life Is Beautiful” becoming his signature. Guetta himself has no hand in the making of his artwork; he employs a team of graphic designers to carry out his concepts, which use many of Banksy’s trademark elements, most notably the use of alteration and fusion of recognizable copyrighted photos with elements of colorful pop art. In the years since Guetta went from documentarian to artist, many in the street art community have come to speak out
Banksy “Art Attack” West Bank Barrier, Palestine Wall, 2005
Banksy has continued to make highly successful works of art, which have sold for upwards of $160,000. Journalist Max Foster coined the momentum surrounding street art’s popularity as “The Banksy Effect.” Just this past year, Banksy participated in a month-long artistic residency in New York City, titled Better Out Than In, wherein each day he would create and place a work of art in a different New York location, ranging from mural to sculpture to media installation. The residency received widespread attention, most notably the pop-up art stand in Central Park that sold original authentic Banksy works for $60 without anyone’s knowledge (the pieces have gone on to be worth upwards of a reported $31,000).
against Guetta for stealing trademarked ideas and general artistic sensibilities from other members of the community. The pushback against Guetta stands as a curious irony, considering many street artists are left fighting for their intellectual property while operating in an artistic movement meant largely to democratize the notion of image and creation. Still, Guetta’s hype—largely selfmanifested, though successfully—has made him a key player, and as Banksy himself has stated, it’s difficult to pinpoint where exactly one can fail in an anti-establishment artistic movement. “Terry kind of broke the rules,” Banksy said in the 2010 documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop, “but then again street art isn’t supposed to have any rules.” Even without actually having a hand in the making of any of the pieces, and considering the rather reductive nature of his work (large-scale paintings of the Beatles with KISS make-up; Andy Warhol super-imposed with his own Marilyn Monroe popart portrait; Campbell’s soup spray cans), Mr. Brainwash’s debut show Life Is Beautiful was an overwhelming success; his work sold for as large as five figures, celebrity attendees like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were spotted making the rounds. The fervor was palpable, the hype deafening, and all this for an artist who has become monumental because he convinced the general public that he already was.
Street art finds its value in some strange nexus between pop art, graffiti, and Marshall McLuhan’s prophetic soundbite that “the medium is the message.” Fairey has spoken at length about his work being particularly devoid of statement, meant instead to be seen and soaked in. Banksy’s work shuns that sort of analytic apathy, as his work proves to always have a vague meaning secondary to its visual subversions. Call it commoditized or coopted; either way, street art has entered the mainstream lexicon and made icons out of its innovators. And most fascinatingly, Banksy, Fairey, and the hoards of other legendary artists to come out of the movement remain both art world darlings and fringe figures. Fairey faced a lawsuit for unlawful copyright infringement for his Obama “Hope” poster. The art elite has praised Banksy, yet when asked about his month-long residency in New York, Mayor Bloomberg likened him to a vandal: “It’s not my definition of art.”
Many in the art world speculate that Mr. Brainwash is, in fact, an elaborate ruse—a hoax crafted by Banksy and Shepard Fairey to con the art elite, as a comment on the quick and easy commercialization of art itself, and the public’s ongoing eagerness to eat it all up. Regardless of whether Guetta/Brainwash is real or a performance art piece, there is no denying that he is a product of Banksy and Shepard Fairey—a perfect embodiment of street art’s legendary ascension in such a short span of time.
The most important element of the movement’s legendary status is its very intangibility. Street art captures the ephemerality of the culture’s current state—an elongated phase of semi-permanence that presents product with no actual root in the world. In this context, street art manages to push beyond our conventional understanding and decade-spanning obsession with art as object by asking us to consider a work that only exists within the moment. Nothing speaks to our time better than the notion that a beloved work of art, sold at six-figures to the highest bidder, documented by historians and museums alike, could, one morning, simply be painted over, removed by a shop owner or ignored by a passerby, labeled vandalism, covered by a different spray-painted tag entirely, could seemingly never have existed at all.
In the years since street art evolved from the fringe of the mainstream, Fairey’s work has been featured everywhere from The Smithsonian, to the Victoria Albert Museum in London, to The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and he has come to be considered one of the most widely influential figures of street art. His image of Senator Barack Obama, with the phrase “Hope” framing the bottom, and saturated into deep red and blue tones, became one of the most instantly recognizable images in 21st century politics, and a cornerstone of Obama’s presidential campaign.
Article by Rod Bastanmehr
zeitgeist at that time, or whatever the trend is. Why was I the look of the 80s? It’s arbitrary.”
was such a nerd, a complete geek, but then I was lucky enough to have a fancy career, where I can be like ‘See, I’m not a nerd. Look, I’m in Vogue.’” Nothing captures the Brooke Shields sensibility more than that—a selfdeprecating confidence that fortifies her as both relatable and one of the defining legends of our time. Shields is well known for a number of high-profile touchstones, including but not limited to playing a child prostitute in 1978’s Pretty Baby; 1980’s erotic coming-of-age film The Blue Lagoon; the romantic drama Endless Love; not to mention those Calvin Klein ads and that Vogue cover, which, at fourteen, made her the youngest model to ever occupy such illustrious real estate. Over the next thirty-six years she proceeded to cover a total of fourteen Vogue covers, star in her own television series which garnered two Golden Globe nods for Best Actress, as well as star in several Broadway performances including Chicago and Cabaret.
Still, if longevity is the name of the game, Shields has more than secured her title. Having been in the business as long as she has, she can’t help but see advantages in maturing under the camera’s watchful eye—even with all of its implications. “I know how hard it is to break in and I know how hard it is to decide who you want to be any older so it was sort of decided for me. I’m actually thankful because it did send me on a trajectory of an amazing life. I was the first child at four at a modeling agency so I had an advantage.” For Shields, it comes down to mobility. “You need to have the freedom to be able to be strategic and not everybody has that and it was a very different world then…very high highs and very low lows. But still there was an extraordinary quality about it. I don’t think that would have happened had I not been at the right time and right place at 11 months old.”
Brooke Shields means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but one thing she knows without a doubt is what it means to be legendary. “Obviously, longevity is the word that comes to mind and I also believe that legendary pertains to an individuality that hits at the right time. We’ve seen when something hits and when something doesn’t. And what endures and what doesn’t.”
For many, the image of Brooke Shields represents the apex of a certain moment of glamour—the beautiful highs of the disco era and the dizzying last days that followed; the idea of beauty as the ultimate asset and the pushback of female liberation in its second wave. Seen together, Shields proves to be a totem of a specific time, one immersed in a certain kind of contradiction that no one seems to be better able to articulate than herself.
Shields herself has enjoyed nearly four decades in the public eye, from child model signed to Ford, one of the country’s leading agencies, to her enormously successful and equally controversial roles in a series of sexually provocative late 70s dramas, to a culturally-inflicted image as both provocateur and chanteuse for the artistic set. To Shields, her status as legend is in fact one that has very little to do with her. “It is a projected-upon concept. I think it’s something that either society decides or whatever was it in the
“I was kind of given a lot more credit on both ends. I was given credit for destroying the morality of America; I was given credit for being the face,” she says. Shields’ lifelines in those days, and those who rescued her from incessant public outrage, were the artists that helped define the downtown scene and the era itself. “I think that
Opening Spread: Brooke wears a dress by Tom Ford and bracelet, necklace, and ring by Lorraine Schwartz. This page: Brooke wears a dress by Saint Laurent, necklace, ring and earrings by Ofira with shoes by Brian Atwood.
Brooke wears a dress by Jason Wu and earrings by Lorraine Schwartz.
the people I valued, artists that I worked with—the Warhols, Keith Haring, and the Horsts and the Harrells, the Mapplethorpes—they gave me a nod of approval. They spent time with me and on me and they celebrated something that they wanted to celebrate.”
this is glamorous.” Shields doubts her own strength in the modern modeling era, finding the entire scene today to be “a very weird thing. I don’t think that I would have survived as well if everything happened in this time.”
Other artists managed to give her something she longed for most: an escape. Nowhere was this more notable than in her close friendship with Michael Jackson, the pop icon who, like Shields, found himself forced to grow up too quickly in the spotlight. “[I miss] the laughter for sure. The rejoicing in our truth for one another to play, to laugh, and to not take everything too seriously. I would give him whatever he needed on a child-like level and it was fine. I knew how to make him feel safe. You know, watching movies and eating candy.” She says that for Jackson, a star whose entire life was dedicated to performance and the act of giving to an audience, her biggest challenge was making sure he knew that she simply didn’t need anything from him but friendship. “I didn’t want a thing and he wanted me to have things. And I think it was hard for him to deal with, because he didn’t know what to give. I wasn’t asking for anything.”
Legendary for her beauty, talent and her stalwartness in equal measure, Shields cites separation—between personal and public; between one’s profession and their passions—as a paramount survival tactic when it comes to modern celebrity. As a former model who found her way into acting, and eventually became the proud recipient of a degree from Princeton University, Shields holds a place among a different class of legends, and finds inspiration from those who are like-minded. “I think that someone like Natalie Portman did it right. And this has to be taken properly, because she was born in an era where she was allowed to be considered an actress, but I look at her in The Professional and I look at Pretty Baby and I look at how her next move, whether it was strategic or not, was Anne Frank on Broadway. Including the Ivy League education, she’s the only person who did that. I think we’re going to see really great things from her.”
Her mentors were plenty as well, and read like a requisite Who’s Who of America’s cultural elite, including Calvin Klein, with whom she did a notorious and iconic campaign; John Travolta, whose star was at an equal high during the era; and famed photographer Richard Avedon, whom she credits with nurturing her perfectionism. “He was a myopically focused artist, who didn’t waste any time with frivolity. My work ethic was so honed in through him.” For the men, Shields was a muse; to her, she was a part of a larger community of simple tastes. “They loved beautiful girls! They loved beauty! They loved the lusciousness of it all.”
In the days since Shields’ fame was at its height, she has found new purpose and meaning, and her priorities have shifted from the professional to the personal, thanks in large part to her growing family. “I don’t like to leave [my children] for long periods of time. It’s made me more picky about roles that are close, especially on television.” Much of the press surrounding Shields in the early years of the new millennium revolved around her much-discussed public battle with Tom Cruise over her vocal support of post-partum depression treatment. All that sits in the past now, and Shields finds that her children bring a sort of calm that she maybe never thought fully possible, especially when it came to the pervasive difficulties of Hollywood. “The feeling of rejection doesn’t last as long because it still hits and is still constant, but I don’t have time to think about that. I’ve got bigger problems.”
Times have of course changed. With radical shifts occurring within the modeling world, and in particular a sharper focus on the liabilities within the industry regarding young women and weight perception, Shields truly stands as a figure of a bygone era, one in which the mysticism of the art and fashion world blended so deep into fantasy that their figures often felt disconnected from the very debates surrounding them. “I think it got out of hand for a while. I think protection is needed for these young kids because if you’re on the runway at that age, and if you’re susceptible…there are a lot of bad people around. And yeah, if you tell me to take a pill that will make me skinny… I would probably smoke cigarettes and have pills for breakfast too. I grew up learning that it wasn’t the way to go. But if you’re a kid from Brazil, and you’re gorgeous and 14,
Her children have also aided her in finding peace regarding another long-held wound, namely her relationship with her mother, whom she let go as her manager in a bitter dispute made increasingly public. “She loved to say I fired her. It was probably more of a divorce. There’s no easy way to do it…I sawed off a limb and she never forgave me and there was no way back.” The kids, she says, turned out to be the guiding light in what was years of personal darkness. “You don’t come back from that. You try to find another path in and kids helped. The kids sort of became a good bridge.
emotionally fraught and tiring. Because European directors don’t give you approval, I was like a puppy… ‘Give me a cookie! Give me a cookie!’”
I also understood that she was not a healthy person. I don’t think she ever got over it, to be honest. I will never get over it, but there was no other way to do it.” Still, she sees the upsides of growing up in a relatively tumultuous environment. “I’m a child of an alcoholic. Honing that talent from a really young age was probably what saved me emotionally, but counterintuitively. I never really nurtured my talent as an actress because I never allowed myself to commit emotionally because I was so afraid of getting lost or swept away or destroyed. It was my source of survival. Whether I could have articulated it like this 30 years ago? I don’t know.”
It’s hard to say if Brooke Shields could have foreseen much of what would transpire in her illustrious career thirty years ago. But as she inches toward the next phase of her life, she finds peace in her newest projects. “I definitely have another musical in me, another original.” She can’t help but look back on her status and chalk it up to something that lies between good luck and good work. “You know, the Gagas of the world, the Madonnas or whoever, that set out to shock, or set out to make a difference, to F the system? None of us in that period of time knew. We weren’t setting out to be iconic.” Whether or not Shields set out to achieve legendary status, she certainly has. She’s currently working on her memoirs, as well as her “Icon” make-up collaboration with MAC Cosmetics, both of which will confirm her timeless allure. Although her prolific career was propelled early on by her grace and good looks, that does not make her rise to fame any less impressive. She reminds us, “Women have been using the power of their beauty since Aphrodite.”
Ever tenacious, perhaps in part due to said necessity to survive amid chaos and tumult growing up, Shields speaks gracefully about the more difficult moments in her career and how she survived them. “The only good part about the show was the friendships that I got coming out of it. I was miscast, not taken care of. I was put in a position that was impossible for me to succeed in. Even though I kept saying it, it fell on deaf ears, because they wanted the publicity and the money and I ended up taking the fall for it. That was an emotional blow. No matter how bad a project is or feels I can come out of it either doing a really great moment of performance and getting noticed for it or everyone gets blamed. Movies like Pretty Baby and Endless Love were the most tedious and were the most
Interview by Phillip Bloch
This page: Brooke Shileds wears a dress by Dior, earrings, bracelet and ring by Lorraine Schwartz with shoes by Jean Michel. Opposite page: She wears a dress by Dennis Basso jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz.
This page: Brooke wears a dress by Marc Jacobs. jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz. Opposite page: She wears a dress by Dolce & Gabbana, bracelet and pin by Erickson Beamon, earrings by Stephen Webster. Hair by Zaiya Latt Make-up by Hector Simancas Photographed at Norwood
BROOKE SHIELDS 72
Brooke wears a dress and coat by Lanvin with a ring and earrings by Lorraine Schwartz.
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ou need to be yourself. And, of course, very talented.” Grammy Award-winning DJ Tiësto, has been at the forefront of electronic music since before it became a radio mainstay. Now, it’s hard to listen to a single top 40 song without hint or traces of the sound he helped coin for American audiences. Though, if you ask him, the change is more than welcome. “I love a lot of different music, many different dance genres. But I’m not really into pop music that much. I feel like I’m influenced by a lot of different things but there isn’t one source or group of artists I can name as a huge influence at the moment. I’ve always done my own thing.”
Tiësto performed at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, becoming the first DJ in history to play a live set at the opening ceremonies, an honor that he says was “really surreal. It was just such a huge stadium and crowd…it’s hard to put this into words.” In addition to headlining international music festivals, he’s also become known for playing numerous fundraising performances. The DJ released a charity compilation, DANCE (RED) Save Lives, with proceeds going toward the fight against AIDS. “I realize that I’m fortunate in my life and if I can be a vehicle to help spread the message then I’m happy to do so, “ he said. “We raised a lot of money for the global fight against AIDS and it was a wonderful campaign for me to be a part of.”
That desire for autonomy within a rapidly unstable industry is precisely what allowed Tiësto to stake his claim early in the EDM scene. Since those humble beginnings (he went by DJ Tiësto until dropping the DJ in early 2008) he has seen his star rise significantly in conjuncture with the stratospheric rise of the EDM genre itself. “Obviously the styles of music have changed but also the production methods and the way DJ sets are presented. There was no social media back then and the scale of the productions and clubs are much larger now. It’s all grown so much.” Forwardthinking as his reputation attests, he’s not one to wax nostalgic for too long. “It seems that things change so much in just six months time, so I’d like to think that EDM will only get bigger and better.”
In his prolific career, Tiësto’s performances have managed to evolve into legendary status. A major tenet of his own mythology as an artist are his six-hour “Tiësto Solo” sets, which were as groundbreaking as the first time a DJ had ever been billed to play solo. “Dance music is a way of life in Holland. We’re all brought up around it as kids and it’s a part of the culture.” Now it seems as though he’s giving that same openness back by developing his own label, Musical Freedom. “If you examine the label, you’ll notice that I don’t look for one particular sound. So this year alone, the label has released trap music, tech house and so much more,” he explains. “I’d like to use Musical Freedom as a forum to release music that I personally like and hope that fans will enjoy as well, regardless of genre.” Tiesto released his fifth studio album titled, A Town Called Paradise, last June. The album features two singles he released earlier this year, “Wasted” and “Red Lights”.
The Holland-born producer has made a name for himself thanks to a number of highly-rotated and remixed tracks, most famously “Adagio For Strings,” which has become a staple of his set. “I don’t look to the past all that much, but all things considered I’d probably pick that song as a big moment for me. And the fans still love dancing to it. It’s one of those iconic songs.” In 1997, he founded his own record label, Black Hole Recordings, with Arny Bink. A string of collaborations gradually got his name around the music scene until a 2000 remix of Delerium’s “Silence,” which featured Sarah McLachlan (one of many unlikely pairings that Tiësto seems to be drawn to) exposed him to mainstream audiences. With momentum building, he released his debut solo album, In My Memory, in 2001 and the rest is history.
Perhaps the most telling example of Tiësto’s iconic status is his ability to unify the new DJ culture so easily. Becoming the first DJ to prove that solo sets would bring about the kind of crowds that rave culture had made an expectation, Tiësto still puts a large emphasis on collaboration. That kind of cultural influence paired with his willingness to collaborate with different artists and toy with various sonic elements have gone a long way in helping establish his reputation as a legend. “To me, legendary means someone who has innovated, is greatly respected, put forth building blocks, set and raised the bar and has put a certain stamp on their profession.”
Opening Spread: Tiesto wears a shirt by Burberry, tie by Thomas Pink, jacket by Robert Graham and sunglasses by Ray-Ban. This Page: He wears a La Marque jacket from Lazaro Soho and a shirt by Gents. Stylist: Erin McSherry Grooming by Misha Shahzada
Tiesto wears a shirt by Burberry, tie by Thomas Pink, jacket by Robert Graham and sunglasses by Ray-Ban.
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BOY GEORGE FASHION EDITOR BRENDAN CANNON
Boy George wears an eye patch by Gasoline Glamour.
This page: Boy George wears a hat by Christopher Nemeth, jacket by Bolongaro Trevor and chest plate by Opus Prime.
ery few figures have held a tighter grip on an entire generation of pop culture devotees more readily than Boy George. The Culture Club frontman became the face of the 1980s largely by subverting what the mainstream had come to expect from their pop stars. In an era coming off the high of disco and the underground rebellious culture of punk, Boy George represented a new wave of musicians: loud, colorful, brash, and uniquely unafraid to ruffle a few feathers. The openly gay singer became an immediate icon; his group, Culture Club, became the first crossgenre multi-racial band to hit the mainstream, as well as the first group to rival The Beatles with the most top-ten singles from a
debut album. Hit songs such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Karma Chameleonâ&#x20AC;? remain staple tracks from the 80s that still get radio play today, and at the time propelled them to the forefront of the music scene as international pop stars. In 1984, Culture Club won the Grammy for Best New Artist as well as two Brit Awards for Best British Group and Best British Single. Now, 30 years later, Boy George is gearing up to release his first album of original material after a nearly two-decade hiatus, and is slated to begin an eight-stop North American tour. His time out of the immediate spotlight has been anything but unproductive. In the intervening years, Boy George has made a name for himself on the underground circuit, becoming a
prominent techno-house DJ in the UK club scene. “Being involved in the underground scene has allowed me to stay current and kept me away from that nostalgic route of what I used to do in the 80s,” Boy George says of his career as a DJ. That “nostalgic route” that Boy George is humbly referring to - his stint as the lead singer of one of the most significant bands of the 80s - must have been difficult to avoid, considering his iconic status. No one better exemplified the new wave movement and the moment better than Boy George himself—except, perhaps, for the one person who inspired Boy George most readily. “Bowie. I saw him when I was eleven years old, right before my birthday. I saw Ziggy Stardust, which was a life changing moment for me…that’s also what makes
someone legendary, when you think of that person and you have a definite idea of what they look like and what they’re about and their energy.” Still, George isn’t prone to give Bowie all the credit. “I think it was in my genes.” Genes like Boy George’s are rare to come by, but according to him, it was all the elements of his upbringing that informed the legendary figure we know today, as well as the ceiling-shattering, multi-cultural pop group he fronted. “Growing up in South East London, there were a lot of Jamaicans and Indians—that was kind of normal for us, always being surrounded by Jamaican music and Indian music. And growing up, my father was a builder so getting
This page: Boy George wears a jacket by Horace and necklace by Noir. T-shirt and hat artist’s own. Opposite page: Boy George wears a coat by The Blonds, hat by Deryck Todd and necklace by Purevile at Any Old Iron. Shirt artist’s own.
legendary producer Youth of Siouxsie & the Banshees, U2 and Depeche Mode fame, as well as numerous guest musicians including DJ Yoda, Kitty Durham, Ally McErlaine, MC Spee, and Nizar Al Issa. “I just kind of felt it was time. I’ve been DJing very happily for the past 25 years. It’s been an amazing second career for me but I just started to miss playing… I started to miss gigging and doing albums and I suppose in a way that I’ve come back to my work with a renewed passion.”
up in the morning and going to school, it was like The United Nations in our kitchen.” That sense of normalcy helped facilitate Culture Club’s ideology, and Boy George’s entire way of life. “By the time that I was a teenager it was second nature to me to be in a band with whoever could play – it wasn’t about the color… when we got the band together, we didn’t really think of those things.” Culture Club’s musical influences were, and continue to be, heralded as extremely unique and ahead of their time. “Everyone who starts a band has some sort of idea of what they want to be and I certainly had a very different idea about what Culture Club was going to be.” Still, he’s able to recognize that much of the hubbub surrounding the band’s progressive roster came from the era’s undeniable lack of diversity. “Looking back it’s easier to see because the bands around that time were either black or white, but we didn’t grow up with those kinds of restrictions—it was just an unconscious thing that we did.” Their sound was equally groundbreaking, with a unique mix of new wave influenced by soul, Jamaican reggae, calypso and salsa.
His new album title is meant to be a provocative reminder that Boy George is first and foremost a talented musician and performer. “I’ve done a lot to distract people from what I do… probably some often wonder ‘what do you do?’ so it was my way of making a statement and reminding people. I felt like it was time to be a bit more on top of things and more professional and I’m very lucky to do what I do… I have a job that I love and get paid for which is amazing. It took me a long time to get to this point where I felt like I’m very lucky.” Aside from his new album he is working with renowned DJ Roger Sanchez on several new songs, including dance track “Hold On,” which will be released this summer. “I’ve always liked all kinds of music, from rock to country to jazz. I’ve got very great taste because I’m a Gemini and I love all kinds of music…‘Hold On’ is uber cool. It’s really a great dance jam.” Boy George’s newfound creative inspiration will also likely lead to getting his band Culture Club back in the studio next year. “We are going to do a record, that’s the next project that I do… either at the end of this year or the beginning of next year, there will be a Culture Club record…I just kind of felt it was time.”
It wasn’t long before the band’s star catapulted into the upper echelon of the era’s most famous faces. “One minute we were normal people, and the next minute we were flying all over the world, winning awards, having people screaming at us.” It’s a transition Boy George looks back on with love and tepidness in equal measure, saying “of course it’s a hoot, going to Australia and having 4,000 people screaming. You feel amazing, but after a while it sort of becomes a little bit of a prison. It’s fun to start with but then you look outside of your house and there are always people there—it’s kind of like, this isn’t fun anymore.”
If Boy George could do it over again, he already knows what he would change. “You don’t get the chance to go back, but I think if I’ve learned anything from any of that stuff it’s that time is precious and if you travel you should really try and experience the places that you go to; look around more, listen more, enjoy it.” Most importantly, however, he wants to make sure the fans get the opportunity to enjoy it as well, with an upcoming tour that will blend the new and the old to powerful effect. “You kind of want to make sure that you don’t bore the pants off of people, so you want to try and strike a pretty good balance between giving people things they know and keeping it interesting for yourself,” he says. His album and tour kindled the fire of a Culture Club reunion, and the band is set to play a comeback tour in December 2014. The rejuvenation of Boy George’s legendary archive of songs, still somehow remain modern despite their nostalgia. His parting words were equally memorable, recalling one of his favorite quotes: “‘Like prostitutes and monuments, if you stick around long enough you’ll get respect.’ I feel like somehow I fit into that.”
That fame began to trump the music, and the general sense of who Boy George was to the public began to become the paramount priority, for better or worse. “For us, specifically for me, it kind of got in the way of everything that I did creatively. Being Boy George, this sort of celebrity, was a full-time job…when you’re younger you really don’t know when to say no, it’s all happening around you and you feel like if you don’t do it than it’s all going to fall apart.” Today, Boy George is six years sober, and creatively rejuvenated like he has never been before. “I think I’m better at what I do. Being sober can only make things better; it’s a life-changing kind of thing. I needed to make those lifestyle changes; there was no other option. It was either elevator going up or going even further down. I chose to go up to the penthouse.” Fortunately for die-hard Culture Club fans, Boy George has finally gotten the inspiration to record a new album after his eighteenyear studio hiatus. Titled This is What I Do, the album was written by Boy George and his longtime writing partners, John Themis, Kevan Frost and Richie Stevens. It features collaborations with
Boy George interview by Indira Cesarine
Boy George wears a hat by Deryck Todd and jacket by Horace. Photographed at The Dream Hotel
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LAUREN HUTTON FASHION EDITOR BRENDAN CANNON
Lauren wears a suede jacket by Georgine with a hat by Albertus Swanepoel.
Lauren Hutton needs no introduction. The first real supermodel hasn’t stopped since her first Vogue cover shot by Richard Avedon in 1966. She was monumental in changing the face of American beauty. Over the years she was featured on fortyone covers of Vogue, not to mention countless other magazines. She invented the beauty campaign, being the first model in history to sign an exclusive contract. Her foray into films was unprecedented for a model of the era, with starring roles in iconic classics such as The Gambler opposite James Caan and American Gigolo opposite Richard Gere. For this issue, the timeless legend caught up with The Untitled Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Indira Cesarine, to give us the low-down on her past and present adventures. Indira Cesarine: You’ve had such a unique and incredible history. Can you tell me about when you first moved to New York and how you first started modeling?
time! The agency would make appointments to go see clients and anyone who gave me encouragement I would call them up and say ‘I’ve got new pictures can I come and see you again?’ I had this burning dream to see the world and I figured it out that it was all time and money and modeling was quick money – I’d have money to go all of the places that I wanted to go.
Lauren Hutton: I guess it happened two times. I was born in a place called Charleston, North Carolina [where I lived] for three years and then my mother moved away to Miami during World War II; everything was very different very quickly. She had three children very rapidly and I sort of became the caretaker… when I left home, I did a year of university at USF and then I came up for three months in New York where I had a job at the Bunny Club – I was a lunch bunny because I was too young to work at night.
IC: Do you remember booking your first Vogue cover? LH: It was at the exact same time as my first Glamour cover… I was having two or three little jobs in showrooms a week that would keep me on subway fare and chicken pot pie for dinner. I was doing nine go-sees a day… and this woman said, ‘You oughta go see Vogue’… I went up there to try on clothes and I was in the hallway, which was an extraordinary thrill… there were all these people rushing around… I went in there and it was so fascinating. I had never seen a room that was red everywhere, even on the ceiling. It had a leopard skin print carpet… I met [Diana Vreeland] and she was incredible, she spoke in a language that was totally her own. They had a lot of models in there. They didn’t even need me so I sat in the window and watched everything going on… All of a sudden she pointed this very long arm and long finger at me and she said ‘You!’… It was so imperious… I said ‘Me?’ and she had this little quirky smile and she said, ‘You have quite the presence.’ I had no idea what she meant; I was deep from the swamp… I said ‘So do you, ma’am…’ She did have extraordinary presence. And then she called me over and asked to see my book of pictures and she said, ‘I think I’m going to call Richard Avedon,’ and I said, ‘No ma’am, he doesn’t like me… he won’t use me,’ and she cocked her head to the side and a smile crept up and she said ‘Oh I think he will.’ And then that was it.
IC: This is the Playboy Club? LH: Yes…I got a job as a waitress and I made a fortune – like 600 bucks a week, which is easily two thousand dollars now. It was amazing. But New York was too scary for me so I ran away from there and I decided to go back to school…I stopped to see a friend in New Orleans and I got a job there at night at a club on Bourbon Street – I worked there by night and went to school by day. I had a motorcycle and I would rush back and forth because one was far away from the other. It was a good time, which was the beginning of my motorcycle years. I learned so much on Bourbon Street… little by little I decided that I was going to go for my dream of seeing the world. IC: So how did you end up going from New Orleans to New York? LH: I opened up New York Times and saw a job at Christian Dior. I never wanted to be a model. I wanted to travel the world and be a zoologist, a paleontologist…when you’re eighteen, there are a million things you want to be but you really have no idea. So I got a job at Christian Dior for under minimum wage. They were paying me less than $50 a week, which is illegal but I was desperate.
IC: I heard that you had to do your own hair and makeup for Vogue, is that right?
IC: How did that evolve into getting freelance work as a model?
LH: Certainly our own makeup. I learned how to do my makeup from being an extra. You basically had to figure out what worked and what looked good. If a picture didn’t come out right, it was your fault… it was no one else’s fault.
LH: They hadn’t made ready-to-wear yet. Buyers would come in and they would be shown, by us two models, everything that Paris had sent over and they would order. The other model, because she was making $100 a week, she liked to torture me. She would point to models and say ‘See those girls? They make more in one hour than you make in a week! And this light bulb went off. I started finding out about modeling agencies and what they needed me to do. No one would accept me, of course. They would tell me that I needed to lose ten pounds, that I needed to get more headshots, that I needed color pictures… Jobs were by the hour… I went to all four major agencies and got turned down by all four. I changed my photographs and got better each time. I met Eileen Ford and she was very curious and I think she took me on because she liked me…I realized when I was walking out her door that this was the very last agency.
IC: You booked the first exclusive beauty campaign for a model in history, can you tell me about that? LH: I thought of it! Girls had done makeup, but I don’t think that they were paid a lot for it—we were mostly booked by the hour, so if you did an editorial you wouldn’t make any money at all. IC: They say you made a million dollars for your campaign? LH: Yes, I did. I was thirty, and I was learning… and all of the big girls had died off—Twiggy was gone, people that were the stars of the business, they weren’t working anymore—I was it. My face kept changing because I was out in the wild having amazing experiences with people in the forest…I was living with very strange and interesting people all around the world and that changes your face. It also gives you a chance to get your smile back in a real way – if you’re smiling every single day, after a certain amount of years you become an imitation of yourself…you start imitating what worked before and I think that’s why the girls come and go like Kleenex... My face kept changing and that smile was real and I wasn’t trying to imitate what I’d done before...and I started
IC: So Eileen Ford took you on? LH: Yeah, and I knew I was a very dark horse – very short, five foot seven, you were told on the phone that if you weren’t five foot eight to not even bother showing up. I got my way through that by wearing very tall heels. I had a one-bedroom apartment to myself and I would hang on the door from my knees upside down thinking that it would stretch my spine and that I was getting taller all of the
Lauren wears a gown by Victor de Souza and giraffe print coat by Octavio Carlin.
Lauren wears a suede purple coat by Georgine. Heels by Roberto Cavalli
modeling again at forty-seven because I understood very well what the world meant. I got on the phone and called every editor that I had ever worked with and said that they needed to start using women my age, and after that girls on the street would tell me how happy I made their mother and how great it was, and they were looking at me with a sort of awe because at forty-seven I should’ve been mummified and dead. I just understood how important it was for there to be someone who was a woman in pictures because if we were going to have a different but equal society with men and women and women in government, you needed to have older women out there.
LH: Yeah, many. It’s like saying do you have people in your life that you love! My mentors were Avedon and Penn. I learned an awful lot from them. IC: What about directors? LH: I learned a lot from directors. I’ve made thirty-one movies. I worked with Jean-Paul Rappeneau and he was wonderful. I was lucky; there were many great directors. IC: What do you think about the modeling industry today compared to how it was when you started? LH: Because of digital there are few photographers who take time to take pictures… In my day, these people would spend time – Dick [Richard Avedon] would probably take ten rolls of one dress and there would be thirty-six pictures on a roll. That’s hundreds of pictures that we would look at and because you were editing with the photographer, you knew what was wrong with every picture. The photographer would point out the flaws and it was very often that the best shot turned out to be a happy accident. Richard was great! We would tell each other stories while we shot – it was like I was learning all day long. There was deep communication… I’ve been with these young girls on the set with me and just as we start to work the photographer will take five or six photos and then they’re gone… then he comes back and they take five or six and it just goes over and over… it’s stop, start, stop, start. It never starts.There is no communication with the photographer and I don’t see how girls can learn, I don’t see how they can evolve. You’ll always have the people who are physical wonders – the Giseles and the Caras - you’ll always have these people who have these extraordinary, phenomenal bodies that can make clothes look spectacular. I was able to grow because I put my travelling into my work because my face kept changing and my enthusiasm and my joy for all of it kept feeding back and forth with each other and I just don’t see how that would work now…
IC: I look back at your career and I feel like you single-handedly changed the industry from changing the hourly rates to getting daily wages and contracts… can you tell me about that? LH: That was finished overnight. IC: And that was because of your beauty contract? LH: Wthin a week or two, there was no such thing as an hourly rate – the hour was over. I was making $25,000 a day at that point and then there were no more hourly jobs and everybody was making $1,500 a day. Within a year there were four more makeup contracts and that became the whole idea….I was making more money than [the men at Revlon] were! Malcom Glawell said that the whole CEO thing started with my little model contract because God knows there was massive publicity about it. IC: How did you end up transitioning into acting? American Gigolo and some of the movies that you did are so iconic… LH: That was an accident. About the fourth year that I was modeling, somebody asked if I would be in a [1968 comedy] Paper Lions… they asked me to do it, so I did it. I had done an acting class in high school but it never occurred to me to act. My big dream was to get out there and see the world and I did. IC: Did you find that when you started doing a lot of the movies in Hollywood that it changed the impact of your career as a model?
IC: Because of the digital side of things? LH: And because they don’t become involved in anything. I remember asking a bunch of girls, these household names, I said ‘You can do anything in the world that you want, what do you want to do?’ and they would look at me and say ‘Well…uh…I was in Saint Tropez.’ She had been in Saint Tropez for a couple of weeks working… It may be relaxing and a fantasy but it’s still a job… I just don’t see what you can learn there. I’ve been there once and it’s just not for me.
LH: Oh, no question. I was something called ‘triple booked’ which means that if you have three bookings a day and one of them falls out because someone cancelled, you have another booking. I was booked every hour of every day. There were probably only 300 working models at the time. What are there now, 3,000? It wasn’t a famous business. There were five modeling agencies. I was thirty-one when I first made a movie. I never studied acting… I only started studying acting after American Gigolo and by that time I was forty….Even though I did a lot of bad movies, I got to get away and learn about myself and learn how to be independent. But once I did Revlon, I could only work for Revlon – I was exclusive. I didn’t really do anything other than the Revlon ten days a year - that was the contract.
IC: You always preferred to go to Africa. LH: And the Amazon and South Asia and all over Indonesia and the South Pacific… but Africa is where I went the most because that was the most interesting. I never wanted to go somewhere where there were more tourists than animals. Current day Bali isn’t the same Bali that I visited in the 60s and 70s…because the whole world wasn’t so interested in travelling back then and now it very much is.
IC: So you had time on your hands? LH: Oh boy did I. I did one or two movies a year and the rest of the time [former partner Bob Williamson] and I travelled. We were travelling for seven months out of the year. When I came back at forty-seven, I split with my man – I was living in my own place on Bowery… I was doing these ads and making $150,000 a day. So, I did lots of them. I did any one that they would give me that wasn’t grotesque. I had morals as a model; I would never do cigarettes, even though I was offered a lot of money for cigarettes. I would never do wild fur of any sort. I didn’t do liquor… I didn’t put myself in the position of not liking myself for what I was doing.
IC: Well you were the first to get out there and inspire people! You were always talking about all of these places that you liked to travel to! So, what inspired you to do your beauty line? LH: When I went back to work in my mid-forties I was making my own makeup. I had found that any time that they would take a picture of me for publicity, I would always look terrible—even with a good makeup man and a good photographer, I would still look foolish. I came to realize that all makeup was made for young girls – it all had pearl in it, which would catch in your pores and lines. It was all heavy and thick and would make your wrinkles look deeper. Even with the very good ones, it didn’t matter because they were
IC: So, looking back do you have a favorite photographer that you’ve worked with?
Top Left - Photography by Richard Avedon, 1966, Bottom Left - Avedon, 1971, Right - Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton in American Gigolo, directed by Paul Schrader - Paramount Pictures, 1980
I’m sort of at a crossroads now…
using old-fashioned makeup. When the Revlon guys said goodbye to me they said, ‘Women over forty don’t buy makeup’… I told them that they needed to get products for women my age, not just young girls, and they laughed at me. They said ‘We’ve done focus groups, women over forty don’t wear or buy makeup!’
IC: What are you planning to do now then? LH: I’m working on a book of my adventures. I have a wonderful editor who has worked with an awful lot of serious writers, but I don’t want to have a deadline. But I’m sure we’ll be finished in a year, maybe less.
IC: So you launched your own line… LH: Yeah, I started making this stuff, and my friends, cousins, and girlfriends were asking me…it was just from all of those years learning from the great models of the 60s and working with every great makeup person from all over the world. I just felt that I knew so much about this and I had taught myself how to make my face look even because I didn’t have the normal model look… I went to labs and found that if you take out pearl and thickness, you can have something that looks very natural. I was in my forties when I started looking into it, and I was in my fifties when I did this dumb thing because I don’t know anything about business and you can make major mistakes when you don’t know anything about business.
IC: If you could give advice to an aspiring model what would you tell her? LH: I would say try it for a year. There are three things you need to be successful at anything: You’ve got to have talent, so that means you’ve got to have bones that the light hits in a wonderful way – you can be absolutely wonderful-looking in person and not photograph well. You’ve got to have the right height…unless you’re incredibly evenly proportioned and look really tall… You have to be driven, too. There are thousands and thousands of girls who want to model because it’s a famous profession for forty years now. You have to have a secret deep drive, you can’t just want to be famous or on the cover of Vogue… that’s not enough. You have to have a real reason deep within yourself and you have to have enough energy and strength more than anyone else. You have to have the talent, the dumb luck, and you have to work four times harder than anyone else.
IC: So you feel the beauty line was maybe a mistake? LH: Absolutely. I stopped travelling. I was working 350 days a year not knowing what I was doing. It was horrible. I absolutely loathed it! People would ask me if I liked it and I couldn’t lie… I was never used to doing anything more than two months. I designed the cases… Originally I had art directors and I never liked anything that they did and it didn’t work so I started doing everything on my own.
IC: This is our ”Legendary” issue. When you hear the word legendary what does that make you think of?
IC: Do you still travel a lot?
LH: I think immediately of the people who change the world but at the same time I also think of Suzy Parker, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Stanwyck, Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn... you think of those legends and those who changed what we thought it was to be a woman, the images that lead us and helped us move forward. IC: I think that we have a lot to learn from your amazing life…
LH: I’ve only just stopped. I had a motorcycle accident that almost killed me and then the business took off at the same time. I put down all of the money that I had left in the business two weeks before I had the accident. So, a year later when I was able to walk again, the actual makeup physically came out – the bottles and the discs came out and then I had to go market the business and I didn’t travel. Before then I had been travelling ten months a year…
LH: You’ll get some of that in the book!
Makeup by Passport to Africa- Lauren Hutton HD powder in Yellow Mascara in brown Yves Saint Laurent #12 lipstick in corail incandescent La Prairie Caviar + Clinique Pore Minimizer Refining Lotion
This page: Lauren wears a jacket, shirt and trousers by The Row and heels by Christian Louboutin. Hair and Make-up by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC Photographed at Chamberlain West Hollywood
WILLIAMS independent British film called Mugshot, and continued to dance until he got the call of a lifetime. “I was on tour in LA when my manager called me and said ‘You’d better have your butt back in New York on Monday morning... Martin Scorsese wants to meet you!’” Those words were enough for Michael to step away from dancing as he landed a featured role in Bringing Out the Dead, which would become his first encounter with the famed director.
“Everything is in time. I believe in focusing on the next step and that step-by-step, I’ll get there.” From having it all to losing it in the blink of an eye, Michael K. Williams hides no skeletons in his closet. We recently saw him in Oscar-winning drama Twelve Years A Slave, and this year, Michael will appear alongside Mark Wahlberg in The Gambler. He stars in The Purge 2, a role which he calls nothing short of “revolutionary.” He is slated to play a detective in The Captive, which chronicles the true story of a young man named Brian Nichols who escaped from prison in Atlanta and took a woman hostage for seven hours. Let’s not forget his reoccurring role in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Despite the rolling credits to his name, Michael K. Williams hasn’t had an easy journey to get to where he is now. From drugs, delusion, and homelessness, the highs and lows of success and failure, he has managed to weather his own storm.
After nabbing features on famed shows like Law & Order and The Sopranos, Michael admits that he began to get a little too big for his britches. “I was like, ‘Any day now, my phone is going to ring and I’m going to get called out to California,’ but the phones were absolutely dead.” For two years the actor worked at his mother’s daycare. “I left the business primarily because something inside of me went bitter… When you’re in the business, you have this pressure and it breaks you down.” He’s honest about his emotional state at the time, and the choices that resulted from professional and creative stagnancy. “Was I happy? Hell no. I was miserable. I was getting high a lot and being reckless and partying. My spirit wasn’t happy.” It wasn’t until he was sitting around with a group of friends that Michael realized the direction his life was headed in. “My episode of The Sopranos came on and I was like, ‘Well this is weird… I’m on the TV and I’m sitting here with a bunch of losers drinking and smoking,’” he says. “I felt like I should give the entertainment thing one more shot. If it doesn’t work, it’s baby
Beginning his career as a background dancer for artists such as George Michael and Madonna, Michael was approached by photographer David LaChapelle, who recognized the then-dancer by the infamous scar on his face. Once LaChapelle started photographing him, Michael says he began getting “crazy work,” which led to him discovering a love for acting while on set. “It was when I was shooting George Michael’s video that I thought ‘Wow, I could possibly act,’ and I realized that I kind of liked acting things out.” Shortly thereafter, Michael was contacted to appear in an
television history. “I had to find out what my inspiration was for Chalky… unlike The Wire I didn’t have any time frame to pull from so I decided to use the men in my life who were all deceased, who I knew lived in that time—my father, my three uncles, and my godfather… I gathered what I could from their energies and how they carried themselves. I fused all of their spirits and all of the things that I could remember about their personalities.” The result proved to be his most personal performance yet. “It is a role that has become very dear to my heart.” Boardwalk Empire occupied three years of the actor’s career, spanning from 2010-2013 and, in that time, Michael made several appearances on various television shows as well as landing a role in the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, which proved to be one of Williams’ most emotionally vulnerable roles yet. “There was a scene, which unfortunately didn’t make the movie, when they were bringing [me] to the slave ship, and I was fighting back at the slave masters and they beat me with bats and throw me down the hole of the ship,” he explains. McQueen, a noted perfectionist, filmed the scene multiple times, until Williams finally buckled under the despair. “The fourth or fifth time, something came over me, and my knees buckled and I fell to the ground, and I just could not just stop screaming and crying. I was balled up in the fetal position.” For Williams, whose life had seen so many tumultuous ups and downs, the scene captured a still-abstract time of devastation. “I had no concept of that type of anguish and pain. It broke me down. I’m sad it didn’t make the film and I’m sure that Steve had his reasons but I have that experience in my heart forever.” On working with Steve McQueen, Michael says, “He’s a dope director, he knows what he wants, he’s very fast, he’s crystal clear and it was a really good experience. He commands respect in a way that I really like.”
Pampers forever.” With a loan from his mother, Williams hired a director to put together what he calls “a gaudy, unnecessary reel and a headshot.” He sent them around to agents and casting directors around Christmas, expecting calls by the second week of January, once the holiday hubbub had died down, “but nothing happened.” Two months later, after having slipped into a depression, Michael got a surprising fax for the rundown of a character that would change his life. “I went in one time, one audition, read for the character and next thing I know they’re telling me to report to Baltimore and boom, I shot The Wire.” Michael moved to Baltimore after shooting ten episodes of the iconic HBO show’s first season, and says he “fell in love with the city” but, despite his new role in a hit television series, Michael couldn’t seem to keep it all together. “It was a huge breakthrough, and I thought that would make me happy, but I had a lot of personal issues that I was dealing with in regards to drugs and alcohol.” By the time filming of the show’s second season wrapped, Williams was back on drugs. “I was getting high, partying, and I ran through my money.” The actor began to live vicariously through his character on the show. “When I booked that character it was so cathartic for me,” he reveals. “I was in such a sad, lonely place that Omar became like a real light for me,” he says of the show’s most legendary character, and Omar’s ambiguous moral center. “In all of this darkness, I found light. I identified with him a lot so our realities kind of paralleled and merged…he became my alter ego and he still is. I just took all of my issues and lived in the character, and I forgot who I was, but I was okay with that. I was okay with getting that unrealistic love that people were giving Omar.” One person giving love to the actor’s alter ego was none other than the President of the United States. “When President Obama shouted me out, that put a tremendous amount of pressure on me as Michael. That kind of jolted me to reality a little bit… It was like, ‘Wait a minute, you know, this is the President of the United States,’ and it kind of made me want to get my shit together. I was like, I have the President watching me; it is time to clean up.” Cleaning up for the actor meant moving to Los Angeles, where he filmed two movies during the hiatus of The Wire. He also booked a gig in Cape Town, South Africa. Speaking about filming the NBC series The Philanthropist, Michael is honest about his conflictions. “I just wasn’t really happy with the show. I loved my coworkers, I loved the quality of life in Cape Town, it was an amazing experience, but I was miserable.” Luckily, while unhappily filming, the actor was given a second chance to work with Martin Scorsese. “My agent called and said, ‘Martin Scorsese wants you on tape for this little show called Boardwalk Empire’… so I put myself on tape and sent it in and they booked me off that audition tape from halfway across the world for Chalky White.”
Despite all of the troubling times throughout his career, the actor (now four years sober) has an unfathomably strong sense of positivity. “I never give up and always try to be prepared for what’s in front of me and just try and stay focused… It’s so hard to be unfocused in this business; there are so many distractions… I’m a strong believer in just staying in my lane and not being focused on what other people are doing and just staying focused on what I do… When I start to look outside of my parameters to see what other people are doing it tends to weaken my strength.” Williams doesn’t paint the picture too prettily; he recognizes that recovery and emotional processing take time—lifetimes even—but as with everything that he does, the endurance and the struggle is the key to the reward. “Every day is a struggle and I don’t feel like I’m there yet or I’ve made it,” he says. “It’s all a work in progress and I’m still very humbled to be in this position. I’m not giving up.”
All looks by BlüRōZ.
Drawing inspiration from his own life, Michael began preparing for his role on what would become one of the biggest shows in
Grooming by Cooper @ Exlusive Artists Photographed at James Goldstein Residence
GAVIN ROSSDALE “My world was just all about how to make music.” For Gavin Rossdale, the frontman of iconic rock band Bush, music has been his most definitive driving force. Since picking up rhythm guitar at 17, he has become the face of one of the foremost well-known rock bands of our time. Still, he never forgets that what it took to make it there was essentially to be a fan first. “I remember those first few years of touring and playing clubs, just playing and playing, and just the excitement of being part of a scene. That was really the mainstream sound at that point, to play rock. It was just nice to be part of that and in that world.” That world first started in London, after a second band break-up forced Gavin to start thinking about the bigger picture. “I was just left with facing up to being a failed musician, not really broadening my horizons. Living in London and really dialed in socially, I felt like I should challenge myself.” That challenge sent him on a couch surfing trip through America, where for close to four months he stayed with various friends hoping to see what life living there would be like. It was during his last squatting session that the husband of a friend heard Rossdale sing. “I met Nigel Pulsford and he became my manager… I only came back out to America when I signed a record deal.” It wasn’t long until Bush became the phenomenon we now know so well, a first time experience that Rossdale himself can’t help but look back on with equal shock and warmth. “It was always so depressing to fail and fail and to go back and fail and not get a deal…and I think that I’ve never lost that excitement of parking lots and the volume of people that come watch you play and being in touch with that and never taking that for granted. I have tons of memories all the way through from when I began playing at clubs and arenas and sheds.” Still, for all his love of performing on stage—“I love the excitement. I’m an adrenaline junkie in terms of playing music”—the decision to go solo was one that was, essentially, a product of circumstance. After dabbling in successful side project Institute for three years, Rossdale came back to find that his former Bush bandmates had gotten used to life away from the road. “It’s an incredible sacrifice for anyone who makes music and travels….I think that I wanted to keep Bush intact and then I was basically checkmated into a solo career… I had a solo career out of default.” It was Rossdale’s wife, pop-rock icon Gwen Stefani, who helped him realize that a solo career, while a massive change, might be a creative rejuvenation. “I couldn’t help but look in my house and get inspired by my wife who had a fantastic solo run and I was thinking, ‘Well, it’s possible… let’s try this.’ So I picked myself up from the disappointment of it not being a Bush record and focused on it being a solo record.”
Gavin wears a shirt and jacket by Nicholas K.
This, however, turned out to be more challenging than even Rossdale could have imagined. A performer through and through, he found the question of what to give his fans to be the biggest test in the second stage of his career. “I went out and played live and it was really confusing because my audience that had grown up
This page: Gavin wears a sweater, trousers and top by Missoni. Opposite page: He wears a shirt by Jean Paul Gaultier.
with Bush would come to see me and want to hear more Bush, and then new solo fans who had heard the ballads and heard the record would hear me and I was playing Institute.” Negotiating a middle ground between the many sides of Gavin Rossdale proved to be, perhaps, the most challenging element of his time alone. “I was a bit lost and I had two months of touring and smashing up the drum kits every night with this bizarre frustration…It was a challenging time.”
connected to a legacy and to a record that I liked. Not connected to cars and jets…it just had to do with ‘Where should you be?’ which is completely separate from being successful.” Rossdale’s appreciation of his bandmates, as well as his genuine adoration for the band’s most well-known earlier works, puts him in stark opposition to his contemporaries, who often balk at requests from fans to appease their more nostalgic desires. “Sometimes people don’t like playing their older songs, the hits, this and that, and are over playing their songs. My feeling is that those are the songs that got me there and why wouldn’t I play them? They’re joyous, even the depressing ones, they’re sort of joyous and the way they’re cathartic to people and to see people’s reaction to them is what ignites you…We feed each other, it’s sort of a beautiful, cathartic relationship.”
Much of the difficulty came from Rossdale initially craving the exact same thing his fans were clamoring for, namely the return of Bush. “It was very strange and it was like wearing a weird-feeling suit. I didn’t feel at peace with myself about it. I was successful in one way by having this huge record, but it felt like a façade, because when I would go out in the real world and play, everyone would be like ‘What happened to the band? Where’s the band?’ like four times a day for years. It was so crushing.”
Finding the balance between the old and the new proves to be exactly what makes Rossdale tick. “We were lucky enough to have a record that did really well so you just have a catalogue… To me that is the tightrope of writing sets—how to do enough things that keep you interesting, and how to do enough things that keep you satisfied?” That questioning comes largely from Rossdale’s own position as a fan, and a keen understanding of what it feels like to want to hear something familiar, but to not keep your favorite musicians trapped in the box of who they used to be. It’s an element of the work that keeps some of Rossdale’s most legendary influences feeling fresh. “The new Bowie record is an incredible record. Brilliant record. Like, a real creeper. Remember that phrase? When you’d be smoking a joint and be like, ‘Watch
It seemed it was really just a matter of time until Rossdale pushed for his old bandmates to give him and the people what they wanted. “When the [solo] shows are great, which also happened, it was really fun, but there was a hollowness to it, so I think that getting back together with the band again just felt like the right fit and I felt like I could be myself again.” In that way, the first postbreak album, 2011’s Sea of Memories, proved strangely to be the type of personal album he attempted to make without the band. “It was about putting myself at peace by just doing a Bush record. I didn’t really have any expectation of success attached to it, much like on my first record – it was about the legacy. My ambition was
This page: Gavin wears a jacket, shirt, trousers and shoes by Dior Homme. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Grooming by Pamela Neil @ Exclusive Artists Management Photographed at Andaz West Hollywood
acting tends to tap into the same desire for drama that his music does. “Somehow I’ve always felt that if I did something that was very pleasant it would go against my music. I like that darkness. I go to meetings and I’m like, ‘I want to be in a movie with mistakes.’ People make mistakes and it’s so life-affirming to see other people make mistakes. That’s what I like about it – when I write songs, that’s the most beautiful aspect of my job.”
out, it’s a creeper!’ You know what I mean? It’s like ten minutes later you’re feeling it.” For an English-born musician, Rossdale’s biggest influences run the gamut from folk music to poetry and find their roots most heavily in American counterculture, from Bob Dylan to Neil Young and Patti Smith. When it comes to songwriting, he cites some of America’s most noted writing voices, like Ginsberg, Kerouac and Bukowski. It’s no wonder that he finds his life split between California and the country of his birth. “It’s great to have them both, as they’re polar opposites. London… that whole city’s feelings and the elements of surprise and chance and bumping into people and social tangents happen all the time. It’s like a tree of life. And then when I came here to LA just the size of it—a lot of answers to a lot of questions that needed answering were [found] here.”
Rossdale will join his wife Gwen Stefani on season 7 of NBC’s The Voice as a mentor to her team, but that doesn’t mean he’s not thinking about what’s next for his band. “The main thing is the new Bush record, that’s all it is. I want this to be one of the records of my career. I want it to be a defining record because it’s such an incredible thing to realize that to some degree we’re sort of pissing in the wind. It’s a fragmented world, moving a thousand miles an hour, and I have my lane of Bush followers.” With the culture increasingly decentralized, united by fewer and fewer singular things, Rossdale finds that staying true to the sound he first found to speak to him most loudly is the way that one carves out a legacy. “Legends are really people who have spanned the test of time and are not swayed by the current zeitgeist. They just go through it…I don’t switch my music from rock music because I want to find a way for people to like it and challenge myself in that and stay in the same place because that makes me maintain something that arguably is in an acquired state.” After years of ups and downs and changing relationships to what his music means both to him and his fans, Rossdale finds that at the end, it all revolves around a very basic principal. “It’s the greatest thing in the world that I got to carve out a life and do what I love…I just love the simplicity of doing what you believe in.”
Living in Los Angeles might also be responsible for giving Rossdale the acting bug, as he’s found himself in a number of high-profile films over the years, most recently 2013’s The Bling Ring, directed by Sofia Coppola. “I just love doing it. One of my biggest inspirations is Tom Waits—he’s another one of my legends. I just love the idea of showing up and the process of acting. I love taking something off of a page and making it real.” The hunger for acting is built very much on the same thing that gets Rossdale on the stage night after night. “It comes down to the adrenaline thing again. It just really appeals to my psyche to do that. When I work in music, I start with a blank screen, I start with nothing. I have to improve the silence. What’s so intriguing with acting is that you have to be very creative but somebody gives you something tangible to work with and that’s when you manipulate things.” Similarly, his interest in
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RJ MITTE the forefront of this new movement was further cemented when, in 2013, he received the Screen Actors Guild’s AFTRA Harold Russell Award for his role as Walt Jr. That same year, SAG named RJ as the spokesperson for actors with disabilities. He has since become the representative of Inclusion in the Arts and Media of Performers with Disabilities, an organization that employs artists with disabilities—something RJ cares deeply about. “I think that SAG and the union have done an amazing job in their diversity department of making people with disabilities heard. I find that it’s something that’s growing every day but it’s still something that needs to be worked on.” It’s this sort of emphasis on shared experience and truth that makes RJ’s acting skills so exceptional. “Realism is the best way when you’re working on anything, especially as an actor. The more real you are, the better your performance will come out.” For RJ, that idea of realness is the crux of every good performance. “I think all the training in the world will not prepare you for a job, it’s you that has to solidify and it’s you that has to take it for yourself. It’s just knowing the scene and knowing who you are.” Although RJ makes it look easy, he can’t help but find a sense of purpose in the grind of forming a character from the ground up. “When I come up with any character, I try to base as much on my life as their life. I try to base what and how that character feels in a situation and then use the emotion of what I had to go through, where I had to be, and what I had to do to be able to be where I’m at and do what I do as a brace, kind of like a backbone. Every character needs a little bit of struggle and I find that it just helps to make the character a bit more real.” Not to say the star hasn’t been engaged in some off-screen activity as well, which has even resulted in the false rumor that he briefly dated his former Hannah Montana co-star Miley Cyrus. “I have no
At only twenty-one, RJ Mitte has found an amazing space to inhabit that rests between self and performer. The actor-producer is slowly etching out his place within the Hollywood elite. Though still relatively fresh to the scene, RJ is already beginning to tread into legendary territory, having just come off of his six-season roll as doting and eventually devastated Walt Jr. on Breaking Bad, arguably the biggest television show of the last five years. Critics have already deemed Breaking Bad a game changer in the medium of television with many citing it as the most important series in recent history. Yet, for RJ, the success is secondary to the experience. “I’m just happy to keep having these amazing characters. Breaking Bad was a dream come true. It was more than an actor could want, working on an amazing set with talented people. It was like a real family.” Fans of the show may remember Walt Jr. for his on-screen cerebral palsy—something that RJ struggles with off screen. “My CP wasn’t as bad as his but I still went through all the therapy as a kid. I went through all the stretching and I knew what this kid had to go through to keep control over who he is. It was an amazing eyeopener to be able to see everything that I had to overcome and be able to watch another person go through it.” For RJ, portraying the experience of living with cerebral palsy is about more than just character development. Rather, it provides an opportunity to shed more transparency on our cultural dialogue surrounding the disorder—something RJ points out we’re sorely lacking. “People have a stigma that people with a disability aren’t as capable to hold a normal job or as capable to have a normal life, which isn’t true. People have normal lives every day. Living with a disability doesn’t make you disabled.” RJ finds that the experience of living with a disability gives him a unique lens through which to tell stories. His role as an actor at
RJ Mitte, 21 From Lafayette, Louisiana Lives in Los Angeles, CA RJ wears a striped shirt and jacket by Dior Homme.
This page: RJ wears a shirt and trousers by By Robert James, jacket by Jacob Holston. Opposite page: Skull tank by Dr. Martens and jacket by Onassis. Fashion Editor: Brendan Cannon Additional Styling by Indira Cesarine Grooming by Debbie Gallagher @ Opus Beauty Photographed at Milk Studios
idea how those rumors started; I think that people just love to talk.” Though he’s not too quick to shun the rumor mill entirely: “She’s hot, I have no problem with that rumor.” The most significant memory of his time on the Disney show, however, is one filled largely with firsts. “I had just moved to Los Angeles. I was thirteen and knew nothing about acting. I’d never been on a set before or been around cameras…I was freaking out, it was my first ever time speaking in front of a camera.” Things don’t seem to show any signs of slowing down for RJ, who is currently working on a documentary about a reopened missing person’s case. “ It’s a labor of love documentary. It’s a really important story for people to hear and a really important story to be told.” The documentary has been a passion project for Mitte for over four years, and has recently seen a major bit of progress with the case reopening after nearly twenty-five years. “It’s just a tragedy and something that people need to realize is a major part of this world.” Aside from this project, RJ is currently co-starring on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth, and has several other pilot options that may come to fruition this year. While the future is yet unwritten for this up-and-coming trailblazer, all he knows for sure is what he aspires toward. “I just like the work. I have an amazing job, I love doing what I get to do. There are quite a few legendary people that don’t so much inspire me but have given me an outlook that has driven me to certain directions that I want to go. There are people who are legends and there are people that are able to do the impossible.”
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This page: Birdy wears a jacket by Ashish, shorts by D-ID, and bracelet and earrings by Laruicci. Opposite page: She wears a top and skirt by Diesel with a body chain by Laruicci, jewelry by Iosselliani and shoes by Diesel.
This page: Birdy wears a shirt by MUA MUA, jacket by Big Park, and jewelry by Iosselliani. Opposite page: Shirt by RUE 21 Both, jeans by Diesel. Stylist: Jules Wood Hair by Joseph DiMaggio Make-up by ChiChi Saito
Birdy, 18 From Lymington, Hampshire Lives in London, UK
“Just be yourself. Don’t care about what people think. Just have fun and do what you love.” Eighteen-year-old British singer-songwriter Birdy displays a refreshing, easygoing attitude that is simply contagious. The same goes for her heartfelt vocals, which are displayed perfectly in the artist’s breakthrough video: a heart-wrenching cover of Bon Iver’s single “Skinny Love” that the artist posted to her YouTube channel when she was just fourteen. The video has received almost fifty-eight million views, as well as captured both critical and popular praise. As a result, Birdy gathered a global audience of dedicated fans. This year she was nominated alongside the likes of Ellie Goulding and Jessie J in the coveted category of Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2014 Brit Awards. Goulding ultimately took the win, but the nomination in itself is a huge honor for Birdy, who is still in the early stages of her career. Hailing from the New Forest, a lush region in southern England known for wild horses and medieval architecture, Birdy’s melodic sound was highly inspired by her surroundings. She says that during her earlier years, her parents fostered the perfect environment in which Birdy could cultivate her musical skills. “I started playing the piano when I was about seven and it was my mom who taught me to play. She is a concert pianist.” Her early exposure to music proved to be invaluable, as Birdy began writing her own songs at the age of eight. By fourteen, Birdy was listening to herself on BBC Radio One for the first time. She recalls, “It was overwhelming, surreal and weird at the same time.” With her career now well underway, Birdy has started to focus more on developing her songwriting and touring the world. “I’m on a European tour, which is going well. Next month I am going to America and I am going to be on tour with Christina Perri, which is really exciting. I’m such a big fan of her work!” She is also writing a new album that she describes as a departure from her earlier work, which was often melancholic and soulful. “The songs are quite different which is exciting. They’re a lot happier I think.” She continues, “The new stuff is a little more folky.” The last few years have been such a whirlwind for the artist that she hasn’t had time to plan for the future. “I haven’t really thought about it. I’m excited about today!” But she does have a couple of abstract ideas in mind. “I would love to play some festivals, release new albums and continue writing, but I don’t know. I’m too scared to think about it!” Birdy certainly has the right outlook in regards to the unknown, simply stating, “Somehow it always works out.”
Nina Nesbitt, 20 From Edinburgh, Scotland Lives in London, England Photography by Iakovos Kalaitzakis
At only twenty, British singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt is already developing a rapid following and fervor of critical praises, but if you ask her, she is still in a state of constant transition. “My sound changes every day,” she says, attributing her evolving tastes to both her growing interests and her natural development as an artist. In her teens, Nina was already making a name for herself as a model. She kickstarted her musical career when she attended an intimate show of fellow breakthrough Brit artist Ed Sheeran in her home city of Edinburgh. With aspirations of entering the music world, she approached Sheeran after the show to ask if he had any advice for an aspiring singersongwriter. According to the stunning Nina, Sheeran simply asked her if she played guitar. “I said yes, so he said ‘Okay, here’s my guitar. Play me a song.’ I played him a song and then he invited me on tour and that was it, really.” Before touring with Sheeran at only seventeen, Nina had mostly played small gigs locally, calling the experience “just all really new to me.” During her early performances, her shyness was evident, manifesting itself in a stage presence that has since disappeared entirely. “I would just look down all of the time and not talk to anyone,” she says. “I would just play my songs looking down at my feet.” However, touring with Sheeran, who already had an established following yet was still experiencing much of the hype for the first time himself, helped calm Nina, forcing her to overcome her fears. “It kind of brought me out of my shell, because you can’t be shy.” Nina’s debut album, Peroxide, which was released in February 2014, is an exercise in that desire to grow and expand. Writing her own music is more than cathartic; it’s the only way she can grapple with her innermost thoughts and fury of new experiences. “I like to write about anything that means something to me,” she says. For her, Peroxide is “a diary of what I’ve experienced over the past four years,” taking familiar elements of adolescence—heartbreak, love, youthful ambivalence—and turning them into relatable music. “Growing up, breaking up, falling in love, friendship—anything.” As for the name of the album, Nina finds that it captures the feeling of a notably tumultuous time in her life. “One minute, the best things are happening, and the next minute it’s the worst. Peroxide is a very strong word and substance. It can turn light from dark, or it can burn, it can leave marks. It sums up growing up and the relationship that I was in.” Nina is staying humble in the midst of the excitement of her growing audience. In the coming months, she will be touring the UK, performing at a number of the world’s biggest music festivals, including the Isle of Wight Festival and V Festival, where she performed in 2013. For her, following her dreams is what it’s all about. “I’m just myself, which I think is a good message for other young girls.”
This Page: Nina wears a MaryMe-JimmyPaul skirt as a cape, and shorts by Superfine. Opposite Page: She wears a t-shirt by Nik Wear and rings by The Great Frog and Imogen Belfield. Both, rings by Maria Nilsdotter. Fashion Editor: Rebekah Roy Hair by John Mullan Make-up by Ruth Warrior @ Lovely Management
MAYNARD seventeen he simply didn’t feel ready to move to the United States. Yet due to such intense interest from the mainstream, and with assistance from a music lawyer hired by his mother, he managed to leverage a deal with Parlophone. Subsequently, major label forces marshaled. His first full-length album included collaborations with Pharrell, Frank Ocean, Rita Ora, and in a show of support and no hard feelings, even Ne-Yo. Increasing numbers of live performances, official videos, and a bolstering of an already firmly established internet presence put Conor at a center of gravity that culminated with MTV’s Brand New for 2012, an award for which he won almost half of the public voting. Since then Conor has been focused on building a career. This includes, as expected, a sophomore album, which has found him working with producer Timbaland and extensively with UK singer/ songwriter/producer Labrinth. In addition to growing his busy music career, Conor also released Take Off, a book that chronicles his unique and multi-dimensional rise to fame. “I wanted everyone to hear it from my perspective. I wanted to literally let people know exactly how I felt – exactly what I was thinking and feeling in those moments.” One important element he emphasizes which may come as a surprise in this day and age of unstable, tabloid-worthy young pop stars, is his admiration for his parents. “I think my parents are legendary for the way that they brought me up and the way that they rooted for me when I was doing the whole music thing.” Such emotional encouragement and support was accompanied by a genuine long-standing interest in music as well. As far back as he can remember, Conor’s parents “listened to a lot of types of music,” with an emphasis on artists like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. He’s quick to remind people of how much work has been involved in his success. “I was doing covers at fifteen, and no one noticed until I was about eighteen.” He also draws a clear line between fame and true musicianship. “I can almost always tell when somebody wants to just be famous rather than be a musician. You can tell straightaway when they’re like ‘I don’t want to work,
Conor Maynard has, over the last few years, become England’s latest addition to the teen pop kingdom. Since 2012, five of his singles have broken into the Top 10 of the UK charts, and his first full-length album, Contrast, reached number one. And while he now records for EMI subsidiary Parlophone, his is not the typical major label discovery story. Conor’s fame spread internationally prior to their involvement, thanks largely to the personal PR machine that is the Internet. “YouTube was starting to grow and I had seen a lot of videos of people singing and I thought it was a good idea.” Conor, for his own amusement, began recording himself singing covers of popular songs and posted them on his YouTube channel. “It was just my hobby. It was never something that I thought I’d become famous by doing,” he explains of his early motivations. He was passionate about his hobby and wanted to learn more about recording techniques, eventually deciding to add video. “Uploading songs was really cool. People could hear it, but adding those personal touches, like seeing me performing, is when it started drawing people in.” And despite not really intending to become famous, word of his talent, voice and style spread and his YouTube presence started drawing a real audience of devout fans. This didn’t come naturally for Conor in the beginning, and he was shocked when his social media presence began to rise exponentially. “I started having people add me on my personal Facebook page saying ‘I’m a fan!’ I didn’t really understand it. I didn’t really know what to say!” He kept posting new cover songs, including one that would prove to be a serious turning point: Ne-Yo’s “Beautiful Monster.” Things reached fever pitch for the rising star when Chris Brown retweeted the cover, which got the attention of Ne-Yo himself. Soon, the still-teenaged Conor was receiving offers to come to the US to sign with a label. Understandably enough, Conor thought it was a hoax. When Ne-Yo reached out to him personally, however, he knew it was in fact nothing short of a reality. “My Skype started ringing and Ne-Yo was sitting on the other side of the screen. It was a weird moment for me. I was wearing an old t-shirt and a hoodie…it was embarrassing.” Conor didn’t end up signing with Ne-Yo, however, because at
Conor Maynard, 21 From Brighton, United Kingdom Lives in London, England Conor wears a jumper by Religion.
of experience.” He just finished a tour around the UK in support of Jason Derulo, and expects to tour extensively in the US to support his forthcoming full-length album in the near future. The digital age has indeed been good to Conor Maynard despite some of its inherent liabilities, like the risk of getting launched into pop stardom prior to developing tools to handle such pressure. The first generation meltdown of Britney Spears has given way to the immature behavior of the likes of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber (someone Conor has, for obvious reasons, often been likened to). This young star appears likely to scale the similar, illustrious heights of fame as the aforementioned, yet with perhaps firmer roots in the ground, that will brace him against the vicissitudes of the wild pop industry. “A legend can be anyone who has had a positive effect on someone’s life,” he states, proving just how deep those roots go.
I just want to be really famous and have loads of people love me.’ That’s not the way to look at it – you should be focusing on making music.” A particular anecdote shows that his early efforts recording and developing his work ethic are never far: “This young kid came up to me and said, ‘I would love to sing’ and I said, ‘Build a YouTube channel and build a fan base and he was like ‘No…I’m not really good with computers’ and I said, ‘Learn then!’ I wasn’t born knowing how to work a microphone! I went online and figured out how to do it.” The core lesson is, to Conor, simple. “Be patient and put the effort and time in.” Conor is still working on his second album, and intends for it to be an extension of Contrast. “I was nineteen when I released the first album, and I’ll be nearly twenty-two when the second one is released. I’ve grown up as a person as well as musically, and I’m going for something a bit more grown up. I don’t want to alienate the fans from before so it’s going to be a continued kind
Stylist: Sabina Emrit Photographed at Leo Studio
This page: Conor wears a shirt by Alex Christopher. Opposite page: He wears a top by The Kooples.
Both pages: Conor wears a top by The Kooples, a jacket by Superdry and jeans by Topman.
SASHA Sasha Pieterse, 18 From South Africa Lives in Los Angeles, CA
“When child actors and young adults in the business don’t have a strong support system and a strong foundation in their family, they lose their way most of the time.” Sasha Pieterse, the recently-turned eighteen-year-old, has wisdom well beyond her years thanks in part to the fact that she has been in show business since the age of six. The South African-born actress got her breakthrough role on ABC Family’s hit show Pretty Little Liars in 2010 and her career has just begun to take off. “As the show has evolved, the audience has started seeing little bits and pieces of Alison’s core and what makes her tick.” Sasha thanks her homeschooling for giving her the confidence to play that character. When the show first began filming, the actress was all of fourteen years old, while her co-stars were in their twenties. “I never felt
out of place. It wasn’t something that I was thrown into and felt awkward about or felt like I had to prove myself. It just felt natural.” Although the show has been renewed for a fifth season, Sasha has her eyes set on feature films. The actress will star alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Martin Short in the forthcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film Inherent Vice. “It was such an incredible experience to have the opportunity to do something like that. Most of my fans from Pretty Little Liars won’t be happy if they watch it; it’s definitely for an older range of viewers but that’s the kind of stuff that I want to do. I’m hoping that the next step of my career will be working in features.” Not only has Sasha dipped her toes into film and television, she has also jumped into the music scene, releasing four country singles in 2013. “I’ve always had a love for country music and my voice seems to suit it well.” While listening to her hit single “This Country Is Bad Ass” you could easily mistake her for a seasoned musician; the actress has hopes that her music career will also grow in 2014. With her hit television show and a growing career in film and music, the actress is very level-headed. “I hope that not only will my career expand but that I’ll also be a good role model to people my age and shed good light on life.”
This Page: Sasha wears a floral dress by Lie Sang Bong. Opposite Page: She wears a stapless gown by Georgine. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair and Make-up by Kerri Urban @ Exclusive Artists Management for Chanel and Oribe
This page: Dress and guitar by Beautiful Soul. Opposite page: Gabrielle wears a dress by Tube Gallery, necklace by Mawi London and sunglasses by MinkPink. Fashion Editor: Rebekah Roy Hair by John Mullan Make-up by Ruth Warrior @ Lovely Management
GABRIELLE APLIN “My songwriting is inspired by things that happen, whether they happen to me, people around me, or even things that happen around the world.” Despite only being 21, Gabrielle Aplin has had a lot of “things” happen to her. After gaining a substantial following on YouTube thanks to a series of unconventional acoustic covers, Gabrielle was signed to UK label Parlophone in February of 2012. “I had already done everything to that point on my own…I had aspirations and goals, and knew that a major label with the right team could help me achieve them.” Soon after, a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “The Power of Love,” recorded for a national ad campaign, shot her into the public eye. Supporting both John Mayer and Ed Sheeran on tour cemented her status as not only a performer but as one to watch in 2013. Even though Gabrielle’s success has come thanks in large part to the Internet, she’s not one to sing the web’s praises too loudly. “I don’t think it’s making it easier [to enter the music industry], but I do think it’s another platform for artists to use. I think it makes having a career in music more accessible for independent artists, but that doesn’t mean you can put up a video and expect to be an international musician overnight. You still have to work for it.”
Gabrielle Aplin, 21 From Sutton Benger, England Lives in London, England Photography by Iakovos Kalaitzakis
As a result, Gabrielle is in the process of lending a helping hand to aspiring musicians by launching her own record label, Never Fade. “After I signed to a major label, I was able to keep my previous releases, but couldn’t put the money they created back into my own music, so I decided to do it for other artists…funding small projects for artists as a starting point in the industry.” Her debut album English Rain charted at #2 on both the UK and Scottish album charts in 2013, which was followed by a headlining tour throughout the UK, including a performance at the uberfestival Glastonbury. This year she is pushing the envelope to new horizons – touring select cities in Asia as well as dates in Australia, where she has a massively growing fanbase. Her song “The Power of Love” hit #1 on Australian iTunes this past March. Aside from her busy tour schedule, she is currently in the process of writing and recording songs for a new album, though no release date has been set yet. For her, it’s more about the act of creating and doing good work. “I think being legendary is using a good trait of yours to do something great, and be respected and known for it—big things or small things,” she says. “I truly believe in the laws of attraction and the power of our thoughts. I try to live as positively as possible.”
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Taryn Manning, 35 From Tucson, Arizona Lives in New York City Opening spread: Taryn wears a vintage jeans jumpsuit by Lee Jeans. Opposite page: She wears a top by Diesel. Both pages, Taryn wears Southpaw Vintage NYC.
Taryn wears a V-plunge bodysuit by Jenna Leigh Lingerie Kauai. Jacket by Southpaw Vintage NYC, jeans by Diesel. Stylist: Jules Wood Hair by Miok @ Judy Casey Make-up by Michael Anthony Photographed at Loft 402
Taryn Manning may be known by many as an actress, but the multifaceted star has many sides to her beloved personality, and her passion for music reigns supreme. “I grew up doing music with my dad; he was a musician… I was very much surrounded by music, not by acting. I watched films, but my upbringing was totally music-oriented.” It wasn’t until she and her brother, Kellin, came to create their alternative pop-rock band Boomkat that the mutual passion for music really began to develop. “He was just all about music and he was just my hero,” she says. “So anything he did, I wanted to do, and we formed Boomkat.” Before she was an actress or even a musician, Taryn was a dancer. “I was offered a full ride to Julliard for dance but decided at 18 to move to Hollywood instead.” Many recognize the actress from her work in the film Crossroads, where she stars alongside Britney Spears and Zoe Saldana, or the music industry dramas 8 Mile and Hustle & Flow. Taryn’s passion for music is evident in the roles she chooses, often working with musicians or playing characters both doe-eyed and desperate to break into the scene. Still, for her, acting was not without its challenges. “I started auditioning and never gave up,” she says. She learned quickly what her most valuable asset would come to be: her blind determination. “You have to have a thick skin and learn to love the word ‘no,’ as each ‘no’ just gets you closer to that one ‘yes,’ and eventually you do get there.” For her, acting was a way to develop her own passion by constantly pushing herself. “I’ve always welcomed a challenge and each role teaches me a bit about myself and what I am capable of as an actor.” As much as Taryn loves acting, it’s the music that she considers her true love. “Music is my soul. If I could solely just have one career, it would be music for sure.” Taryn’s band Boomkat has meshed with her acting career, appearing on the soundtracks for her films Crossroads and 8 Mile, and the singer has hopes of continuing the crossover. “I would love to score a film one day, and honestly hope I get that opportunity. I love when I am able to tie in music with my acting.” Most recently, Taryn was cast in the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, which became a word-of-mouth hit, making her character, Pennsatucky, a quick fan favorite. On getting into character for the role, the actress says, “Pennsatucky is difficult in the sense that she is the complete opposite of who I am as a person. I have used the method approach with this character and sometimes it is hard to leave the character at work. There have been times I have brought her home with me.” The actress/musician plans to spend 2014 working on her music, and has already been cast as the lead in the upcoming teen drama Light Beneath Their Feet. For Taryn, however, the most exciting thing to look forward to is the gift she gets every time she takes on a new project: “the ability to express myself freely,” she says. Look out for her in the second season of Orange is the New Black, which premiered on June 6th.
Yuna, 27 From Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia Lives in Los Angeles, CA and Kuala Lumpur
With her ethereal vocals and unique style, singer-songwriter Yuna is not only an artist on the rise, she has become a favorite of even the harshest critics. Hailing from Malaysia, the singer’s fourth album, Nocturnal, was released last year to much critical praise, comparing her to the likes of Bob Dylan and Feist, which she too cites as some of her most iconic influences. For her, the newest work highlights this fusion of sonic and aesthetic palates perfectly, capturing the artist’s love of experimentation. “We did a lot of experimenting, doing things like working with traditional Malaysian instruments and making them work in the context of a pop song that sounds current.” Yuna’s innovative spirit is embodied in her sound, both serene and challenging at once, with an ear for accessible melody. “I learned to enjoy the beauty of what can happen when creative people get together and come up with something new,” she says. “I love mixing all these genres together to help bring these ideas to life.” Yuna’s gradual rise to stardom has come from a distinct mix of progressive music and, according to her, confidence in who she is and what she wants. “Whenever I do something that I love to do, I work really hard,” she says. “I don’t expect anything. I see where it goes and just hope for the best.” That is what matters to her most in the end. “People won’t care what you call it,” she says. “I think that people are looking for music that’s real and honest that they can relate to emotionally.” For her, this fourth album is a push
in an invigorating new direction. The artist is breaking boundaries outside of her genre-bending as well; not only is Yuna one of the only Malaysian national artists to break into the American music scene, but she is also a practicing Muslim and is carving out a place for herself in American pop-culture without compromising her beliefs and practices. It all started with relatively modest beginnings - the artist got her break posting songs written in both Malay and English on her Myspace in 2006. Yuna has already collaborated with notable artists including Pharrell, whom she calls, “really sweet. I was really nervous and I think I learned a lot working with him.” She‘s performed at some of America’s most well-known musical festivals, including Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and has even been seen on the iconic stages of American institutions such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Yuna’s sights are set high, and rightfully so. In just ten years, she’s found a way to stay true to her identity, while creating music that never isolates lovers of good work. Even with so many firsts in such a short time, Yuna can’t help but crave new experiences. “I had fun when I recorded in Malaysia, but America is so big and so inspiring and there are so many talented people to work with.” That insatiable desire to explore her surroundings— and herself—is certain to lead Yuna somewhere original and wholly her own, transporting listeners to a radically original space. The artist is going places—we’ll surely be following suit.
YUNA This page: Yuna wears a top by Catherine Malandrino, bangle and pin by Pauline Ginnane Gasbarro, yellow flower pin by Robert Sorrell and necklace by Alexis Bittar. Opposite page: She wears a caftan by Gillian Harding, bracelets by Alexis Bittar, and a flower pin and crystal choker necklace by Robert Sorrell.
This page: Yuna wears a top by Catherine Malandrino, bangle and pin by Pauline Ginnane Gasbarro, yellow flower pin by Robert Sorrell and necklace by Alexis Bittar. Opposite page: She wears a caftan by Gillian Harding, pin and crystal choker necklace by Robert Sorrell. Stylist: Mindy Saad Make-up by Yuko
Callan McAuliffe, 19 From Sydney, Australia Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photograhy by Jeff Forney
Callan McAuliffe, the nineteen-year-old Australian actor from such films as the 2013 hit The Great Gatsby, Rob Reiner’s Flipped, and sci-fi flick I Am Number has mapped an unconventional road to success, and it started in a definitively unglamorous way. “I wanted to buy a dog and I didn’t have any pocket money.” This led him to apply for work at a modeling agency in Sydney, and from there, even he seems a bit surprised. “There’s so many different factors that come together to give me these opportunities…it’s definitely difficult to predict how it’s all going to happen, but I’ve just been very fortunate.” 2009 brought Callan his first character role after extensive auditions and “grueling callbacks” during a visit to Los Angeles, which secured him a part in Reiner’s Flipped. It was here that he began to develop his passion for acting. Though he admits that initially it all seemed so easy, he misjudged the nature of the industry. “I figured ‘Oh, I’ve done this film, I’m a movie star, I’m set for life…’ during that shoot I developed a real passion for it.” The grind of numerous unsuccessful auditions that followed, though, brought him down to earth with a more balanced understanding of the industry he’s involved in. “You know, there’s always somebody who is doing more work than you.” The actors he admires have been a major influence in defining his understanding of acting. “Robert Downey Jr. gives a fantastic performance but you don’t think, ‘Well, this is pretentious!’ His end goal is to entertain people… I love what he does, because he does great performances in really entertaining movies.” Callan knows it is a learning process, but believes he can improve his work without necessarily getting advice from other actors - just being around the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio or Sir Ben Kingsley is enough. “It’s like a subconscious education because you watch people and something that you’ve seen may pop up in a performance later.” He’s aware of his good fortune, but also the risks of being a relatively young actor, especially in today’s world of hypermedia, or, as he refers to it, the “age of permanent damage.” As he sees it, “being an immature person is a lot more dangerous these days just because of how much power your words have with the internet. When something goes wrong, it’s on the internet forever.” This mindset keeps him in thoughtful control of his performances and their impact. Callan is currently working with Samuel L. Jackson in a remake of the Japanese anime film Kite, due out this year, and—not one to forget the dogs—serves as youth ambassador for California NPO Wolf Connection.
Callan wears a jacket by Elmer Ave, an M4 in eldridge selvedge denim by 3X1, boots by John Varvatos, t-shirt by Kill City, rings by Samsara and belt by Kelly Cole.
This page: Callan wears a cardigan by John Varvatos, t-shirt by Kill City, trousers by Shipley Halmos and vintage combat boots by Kelly Cole. Opposite page: He wears a blazer by Anthony Franco, hat by Untitled Nude, sneakers by Ash ‘SPIDER BIS’, jeans by raw denim jeans, belt by Kelly Cole and t-shirt by Under Two Flags. Stylist: Kelly Brown Grooming by Thea Istenes
Tinashe, 21 From Lexington, Kentucky Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Jeff Forney
Tinashe began her journey into the world of music at the young age of fourteen in the all-girl group The Stunners. The singer spent four years touring with the group until ultimately deciding to venture out as a solo act. “Honestly I’ve known that I wanted to perform and be an artist, and just be in front of people and sing for as long as I can remember,” she says. As she approaches the debut of her first solo album, Aquarius, the singer takes time to reflect on the two people who helped her get to where she is today: her parents. “My parents never really told me that I had to do something else. They always said I could do whatever I wanted. I really give them a lot of credit for how far I’ve come because they instilled a huge sense of self-confidence in me.” After attending a plethora of auditions Tinashe found success through what she roughly estimates as “one-hundred-fifty tiny little breakthroughs.” Focusing on her solo career has given the singer both positive and negative outlooks. “One thing that is definitely harder is that you don’t have as much support on stage, so you just really have to carry a show on your own,” she says, “but it’s easier in the creative aspects because it’s all up to me so there aren’t any creative discrepancies.” Aquarius will reflect Tinashe’s newfound creative freedom. “Sonically it’s going to be a slight progression from the stuff that I was doing before… it will definitely have the essence of what I was doing with my mixtapes and my previously released projects….I love that I’m able to create music that is true to me and represents who I am as an artist.” Tinashe’s sound, self-described as progressive R&B, is inspired by her surroundings: what she sees, hears, and feels. “I really like to write about human relationships. I like to be in creative spaces and energetic environments, and I’m also really inspired by nature.” Having recently released her newest single “2 On” featuring up-and-coming rapper Schoolboy Q, the singer rode her musical wave through the South by Southwest festival this past March, where she performed a much hyped set during the festival’s week long music portion. Aside from her already white-hot career as an emerging musician, Tinashe also has her fingers in other artistic pursuits, most notably contributions to the film industry, including voice-overs in critical favorite Akeelah and the Bee, and work on The Polar Express. In tandem with the release of her album, Tinashe says she plans on pushing herself to new limits. “Fuck being afraid,” says the spunky twenty-one-year-old. “I feel like people don’t go after a lot of things in life, or they don’t give it their all because people are just afraid of failure, or rejection, or what people will think. Life is just too short to not put yourself out there and try to do the things that you want to do, and make the life that you want to live.”
Tinashe wears a dress by N/TICE, earrings by Tebazile, tights by Hue and shoes by Carlos Santana. Stylist: Elizabeth Watson Hair & Make-up by Victoria Aronson
This page: Pia Mia wears a top by Christian Siriano, bikini bottoms by Nookie, gladiator sandals by Via Spiga, bracelet by Pluma Italia, cuff and bangles by Carolee. Opposite page: She wears a top and skirt by Mathieu Mirano, bangles and ring by Pushmataaha and a Kuumba necklace.
Pia Mia, 17 From Guam, USA Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Indira Cesarine
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This page: Pia Mia wears a top by Jeremy Laing, shorts by Anna Sui, python sandals by Donna Karan, earrings by Delphine Charlotte Parmentier and bracelet Erickson Beamon. Opposite page: She wears a top by Jill Stuart, jacket by Alice & Olivia and necklace by Missoni.
Records. As for her songwriting, Pia pulls inspiration from dayto-day activities, saying that she rarely enters the studio without bringing her trusty journal with her. “I bring it out and I use experiences from [the page],” she says. “The best song that I’ve written so far, and the song that I relate to the most is ‘Red Love.’” She recalls it was inspired by a time in her life when she was her most emotional, and is based on her first love. “I was giving all of myself to a relationship. I’m glad that I was able to get through it, and that I was able to share that experience with everybody else who may be going through the same thing.” Although she has been praised by artists including Kanye West and Drake, Pia has been influenced by more classic artists, naming the King of Pop himself as one of her all time favorites. “Michael Jackson is a huge inspiration for my music. Since I was younger, I would listen to Michael and try to copy everything that he would do with his voice, and that’s how I started training myself vocally.” “It’s really important to me to know that the fans are liking the music that I’m making.” Pia is moved by the way fans have latched on to her work, recalling a time where she was sitting in her car and “these girls from Australia came over and started knocking on my window, and were like ‘You’re Pia?’ I stepped out of the car and they started playing [her EP] The Gift, and they recognized me. It blew my mind!” Pia had other career aspirations for a while, though they’re a decidedly less glamorous affair. “I’ve always had a back-up plan to be a dentist. I think that would be super fun!” In the meantime, Pia is sticking to Plan A. She will release a debut album come Fall 2014. Her track “Fight For You,” on which she collaborated with up-and-comer Chance The Rapper, is featured on the soundstrack for the film Divergent, and impressively sold ten thousand copies during the first week of release. The numbers are staggering, and a hint to the potential trajectory she will have ahead. For Pia, it’s about being the best or not doing it at all. “There’s no point in living and not being the best that you can be!”
“You have to just be honest with your music and what you’re talking about—that’s really most important to me.” Seventeenyear-old Pia Mia has been singing since the age of eight, starting with school theater and musicals until eventually performing at weddings and events back in her home country of Guam. “My parents let me come out to Los Angeles for a few months when I turned thirteen… and I’ve ended up being here for almost four years now.” Coming from Guam was no easy feat as Pia was more than a little unaccustomed to the fast-paced life of a big city. “It’s been hard, but as long as you’re doing your best, putting your all into what you do, and are surrounded by family and people with good vibes and try to stay positive then you’ll do well.” Pia fell in love with performing after her first appearance in front of an audience. “I was in a Cinderella theater musical at St. John’s back in Guam. I was actually surprised because I was expecting to be nervous, but when I got on stage I wasn’t nervous at all. I felt super comfortable and it was actually a place where I felt the most comfortable with myself.” That type of inborn confidence on stage speaks to Pia’s strength as a performer, as well as her original style. Typically found in her signature getup (a white tank and jeans), Pia tells us, “this may sound a little weird, but my style is actually inspired a lot by the homeless. Coming from Guam, fashion isn’t something that’s easy to get out there, so fashion is a huge part of my music. If I’m not wearing something that I’m comfortable in or that I like, I feel like I’m not performing to my best ability.” When Pia was eleven, her sister Kandis began uploading videos of her singing on YouTube, and the simple click of a button changed the course of her life forever. When a video of her singing Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” was posted online (the intimate performance was filmed at a dinner table with Kanye West, the Kardashian clan, and Drake himself present), Pia’s name suddenly started going viral. To date, the singer has amassed more than 12 million YouTube hits, and was recently signed to Interscope
Pia Mia wears bandeau top and skirt by Nur, necklace by Pluma Italia and gold spike bangles and gold pyramid ring by Push by Pushmataah. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair by Caile Noble @ Jed Root Make-up by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC Photographed on location at James Goldstein Residence
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DEAP VALLY “We’re a chip off the block that is Led Zeppelin,” says Julie Edwards, one half of the rock duo Deap Vally, that, in just a few short years, have staked their claim as heir apparent to female-driven rock we haven’t seen since the heyday of the riot grrrl movement. No offense to the Gagas and Katys of the world, but pop this is not. Deap Vally’s influences in both sound and sensibility run the gamut from classic rock to female icons of varying generations. “We love Tina Turner, she’s so fearless,” says Edwards, “and we also both have a deep, deep appreciation for Courtney Love.” The band even learned a thing or two from Mumford & Sons, whom they toured with in 2013. “They placed a huge emphasis on collaboration like they did back in the 70s. They’re really about what music is about on a fundamental level, like collaboration and creation and feeding off of their audience so much.” Edwards met the band’s other half, Lindsey Troy, in a knitting class in Los Angeles, where the two found a mutual interest in music. “We discovered that we were both musicians and we were both actually on the same kind of plateau – we sort of had lost our sense of direction and momentum.” Now, the two have found a new sense of purpose with their music. “I think that we always just wanted to portray ourselves [as rock stars] and it never really occurred to us to be any other way,” says Edwards. “I kind of just want to keep battling preconceived notions of women.” The band is currently working on their second album, collaborating with the likes of Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and trying to refocus in the midst of a massive touring schedule, which included extensive dates at SXSW in March, and will make stops along the festival circuit, including Desert Daze, Sasquatch and Isle of Wight. Although their current life on the road has taken a toll on the duo’s songwriting, they’re acquiring plenty of fresh material from which to draw inspiration. “It’s a really interesting place to be—on the verge of trying to figure out what the second record is all about. It’s a little scary, but at the same time it’s exciting because it’s a fresh place to start.” For the band, longevity is the key to becoming legendary. “Beyoncé is already legendary. I think that in twenty years she’ll still be on everyone’s minds. [Women] are expected to be permanently young, but I’m just getting older all the time! I think it would be bad-ass of us to still be rocking out and still be doing what we do twenty, thirty years into the future.”
Julie wears a kimono top by Jennifer Kate, dress by Alon Livne, sunglasses by Mecura, earrings by Delphine Charlotte Parmentier, ring by Dark + Dawn with vintage jewelry. Lindsay wears a jumpsuit by Anna Sui, sequin sweater by Bernshaw, necklace by Pluma Italia and earrings by Delphine Charlotte Parmentier. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair & Makeup by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC
Lindsey Troy (left), 27 Julie Edwards (right), (35) From San Fernando Valley, CA Photography by Indira Cesarine
Lindsay wears a crystal bra by Harlequin Fantasy, necklace by Dark + Dawn, chain top by Katrina Schnakl, pink booties by Ask Alice, her own custom sequin shorts and sunglasses by Mecura. Julie wears a bustier by The Blonds, leather leggings by Lauren Bagliore, ring by Dark + Dawn, earrings by Delphine Charlotte Parmentier, sunglasses by Mecura, with her own vintage jewelry. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair & Makeup by Roberto Morelli @ Link NYC
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This page: Josef wears a suit by Topman, shirt by Canali. Opposite page: Josef wears a suit and t-shirt by Topman.
Josef Salvat, 25 From Australia Lives In London, England Photography by Adam Goodson
themes, apparent in early singles “This Life” and “Hustler.” “If there is a strong narrative of something in a song it’s often inspired by an experience I’ve had or it’s just a big metaphor. My songs are generally about emotions because that is the one thing I definitely know is real.” Josef’s influences fall on a very eclectic scale, ranging from artists Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and The Beatles to “little sugary pop shit” that he grew up on such as Kylie Minogue, Aqua, and The Spice Girls. Expect to hear these influences and more in his upcoming album which is untitled as of yet and still in the stages of early development. “I’m just working on making an album,” says the artist. “It’s a really interesting project. The title will probably come later. It’s kind of one of those situations where it is ready when it is ready.” If the album is “good enough,” Josef plans to take it on tour. However, until his record is complete, he’ll be laying low, focusing on fine-tuning what promises to be an exciting project. For Josef, the best is yet to come. “I still feel like I’m on the incline.”
“My main instrument has always been my voice because I never had to practice, you know?” says Josef Salvat, who has been singing professionally since “before my balls dropped.” Josef’s first introduction to professional performance came when he was still in primary school in Sydney, Australia. He landed a part in Puccini’s acclaimed opera Turandot and toured with the national opera company, Opera Australia. “That was an amazing experience to have! I sometimes worry that I peaked too early.” Although Josef is certainly gifted, he has continued to adapt, grow, and experiment since his early start. The singer has dabbled with other instruments, including piano, violin, flute and French horn. “I sort of became obsessed with the French horn, only to discover that it was the least sexy instrument in the world.” However, he has always returned to focus on vocals because “you can turn the voice into whatever you want.” Since thirteen, Josef has been writing music that is “vaguely about love,” but the artist admits that “obviously when I was thirteen I’d never been in love, so it wasn’t that kind of love that I was writing about.” Ever since he began songwriting, Josef has been focusing on channeling his emotions and experiences into personal songs with universal
Stylist: Sabina Emrit Grooming by Nina Robinson
BIPOLAR SUNSHINE Adio Marchant, 29 Lives in: Manchester, England Photography by Louise Roberts
This page: Adio wears a shirt by Rokit Vintage and trousers by JEKKAH. Opposite page: Adio wears a T-shirt by Acne, jacket by Scotch and Soda, JEKKAH trousers, sunglasses by Moscot.
quickly and bravely launched into his independent work. “The first performance as Bipolar Sunshine was in a small venue called Soup Kitchen. I was supporting Petite Noir. I had only just put a few songs on Soundcloud a few weeks before this and just put together a band, but I wanted to push myself and play before the end of the year.” The artist was apprehensive about beginning his solo project so quickly after his departure from the group, but he figured that in order to make waves, he had to take chances. “I was pretty nervous as I was used to performing with loads of my mates but sometimes you’ve got to throw yourself in at the deep end.” 2014 looks to be a banner year for Bipolar Sunshine’s unique talents, with a new album set for release, headlining tour dates set up in October at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and a recent performance on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge in the bag. For him, it’s the ability to share his music with others, allowing it to be reinterpreted by listeners and take on a life of its own that keeps him inspired, “It’s such a nice feeling, hearing your songs take a new shape.” Stylist: Sabina Emrit
Manchester-born musician Adio Marchan, known better as Bipolar Sunshine, creates music with textures and flourishes just as enigmatic and inexplicably poignant as the artist’s pseudonym. “I wanted the music to give the words meaning, that’s why I chose Bipolar Sunshine,” the artist says of his moniker. He describes his music—a strand of electronic, experimental, yet accessible pop— as “emotive, ambitious, heartfelt, honest.” Outside of his insightful and complex lyricism, Bipolar Sunshine is a man of few words, with a fittingly simple personal motto: “Go live.” These words of wisdom feed his introspective songwriting, which he says is simply inspired by “life, which comes with failure and victories.” He’s equally inspired by visual elements of the everyday, such as “flower prints and flowers, which indicate life.” Bipolar Sunshine is admittedly a “hopeless romantic,” with music, style, and inspirations that certainly reflect that prolonged sense of longing and desire. Bipolar began his solo career only about one year ago, although he has been performing music for nearly seven years, initially in a group called Kid British, which he formed with several friends. After Kid British was dropped from their record label, Bipolar
Photographed at Dalston Superstore
This oage: Photography by Juliana Plotkin Sam wears a shirt by Topman and metal tie by Virgin Blak.
Sam Smith, 22 Lives in London, England
“Whenever I’m sad or feel troubled, I put it into my music and then I feel good.” Twenty-two year old British singer-songwriter Sam Smith has a simple notion of what makes music such a powerful agent, but it’s the story of how he began singing at eight-years-old and wrote his first song at the tender age of ten that speaks most to his undeniable talent. “I ended up being really sad as a kid because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to be when I was older,” he says, “and I remember being like six at this time and I was panicking and I’d keep my mother awake for hours just trying to figure out what I wanted to do.” Luckily, Sam did find his calling and after diligently toiling away at his goal, he made his breakthrough into the music world, landing a feature on Disclosure’s hit single “Latch”. “It was almost like a domino effect,” Sam goes on, “It was ten years in the making… then one year things clicked.” Sam’s songs have not only garnered a massive fan base. He is a favorite amongst critics, having won both the 2014 BRIT Critics Choice Award and the BBC’s Sound of 2014 Award this year alone. His work has been received with international enthusiasm but he isn’t necessarily an advocate of easy listening. “I want my audience to think a little bit… to use their brains.” The artist’s initial radio hits have been what he describes as “happy, sexy songs.” However, his upcoming album In the Lonely Hour, set to see release on May 26th via Capitol Records, has a more somber tone. “I wanted to be honest and write how I was feeling.” Sam explains that he has “never been in a relationship,” which took a toll on him emotionally. It was these feelings that inspired his latest soulful songwriting. “I wanted to do a body of work that just focused on my loneliness because I needed it to help me more than anything else I needed it to do for me.” Although Sam’s work is grounded in his own experiences he also emphasizes the importance of being free, flexible, and malleable as an artist. “When I go to the studio sometimes I wake up and I want to sound like Beyoncé and then some days I wake up and I want to sound like Joni Mitchell… so that’s exactly what I do.” For Sam, this ability to follow his creative inclinations is one of the most important and rewarding aspects of his career. His unpredictable style keeps his fans guessing. “I don’t care what anyone says because I’ll just do it.” “You’ve got to love what you do, and you’ve got to remember that music isn’t everything,” says Sam, whose fervor for music is matched by his emotional sensitivity and emphasis on the importance of loved ones. “I’m not trying to sound weird or sad or anything but music is one part of life and I love it so much. It’s my passion, it’s what I do, but I also love sitting around a table with my family and having a meal and talking about complete shit and I think that’s important to remember. It’s one little factor of life, it’s not the be-all, end-all.” Sam’s recent performance on Saturday Night Live received rave reviews by critics and fans alike, and is just the beginning of his tour in support of his new tracks. This summer will see backto-back performances on the festival circuit, hitting pretty much everything with equal fervor. Also, don’t worry too much about Sam’s loneliness. “I feel really good at the moment and if anything I should be feeling more lonely now then I ever have because I’m on my own more than I ever have been but I feel really good because it’s almost like the music was my therapy and it healed me.”
This page: Photography by Joey Falsetta Sam Smith wears a homme shirt by Topman, metal tie by Virgin Blak and an overcoat by Giorgio Armani. Opposite Page: Photography by Juliana Plotkin Sam Smith wears a shirt, jacket and trousers by Nautica. Stylist: Francis Urrutia Grooming by Kristen Bode Photographed at Shangri-La Studio
Kirin Callinan, 27 Lives in Sydney, Australia Photography by Indira Cesarine
“In many ways, I’m a rock star as well as an anti-rock star.” Kirin J. Callinan has rock & roll in his veins, having grown up watching his father play the stages of Australia. “I grew up with a lot of music,” he says. “Dad was a rock star in a band called The Radiators. They never played in the States, but they were huge in Australia. I think they still hold the record as the longest-running Australian band of all time.” For Kirin, watching his father perform in massive stadiums and seeing gold and platinum records on the wall was just business as usual. At age eleven, Kirin decided to delve into his musical roots. “I had written some songs in grammar school on the school campus,” he says, recalling one particularly memorable song called “I Built the Toilet.” Kirin put together a punk band while in grammar school, where he performed for his peers. “It was about as punk as a ten or eleven-year-old can get. In my own mind, it went down very well and people loved it.” Kirin didn’t stop there. In 2005 he exploded onto the scene with his hit band Mercy Arms, formed with friends Thom Moore, Ash Moss and Julian Sudek. They signed a massive record deal with label Capitol Records, and toured Australia with The Strokes. Kirin is the first to admit that things “didn’t quite pan out. What it did do, for me at least, was make it feel real. We started the band and were being flown around the world to all of the labels, being wined and dined. We had money, and it just felt like, ‘Well, this is how you do it.’” He began to feel the heat of white-hot hype. “Everyone thought that we were going to be the next big thing.
All clothing by Asher Levine.
We signed the biggest record deal that had been signed in the world that year [close to a million dollars]—and of course we ended up blowing that money.” Despite their quick success, the band decided to call it quits after four years and one album together. Now performing as a solo act, Kirin describes his personal sound as “physical, masculine, and electric,” stating that he knows what it is he wants to accomplish as an artist, and it all comes down to what he calls “a clearer vision.” He has become known for his eccentric stage presence, and a distinct lack of clothing while performing, but he assures us that his unconventional style has a purpose. “The cliché, hypersexual creature, I like to play with that…I use my body; it’s physical and masculine. I’m an exhibitionist, but it’s not out of vanity at all. It’s a performance and it’s confrontational.” Kirin has been touring the world for the past several years, but plans to slow the touring down to focus on an album this year, working with Jorge Elbrecht. “Jorge is a really talented songwriter and musician. In fact, he’s one of the best. He’s a master, a legend even. I want to make a new record as quickly as possible and focus on the solo album. The most important thing to me is finishing the record and getting it out as soon as possible.” A few years down the line, Kirin is looking forward to taming his bad boy habits. “I would love to, ten years from now, have a home and family. I’ve spent so long being wild!”
All clothing by Asher Levine. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine
This page: Seth wears a jacket by Topman. Opposite page: He wears a a jacket by John Varvatos, tie by Richard James and jeans by Diesel. Both pages, shirt by Calvin Klein, hat by Laird & Co and glasses by Thom Browne.
Seth Troxler, 28 From Kalamazoo, Michigan Lives in London, England Photography by Louise Roberts
SETH TROXLER 150 gigs in 2012 alone, not to mention his fourth summer residency at DC10 in Ibiza, his own record label, an upcoming clothing line, his London-based restaurant Smokey Tails, and a cross-cultural music platform with Bronx-born DJs the Martinez Brothers. His record label, Visionquest, is his most beloved venture, though his success seems to be relative to Seth’s own hustle. Whatever you do, don’t call his sound EDM. “It was created by a bunch of publicists and people working on this side of the Atlantic and in America and it doesn’t really have anything to do with our culture,” he insists. “EDM is a bit soulless and a kind of American-defined term for mass media. I strive to do so much more than that and there’s an art to the music that we curate and the culture that we have.” 2013 saw Seth voted number one on the Resident Advisor Top 100 DJs poll. He played a much-hyped and well-received set at the Coachella Music Festival in California, and is set to play this summer at the Movement Electronic Music Festival in his hometown of Detroit. Making a name for himself has required a general confidence in getting from Point A to Point B and, for Seth, that’s exactly what being a legend requires. “To be a legend, you have to be an iconic figure of a time…Legendary is longevity.”
“There’s no one representing young, intellectual, ethnic people, you know? There’s no one bringing out that cultural point within dance music, so we were like, ‘let’s make a label that’s about us and how we grew up.’” At only twenty-eight, Seth Troxler has managed to craft an authentic entry point into the dance music scene, one that speaks to his own sensibility and the things he sees as missing from music culture at large. “A kid from Detroit is completely different from what’s cool to someone from London or Berlin. How you’re raised and how you feel about music, style and clothing is just from a different perspective.” Seth, born in a small town in Michigan called Kalamazoo, got into dance music through his stepfather who DJ’d at a local radio station. It wasn’t until his family relocated to Detroit that Seth first dipped his toes into the electronic music scene. “I was thirteen and I had met some kids and they took me to a rave during my homecoming my freshman year of high school and I knew the music already… It was the big epiphany. It was in some crazy abandoned building…I felt everything.” Soon after, he and some friends decided to embrace a spontaneous exploration of their emerging interest in music by moving to Berlin just to see what would come of it. “For a while, it was just us sleeping on my friend’s futon together trying to figure out a place to live and to get money and it slowly evolved.” That “evolution” has resulted in a highly prolific career, with over
Stylist: Sabina Emrit Grooming by Nina Robinson
Aiden Grimshaw, 22 From Blackpool, England Lives in London, England Photography by Oleg Tolstoy
album Misty Eye, released in August of 2012, reaching #19 on the UK charts. The singer relates most to musicians like John Mayer. “I spent so much time when I was at college sitting with my friends in my Ford Fiesta listening to the Where the Light Is: Live in LA album… I loved to watch that gig because there are so many moments that would be like ‘Whoa, he’s killing it!’ I think that’s the ultimate as an artist and performer.” “To define is to limit,” says Aiden, quoting Oscar Wilde. Indeed: although he found success in the music world, it wasn’t always tunes that held Aiden’s attention. “Acting is something that I love and was massively into when I was seventeen or eighteen so I’d like to think I would have pursued that.” He draws his inspiration, both personally and artistically, from those around him. “ I look up to all the great people in my life and in life who do great things.” As for Aiden’s future? It’s simple: “I just want to keep making music.”
Aiden Grimshaw found his niche in music at the age of eleven, after he picked up a guitar for the first time. Though he began writing songs at age thirteen, he is ever-humble regarding his musical roots: “I don’t think it was my best work”, he says, of his earliest forays into music. Entertainment, however, is clearly in his blood. “I’ve always performed on stage, acting and singing. My first performance was in my last year of junior school, Grease. I sang ‘Beauty School Drop Out’... It went alright, I think, and my mum asked if I wanted to go and do a singing lesson and off I went.” After vocal lessons, Aiden found himself auditioning for X Factor: UK, making it to 9th place during the show’s 7th season. That was 2010. From there, it was only a matter of time before the singer was picked up and signed to RCA Records, subsequently releasing his debut single, “Is This Love”, which hit the charts at #35. Regarding his stint on X Factor, Aiden says his life changed for the better. “I imagine my path [in music] would have been a little different. The show was a great opportunity to take my chance at a music career.” A worthy risk, indeed – the singer has been dominating charts for the past two years as a result, with his debut
Stylist: Sabina Emrit Grooming by Nina Robinson Aiden wears a top by Ada + Nik with his own jewelry.
AIDEN GRIMSHAW 183
Adrian Lux wears a shirt and printed jacket by PRPS.
ADRIAN LUX Adrian Lux, 28 From Sweden Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Indira Cesarine
“I believe that everything is possible; that’s what’s so fun with music.” The Grammy-nominated Swedish producer and DJ, Adrian Lux has skyrocketed onto the music scene with charttopping songs such as “Teenage Crime” and headlining events including Pandora’s Grammy after-party this past January. His self-titled debut album was released in 2012, he has produced remixes for the likes of Lana Del Rey and Deborah Cox, and even had his own work remixed by Avicii. Despite his newly garnered recognition, his love for DJing began when he was just fifteen. “Everyone was very much into hip-hop at that time. I was used to hanging out with more band people and I wasn’t really any good with instrumental stuff. All of a sudden, I got surrounded by people making hip-hop and it was like, you know, there’s a lot of stuff to do, you can rap, beat-box, or break-dance. So I tried it out and I really got interested in producing and DJing with rappers and it went from there.” This ex-model and self-proclaimed “music nerd” admittedly enjoys a wide range of music, from The Fugees to Bob Marley, and explains how he began creating an amalgam of these influences in his work, which he deems “indie punk house” music. “I put a lot of organic stuff in my music. I think it’s fun to surprise people.” Like most modern-day DJs, Adrian welcomes collaborations but explains his bias on the topic as well. “I actually prefer discovering people, like being on Soundcloud and going through the indie culture. That’s my favorite. There was one point when I got in touch with this really famous Swedish band, Kent, and it turned out that they really enjoyed my music as well, so we ended up working together!” Adrian recently collaborated with Cash Cash on a single dubbed “Bullet,” as well as a new 6-track EP titled Make Out on Ultra Music. Songs on the new EP include “Lauren Conrad” and “The Rave” which incorporate deep house influences to his sound unlike anything we have heard from him previously. This summer, he has been touring throughout North America and Europe, which kicked off during several performances at Miami Music Week. Additional tour dates include Chicago, Houston and Vegas as well as several major music festivals. As for legends, Adrian counts Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop and Johnny Cash as his top picks, all of whom would likely approve of his parting words of wisdom: “Believe in yourself and do what you really like.”
Adrian Lux wears a t-shirt and denim jeans by PRPS, peacoat by Ken Chen with sneakers by Dior.
Adrian wears a t-shirt and jeans by Dior Homme with a leather jacket by Skingraft. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Grooming by Roberto Morelli
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Havana Brown, 29 From Melbourne, Australia Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Geoff Moore
Australian DJ, singer, and stunner Havana Brown knew from an early age that the traditional life just wasn’t for her. “I’ve always been interested in music, but I didn’t really take it seriously until after I finished school because I realized that was my opportunity to pursue what I actually loved doing.” That’s precisely what she did, deciding that when it came to following her passion, it was now or never. “I was very adamant that I wanted to give it a good shot at pursuing a career that I actually love.” The blonde bombshell moved to the UK and jumped headfirst in the music scene. She fully embraced her inclinations toward nightlife, performance and entertainment. “I was out partying every single night, because the party scene in London is quite crazy, and that’s when I sort of looked at the DJ and I was like ‘Hang on, that would be the dream job! You get to come out here, you get to play, perform, entertain a crowd and play music’…I really thought ‘This is something I think I would be amazing at!’” Soon after, Havana approached a friend of hers, and asked him to show her the ropes of DJing, and that’s when she fell in love with the art. “It really did flow for me from that point on.” For the next few years, the artist dedicated her time to DJing rather than creating her own music. When she did return to creating music it was with significantly more focus and confidence. “I just wanted to get back in the studio and get creative, and I had so many ideas, and probably knew what I wanted to do more than before I started DJing,” she explains. “I knew what sound I wanted, and I was very confident with myself, and I think that was where everything really took off.” Her stint as a DJ served as a catalyst for greater things to come, as Havana used the medium to discover the type of vibe and sound that she wanted to produce with her own music. “I wanted pop melody, but with a club-sounding track.” It was with this newfound clarity that Havana approached the creation of what would
BROWN Havana wears a top by Celeb Boutique and rings by Nissa Jewelry. Stylist: Beau Barela
This Page: Havana wears a bathing suit by We Are Handsome, hat by Gladys Tamez and shoes by Boohoo. Opposite Page: She wears a skirt by LaQuan Smith, top by Carmella, jewelry by Lillian Shalom and sunglasses by Mykita + Beth Ditto. Stylist: Beau Barela Make-up by Emily Moses Hair by Frankie Payne
become her breakthrough radio hit single “We Run the Night”, a song she collaborated on with veteran hit machine, Pitbull. “This is before there was lots of drops on the radio, so it was definitely a time where radio was a little bit like ‘We don’t know if we can play this!’” she remembers. Eventually, the radio had to catch up to the growing tastes of the public, namely their desire for Havana’s music. “It just became so popular. That was such a good feeling, and it comes from a true place. I just love it.” Havana is no stranger to playing major gigs for huge audiences. In a relatively short career, she has already opened for musical powerhouses such as Britney Spears, Rihanna, The Pussycat Dolls, Chris Brown and Enrique Iglesias, and is currently supporting Bruno Mars in Las Vegas. However, she’s now focusing on creating her own sound and fanbase, and moving forward as a solo artist in
her own right. Between her back-to-back touring schedule and the release of her debut album, Flashing Lights, she found time to get into the studio and make a brand new track, “Whatever We Want,” which came out this March. More recently, she’s released a single called “Warrior,” which is her 4th consecutive #1 single on the U.S. Billboard Club chart. Feedback has been nothing but positive. “If people like the club sound, and they love to dance, and they love to sing along to tracks then I definitely think that they’re going to like what I’m doing!” The main difference between DJing and making her own music, she says, is that “This is a little bit closer to my heart. I feel like I’m showing more of myself and exposing more of myself.” Havana says she’s ready to “take risks with my own music,” and the world should certainly take heed, as she is making major waves.
Ellapaige, 18 Lives in London, England Photography by Erica Bergsmeds
writing is more mature and it’s a lot more raw. I’m being more honest than usual.” Ellapaige hopes that her openness will engage her listeners. “If people can connect and understand what you’re writing about, then that’s the best feeling.” Residing in London, the musician and model is committed to putting in the time and work necessary to make it to America and break into the music scene in a major way. “In five years I’d love to be living on the other side of the Atlantic, writing and recording my third album, and touring the world!” Until then, she’ll continue to write, record, make videos. “I use anything that is at hand— YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Twitcam—to get my music out there.” Ellapaige hopes to emulate artists like Rihanna, whom she finds inspiring because of her “strength, individuality, and her edge,” and Taylor Swift because “she stands on her own two feet and I have a lot of respect for her.” Her debut EP Made You Look came out last fall to rave reviews, and she has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Look out for plenty of new work from Ellapaige in the coming year. “2014 will be all about releasing new material, writing great songs, and evolving as an artist. It’s going to be a really exciting year!” Who knows how far she’ll go. One thing is for sure: Ellapaige is just getting started.
“I really found my path when I was twelve or thirteen. That’s when I started teaching myself piano and developing my songwriting,” says Ellapaige, aspiring musician and model, now eighteen years old. “I would describe my sound as rhythmic pop. It has EDM, R&B, and hip-hop influences, but it’s also acoustic, because I love when music is stripped back.” Although one of her claims to fame is her rumored romance with Justin Bieber, she’s focusing more than anything on her art. “Music is my one true love,” says Ellapaige, who recently had a double clef tattooed on her ring finger: “It’s there to remind me to never give up on my goals and aspirations.” Fortunately, she already knows that such reminders and dedication are necessary, admitting that, “there can be a lot of pressure and stress in this industry.” This doesn’t discourage her from following her dreams to the very best of her ability. “It can be hard putting yourself out there on a plate for everyone, but I always find that’s how I write the best songs. I think that the new material that I’m
Ellapaige wears a jacket by Sorapol and a one-piece by Motel. Stylist: Joseph Crone Hair by Rio Sreedharan Make-up by Justyna Dobrowolska
LIZ wears a black bodysuit by Leka and necklace by Erickson Beamon. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair by Caile Noble @ Jed Root Make-up by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC
LIZ, 26 From Tarzana, California Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Indira Cesarine
that she “lovelegendary to do some collaboration with that some female serve as would LIZ’s most influences. “Vocalists I look up artists.” to are Mariah Carey and Brandy… that glossy, R&B/Pop time of In fact, artists serve as Liz’s most and legendary influences. the earlyfemale 2000s.” When it comes to style sensibility, “Gwen “Vocalists I look up in to her are own Mariah Carey Stefani is athat huge legend right… justand theBrandi…there’s way that she’s definitelyherself elements of that glossy, R&B/Pop timeand in the early carried throughout her whole career been so2000s.” stylish When it comesreinventing to style and sensibility, “Gwen Stefani is a huge and constantly herself.” legendlooks in her the way thatHer she’s herself 2014 to own be anright…just exciting year for LIZ. EP carried Just Like You throughout herthis whole and been so stylish reinvented was released pastcareer February. “I’m very proudand of it, it’s very herself.” 2014 to be aanlotexciting year forhas Liz.also Shestarted as an her EP progressive andlooks I’ve taken of risks.” She coming at the end ofinspired February—“I’m very proud it, it’s very own lineout of merchandise by her personal style.ofThe impact progressive I’veover taken lot offew risks—and is starting hertoown of her rising and career thea past years has yet to go her line of instead merchandise personal style. All ofrelevant. which go head; she isinspired focusingbyonher what it takes to stay “I a long way in made reminding Liz of the seventeen. work it takes to stay relevant. couldn’t have it when I was I would have been “I flash couldn’t made when I Iwas 17 and been a splash in theknow pan a in the pan itbecause wasn’t mature enough to really because I wasn’t enough really know who I“Iwas an who I was as an mature artist and as a to person,” she says. just as want artist anda as a person,” she career, says. “Ibe justa want to havemake a longgood and to have long and steady tastemaker, steady career and bemyself a tastemaker andpeople make good decisions and decisions, surround with good and do some great surround myself with good andthe do Mad some great work.” work!” She’s currently on thepeople road with Decent Block Party
“I’m aAngeles-born very sensitiveperformer person; I think you have to be an artist.” Los LIZ was signed to as Diplo’s Mad Los Angeles-born performer Liz was Mad Decent Decent label in 2012, after only a fewsigned years to of Diplo’s experimenting with label after music. experimenting withfemale electronic five years electronic As the only artist music on the four label,orthe twentyago, and in has thatbeen shortpositioned time, she’sasbeen positioned as the earlyideal six-year-old the ideal link between link between early-millennium R&B/Pop dance and contemporary millennium R&B/Pop and contemporary music. “Everydance song music. from “Every songplace stemseven fromif aI raw even ifitI end twisting stems a raw end place up twisting into up something it into something Mytogoal is of to people relate toand a lot people and painful. My goal ispainful. to relate a lot sooffar I’ve been so far I’ve my shows andfrom feedback feeling thatbeen at myfeeling showsthat andatfeedback I get fans.” I get from fans.” Having started singing at age thirteen, LIZ now finds herself Having singing since thirteen, on one the on the started precipice of something big, Liz andnow shefinds mayherself be the precipice of something big, andbeen she may be the spearheading it. “I’ve always one foot in one andspearheading one foot out it. “I’ve kind of been, one mainstream foot in and one footSo out with with thealways underground world like, and the world. I think the underground worldthing and the mainstream world. So Itwo think that’s that’s what my whole is about - marrying those worlds. kindaofsmall whatcommunity my whole thing about, thosequickly two worlds. It’s and is word kindmarrying of spreads when It’s a small electronic community, wordsince kind people can community, top lines andthe write over their beats.” In and her time of spreads quickly can top lines andofwrite over their signing to the label,when she’speople collaborated with some the industry’s beats.” names In her time label, she’s from collaborated biggest both since on thesigning charts to andthe underground, Riff Raff with of though the industries biggest both on thetocharts and to 2 some Chainz, she admits thatnames she would “love do some underground,with fromfemale RiFF artists.” RAFF toIn2fact, Chainz—though admits collaboration it’s the female she artists who
Tour through fall, and has an album slated for release early 2015.
MKTO Malcolm Kelley, 22 and Tony Oller, 23 From California and Texas Live in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Carter B Smith
When Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller met on the set of their hit Nickelodeon teen series Gigantic, their chemistry was already in sync. Tony had starred in a few films, most notably 2013 cult-favorite horror film The Purge; Kelly was best known for his role as Walt on the television phenomenon Lost. Yet even with a growing pedigree of high-status acting roles, it was their off-camera singing that somehow always stole the show. “We just sort of hit it off,” Tony said of the moment he and Malcom first met. “Everything sort of came about really organically. We clicked, it was cool.” As their friendship unfolded, so did their musical collaborations. “We were just laughing and singing, and people started saying that we should make an album and go on tour,” Malcom remembers. So that’s exactly what they did. MKTO’s self-titled debut album, which dropped in the US on April 1st, 2014, recently debuted at number one in Australia—a distinction that the group is still both shocked and honored by. While the band’s quick rise is a brilliant example of what can come by following one’s instincts, for Tony, it’s all secondary to their initial goal, which is to just have a good time. “We kind of feel like we’re underdogs in a sense, being actors and going into music,” he says, “but we just wanted to focus on making great music. All we want people to get from this album is that we are having a great time. We’re having so much fun! It’s about getting out there and really winning people over, and that’s what we’re excited to do.” The album is named both for the duo’s combined initials as well as the audience they believe their music speaks to most directly: “Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts,” which both Tony and Malcom are quick to self-identify as. “It is all about not being afraid and doing what you want to do,” Malcom explains. “We’re just following our dreams and making music right now.” The album represents dreams coming true for the pair, who had the chance to collaborate with famed R&B vet Ne-Yo. “We were like ‘Yeah! That would be crazy to have Ne-Yo on there!’ And a week later or something, Ne-Yo was in the studio with us and we had a track! It was really inspiring to watch and write and just see him as an artist.” It’s easy to see that MKTO’s most valuable asset is not just their talent—it’s their close friendship, which has manifested itself into crowd-pleasing pop music that brings people together the same way it did Malcom and Tony. Keep an ear out for “American Dream,” a track the two believe captures the essence of their work, and has the potential to be a big hit. As they promote their new album stateside, MKTO is making sure to keep the party rolling. “We had just so much fun making it, and we just think you’ll have a great time with this album!” Tony wears a t-shirt by Kenneth Cole, jacket by Beautiful Fül. Malcolm wears a skull tank by Dr Martens, vest by G-Star, trousers by Jardine, and sunglasses by Diesel. Watches by G-Shock. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Grooming by Cooper @ Exclusive Artists
Dominic Wynn Woods, 22 From Fairfield, California Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Indira Cesarine
Pedal.” The impact Iamsu! has had on Sage’s life reaches beyond his career; Sage cites their their friendship as vital in his growth as both an artist and a person. “He gets me through a lot of tough times, he tells me [how to do it], what to expect, how to be healthy—everything.” That kind of support has made paying it forward of paramount priority. “One of the best moments of my career so far has been being able to buy my house, buy a lot of stuff and do things for my family.“ When asked what sort of advice he would give to any aspiring artists, Sage preaches confidence above all. “Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t and always keep in your mind that you can.” He explains that learning how to do things on your own is an invaluable skill. “Write on your own, produce on your own, and sing or rap on your own.” These were the steps Sage took to build his own career and develop his skills as an artist. To hear the fruits of his labor, listen to his newly released debut album, Remember Me, which came out March 2014 on Republic Records. This summer he toured throughout Europe with Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy and Tyga, with over ten stops in cities including London, Paris, Oslo and Amsterdam.
“Just a nice beat. Period.” Although it sounds relatively simple, Bay Area rapper Sage the Gemini has proven that simplicity is all that’s required to produce a hit track. Born Dominic Wynn Woods, the twenty-one-year-old has seen a successful career blossom seemingly out of thin air—though he’s quick to remind that aside from luck, he’s put the work in. “I just worked hard and uploaded my music on the internet.” Out of the internet void, three million views appeared on his YouTube channel. The attention primed Sage to release his next crowd-pleasing single, “Gas Pedal,” which became a cultural “twerking anthem,” peaking at #29 on the Billboard 100. Sage is aware of the fact that the sudden cultural popularity of twerking played a role in the stratospheric success of the song, saying that once “people found out there was a dance to it, it just started circulating.” With sonic influences that range from genre mainstays to Bay Area specific samples, Sage identifies his sound as a “mixture of everything. It’s like going to McDonald’s and pouring every drink into one cup. I want to start my own genre, like a crossover of R&B and Bay Area party hip-hop.” His intuition for the basic nature of hip-hop follows in the footsteps of some of his biggest musical inspirations, such as Snoop Dogg, Pharrell and Chris Brown. He considers himself collaborative by nature, taking notes from his closest friends. During Sage’s days in the Bay Area’s HBK Gang (better known as The Heartbreak Gang to their devout following in Oakland) he met Iamsu!, the rapper he worked with on “Gas
Both pages: Dominic wears a leather top by Epitome, jeans by Dolce & Gabbana, sunglasses by Diesel, sneakers by Gucci. Grooming by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC
This page: Alexander wears a shirt by Dr. Martens, trousers and jacket by Jardine. Opposite page: Clothing by Nicholas K and sunglasses by Diesel.
“Success isn’t by accident and, if it is, it won’t be long lasting.” With his expert portrayal of Cato in 2012’s The Hunger Games, it’s hard to believe that Canadian-born actor Alexander Ludwig would experience anything but long-lasting success. Even as a young boy, the actor was eager for work. “I stole my mom’s phone, called her agent and asked for a meeting.” That meeting led to a role in a Harry Potter commercial and before nine-year-old Alexander knew it, his acting career had begun. Alexander had a strong career from the start, accepting roles in Disney movies such as Race to Witch Mountain. As he matured, his approach to acting has become far more serious than his background might infer. His mentors of choice are strong male actors that he’s worked with on set, including Mark Wahlberg and Eric Bana, both of whom he met while shooting Lone Survivor. He looks back at his experiences on set of The Hunger Games as game-changing for his career. “Hunger Games definitely put me on the map. Being a part of that kind of phenomena was just a dream come true. From that I was really able to do the movies that I love and the roles that I really care about.” In 2014, Alexander will continue to explore his range, playing his fiercest role to date in Season Two of The History Channel’s Vikings. Moving forward, he looks to keep the bar set high with a newly deemed position as the brand ambassador for Bulgari watches and eyewear. Although this is an exciting new endeavor for the actor, it certainly won’t deter his steadfast dedication to his craft. “There are offers all over the table which I’ve been so flattered about, but I want to make sure I stay on a good path and really do a great movie… I’ve noticed that the people who have really made it in the industry have focused on one thing at a time.” Look out for his forthcoming films When the Game Stands Tall, as well as Final Girl, both slated to hit theaters this year.
ALEXANDER Alexander Ludwig, 22 From Vancouver, British Columbia Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Indira Cesarine
This page: Alexander wears a gray shirt by Nicholas K, denim jacket by Jacob Davis and sunglesses by Diesel. Opposite page: He wears a camo t-shirt by G-Star. Both pages: He wears a shirt by Nicholas K and jeans by Jardine. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Grooming by Kerri Urban @ Exclusive Artists Management
LUKE ARNOLD Luke Arnold, 29 From Sydney, Australia Photography by Indira Cesarine
“In my brief time in the industry, it’s become clear that there is a profound difference between how someone’s life is perceived and the reality of being that person.” Australian Luke Arnold began working as a stuntman in 2002 until shifting his focus onto acting. “Growing up I didn’t know if I wanted to be a director, writer, or actor. During my final year at high school, I picked up some sword-fighting skills playing Romeo and somehow that led to my first film job. I worked in the stunt department on the Peter Pan film in 2002. Eventually I ended up getting accepted at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) in Perth. That was the deciding factor in following acting as my main focus.” The actor says that being cast in the film Broken Hill was a turning point for his career, “It really helped me understand camera technique, the industry, my job, the responsibilities of being a lead actor and I knew after that experience that this career was worth all the risk, heartache and effort.” Luke recently starred as Michael Hutchence in a mini-series detailing the singer’s rise and fall titled INXS: Never Tear Us Apart. It’s currently airing in Australia, and viewers in the US and UK will have a chance to see it later this year. For him, telling the story of Michael Hutchence was “the strangest mix of emotion, pressure and joy that I’ve had on a job. There is a huge responsibility when you take on the story of a real person who has passed away.” Many often compare Luke to fellow Aussies Heath Ledger and Mel Gibson, although the humble actor doesn’t take it too seriously. “It’s nice to hear but definitely not anything I take to heart. Especially with guys like that who carved out the most impressive and monumental bodies of work. I’m barely getting warmed up by comparison.” Luke keeps his attention focused on his own career rather than others’. “I try not to look at anyone else’s career or accomplishments with envy because it could be absolute hell from the inside.” Luke is currently filming Michael Bay’s high-seas drama Black Sails in Cape Town, South Africa. “It feels pretty close to pirate life in the 1700’s—physical, draining, hot, sweaty, salty and tired.” For Luke, that’s what makes it so unforgettable. “There are always new challenges, new twists and turns and we’re lucky to have the loveliest group of people to endure it with. I think the show just gets better and better and Season Two is shaping up to be pretty freaking wild.” When asked if there are any words of wisdom that get him through the day, the actor tells us that there are simply too many good words out there. “I trade them in on a regular basis. This week it’s a line from a book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. “‘Be grateful for warmth, shelter and companionship against the storm. Others may not be so lucky’.”
Stylist: Danny Flynn Grooming by Thea Istenes @ Exclusive Artists Management Luke wears a shirt, trousers, and jacket by Topman, with shoes by Dior Homme and a hat by Gladys Tamez.
Meg Myers, 27 Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Pamela Littky
not good at it. Just finding a way, some sort of outlet, whether it’s creative or whatever, to just be ourselves and do what makes us happy.” That happiness is something Meg has found through her songwriting, although her sonic leanings are admittedly a bit dark. “I hate to say it, but most of my songs have a negative, dark feeling or are sad, but I don’t know, that’s what I need,” she claims. “I have to get it out of my body so it doesn’t kill me!” Exercising her personal demons is something Meg has done to the benefit of her audiences. After moving to LA, playing shows and subsequently garnering more and more attention, her now-manager stumbled upon her music Myspace. However, her breakthrough moment— or as she’s dubbed it, her ‘oh shit’ moment —is something she claims is difficult to pin down. “An ‘oh shit’ moment would be opening up for The Pixies. That was the big ‘oh shit’ moment, actually. But it’s weird because there haven’t really been a lot of them. It’s so gradual and now every show seems to get more and more intense.” Having played several festivals this summer, including Governor’s Ball in New York City, and Lollapalooza in Chicago, Meg is preparing to release her full-length debut album later this year. In the meantime, be sure to check out her EP, Make A Shadow, out now on iTunes.
For many kids, the story of Meg Myers is the stuff of fantasy: dropping out of school to be immersed in a diverse and rich musical career. For the Tennessee-born musician, it was simply called adolescence. “I picked up a guitar and started learning, and have been playing ever since. It became what I wanted to do. It became my therapy.” Born in Nashville, the heart and soul of country music, Meg ended up living in the Smoky Mountains, and stopped going to school at twelve, dedicating most of her time to her music. “When I was 5, I moved up to Toledo, Ohio and I lived there for eight years. And when I got pulled out of school, I moved down to Florida.” Growing up in so many eclectic environments, amidst a myriad of musical instruments, Meg was shaped into the songstress she would become from her earliest days, and in turn navigated her own career path. “I grew up around a lot of different styles of music,” she says. “Growing up in Tennessee, there’s a lot of country music and a lot of classic rock from my mom’s side. I always loved drawing, acting, and dancing, but music was always around and instruments were always around that I could just pick up and play.” For her, it came down to the simple fact that music came the most naturally. “It was the easiest way to express myself.” Self-expression is something Meg considers to be of singular importance. “I think that first off, it’s really important to not be afraid to feel and find a good way to express your feelings, even if you’re
Hair by Yuji Kojima Make-up by Noel Nichols
Masha wears a dress by Shadowplay and a necklace by Laruicci.
Masha, 24 From Riga, Latvia Lives in Nashville, TN and Brooklyn, NY Photography by Josh Kogan
“Don’t give up on your stupid, stupid dreams.” That’s the motto of Latvian-born vocal powerhouse Masha who chose those same words for the title of her 2013 EP Stupid, Stupid Dreams. The daughter of a skilled guitar player, she has been harnessing her powerful voice since she was eleven. A music fan at heart, her favorites include Esthero, P!nk, & Sarah Jaffe. She has worked with six different vocal coaches since her early start which no doubt helped carve out her unique sound, which can be described as soulfully haunting yet fiercely powerful. She promoted that voice through YouTube and was soon discovered by seasoned songwriter Claude Kelly, famous for his work with Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars and Whitney Houston. “Fate brought us together when I was fourteen, and the rest has been history.” Masha’s meeting with Kelly took her to the legendary Blackbird Studio in Nashville where she and the famous songwriter were joined by Nathan Chapman, a music producer who earned his cred working with Shania Twain and Taylor Swift. “The first day I met him, we wrote ‘Ugly’. [That collaboration] solidified our relationship.” “Ugly” was inspired by a breakup. “Love and heartbreak,” says Masha, “are the soul to everything I write.” “I’m a Gemini so my emotions are so all over the place.” The same goes for her lifestyle, as when she isn’t performing, the twenty-three-year old divides her time between the Nashville studio and her base in Brooklyn. Masha admits that performing in New York City is worlds apart from performing in Nashville but seems to have it under control. “I typically handle a rowdy New York City crowd by telling them to shut the fuck up or I just start talking about masturbation!” The singer performed at South by Southwest this past March and has since been gracing cities across the US with her powerful voice. Production on her next album will begin this year and she will be going “a bit out of her comfort zone” sound-wise. Fortunately Masha hasn’t given up on those “stupid” dreams - and she has no plans to do so anytime soon.
Stylist: Rene Garza Hair by Corey Tuttle Make-up by Beau Derrick
“No one is ever out to repeat something that has been done before. You want to create anew and hope the audience is open to reception.” Actress Jessica Stroup has been working in the industry since 2005 and has graced both television and film screens with her feisty presence. Many recognize the sumptuous brunette from her lead role in the film The Hills Have Eyes 2 or from her five-year run on 90210. However, before all of that, the actress got her feet wet in the industry by appearing in a commercial for Target. “I actually filmed it the same day as my graduation ceremony in Charlotte, N.C. Luckily, all the stress and excitement of finishing school and moving out to California helped ease my nerves during the actual filming. I think, for my seventeen-year-old self, it signified that I was doing the thing I am supposed to do and helped smooth my transition from the South to Los Angeles.” Jessica has been deemed a “scream queen” due to her involvement in four different horror films, a genre she loves. “Sometimes they are a fun escape, an excuse to cuddle up to your mate. Plus, the filming usually involves stunts of some sort and I love getting physical in a scene.” Although horror films seem to suit the actress, don’t be too quick to box her into one single category. She is currently starring on the Fox hit show The Following. “I play Max Hardy, Ryan Hardy’s (Kevin Bacon) niece. She is a NYC detective, able to provide intel when Ryan needs it. It’s a nice balance for Ryan who needs family to confide in as well as a kickass partner.” Jessica calls starring opposite Kevin Bacon nothing short of ‘surreal.’ “I grew up loving him, so it’s terrifying and humbling at the same time. Thank goodness he’s the coolest!” Having had a long run on the series 90210, Jessica seems most at home on television and expresses her happiness that many film actors are making the jump to the small screen. “I’m surprised it took this long. It’s incredible. [There are] so many great shows out there. It makes me proud to be on one that’s continuing on for a third season!” The actress stays mum on her upcoming projects, telling us “it’s a secret,” but keeps no secrets about her outlook on life – “be grateful for every day you get. Breathe it in.”
Jessica Stroup, 27 Lives in Los Angeles, CA From Anderson, North Carolina Photography by Indira Cesarine
This page: Jessica wears a strapless gown by Emerson. Opposite page: She wears a top and skirt by Missoni with a cuff by Pluma Italia.
This page: Jessica wears an eyelet jacket and skirt by Blumarine with heels by Missguided. Opposite page: She wears a jacket by Blumarine, crop top by Ellery, beaded pencil skirt by Jaime Lee and necklace by Erickson Beamon. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair by Kristen Shaw Make-up by Riku Campo @ Jed Root
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Ariana DiLorenzo, 21 Lives in Brooklyn, NY Photography by Anna Cone
ARIANA & THE ROSE start in music has been paving the way for her future success she has been performing since the age of three, and writing music since she was fourteen, “I just really love live performance and the energy you get from an audience, which is why I think performing my own material felt natural when I started doing it.” The singer seems to be showing no sign of slowing down, with the recent release of her 4-track EP, Head vs Heart, produced by Grammy winner David Kahne, as well as a new album due out in October. “A lot of what I write starts autobiographically and then twists and turns into a better story…You can build an entire song off of one good idea, if it’s strong enough.” But for Ariana it takes more than a few hit songs to achieve legendary status, “Barbara Streisand, to me, is an all-around artist, the total package! Adele is timeless… To me, the best artists are the ones who have a super specific perspective on the world. But I think it takes a long, consistent career to become a legend.”
“If you build it, they will come.” Ariana DiLorenzo, better known by her stage name Ariana & the Rose, uses this as her own personal motto, and judging by the people she’s had orbit her, it looks to be a motto worth holding on to. “I still can’t believe it happened,” she says of her recent collaboration with none other than Sir Paul McCartney. “It was so humbling, and I thought to myself, ‘May you always be this excited about music, no matter what happens in your career, how successful or not successful, may you always love it after making music for decades.’ His love of it all was just so apparent. I’ll keep that lesson with me for my whole life.” Ariana & the Rose are definitely on track to cement their status in the music scene - the five-piece band has had back-to-back international performances, including at Miami Music Week, London and Paris Fashion weeks, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball afterparty and a North American tour. Despite her accomplishments, the humble dancer-turned-musician admits she still has progress to make, “I feel like I’ve had a lot of little moments. Being able to give the music away and let people interact with it is the best part. I’m hoping that big breakthrough moment is on its way!” Her early
Stylist: Francis Urrutia Hair by Siobhan Benson Make-up by Allie Smith
This Page: Ariana wears a dress by Ami Goodheart for Sotu productions. Opposite Page: She wears a lace blouse by Valentino, dress by Annabelle Kumie and necklace by Stephen Co.
Opposite Page: Femme wears a dress by Renzo + Kai and faux fur jacket by Nasty Gal. This Page: Dress by Renzo + Kai, jewelry artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own.
Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair & Make-up by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC
Femme (aka Laura Bettinson), 25 From Coventry, West Midlands Lives in London, England Photography by Indira Cesarine
been so true to what she does. Everything she puts out, her intentions are true and that makes for a good performance. Grace Jones as well. M.I.A. has certainly been a big influence of mine— she’s great and full of color and energy.” Not everyone gets the thumbs up from this pop-loving songstress, though. “[Madonna] is obviously amazing—she’s a fucking superstar for all the right reasons and has earned it…Unfortunately, I can’t erase the last fifteen years of Madonna’s career from my eyes and memory, so it’s a tricky one.” As someone who absorbs culture on a daily basis, Femme is quick to understand the cycle, and knows what it takes to combat it. “There must be 20 bands a day on the UK blogs that you ‘have to hear.’ It’s exhausting. But to get your head above that you need to be ahead of the stream.” The key to achieving legendary status, according to Femme, is simple: “You need to constantly be producing stuff.” Fortunately, she is following her own advice, with an EP of cover songs, several new song releases including ‘Fever Boy’ and ‘Heartbeat’ as well as a slew of summer festival dates including Coachella under her belt. Named “Best New Emerging Artist” at the 2014 International Music Industry Awards, she will cap off her stellar year with a US tour with Charli XCX this autumn.
“As a female producer in a male-dominated field, I wanted to take the masculinity of the big hip-hop beats and mix it with a flirty, sassy, 60s girl group vibe.” Femme, born Laura Bettinson, goes by a stage name that preaches her love of sisterhood. But the Conventry-born London resident has always been rather independent minded. “I’ve always made music by myself; I’ve never really been in a band. I was in one band as a teenager and it didn’t really last long—it was all guys but me.” Having written music and done choice gigs around Midland, England, it wasn’t until she arrived at university that she began to toy around with something other than a stage piano. “Being a tiny person, the practicality of it was just not going to work out…so I bought this thing called a loop system and started messing around with beats.” Soon after, she started to craft harmonies over productions, bought a studio in her second year at university, and the rest has since become history. For Femme, her inspirations span genre and decades. “I grew up listening to a lot of Motown and soul. My gram use to play me Doris Day and Dusty Springfield and Barbara Streisand—massively female vocals.” She is also quick to remind us that she’s “a Spice Girls-era child, you know? Same with Destiny’s Child, TLC and all those girl groups.” But it’s the true envelope-pushing originals that she would consider legendary. “Someone like Björk has always
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ELEANOR TOMLINSON Eleanor Tomlinson, 22 Lives in London, England Photography by Rachell Smith
English actress Eleanor Tomlinson is no stranger to the world of performance. “My mum, dad and brother are all actors so I guess you could say it is in my blood,” says the East Yorkshire-born starlet of her strong roots in entertainment. “It was when I visited my dad on set and saw my mum on stage that I knew this was something I wanted to do.” After landing her first job at the age of eleven on a TV drama called Falling, Eleanor found herself cast in her first Hollywood feature with a small roll in Neil Burger’s The Illusionist, playing alongside Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel. “Playing young Jessica Biel in The Illusionist opened so many doors for me, and really marked the start of my career.” For her, the film proved to be just the beginning, followed with a role in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, an adaptation of the wildly successful teen book series, The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. The film was well received by both critics and at the box office, putting Eleanor on the map again. Yet it wasn’t until her role in award-winning filmmaker Bryan Singer’s Jack and the Giant Slayer
that Eleanor truly felt the power of her performance shine through. “To have the opportunity to play the female lead in a movie of that caliber alongside such an amazing cast was incredible,” she says, referring to her onscreen time with Brit heartthrob and Skins alum Nicholas Hoult. In just a few short years, Eleanor has already proven that taking the time to get into character more than pays off. The actress gave a spectacular performance playing a mentally challenged girl in 2013’s Siberian Education. “It was so important to me to give a true performance,” Eleanor says, “so obviously the pressure was quite intense.” It seems to have paid off; Eleanor just nabbed the highly coveted role of Demelza in the upcoming BBC 1 remake of Poldark, set to air in 2015. For an artist on the rise, Eleanor believes strongly in stepping away from the intensity of the industry and retaining something calm and close to a normal life. “My idea of a great night in is a takeaway and endless episodes of Breaking Bad.” Eleanor wears a dress by Sophia Kah, jacket by Religion and shoes by Sandro. Stylist: Irene Manicone Hair by Oskar Pera Make-up by Harriet Hadfield
ALYSSA SUTHERLAND Alyssa Sutherland, 31 From Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Lives in Los Angeles, CA Photography by Indira Cesarine
Australian model-turned-actress Alyssa Sutherland has clear artistic goals: “I want to make people laugh, I want to make people cry, I want to provoke people, I want to make them think about something in a different way that they wouldn’t normally.” The Vogue cover girl started modeling at the age of fifteen, and had a massively successful international career, although she admits she was never particularly passionate about the work. “With acting it’s totally different. I have such a hunger to be a part of this world…to be an actress and work… I can be on set at the 18th hour and just love that that’s what I get to do.” Her acting credits include roles in films including The Devil Wears Prada, Arbitrage and The Fortune Theory, but it’s her current role as Princess Aslaug on Vikings that really gets her enthused. “We’re bringing Viking culture to the 21st century, and telling some fairly well-known sagas… bringing that pagan culture to a modern audience, it’s really exciting!” The actress takes inspiration from fellow Aussies, including her favorite, Cate Blanchett, as well as
Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths. Despite her early start in front of the lens, she insists she didn’t always realize acting was her true calling. “I’m a nerd! I dropped out of drama when I was a kid and moved over to take chemistry. I wanted to study molecular biology!” Fortunately her path from modeling to acting has grown from strength to strength and on the second season of Vikings with show creator Michael Hirst, she gets to explore her complex character and expand her acting wings. “It’s such a lovely gift for an actress to start out at one point and end up in another.” The passionate actress takes pride in overcoming all obstacles, telling us, “There are definitely moments along the way where you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall, but, again, that’s sort of what brings you such satisfaction when there is a moment of success.” It seems that the challenges she has faced only propel the diligent actress onward. “I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to learn the value of hard work,” says Alyssa. “The satisfaction that comes from that I can’t describe!”
This Page: Alyssa wears a corset by The Blonds. Opposite Page: She wears a dress by Alpan Aneeraj. Fashion Editor: Brendan Cannon Hair and makeup by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC Photographed at Milk Studios
ALYSSA SUTHERLAND 226
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This page: Valorie wears a dress by Lie Sang Bong. Opposite page: She wears a dress by Nicole Miller.
Valorie Curry, 28 From Orange County, California Lives in New York City Photography by Jonathan Bookallil
For up-and-comer Valorie Curry, a career in acting wasn’t exactly a choice; it was something closer to a calling. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” says the twenty-eight-year-old California native, whose passion for the form was influenced most readily by a childhood spent in creative and collaborate spaces. In fact, it’s her mother who has the distinct honor of serving as the catalyst for Valorie’s passions. “She was actually a high school drama teacher and she was going to college,” Valorie recalls, “and growing up, I was dragged along to rehearsals, so as soon as I could walk and talk at the same time, if they needed a kid they would use me.” Once she learned about her greatgrandmother’s passion for acting, Valorie’s drive went into full swing. “She was from this small town in Idaho and she ended up going to Hollywood in the 1920s to be an actress, but there was a tuberculosis outbreak and she died at 26,” Valorie says. “I always remember that, and I carry a picture of her on location with me and when I’m working.” Valorie broke into the industry at just nineteen years old, landing a recurring role on television’s cult classic Veronica Mars. “I was terrified almost every day,” Valorie says. She took the job in the middle of a “rigorous acting program” at California State University, Fullerton, shuttling between the set and the classroom. Yet the challenge proved to be exactly what she needed. “It was a very good learning experience.” Valorie looks back fondly on all of her learning experiences, both in and outside of the classroom, and credits them for cumulatively enriching the actor’s growing repertoire. “They’re tools that are incorporated into who you are as an actor and your entire perspective. The tools that are most useful are the tools you don’t have to think about.” Valorie has come a long way since then, having been featured
in a number of high-profile projects including, most notably, the second chapter of the blockbuster Twilight franchise, New Moon. Recently Valorie is featured in the Kevin Bacon television thriller The Following, where she plays the right-hand woman of the show’s nefarious cult leader. And while her television career is in full swing, Valorie isn’t one to count out a potential return to theatre, which she considers worthy of equal passion and practice as her work on the screen. “Film and theater are a shared DNA,” she says. “The motivations and inner thoughts of the character might remain more mysterious to the audience. Television, on the other hand, has to be more accessible to people… It’s important to relate to characters on TV because they’re characters that are coming into people’s homes every week.” That intimacy makes for an added obligation in the acting process. “As an actor, you have to let the audience and the camera in a little bit more on the process of what’s happening with the character.” For Valorie, television is proving to be the medium pushing boundaries most readily, creating a creatively exhilarating space for actors to play around in. “These are complex worlds with complex characters,” she says. “They are stories and shows that are challenging to the audiences. They’re not dumbing things down and I get so excited to see audiences wanting that complexity, wanting that challenge.” According to Valorie, this desire for more grounded and nuanced writing is what’s prompting a golden age in television. “I think that’s why the market is being flooded with wonderful material, and wonderful material for actors to work with.” She lives by an easy rule. “I remind myself to do what I love and follow my bliss, because I have to remember that time is limited.”
This page: Valorie wears a dress by Jill Stuart Opposite page: She wears a skirt by Jeremy Laing, crop top by Ellery with bangles by Pluma Italia. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Fashion Assistant Chris Kim Hair by Katsumi Matsuo Make-up by Cheyenne @ Artmix Beauty
IMOGEN crazy at you. I feel like this job—I’m sure it’s the same with a lot of jobs—but because there’s no routine or formula it’s just constantly changing direction and I love that.” Eventually, as everybody was gearing up to map out the next stages of their young adult lives, Imogen found herself at a crossroads. “I felt comfortable in that environment, with those sorts of people…you start talking about things in school, about college and life after, and I realized I wanted to just kind of keep doing this. Why would you give up something that’s given you such happiness and inspiration?” It wasn’t long before Hollywood came knocking, and Imogen, still a relative unknown, managed to nab coveted roles in studio tentpoles and arthouse independents. Her first on-screen roll was a small but vital part in 2006’s V for Vendetta, which opened her eyes to a different type of large-scale artistry. “It was just a couple of days in Berlin, but it was the experience itself that was crazy because it was such a massive film set. The whole layout and the landscape of it was so mechanical and I was like, that’s so crazy that something so mechanical is kind of the core of something so artistic. It was cool.” It was after Vendetta that filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo cast Imogen in one of her most notable roles to date, horror sequel 28 Weeks Later, while the actress still had relatively little to show for her supreme talent. Fresnadillo “just kind of took courage in his idea and decided to cast me…it was sort of a surprise in a way. You never think someone is actually going to take a risk with you it was just an eye-opener.” Having started working professionally by the age of seventeen, Imogen has become keenly aware of the sort of cognitive distance young actors need to maintain in order to keep their sanity. “I think of it as like when you’re on an airplane. ‘Oh, I’m on this piece of metal
“If something is complex or challenging, it’s actually extremely valuable.” The effortlessly stunning actress Imogen Poots has, in the infancy of her career, made a point of choosing work that is exactly that: complex and challenging. The result has been a diverse filmography that shows no real sign of slowing down— which is exactly how Imogen likes it. She started the year starring alongside Zac Efron in the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment. This spring, she co-starred with Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul in not one, but two films: the action thriller Need for Speed and Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down. Later this year, she will appear alongside Christian Bale in the highly-anticipated new Mallick film, Knight of Cups. She will play in the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic, All Is By My Side, co-starring Andre 3000. She plays opposite James McAvoy in the Trainspotting sequel titled Filth and is particularly excited about her role starring opposite Jennifer Aniston in the comedy Squirrels to the Nuts. The combination of these roles will undoubtedly propel the twenty-five-year-old into the coveted position of being one of the most in-demand actresses in Hollywood. For Imogen it all started with the community of actors that helped her find her confidence and her voice as a performer. “When I was about fifteen, I joined a theater group outside of school and it was something that I found really invigorating just because it was more about confidence within a group of strangers; you all have to trust each other and just come up with something, however crazy the idea was.” London born, Imogen had originally attended university with plans of becoming a veterinarian, but it wasn’t long until the excitement of professional acting took hold completely. “It would keep surprising me. You think you understand it and then it will throw something
Imogen Poots, 25 From London, England Imogen wears a gold dress by Reem Acra.
Imogen wears a dress by Zimmermann.
just up in the clouds and just having complete faith that everything is going to be fine.’ and I think back - when I was younger on a plane I never really thought twice about what I was actually doing. I think with acting at that age you just sort of throw yourself into it and you’re just thrilled to be there. And maybe if you grow up a bit and become more sensitive to your surroundings or more aware of what this whole industry means, you do get sometimes terrified for completely the right reasons.” Having started acting so young, the realization that time on a set is precious, and the experience of working equally valuable, forced Imogen to take the work seriously and grow up quickly—a tendency she’s working on shifting. “At seventeen you feel so old! And then you get to twenty-one and you feel so old, and then you reach twenty-four and you’re like ‘I should just start fucking enjoying being young, and stop worrying about it.’” Now, Imogen is more concerned with making the most of the time spent with some of the industry’s most notable names. She cites inspirations ranging from Amy Adams—“I think there’s a softness to her, and a warmth that comes through in performances, even when she’s playing somebody who you shouldn’t like, perhaps, or you should have trepidation about”—to Catherine Keener, whom she holds in particularly high regard. “I just hold her so highly, I really, really do. I really think she’s exquisite. I think about her and how wonderful she is every single day.” Keener and Imogen worked together in 2012’s A Late Quartet, which also co-starred
the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his last film roles. “He was an artist who I think is quite widely recognized right now for a kind of generosity of his spirit. And how many felt that he would fully listen, and take a person in. I hope I learned something very, very powerful from Phil. How to completely give yourself over to your fellow actors. Enough that you just hold it very, very dear to you once you feel that level of inspiration or education from somebody.” Apart from working with so many of her most respected contemporaries, Imogen has also been cast by the industry’s most legendary filmmakers, ranging from Michael Winterbottom and Peter Bogdanovich, to the eternally elusive Terrence Malick. “It has to come down to who is the filmmaker, what’s the role, because your work ethic will remain the same… You know those days [with them] are extraordinary, so that kind of acts as your barometer.” She is still idealistic at heart about the artistic freedom acting can allow, particularly when it comes to improvisation. “The happiest I’ve been was that one day when I turned up at set and we didn’t even know what we were going to do that day and that’s kind of thrilling but of course maybe a studio picture doesn’t always allow for that. Unless you’ve got Terrence Malick directing!” she laughs. She is particularly fond of her forthcoming role starring opposite Jennifer Anniston in the comedy Squirrels to the Nuts. “She plays my therapist, which is hilarious! I was struck by how she’s such a strong lady and I think it’s so inspiring to meet a woman who is so
finds most memorable. “You look at projects as relationships. You sort of do fall in love with many people.” When it comes to defining what makes an artist legendary, she finds that it’s that same level of memorability that helps define icon status. “I think anyone in their life can find a legend in somebody who’s left their mark, and I mean that in terms of whether you write an extraordinary play and it’s performed on Broadway, or whether you maintain the advice your father once said to you. There doesn’t need to be any grand shiny element to it, it can be sort of smaller, intricate, but very, very memorable. And I think in terms of that, it’s really just something that if you’re able to leave your mark in some way, whether it’s on society or on a person I think that sort of can define someone.” With Imogen’s star ever on the rise, she seems to consistently be at the top of most filmmakers’ wish lists. Still, she’s quick to point out that it’s not about staying busy, but about simply taking chances. “There’s never enough time so maybe just try doing things that you want to do. Don’t be in any way overpowered by limits, or the clock, or anything like that... I feel like you’re going to be judged no matter how you do something, so I think it’d be a shame to live your life trying to please everybody the whole time.”
about women, and she really is, and so it was really fun. I liked her so much! The role was just the best thing ever. I play this Brooklyn prostitute who has a big dream of being an actress... What I found interesting is the plot could be seen as quite chaotic but then you’ve got a filmmaker like Bogdanovich at the head of it who is so simple with his process in terms of clarity with what he’s going to shoot that day, and how it will be edited. So all of that together was a really amazing time.” Although she is getting increasingly larger roles through bigger studios and production companies, Imogen still values the importance of what smaller scale films can provide in terms of shaping a character. “You certainly start to learn very quickly the differences between when there’s maybe a studio involved in a project, that can inevitably put limitations on things even like clothing options. If you look at True Romance, for example, to me Patricia Arquette’s costume is just such a special, unique extension of her character. You just want to eat it all up, and it’s a shame I think with studio pictures when something has to be bland and therefore safe because you actually lose the ability to create something with the character.” For Imogen, it’s the intimacy the various projects create that she
Imogen Poots wears a violet dress by Emerson.
Imogen wears a dress by Notte by Marchesa.
Fashion Editor Indira Cesarine Stylist Brendan Cannon Hair by John D @ Wallgroup Make-up by Katey Denno @ Wallgroup Photographed at Milk Studios
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SOPHIE KENNEDY CLARK FASHION EDITOR REBEKAH ROY
“There is a stigma within the industry of [being] a model-turned-actress, that you’ve got to be pretty to become an actress.” Actress Sophie Kennedy Clark is both outspoken and grateful for her career, and isn’t one to shy away from taking on provocative roles—be it in film or in discussions about a woman’s place in the medium. “The thing that I feel the need to defend is the fact that I have not had one glamorous role yet.” Hearing Kennedy as an outspoken and strong-willed woman isn’t surprising, as she’s no stranger to roles fitting someone of her supreme confidence. This year, she appears in filmmaker Lars von Trier’s latest offering, the highly anticipated and hotly contested Nymphomaniac. “The moment that I read the script, I would’ve happily played an inanimate object in the film just to be a part of it.” The film, which revolves around the life of a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, has a heavyweight cast, featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Shia LaBeouf, and of course, Sophie herself. “My character is kind of the catalyst for the disaster that ensues,” she says. “She’s very mischievous and one of those meager types who think they know it all…it was the late seventies, so she has a feminist approach to life. She was a lot of fun to play.” Hailing from a small town in Scotland or, as she puts it, “the arse end of nowhere,” Sophie landed the coveted role of the young Judi Dench in 2013’s Oscar nominated Philomena, a role which catapulted her career into the spotlight. “I still can’t believe that I got to play a young Judi Dench,” she says, amazed at her luck in being cast. “I don’t even believe it! I’ve seen the film and had to do lots of interviews about it, but when I lay in bed at night and think ‘I played a young Judi Dench in a film,’ I still don’t believe it!” Despite the film’s Oscar nomination for Best Picture, the actress remains humble. “Ultimately, I’m not making movies for awards, so regardless of whether or not it wins anything, the film has done its duty and awakened people to something awful that has happened,” she says of the film’s devastating portrayal of a woman on a search for her long lost son. “The point of the film was never to be an Oscar-winning film; it just so happens that it had those accolades as well. It’s a bit of a double whammy really.” Sophie was lucky enough to spend time with the real-life Philomena Lee while filming, an experience that was extremely motivating for the young starlet. “She is one of those women that, throughout my life, will be a complete shining light. What she has managed to accomplish in the face of adversity and tragedy is just amazing, and it makes you look at your own life in certain situations… the whole experience was a gift.” Although Sophie is still new to the industry, the actress is no stranger to working with famed directors and actors. Even before Nymphomaniac and Philomena, one of Sophie’s first roles was an appearance in Tim Burton’s Dark
Sophie Kennedy Clark, 25 From Aberdeen, Scotland Sophie wears a dress by Alexander McQueen, earrings and rings by Shaun Leane and a ring by Theo Fennell.
Sophie wears a dress by Temperley London, necklace by Vicki Sarge, and earrings and rings by Ritz Fine Jewellery.
Shadows, alongside Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. “It was the most marvelous insight to be around such creative people and be able to watch from the sidelines just how they create a character or how a film like that is made. Tim Burton is a wonderful man and a master of storytelling; it was just really great to be a part of his film for my first role.” The actress, who has had very little formal training, finds inspiration in her natural inclinations. “I’m very instinctual; I don’t like to spend a lot of time researching things and getting the grip of things,” she says. “I like to say the line as I feel it would naturally come, but with a few different layers of my own life. You want it to be as believable as possible, so I try not to overthink things because once anyone starts analyzing something, it becomes bigger than what it would be. I kind of just throw myself into it, guns blazing.” Sophie lives by having an insatiable sense of humor and devil-may-care attitude. During her interview, the actress explained to us her outlook on life. “Life is only as good as the stories you have to tell. I will do anything for a good story because I have absolutely no shame. If I know something is going to be mortifying and hilarious I will certainly do it!” This year is slated to push Sophie’s career even further, with her taking on yet another unglamorous but boundarypushing role in the upcoming psychological thriller Eliza Graves, an adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe tale, with a lineup featuring Sir Ben Kingsley, Kate Beckinsale, and Jim Sturgess. “To have been given these opportunities so early on is kind of mind blowing for me,” she says. “It seems like one day, not too long ago, I was still very much working towards trying to create a career, and the next thing you know I’ve got films coming out that I never would’ve dreamt that I would’ve been a part of.”
Sophie wears a dress by Sophia Kah and a Mappin & Webb Empress necklace.
Sophie Kennedy Clark wears a dress by Yuvna Kim and ring by Piaget. Hair by Tyler @ One Represents Make-up by Liz Pugh
BECKY G STYLIST DANNY FLYNN
“I’ve always been an old soul. I started writing songs more than just, you know, about my Barbie. My parents would be like, ‘Whoa, why are you singing about this?’” Mexican-American singer-songwriter and rapper Becky G has grown up quickly, and the hustle has already started paying off. At only seventeen, the Los Angeles, California native is already in the process of defining herself and her career by the only rules she’s ever known—her own. Signed to Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe Records, she has recently collaborated with Ke$ha, Cher Lloyd, Cody Simpson, and Will.i.am. Her debut single, “Becky from the Block” featured a cameo by Jennifer Lopez, her debut album is slated for release sometime this year, and she spent her summer as the opening act on Katy Perry’s Prismatic World. Despite her success, her path wasn’t always straightforward. “I was always the youngest and smallest person in the group,” Becky says of her time being nurtured in two different girl groups, G.L.A.M. and B.C.G. “They would always give the verses, choruses, and everything to the older girls and be like ‘Ok, Becky, you just do the ad-lib.’ I was just like, ‘That’s not a real part!” Frustrated and wondering what it would take to get a more central part, she made what turned out to be an inspired snap decision. “There was one song, and I put a rap on it, I didn’t tell anybody I was doing it, and all the girls were in the corner texting, talking about boys, boys, boys, and I went up to the producer and to the engineer, and I was like ‘Look, check this out,’ and I just busted a little rap over this song. We recorded it and after that I thought, ‘I guess I’ve got to make my own part!’” Finding her voice and her footing in the industry hasn’t been easy, and has required more than just good luck. “In the early days, my family had lost our home, and we had no choice but to go live in my grandparents’ converted garage. I’m one of six people in my family…so all six of us were living in the two-car garage and my only outlet was music.” Soon enough Becky realized that she had to either go full throttle with her music career or change course. “I sat my parents down and told them, ‘Give me six months and let’s see what we can do. If it’s getting me an agent or whatever it is that you have to do so I can try this out. Once the six months are up, we can go from there. If nothing comes from it, then I’ll leave you guys alone.’” Her parents proved remarkably supportive considering their tight financial constraints and soon found that Becky’s passions were no fluke. “I booked about ninety percent of everything that I was going out for, whether it was commercials or print jobs, little music videos or little performances…Once I hit that stage and performed a cover of some song, I knew in that moment that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And I think my parents could see that.” Still, those early days in the garage proved to be the bedrock of what will most likely be a significant career. “Music was the one thing that got me out of all of the negativity…I think it forced me to mature a lot earlier than kids my age have to.” It wasn’t long until that maturity was noticed by one of the industry’s top hit-makers, Dr. Luke, who arranged for a meeting with Becky. “I’m trippin’ out because I’m like oh my goodness, this is Dr. Luke. This is like the guy who is behind like Ke$ha, Katy Perry, and Rihanna—everybody! This is the guy who wanted to meet me?” Dr. Luke signed Becky on the spot, having seen a YouTube video she and her family and friends put together just a week prior. “I don’t even call it a low-budget music video, I call it a bro-budget music video because it was just friends of mine that shot it.” In fact, that sense of community
Becky G, 17 Lives in Inglewood, California Becky G wears a shark print swimsuit by Missguided and a vintage necklace.
Becky G wears a leather dress by Katya Leonovich.
and heritage has come to largely define what makes Becky G stand out above the rest. “Mexican culture plays a huge part in my life, especially growing up in LA. I mean, it’s everywhere. It’s in downtown LA, it’s in Santa Monica, Venice Beach. You hear the music everywhere, and the food is everywhere.” That amalgamation of sounds and styles is what largely influenced Becky to focus on a blend of pop and hip-hop. “I grew up listening to all different types of music, honestly, like The Temptations and Etta James and Marvin Gaye, to everything that was happening in the late nineties… Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, ‘N Sync, all that stuff. And hip-hop was a genre that was played a lot around my house. It was something that I just had a taste for.” One of Becky G’s most legendary influences, it seems, had similar taste. “Jennifer Lopez is my idol, the person that I’ve looked up to since I’ve been in diapers.” After hearing Becky’s cover version of J.Lo’s ragsto-riches anthem, “Jenny From the Block,” the Latina superstar stopped by the studio to hear the demo and decided on the spot to make a cameo in her music video. “She was super down with the cause, and we just went with it. We shot ‘Becky from the Block’ and it just kind of went from there.” Now, Becky G seems poised to inspire legions of young fans in her own right, thanks in large part to a proud embracing of her heritage in an industry that doesn’t always make it easy to hold on to originality. “Growing up in a big family, being so close to my family, knowing that I have younger cousins and younger siblings, I’ve always felt the duty of being a good role model. Being an older sister to all my siblings has kind of set me up…I feel like now I’m ready to be a role model for other young kids in general.” Having just finished an MTV-sponsored East Coast tour, as well as recently released hit single, “Showers,” from her forthcoming debut album, Becky seems to be taking the right steps to make those visions a reality. “I only get one. If you get that one chance, you just gotta go with it and give it everything you have.”
Make-up by Tom Ford Illuminating Primer and Intensive Infusion Eye Treatment Traceless Foundation SPF 15 in #08 Caramel Illuminating Concealer in Naked Bisque Eye shadow in Pink Mosaic Laura Mercier Blush in Shimmer Block Yves Saint Laurent #4 rouge in Danger Opposite page: MAC Eyeliner Kajal in Smooth Blue Technakohl
Hair by Kristen Shaw @ Jed Root Make-up by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC Photographed at Hotel Wilshire
Becky G wears a black and white checkered top by Emerson, with headphones by WeSC and vintage jewery.
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Chanel Iman, 23 From Atlanta, Georgia Lives in New York City This page: Chanel wears a jumpsuit by Marc Jacobs, bracelets by Matthew Campbell Laurenza and ear cuff by Annelise Michelson. Opposite page: She wears a jacket and jeans by Louis Vuitton, bracelets by Pluma Italia and shoes by Manolo Blahnik.
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This page: Chanel wears a top and skirt by Milly, bracelets by Matthew Campbell Laurenza, and shoes by Sergio Rossi. Opposite page: She wears a top by Mathieu Mirano, and trousers by Roberto Cavalli Both pages, necklace by Lost Art.
This page: Dress by Naeem Khan, cuff by Pluma Italia, ring by Siman Tu and tiara by Lizzie Fortunato. Opposite page: Dress by Yigal Azrouel, a necklace by ManiaMania and ear cuff by Annelise Michelson.
At the age of twelve, Chanel Iman launched a whirlwind modeling career after being signed to Ford Models in Los Angeles, where she grew up. “I was the youngest black girl to be on all of the catwalks … you know, that was really rare!” She would subsequently, in a few short years, be crowned as the “most successful African-American fashion model of her time.” Now twenty-three years old, Chanel has more experience under her belt than most girls twice her age. At fifteen, she made the solo move to New York after winning the esteemed the Ford Supermodel of the World contest, where she lived in an apartment on her own, and was home-schooled on and off with assistance from her mother. “I was really busy on the road working and doing fashion week every season.” Yet, even as work began pouring in for her, she counted education as a priority in her life. “I was homeschooled, and I had a tutor, and my mom would fly in and help me with my schoolwork.” Her hard work, effervescence, and immense effort to maintain a balanced life in the midst of an increasingly demanding, high profile career has paid off with gusto. She recalls, “The first time I walked down the runway was in LA. Everybody would clap for me when I walked, so after, when people weren’t clapping I thought I was doing something wrong!” In fact, she was doing many things exactly right. By the age of sixteen, she landed not only the cover of Teen Vogue, but also the esteemed cover of American Vogue. “The whole Vogue family was my biggest break. [It was] them giving me a chance to be a Vogue girl… I knew that I was in a good place during that time because of them, you know. And I knew my dreams were coming true because of the people I had behind me.” She counts Tom Ford as one of her biggest inspirations, noting his progressive attitude toward the necessity of ethnic diversity in the industry. “You know, he really embraces black women. And he gave me a chance to do his first show in New York and he just inspires me on another level.” For her, the matter of diversity in the industry is more than just a personal belief, but a culture-wide imperative. “We have to have a more inclusive world and embrace each other, and in fashion I’m starting to see a lot more women of color and women of different ethnicities in the industry. I personally feel accepted, and that’s all anybody wants.”
This page: Chanel wears a dress by Christian Siriano and necklace by Annelise Michelson. Opposite page: She wears a top and skirt by Missoni and a necklace by Siman Tu.
This page: Chanel wears a dress by Jason Wu, earcuff by Annelise Michelson and a necklace by Iosselliani. Opposite page: Bikini, ear cuff and necklace by Lost Art and bracelets by Siman Tu. Fashion Editor Indira Cesarine Stylist Brendan Cannon Hair by Porsche Waldo @ Ebony Design Make-up by Renee Garnes @ Wilhelmina Manicure by Cassandra L. @ Wilhelmina
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John Newman, 24 From North Yorkshire, England This page: John Newman wears trousers by Spencer Hart, bracelets by George Frost and a gold and wood necklace by Stephen Einhorn London. Both pages, jacket by Spencer Hart, and shirt by McQ Alexander McQueen. Opposite page: Tie by McQ Alexander McQueen
STYLIST LOTTA ASPENBERG
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started DJing in my bedroom from the age of ten and just stayed in all the time mixing on turntables.” Out of the mouth of anyone else, this statement would perhaps require the suspension of disbelief. What ten-year-old arrives at the idea to begin DJing? However, once you get John Newman chatting about the arc of his career as a musician, DJ, and producer, it suddenly seems totally conceivable. Perhaps because of his early start, John speaks about the imperative to express oneself creatively with almost shocking preternatural maturity. “I always wanted to learn about music, to be able to express myself more... the real writing started around fourteen to fifteen when I started maturing... We live in the modern world now where people use social networks to express themselves but we didn’t have that then, so I went to more creative sources.” Clearly showing ability and drive with his musical expression, it was John’s brother, a musician himself, who finally pushed him forward. “Look,” he said, “you need to get out of this little town; you need to go out and study music properly.” That advice, in addition to a discernibly tepid response to his music by his peers as he started performing live, led John to fly the cop. “I performed and people kind of laughed at me and people kind of said ‘What is this guy doing?’ and that was the point where I was like ‘I can’t deal with these guys… this is bullshit.’ I realized that it was the place where I was and that I could find respect if I went elsewhere, you know?” Though his emotional depth as a musician may be unusual for someone his age, the roots of his remarkable self-possession go far back into his past. “When I was six my dad left… When people ask me about him in interviews I tell them that the reason I appreciate what my dad did because I’m the person I am now because I gained drive from him leaving.” His first career-defining moment came during his tenure in music school when, on a whim, he decided to try his hand at impressing an agent who was on campus scouting boy band talent. “I kind of wanted to see what all of the fuss was so I ran downstairs and grabbed my guitar and walked in and said to the lady watching ‘I’m not going to be in a boy band and I’m not going to sing you a cheesy love song…I’m going to sing you a song about one of my friends dying. And I just want you to hear it.’ That went really well and then I went to London.” Once in London, he pushed himself into high gear. “I worked, worked, worked, worked. At that time I was living in a warehouse and working in a pub, and kind of just making music and making friends that were into music...I was just doing my thing and I got a band together, and met Piers from Rudimental. Then I lost my job at the pub and Piers had, by then, become like a brother of mine and he said, ‘Move in with the family, man, and concentrate on your music.’” The rest is history, so to speak. After working tirelessly, surviving a devastating break up and nearly losing his eyesight after developing a benign brain tumor, his debut album Tribute was finally released. Regarding what shaped the aesthetics of his first full-length album, he points to the common motif of love and heartbreak. “I think Adam and Eve probably had a break up and the last few people on earth will have a break up or will get together and that’s why the subject
This page: John wears a jacket by Casely-Hayford, shirt by Alexander McQueen, bracelets by Shamballa Jewels and cuff by George Frost. Opposite page: He wears a waistcoat by Neil Barrett and trouser and shirt by Spencer Hart.
This page: John wears a jacket and trouser by Spencer Hart, a shirt and tie by McQ Alexander McQueen Opposite page: Gold and wood necklace by Stephen Einhorn London. Both pages, jacket by Spencer Hart, shirt by McQ Alexander McQueen. Grooming by John Mullan
of relationships is so common within music…At that period of time it was a subject that was perfect for putting into music.” His musical influences harken back to Motown and soul - in particular Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding - which he grew up immersed in. “My mom listened to a lot of B-sides of Motown records that were shipped across the Atlantic and to a lot of Motown compilations. Once I started learning more about theory, songwriting and producing I kind of realized that that is some of the best music that’s ever been made.” Progress, however, especially when it includes something like going on tour, isn’t always good for relationships. “I was happy in a relationship. We kind of lived in [that] warehouse, I was working at the pub and we moved into a house together. I got my record deal and we kind of built this house together, this really strong relationship. At the same time as I’d had a hit with Rudimental I’d been really ill and she helped me through that. Once I started touring the world with Rudimental it started tearing the relationship apart. As a kid that was the first time I’d been properly in love with somebody and properly lived with somebody and coming out of that was quite traumatic for me.” The illness was as confusing as it was harrowing. “I was going blind. I couldn’t see the TV anymore and things started to jump around the room… It started getting really bad and the whole time I had just been saying ‘No, I’m fine, I just need glasses.’ But it got so bad that I thought, ‘Alright I’m really scared. I think I’m going blind, actually going blind,’ … I went to see a neurosurgeon and they told me I had a benign brain tumor.” Not unlike the childhood days after his father had left, hardship made music even more important. “The only thing that chilled me out was music and she knew that so she put the radio on…and they were about to play ‘Feel The Love’ for the first time. That was it, the moment! After that I was so positive and I was like ‘Right, let’s get it over with. Let’s get it done.’ My friends, the Rudimental boys, were there in the hospital with me trying to get me through it and everyone was there trying to get me through it.” He got through it and has been going nonstop since. “I’m literally touring my life away.” But this fits with the way he writes music. “I’ve never felt right in that I think it’s just how other artists do it is that they stop and then they start writing a second album, but I never stop.” In addition to evolving his musical talents, the singer is already testing the waters in other creative industries, namely fashion design. “If I have an image stuck in my head when I try going out shopping I just spend hours looking for something that doesn’t exist yet so the easiest thing was to just to start designing on paper and find a tailor to work with.” As of now, there is no plan to slow down. “I want to keep doing these things… It’s all about just making a name for myself. That’s really important to me. This year is about me becoming an artist that works worldwide and that is respected for a long time. So I’m going to carry on touring like I’ve been doing, to concentrate, and keep working on new material, because music is the number one priority.” John recently played Coachella Festival in California, headlined the Colors of Ostrava Festival in July, and has a new single release titled “Out Of My Head.” His summer tours have included Scotland’s T in the Park, and the V Festival in the UK.
Oh Land, 29 From Copenhagen, Denmark Lives in New York City Dress and boots by Saint Laurent.
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Danish singer-songwriter Oh Land has gathered a dedicated international following, although her story is as unique as her sound is original. With a family background in everything from opera to zoology, Oh Land’s music is indicative of her own eclectic history. Her entire career as a musician is a twist of fate, largely the result of a dancing injury. “I had all of this time and built-up energy and I just started writing little melodies and snippets of lyrics,” she recalls. “It wasn’t with the purpose of writing a song, it just happened accidentally as a kind of therapy.” The singer began posting her musical experimentations on her Myspace music page and, after having written only a handful of songs, was contacted and immediately signed by Danish indie label Fake Diamond Records. Oh Land’s breakthrough into the American music scene proved to be just as serendipitous as her budding passion for the art. Acting as her own manager and booking agent, the singer scrounged up some funds and travelled to the States with a couple of girlfriends, where she slept on “random people’s floors” and finagled her way into the official line-up at South By Southwest, the country’s premiere music showcase. There, she was subsequently discovered by American music powerhouse Sony. “We went to SXSW without knowing anyone or anything, and there were like five people at my show,” she recalls, “but Sony happened to be there.” It wasn’t long before she made her US television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman, followed by appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and eventually toured alongside global pop star Katy Perry. “I definitely didn’t realize how huge it was,” she says, speaking of her
sudden rise from couch surfer to co-billed pop star. “I still feel like I don’t quite get it. But, in a way, my life has been so unlikely the whole way through that it kind of makes sense.” The wondrous nature of Oh Land’s career is matched by her wild performance style. At the time of her very first live performances, the singer had never even been to what she would consider a real concert, which left her with very few references for what a live music performance should consist of. Oh Land turned to her imagination, and let her creative instincts do the rest. “I painted myself blue with glitter all over my face, and I was wearing this huge blue dress,” she remembers. “I had two choir singers that I choreographed through the whole set who were also painted blue, and I covered the whole stage in flowers.” She looks back on it with equal parts nostalgia and humor. “It was completely overdone. I was just a support band for another band in this tiny little pub! Everyone was just like, ‘Who is this girl? This girl is crazy!’” Her music videos and personal style reflect that same exuberance, featuring her in elaborate, adventurous costumes, with an emphasis on her background in dance and production. Oh Land explains the motivation behind her eccentric style, saying, “I just want to play and I just want to find playmates that want to have fun with me!” She cites an assorted number of sonic influences in her music, framing her wide-ranging taste as rooted in “polar opposites: classical music and then, like, super electronic music… you can hear the classical influence with all of my string arrangements and choir arrangements and the lush orchestration of my songs…I
This page: Dress by Just Cavalli, jacket by Roberto Cavalli and necklace by Lizzie Fortunato. Opposite page: Top, bottom and platforms by Jill Stuart.
Oh Land wears a shirt and jeans by McQ Alexander McQueen and black bralet by Jason Wu.
also really love beats and electronic sounds.” Although Oh Land’s sound and look are utterly innovative, she injects an element of fantasy, which is largely inspired by her background in classical dance. “I was used to that really romantic, lush ballet world which is just all about romance. You can definitely see the tulle and smell the pointe shoes.” Similarly, Oh Land is undeniably inspired by her keen love of language, made evident in the luscious nature of her lyrics. “I love words in general, and I like to pick them out and give them my own meaning,” she says. “I read a lot of books about nature and animals, because I find a lot of confidence in the way things work in nature, where there’s always a logic to every action.” Interested in both the hyper-real and the supernatural textures of the universe, Oh Land illustrates the meaning behind her third studio album, Wish Bone, released in the US this past September, as a meditation on the “contrast within the two words it consists of wishes and bones. Wishes are something not physical, something you can’t measure…you wish and then you don’t know where it goes. While bones are something very physical, something very real, something that keeps you grounded. I think I struggle all the time to find balance in between the two - fly away with the wishes and staying grounded with the bones.” Expect the unexpected from Oh Land, whose charmed career has proven her ability to “turn the mistakes into masterpieces.” Wish
Bone debuted in Denmark’s top 5, but “Wolf & I,” a track from her self-titled 2011 record, stands out as her personal favorite. “I just think it is one of those songs where I don’t quite know how I wrote it or why… it’s just its own little world and, in a way, I feel like I had nothing to do with it. It just sort of happened and I feel really lucky that I was able to write the song.” For her, the song marks a distinctly radical shift, even for an artist with a predisposition to challenge herself. “I haven’t been able to do anything like that since. It’s like its own little fairytale.”Oh Land toured Europe last spring, followed by a U.S. tour, which included a spot at the One Love Festival in June. Her trajectory is blissfully unknown, though likely not for long. “I like the fact that I don’t know. I literally feel like I could be anywhere and I don’t know where that is, and that’s just exciting.” Oh Land has announced this summer that she’s currently writing, producing, and recording her next album. She’s funding the album herself with the help of Pledge Music, which works comparably to Kickstarter. A lover of arctic animals, a portion of Oh Land’s pledges will go to the Greenpeace Save The Arctic campaign. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair by Adam Markarian Make-up by Mayia Alleaume Manicure by Yuki Photographed at The Dream Hotel
This page: Embroidered leggings, jacket and boots by Louis Vuitton. Opposite page: Top by Ashish, jeans by Diesel.
BEHIND THE SCENES 284
OH LAND WATCH THE VIDEO
BLOOM STYLIST SABINA EMRIT
Anja and Sonja Bloom, 17 From Ukraine Live in London, England Sonia wears a dress by Korlekie and eyewear by Yifang Wan. Anna wears a top and skirt by Korlekie.
The Bloom Twins have managed to make a name for themselves largely out of surprising each other. Listening to the “dark pop” duo, as the Ukrainian siblings like to call themselves, there is little doubt that these sisters have music in their blood. “Even though we were playing instruments and singing our whole lives, we didn’t consider pursuing music careers,” the twins said, “but the level of adrenaline is surreal. It’s impossible to describe.” The London-based seventeen-year-olds have faced their fair share of obstacles in their path from the Ukraine, a country not only in political turmoil, but without much support for new musicians. “The music industry in the Ukraine is in such a terrible state that we would’ve never had a chance to have a say there. It is very corrupt.” The complicated relationship with their home country informs more than just their individual history; it is the cornerstone of the very music they perform, including their most recent single and video “Stand Up For Your Rights.” Their soulful cover of the Bob Marley song is infused with emotion about the current state of affairs in their home country. “We are deeply touched about the events in the country we are from. We never even thought that it could get this far and be this violent. It got to the point that [the Ukrainian people] couldn’t tolerate any more of the complete corruption, the lack of justice, security, [and the] never-ending abuse of power by the government.” The Bloom Twins are quick to point out that even though their history is undeniably tied to some of their country’s darkest deeds, their sisterly love has proven to be a guiding light. “We love each other so much… We’ll practice separately, and we can start writing together then run off to different rooms and then come back and mix the two creations. It’s a puzzle that always fits.” As for legendary artists, the two can’t help but look up to a certain Radiohead frontman as the pinnacle of industry inspiration. “We have no idea how Thom Yorke does it. He brings the innovation, creativity, emotion, all of it in one composition.” The sisters recently released a new single called “Blue”. Later this year, the twins plan to release a new EP, and eventually hope to cross the pond to America with their music. The one thing they know for sure? “We don’t stop writing.”
This Page: Sonia wears a hat and dress by Pam Hogg, shirt by Apu and shoes by LELE. Anna wears boots by Pam Hogg, a body suit by Jayne Pierson and face lace by Phillis Cohen. Opposite Page: Sonia wears a jacket by Daniel Pollitt, shorts by Yifang Wan and tights by Wolford. Anna wears a dress by Persy.
Sonia and Anna wear dresses and headpieces by Pam Hogg and CC KUO shoes.
This Page: Both wear body harness jewellery by Jane Bowler. Opposite Page: Sonia wears a dress by Yuvna Kim. Anna wears a top by Jayne Pierson, shorts by Yifang Wan. Both wear shoes by Lele PyP.
Sonia wears shorts by Yifang Wan. Both wear Dresses by Zyanya Keizer and face lace by Phillis Cohen. Make-up by John Christopher @ Lovely Management Hair by Jan Przemyk @ Mandy Coakley using Unite Haircare Photographed at the Bulgari Hotel
Although her main focus is music, she clearly works with heavy hitting talent from across the artistic spectrum, which comes with its attendant identity issues. “I was asked the other day during an interview about how I identify myself, and it made me contemplate ‘am I a musician or am I an artist?’” she wonders, “‘cause I feel like I’m okay on all mediums and I understand all mediums of art. I am an artist in general.” This creative sensibility is undoubtedly what attracts like-minded talent to a woman like Brooke, who recently became the new face of Diesel. “Nicola really liked the way that I interacted with the camera, and he likes my ideals and my art and how I feel about fashion, because I think he’s the same way. I mean he lives and breathes fashion but he doesn’t take it too seriously, it’s more just fun, and that’s how I feel. I just don’t give a fuck. He’s trying to rebrand the image, he respects my art, and I respect his, so it seemed like a very natural collaboration.” Ultimately it is her drive that is to be credited for the enriched and diverse world she’s created for herself. Her passion transcends the music that she makes, and extends into her social consciousness as well. There was even a time in her life when her politics intersected with her creative process, though according to Brooke, she eventually had to work to disentangle the two for herself. “I still stand for the people I’ve always stood for, and I still am very vocal about it,” she claims. Yet for the time being she is simply “just focused on making pretty music”. However one thing about which she insists upon making clear is her oft-discussed former career as a stripper. “I grew up in a family where my dad worked for Larry Flint. Some of my earliest memories of going to his office were of seeing boxes and boxes of dildos,” she recalls vividly. “I was exposed to it at a very young age. It’s never been a kind of hush-hush, or a weird thing…It’s always been very sex positive in my family.” She maintains a progressive attitude toward the sex industry, advocating the legalization of prostitution, although Brooke is adamant that she not be labeled. “I don’t wanna be labeled as a stripper. I don’t understand why every person who’s interviewed me, or any time
Brooke Candy, rising hip-hop star and “racy new muse” of Nicola Formichetti, didn’t always lead the charmed life. She’s faced her fair share of adversity on her way up to the top, including being homeless. While we didn’t get the story behind her myriad tattoos, the two words she has etched in ink on the palms of her hands, “hard luck,” say it all. Brooke’s risen above her lot and made it to where she is now seemingly by an act of sheer, ferocious will. “I got started very organically. I’ve always liked to express myself artistically. One night out, I met a producer who was looking for female rappers to make a track with… I got into the studio with him, and we recorded a song and it turned out to be really cool and then I was like, ‘Oh wait, I can go even further with this.’ I just kept doing it, and the ball just kept rolling, and I worked really hard just doing everything myself.” Although her rise to fame may seem happenstance, entertainment is the industry for which she is cut out. “It’s what I’m meant to do,” she says. “That’s truly how I feel, just because of the way it occurred. It’s just odd. It’s definitely hard at times, but it’s fun and amazing.” When asked who inspires this glamour icon, she named the one and only Queen of Pop. “I’m inspired by Madonna. The blueprint she laid out is absolutely genius, and she started out the exact same way, where she was poor and from the underground scene. There are a lot of parallels between the early part of her career and mine.” Regarding other artists in the industry who move her, she is undeniably drawn to fellow rebellious souls. “I really think Kanye is incredibly innovative…he used the rules of how to make music mainstream and then just fucking flipped it,” she explained. “I feel like he’s transcended music. He’s transcended everything. Courtney Love in her heyday was pretty badass.” Yet staying true to form, and loyal to those who are closest to her, she counts her collaborators among her deepest sources of motivation. “I love the people who I’m working with now. I just shot with Steven Klein... that was the craziest experience, because I was like ‘Oh my god, this is a fucking artist.’”
Brooke Candy, 25 From Oxnard, California Lives in Los Angeles, California Brooke wears a peacock gown by Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Thefft.
This page: Brooke wears a bandeau top and leggings by Franziska Fox, heels by Missguided, necklace by Sally LaPointe with sunglasses by Mecura.
Brooke wears a dress by Jean Paul Gaultier with jewelry by Cartier, Balenciaga, Cast of Vices and Maison Martin Margiela.
This page: Brooke wears a dress by Alon Livne with platform sandals by Ask Alice. Opposite page: She wears a dress by Mathieu Mirano with heels by Edmundo Castillo.
anything pops up about me it’s like, ‘Brooke Candy: stripper,’” she laments exhaustedly. “Strip? I don’t strip. I stripped at a time when I was homeless and down and out, and the label has hung on me…and I’ve talked about it, it’s fine, but it’s just odd ‘cause I don’t strip anymore and it definitely doesn’t inform my art.” For Brooke, stripping was an alternative form of expressing the same ideas. “I’m a strong human being, and it was empowering to me. I brought home money and it taught me how to perform at my most vulnerable…it was just a job. Just like what I do now is a job, it’s just that I have more creative freedom with this one.” According to her, it’s a simple matter of letting sleeping dogs lie. “I mean it’s something I did, it was something I felt comfortable doing, and I don’t do it anymore.” That said, she certainly understands the art of staging outrageous, elaborate and at times even violent performances. “All my performances are fun, I’m really excited about all of them. When I perform I pretty much black out. It’s this incredible release of energy that can’t be put into words. It’s insane.” If there was any doubt that Brooke isn’t your average musician, let her reaction to being punched in the face while performing sit as the best bit of evidence. “This girl climbed on stage, and I was like ‘Get off stage now’ and she just punched me in the side of my face… and I was like ‘Wait, that was amazing! You fucking rule!’ It was sick, I love her! She got up on my stage at my show and punched me in the face! It was fucking badass.” Clearly Brooke loves what she does. Aside from the loneliness she often faces on tour, she sees only the good side of her career. “I don’t see a downside other than me being absolutely insane—I get really sad sometimes. When I’m away, I feel lonely; I get isolated and sad, but other than that it’s the best fucking job in the world. I can’t complain about anything.” This mentality, along with her
steadfastness regarding what she believes, is what makes her stand out against the crowd. “I speak out, and I have spoken out on things that matter to me. It can be difficult when I’m trying to be an uplifting person who is trying to support these oppressed communities, and I still get hatred. It’s like shit flying at me, and people picking apart my body, saying I’m fat and ugly, or that I have a horrible voice and that I’m an idiot. If I were to look back in ten years at this time, I would just wanna shake myself, and tell myself to not give a shit, because it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you put out your work to express yourself, so you don’t kill yourself, and you don’t look back.” Regarding her own personal legends, and what it truly means to be a legend, her answer is as simple as it is profound. “I think what makes a legend is when they make their impact on the world. They make themselves known in a way that’s really, really positive. They do something innovate and different that inspires people. That’s what makes a legend. And they don’t even have to be at the level of Michael Jackson. You can impact someone’s life on a much smaller scale. I have friends living in Harlem who have inspired me…who dance, who’ve taught me how to vogue, who’ve taught me how to act, and truly taught me how to be the person I am, and to me they’re just as legendary, really. It’s a certain state of mind that makes someone legendary.” 2014 looks to be Brooke Candy’s year. And her goal for the year is clear and simple: “world domination,” she says. She recently signed to RCA Records, released her new single “Opulence” as well as a 5 track EP. Yet for her, getting to live the life she wants is already the ultimate achievement. “I’m just happy… I feel blessed to be doing any of this shit…I mean, there are people who work in coal mines, you know?”
This page: Brooke wears a dress by The Blonds. Opposite page: She wears a bodysuit by Alpana Neeraj.
This page: Brooke wears a dress by Jean Paul Gaultier, harness by Skingraft and feather corset by Leka. Opposite page: She wears a bra by Addiction, bikini bottom by Niro Castillo, mesh tank by Diesel and customized jacket by Nicola Formichetti. Both pages, jewelry by Cartier, Balenciaga, Cast of Vices, and Maison Martin Margiela. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Hair by Gregory Russell @ The Wall Group Make-up by Stephen Dimmick @ Aim Artists Photographed on location at James Goldstein Residence
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CANDY WATCH THE VIDEO
PHOTOGRAPHY BY IRIS BROSCH
IRINA STYLIST DEBORAH LATOUCHE
Irina Lazareanu, 32 From Montreal, Quebec, Canada Irina wears a dress by Sophia Kah and a ring by Pyrrha.
This page: Irina wears a cardigan by Fifi Chachnil, top by DKNY, skirt by Ziad Ghanem, necklace by Pyrrha, ring by Joubi and shoes by Gianmarco Lorenzi. Opposite page: She wears a jacket by Napsugar, skirt by John Rocha, hat from Pete Doherty and ring by Bibi Van der Velden.
Irina Lazareanu took the fashion world by storm during her career as a model, walking ninety runway shows in one season, and is now diving headfirst into music. The Romanian-Canadian singer threw herself into the creative realm by moving to London at the age of thirteen to study ballet at the Royal Academy of Arts. Two years later, at only fifteen years old, Irina met Brit-rocker Pete Doherty and went on to become his lover, muse, and musical partner – Irina would later tour the world with Pete’s band Babyshambles before opening Paris Fashion Week for Anne Valérie Hash and Chanel. The model’s big brown eyes and blunt bangs made the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquière fall for her, becoming a muse, yet again, for two of the biggest names in fashion. It wouldn’t be long until fellow supermodels took notice of the up-and-coming star. Kate Moss, while acting as guest editor for Vogue: Paris in 2005, chose Irina to star in an editorial for the magazine. After the spread, Irina closed shows for Marc Jacobs, Prada, Christian Lacroix, Miu Miu, and Yves Saint Laurent in New York, Milan, and Paris. In 2009 alone the model appeared in Japanese, Italian, Chinese, and German Vogue spreads. Irina has been engaged to Doherty twice throughout her colorful career, which she justifies in saying, “We were engaged a couple of times. I believe in marriage. My parents have been together for thirty-five years and are best friends and have a perfect marriage, and I believe in that tradition. But it has to be for the right reasons and at the right time. You don’t do it for the heck of it.” Her romance with Pete led to multiple musical collaborations. Some of the songs that she considers her best work to date include “The Whole World Is Our Playground,” which she co-wrote with Pete and another called “Might Not Be Single,” which she co-wrote with Sean Lennon. Sean Lennon and his girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, who make up The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, have both taken Irina under their wings. Of her music, Irina says, “I just want to learn from people and do the best that I can do” while citing Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen as her influences. “Pete taught me everything I know about music,” the model says. Thankfully for us, her creation of soulful, bluesy tunes shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
This page: Irina wears a jacket by Milusha London, knickers by Elle Macpherson, sunglasses by Finest Seven, shoes by Just Cavalli and a ring by Love Bullets. Opposite page: Dress by Sophia Kah.
This page: Irina wears a dress by Yuvna Kim and a bracelet by Bibi Van der Velden. Opposite page: She wears a catsuit by Just Cavalli, ring by Love Bullets and a 1950â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vintage hat. Hair and Make-up by Kim @ Cyril Lebigue using DIVA
Lauren Cuthbertson, 30 From Devon, UK Lives in London, England Lauren wears a skirt and jumper by Vivienne Westwood and jewelry by Ritz Fine Jewellery.
LAUREN FASHION EDITOR REBEKAH ROY
necessary for a professional dancer. “The bigger picture is really about the creators. I am merely a tool for them to work with. The choreographers, the composers, and the trust in directors make collaborations that might seem impossible, possible.” Since then, Lauren has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the gold Young British Dancer of the Year, and Arts and Culture Women of the Future Award. In 2008, Lauren was promoted to Principal of The Royal Ballet, the highest rank in the ballet, giving her the distinction of being amongst the company’s leading dancers. Still, the dancer is dedicated to promoting the classical art of ballet in the twenty-first century, and ensuring that the time-honored form of dance has a place in the creative world for years to come. “I think anything referring to the future is actually really about making the ‘now’ exciting and relevant,” she says. “That’s what makes it feel like it’s modern and fresh. On a personal level, I keep my interpretations relevant to being a woman living in the world today, and transferring those things to the stage so that when people watch it they can identify with you and their lives.” However, when it comes to personal matters, Lauren tries not to think too much about the future. “I overcame those huge obstacles and I am now in the thick of a ballet career, and until I have to decide what I want to do next, I am not going to.” For Lauren, where she is now is the most important thing. “I’m exactly where I want to be.”
Lauren Cuthbertson, acclaimed classic ballerina and principal dancer for the Royal Ballet in London, began her career shortly after learning to walk and has been performing ever since. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Lauren is confident in her art, and doesn’t quite buy into the idea that ballerinas need suffer to achieve their full potential. “I don’t suffer much from stage fright. For me, the challenge is in the moment of dealing with a mix of being totally hyperaware, yet totally oblivious.” Lauren, now thirty years old, danced her first lead in the Royal Ballet when she was only nineteen, after a stroke of bad luck left her more qualified colleagues at the company unable to dance the complex part. “I wasn’t anywhere near mature enough to be performing such a special role and I knew it,” says the dancer, who recalls crying so much after the final dress rehearsal that she nearly decided to forgo the opportunity entirely. “The fact that I got up there and even tried to do it was an achievement for me, because I knew that I wasn’t going to fulfill what was needed to fill that role.” For her, it wasn’t rooted in a doubt of her talent, but rather an inherent respect for the form itself. “It didn’t mean that I didn’t think I could do it one day, but at that moment I was doing the role that was for the prima ballerina of the company, and I was just a schoolgirl.” Somehow, Lauren overcame her personal reservations for the greater good, a skill that she deems
This page: Lauren wears a dress by John Rocha and jewelry by Brumani. Opposite page: She wears a dress by Miu Miu, necklace and rings by Piaget and hat by Alexandra Harper.
This page: Lauren wears a dress by Hemyca, tiara by Brumani, necklace by Atelier Swarovski and rings by Stephen Webster. Opposite page: She wears a bodice by Triumph, skirt by Tara Jarmon, necklace and earrings by Theo Fennell. Hair and Make-up by John Christopher @ Lovely Management Photographed at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London
ZOEY artists that impress her. “I really value humor. That’s a through-line with all three of those actresses that I really respect. They have the ability to go back and forth with movie [roles].” It’s more than just exercising range; for Zoey, humor has a deeper value, more personal than purely professional. “I’ve always used it as a means of survival… I always say that the only reason I’m funny is that otherwise people would kill me, because I’m really annoying as well!” Self-deprecation doesn’t mean Zoey is incapable of taking herself seriously. She is well aware of the challenges women face in getting roles, speaking their minds, and being allowed to simply age graciously. “I don’t want to necessarily get into all of this but there’s a huge stigma that if you’re not a movie star by the time you’re, 26 then it’s probably not going to happen,” she says. “To be in movies is so much [less likely] when you’re in your late 20s and 30s for a woman than it is for a man.” Perhaps it was with this double standard in mind that Zoey reveled in her most recent character, Vampire Academy’s Rose Hathaway, whom she describes as a “bad-ass, hilarious, half-vampire heroine whose only real power is an innate ability to fight. Really well. Like super-humanly.” That ability to fight is something that she and her character share in common. “I trained for about three months in jujitsu, karate, kickboxing, as well as in the gym. I did most of my own stunts!” Her sense of humor always shines through: “I would have done all of them, but apparently the insurance company won’t sign off on flying me across a room on a wire to hit a wall.” Zoey shows some serious range when considering who, for her, is legendary, though it does seem to require a certain posthumousness: “Van Gogh, Steve Jobs, Stanley Kubrick. Jesus and Moses. Napoleon, Shakespeare…Elvis.” With plenty of laughter, she reaches for a living legend: “OK, Meryl Streep! Oh, and Hillary Clinton and Oprah.” She returns to the ancient past and finds her gold: “Cleopatra! She’s a bad bitch.” When pressed to imagine a younger artist with the potential to be legendary, Zoey grows a bit more articulate: “I would go to ‘actress jail’ if I didn’t say Jennifer Lawrence. She’s remarkable and whether it was calculated or truly unintentional, she’s the first kind of America’s sweetheart to get rid of the stigma of having to be this perfect, tiny, skinny blond or little angel. And she made it real. A real human being who’s funny, sarcastic, and crude at times.” Her current work is a combination of intimate collaborations, “I’m actually writing a short story with a friend … and my sister wrote a script called A Year of Spectacular Men that my mom’s directing. We’re gonna shoot in the fall, if all goes as planned, which is very exciting.” And if things don’t go as planned, her survival instincts kick in. “Everything will be OK. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end of the world…Sometimes I live by that!”
Zoey Deutch’s destiny within the world of acting could be construed as preordained. The daughter of actress Lea Thompson (Back to The Future) and director Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful), one might say the nineteen-year-old was groomed for entertainment. Starring roles in films such as this year’s Vampire Academy have put the young actress firmly on the map. Yet her beginnings, she graciously admits, were more humble. “I used to make really embarrassing, ridiculous short films with my cousin and sister. We would play whatever characters we could possibly conjure up,” Zoey remembers. “I would steal my mom’s jelly boobs from [her sitcom days], and put them in my dresses so I could resemble Barbie, which was upsetting in so many different ways.” Her first professional job on The Disney Channel’s The Suite Life Zack and Cody wasn’t perfect either: “I was so bad at it…so uneducated about terminology and industry etiquette, and understanding people’s jobs.” She admits she had a “kind of a misconception, because I did get my first job from my first audition.” However, Zoey got “an extremely big wake up call,” as she “quickly found out that you get probably only one job out of 200.” With a newfound understanding of the particulars of a grueling industry, the last few years have given her valuable experience both at home and elsewhere, for which Zoey is grateful. “My mom directs me for auditions and just gives me little tidbits of insane wisdom all the time.” Filming internationally for her lead role in 2014’s Vampire Academy, directed by Mark Waters of Mean Girls fame, was clearly a step forward, and not just as an actress: “I got so much out of it in terms of learning how to carry myself, and conduct myself as the lead. It informed a lot of who I am today, personally.” This evolution comes through most vividly when the talk turns to her thoughts on a professional acting career. “In a lot of ways it forces me to grow and not make excuses…I have to work on myself in order to understand myself, and to understand how to play different characters.” The up-and-coming actress doesn’t seem to suffer under the shadow of nepotism, and doesn’t believe she gains anything from it either. “I have the same trials and tribulations that any other young actress has,” she says. True or not, she’s quick to add that she doesn’t want to seem “entitled,” and is willing to patiently earn her place: “I’m on such a track of having to prove myself… even to myself. I’m never gonna sit here and say that I’m this established actress that deserves a perfect career.” Zoey is even reluctant to articulate ideal roles or to name wish-list directors to work with, although she eventually gives in: Judd Apatow, Steven Spielberg, and David O. Russell rank among her top choices. She is more interested in talking about female actresses she admires, which include Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock, and Meryl Streep. It is not just their success as powerful, dramatic
Zoey Deutch, 19 Lives in Los Angeles, California Zoey wears a top by Mathieu Mirano and jewelry by Topshop.
This page: Zoey wears a top by Osman, skirt by Vivienne Westwood and a ring by AS29. Opposite page: Zoey wears a dress by Donna Karan
Zoey wears a top by Mathieu Mirano, skirt by Lie Sang Bong, briefs by Triumph and ring by H. Stern. Stylist: Jeff Kim @ Margaret Maldonado Additional Styling by Indira Cesarine Hair by Creighton @ Exclusive Artists Make-up by Stephen Dimmick @ Aim Artist
Zoey wears a dress by Donna Karan, ring by Sam Lehr and earrings by H. Stern.
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BYRDIE FASHION EDITOR ERIN MCSHERRY
Byrdie Bell, 29 Born in Chicago, Illinois Lives in Hollywood, California Byrdie wears a shirt by Alon Livne, skirt by Waldrip and earrings and ring by RJ Graziano.
This page: Dress by Waldrip, hat by American Apparel, gloves by Carolina Amato and sunglasses by Marc Jacobs. Opposite page: Byrdie wears a dress by Diane Von Furstenberg.
“You can’t worry too much about your reputation and things like that. You really have to throw yourself out there and take risks!” The 29-year-old socialite, model and aspiring actress Byrdie Bell isn’t exactly new to to the world of acting, but the Chicago native has yet to really spread her fashion-savvy wings on the silver screen. Her first taste of acting came at thirteen while she was studying at an international school. She took plenty of theatre classes, but it was her real world “socialite” charm that acted as the launching pad for her entertainment career, which started first with modeling. “I would go down to Herbert Berghof in the West Village after school and I did a lot of Craigslist auditions. I found a manager on Myspace, and then I was approached by Ford. They contacted the manager that I had at the time, and once I signed with Ford, the modeling thing took over. I was doing more of that than I was acting until I moved out to LA.” Her first role as an actress was nothing to scoff at, going straight from theatre student to working alongside the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker in the Sex and the City movie, which she calls her “first real professional project.” The role feels perfectly appropriate for this leggy blonde-haired fashionista who’s been known for her LA-chic style, drawing inspiration from the city she’s called home for two years. In 2011 she even became featured editor for the fashion blog Piperlime.
Byrdie wears a dress by Christian Siriano and jewelry by RJ Graziano.
This page: Byrdie wears a dress by Darling, necklace by Weekend Max Mara and hat by American Apparel. Opposite page: She wears a top by Waldrip, necklace and ring by RJ Graziano, trousers by Darling and shoes by KDB Kelsi Dagger. Hair by Yuji Kojima Make-up by Noel Nichols @ The Rex Agency
Byrdie embraces the more taxing elements that come with taking on roles. “Once you get into a role, it’s not as easy to turn it on and off as I previously thought. When you go there, you sort of access all of this material—material that you may not want to activate—and bring it to the surface. It can be very cathartic but it can also require a lot of therapy after.” She considers actresses Bette Davis & Cate Blanchett as her favorites, noting they have that “sort of individuality where there’s always a thread of themselves in their work.” Recently she has been attacking more difficult roles, including playing an aspiring porn actress in After School. Despite her notable credits, she feels she has yet to finally achieve her breakthrough moment. “In five years I would like to answer that question. I’d like to have a body of work that I’m really proud of.” In the meantime, Byrdie is creating the perfect environment for herself as an artist—one in which she can grow and continue to develop her talents. In the last year, she’s filmed a pilot for an upcoming NBC/Bravo show, and is working on quite a few other projects that she isn’t able to disclose just yet. She makes a point to experiment with her work. “I’m still trying to figure things out. I feel like a baby learning to walk. I trip a lot and make mistakes…I’m not afraid of mistakes. That’s where the artistry comes out.” She takes pride in being fearless, telling us, “Don’t be too timid or squeamish in your actions because all of life is an experiment.”
Riff Raff, 32 From Houston, Texas Lives in Los Angeles, California This page: Riff Raff wears a vintage West African top and trousers, hat by Dope, sunglasses by Maison Martin Margiela, necklace by Versace, and sneakers by Dior Homme. Opposite page: Top, trousers and sneakers by Dior Homme, vintage sunglasses and custom made jewelry.
This Page: Riff Raff wears a phython vest by Beautiful FĂźl, leather pants by G-Star, metallic scarf by Maison Martin Margiela, Converse shoes and custom made jewelry. Opposite Page: He wears a top by Michael Ashton, leather pants by G-Star and vintage fur coat by Vivienne Westwood.
All Looks: Top and trousers by Dior Homme with vintage sunglasses and custom made jewelry.
“I want an island, I want to be buying things and shopping and having fun and just a luxury lifestyle, y’know what I mean? Like, private jets and helicopters and water slides in my house and trampolines surrounding a pool.” Riff Raff, the neon-crazed rapper from Houston, Texas, has gained notoriety over the past few years for his cornrowed, tattooed image, as well as his songs “Versace Bentley”, “Dolce & Gabbana” and “Bird on a Wire.” The man otherwise known as “Jody Highroller,” the “Rice Emperor,” and even the “White Gucci Mane” is a walking billboard for American mass media. He has covered his body in logo tattoos. From the massive MTV logo on his neck to not-so-subtle nods to the NBA, BET and Seagram’s Seven, as well as Bart Simpson emblazoned on his chest, there is no hiding his obsessive branding perversion. The rapper’s personality has been scrutinized by the media for years. Comparisons to Vanilla Ice and other relics of 80s glory are inevitable. Call it glamour, call it charisma, call it plain over the top, but his shtick is working like a charm and cementing his notoriety in the music industry. It is widely believed that Alien, James Franco’s character from 2012’s Spring Breakers, is based on Riff Raff, despite objections from the filmmakers. The rapper is adamant that all involved in the film were aware of the striking resemblance. “Just have a look at the facts… one plus one equals two.” Putting aside the impact of the drama surrounding the film, Riff Raff has continued to make music without hesitation. The rapper’s first studio album, Neon Icon, was released this spring on Diplo’s label Mad Decent. The album includes collaborations with fellow artists A$AP Rocky, Drake, Action Bronson, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Mike Posner, and Asher Roth. Despite previously putting a slew of songs out himself, Riff said that he is both nervous and excited to have his CD in “Best Buy, Walmart and Target.” “The way I see it, I know what I’m about to do and I know what things are going to happen and people don’t see that. So it’s better to show people first. I’ll just wait, I’ll drop this album and you’ll see like a whole new situation by June… It’ll be full swing where people worldwide will see how big of a icon I am. Yeah, it’s not me showing or proving something to anybody… it’s more of it coming to light… whether somebody likes it or not, it’s going to be inevitable; they can’t just hide me any more. People tried to
hide me for a long time!” The rapper doesn’t hold back in regards to how he perceives his own work, although is quick to point out that he is still a newcomer to the music industry. “I’ve never had a mixed or mastered song, I’ve never been in this position.” Although he is relatively new to the game of mainstream music, the so-called “mass-media mutation” has had sold out shows everywhere from the Highline Ballroom to Sydney Opera House even before releasing a real album. In the pop-culture-obsessed, ADD-addled world we live in, it is inevitable that someone like Riff Raff has become the ultimate antidote to boredom. One particular live show that sticks out for the rapper was at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. “Every magazine was there. Billboard, everybody. It was crazy, it was sold out, it was packed… it was really kind of like an eye-opening moment for me… Everybody was really having fun… I sold out the whole show and all the magazines were there and it was great. It was like a ‘fuck you’ to the haters… Then I brought out Action Bronson and got a standing ovation.” It would seem that Riff has a serious desire to prove his “haters” wrong with big plans for future world tours. “I want to travel the world. I want to do something like the Taj Mahal, or like Egypt and stuff like that; I want to do big shows.” The rapper with twelve mixtapes under his belt has quite the eclectic musical taste, naming his favorite artists “Fitz and the Tantrums, Lady Gaga, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Madonna, Pearl Jam, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.” When listening to Riff Raff’s music you could mistake his songs for something thrown together overnight but that’s not the case at all. “I think with my songs, I try to be a little more structured, like for radio and stuff.” In regards to preparing for a performance he is more laid back, telling us he “just kinda goes with the flow with it.” There is an ever-growing exponential buzz surrounding the six foot tall blond Texas tornado, and the buzz is not just fluff. Despite years of no one taking him seriously, Riff Raff is finally hitting his stride. His unashamed, in-your-face attitude has propelled him into the spotlight, with headlining shows, back-to-back interviews, cover stories, his own clothing line and a forthcoming TV show in the works. His album Neon Icon dropped this April and the windbreaker-clad man himself hit the road this summer with his Neon Icon Tour across the US.
This Page: Riff Raff wears a jacket and shirt by Dior Homme and sunglasses by Maison Martin Margiela Opposite Page: He wears a sweater by Dior Homme, vintage leather trousers by Versace. Both pages, he wears custom made jewelry. Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine Stylist: Danny Flynn Grooming by Roberto Morelli @ LinkNYC Photographed at Hotel Wilshire
RIFF RAFF WATCH THE VIDEO
THE LEGENDARY PARTY On June 5th, The Untitled Magazine celebrated the launch of it’s special collectors edition, The “Legendary” Issue 7, with a chic crowd at one of New York’s famed venues No.8 lounge in the meatpacking district. Hosted by editor-in-chief, Indira Cesarine, and Style Director, Phillip Bloch, the event was sponsored by Korloff Paris. Over 500 guests came to celebrate the latest issue of the publication, which presents “Future and Living Legends of 2014″. The two floor venue was packed with talent, contributors and VIP guests who toasted the issue in style from 8pm – midnight. It kicked off with a video projection of behind the scenes highlights while guests sipped “Untitled” Qui Tequila cocktails, Peroni, Solbeso and
WTRMLN WTR. Guests danced the evening away to the sounds of the fabulous DJ’s May Kwok and David Katz. Guests included George Wayne, Chloe Norgaard, Scott Lipps, Antoine Verglas, Kristian Schmidt, Emily Bess, Heather Payne, Asher Levine, Emily Saunders, Hissa Igarashi, Michael Barclay, Daniela Federici, Patrik Andersson, Mandie Erickson, Masha, Rafael Cennamo, Peyman Umay, Alexandra Revana, Natalie Lyon, Brendan Cannon, Christopher Meek and many more. Event Photography by Angela Pham for BFANYC.com
Performances at The 2014 Watermill Center Summer Gala
that the Paris Opera has commissioned him and Phillip Glass to produce a new opera: The Palace of Arabian Nights.
On the evening of July 26th, 2014, The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation celebrated its 21st annual summer benefit – One Thousand Nights and One Night: Sleepless Nights of Sheherazade – at The Watermill Center. The event was a massive success with the Foundation raising a record setting $2.2 million dollars to support the Center’s International Summer Arts Program and the yearround Artist Residency and Education Programs, which provide young and emerging artists a unique opportunity to develop their work. The Benefit featured new work by more than 100 artists from thirty countries who were selected to participate in the five-week summer program under the guidance of Artistic Director, Robert Wilson; the U.S. premiere of Wilson’s recent video portraits of Lady Gaga, titled Portraits of Lady Gaga; and a highlight performance of SISYPHUS by acclaimed experimental theatre director, visual artist and choreographer, Dimitris Papaioannou. Wilson also announced
The magical and surreal evening began with the sun passing through Annick Lavalee-Benny’s cloud installation, titled n.u.a.g.e.s. Director / composer Jim Jarmusch became part of the series of installations, playing his electric guitar at the entrance. An estimated 1400 international curators, collectors, artists and benefactors roamed the Center’s 8 acres to experience 27-site specific installations and performances interspersed amongst outdoor sculptures and artifacts including Baboo Liao and Gintare Minelgaite’s 1001 Nights in America, a whimsical, satirical look at American home life. The evening’s dress code “Bazaar Chic”, as Wilson explained to patrons, was a reference to the event’s honoree, a senior member of the Kuwaiti royal family and avid art collector, Shaikha Paula Al-
Left from top to bottom: Constance Jablonski; Polina Proshkina, Yana Balan, and Graysha Assoun; Elizabeth Kurpis, Anne Huntington, Joey Lico, and Susi Kenna; Kim Heirston Evans and Princess Khaliya Aga Khan; Stacey Engman. Right: The Untitled Magazine’s Phillip Bloch and Indira Cesarine
Sabah. Guests included the creme de la creme of the New York and Hamptons social scene as well as designers such as Nicole Miller, Vivienne Tam, B Michael, Victor de Souza as well as actresses such as Kelly Rutherford and Kim Catrall. The Untitled Magazine‘s editorin-chief, Indira Cesarine, who attended the event with style director, Phillip Bloch, said of the evening, “It was breathtaking walking in to the WaterMill Center with artificial clouds floating, trumpeters playing, and performance artists flinging themselves from the sides of the building from metallic threads. The scene was just magical, and the guests were all clearly in the spirit, wearing creatively dazzling ensembles that complimented the incredible landscape set forth by the visionary Robert Wilson. The performances on the grounds were captivating and original, I have never seen anything quite like it.”
Pury, which together with the online auction hosted by Artsy.com, raised $1.2 million. Among the notable lots in the live auction, were two Portraits of Lady Gaga by Robert Wilson, influenced by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière and Jacques-Louis David’s famed painting, The Death of Marat; works by Frank Gehry, Anish Kapoor, Anselm Kiefer, Emilia and Ilya Kabakov; and an unsolicited, anonymous donation of $100,000 for a commissioned work by Robert Wilson. Afterwarda guests enjoyed dessert and dancing to DJ Chris Bachmann in the silent auction tent.
Editor in Chief Indira Cesarine wears a dress by Vivienne Tam. Photos courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency and Patrick McMullan.com
The live auction was conducted by veteran auctioneer Simon de
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HAMPTONS SUMMER PART Y On July 26th, The Untitled Magazine took to the Hamptons to celebrate the summer! The party took place at Nammos in Southampton and saw a chic crowd of the friends and fans of the magazine. Hosted by Editor-in-Chief, Indira Cesarine, and style director, Phillip Bloch, the party was the perfect way to bring Untitled to the Hamptons. Guests danced to tunes by talented DJ Brendan Fallis, while checking out copies of the latest issue, The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Legendaryâ&#x20AC;? Issue 7. The venue featured an outdoor garden where guests enjoyed cocktails, as well as interior bar with dance floor which
was packed until the party ended at 2am. Guests included: Indira Cesarine, Phillip Bloch, Princess Khaliya Aga Khan, The Von Boozier Twins, Hannah Bronfman, Chantelle Fraser, Karim Amatullah, Eric Javits, Di Mondo, Austin Scarlett, Hind Shahli, Yung Hee Kim, Pierre Yves Martinez, Gary and Denise Krimershmoys, Tom Higbee, Harry Michas, John Jacobs and Stan Stalnaker among many others.
Event photographs by Steph Jensem
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SAVE VENICE The Save Venice annual masked ball, Un Ballo in Maschera, was held on the evening of April 4th, 2014 in New York City. This year’s theme was “Enchanted Garden”, which made for an exceptionally remarkable setting within The Pierre Hotel. The night consisted of cocktails, dinner, and dancing with some of the most decadent wares, eccentric personalities, and generous donations in the ball’s history. Save Venice, the New York-based organization responsible for the night’s festivities, has raised more than $20 million to restore over 350 works of art and architecture in Venice. Although the night’s sole mission was to raise funds, guests found entertainment in the “best mask” competition. Towering hedges adorned with butterflies,
a bouquet enclosed in a ceramic vase, and a Daft Punk-inspired face mask were some of the more eccentric looks of the evening. While the aforementioned chose to take the night’s theme to the highest level of creativity, many kept it simple and sleek in elegant face lace, classic eye masks, and Phantom of the Opera-esque halfmasks. The night was sponsored by Dolce & Gabbana, Ferrari North America, and HFZ Capital Group and was attended by a global list of supporters. Event photographs by Joshua Lawrence Kogan at Studio JLK
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