Page 1

THE MUSIC ISSUE

PLUS COUTURE, SUNDANCE, AND THE BEST OF PRE-FALL

113

THE SOUND OF NOW SZA BY JADA PINKETT SMITH

PHOTOGRAPHED BY INEZ & VINOODH

SUMMER 2018

STYLED BY GEORGE CORTINA BODYSUIT VERSACE


landofdistraction.com

30683_USV_CVR.indd 4-6

4/3/18 12:07 PM


30683_ADS.indd 1

4/3/18 12:17 PM


30683_ADS.indd 2

4/3/18 12:17 PM


30683_ADS.indd 3

4/3/18 12:17 PM


30683_ADS.indd 4

4/3/18 12:17 PM


30683_ADS.indd 5

4/3/18 12:17 PM


30683_ADS.indd 6

4/3/18 12:17 PM


30683_ADS.indd 7

4/3/18 12:17 PM


30683_ADS.indd 8

4/3/18 12:17 PM


30683_ADS.indd 9

4/3/18 12:17 PM


800.929.DIOR (3467) DIOR.COM 30683_ADS.indd 10

4/5/18 11:21 AM


30683_ADS.indd 11

4/5/18 11:21 AM


30683_ADS.indd 12

4/5/18 11:21 AM


30683_ADS.indd 13

4/5/18 11:21 AM


30683_ADS.indd 14

4/3/18 12:18 PM

Fendi Boutiques 646 520 2830 Fendi.com


30683_ADS.indd 15

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 16

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 17

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 18

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 19

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 20

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 21

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 22

4/6/18 12:22 PM


J O R D A N WA T S O N , Digital Curator, C Y N , M u s i c i a n I N C O N V E R S AT I O N S E R I E S . D I S C O V E R M O R E AT O L I V E R P E O P L E S . C O M

30683_ADS.indd 23

4/6/18 12:22 PM


30683_ADS.indd 24

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 25

4/3/18 12:18 PM


30683_ADS.indd 26

4/6/18 12:22 PM


30683_ADS.indd 27

4/6/18 12:22 PM


BACKSTAGE PASS

COLLAGES MAT MAITLAND FASHION MIA SOLKIN FENDI RED LEATHER TARTAN KAN I HANDBAG ($2,690, FENDI.COM)

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Stephen Gan MANAGING EDITOR Nancy Gillen SENIOR EDITOR Alexandra Ilyashov ASSOCIATE EDITOR Devin Barrett FEATURES EDITOR Lisa Mischianti PHOTO EDITOR Goran Macura CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ENTERTAINMENT Greg Krelenstein / Starworks ONLINE EDITOR Mathias Rosenzweig DIGITAL EDITOR Danielle Combs ASSISTANT DIGITAL EDITORS AJ Longabaugh Jake Viswanath CONTRIBUTING EDITOR-AT-LARGE Derek Blasberg CONTRIBUTING EDITOR James Franco COPY EDITOR Eveline Chao RESEARCH EDITOR Jennifer Geddes ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Raf Tillis

ART / FASHION / PRODUCTION

ART DIRECTOR Chad McCabe FASHION MARKET DIRECTOR Mia Solkin SENIOR FASHION EDITOR Jay Massacret CONTRIBUTING FASHION DIRECTOR Paul Cavaco CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITORS Amanda Harlech Joe McKenna Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele Jacob K Beat Bolliger Melanie Ward Jane How Panos Yiapanis Sarah Richardson Clare Richardson Jonathan Kaye Tom Van Dorpe FASHION ASSISTANT Scott Shapiro BEAUTY EDITOR Stella Pak PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Vivian Cadag Cardoso CONTRIBUTING PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Andrea Legge OFFICE MANAGER Andrew Degand CONSULTING CREATIVE / DESIGN DIRECTION Greg Foley INTERNS Adrian Ballesteros Isabela Colon Christopher Conners Jasmine Fontaina Tess Garcia Nyasha Holley Yujia Hou Nimú Mathenge Sofia McGrover Abraham Medellin Emma Mikhailoff Vincenzo Plaia Cameron Smith Alessia Tedino Sandra Zeidan

ADVERTISING / FINANCE

BUSINESS MANAGER Todd Kamelhar

DIRECTOR OF SALES AND STRATEGY Emily Mejer emily@vmagazine.com INTEGRATED ACCOUNT MANAGERS Nicola Bernardini de Pace nico@vmagazine.com Mic Adilardi mic@vmagazine.com INTEGRATED ACCOUNT MANAGER Jeff Greif 212.213.1155 ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Marissa Herring marissa@vmagazine.com ADVERTISING OFFICE, ITALY Magazine International Luciano Bernardini de Pace +39.02.8724.3801 magazineinternational.it PRESS / EVENTS Remi Barbier remi@remibarbier.com COMMUNICATIONS Jocelyn Mak Mathé Kamsutchom / Purple PR 212.858.9888 DISTRIBUTION David Renard V113 Inez & Vinoodh Katy Perry George Cortina Jada Pinkett Smith Amanda Harlech Chris Colls Anna Trevelyan Luke Gilford Thomas Lohr Sharif Hamza Simon Procter Andrew Mukamal Kyle Luu Marcus Mam Britt Lloyd Kate Iorga Antoine Harinthe Thomas Liam Davis Marcell Rocha Rob Kulisek Tereza Ortiz T. Cole Rachel Lynette Nylander Dan Hyman Nicola Fumo Nick Fulton Sarah Gooding Lara Johnson-Wheeler Paul Schrodt Elizabeth Kiefer Marissa G. Muller Mat Maitland Mason Roberts SPECIAL THANKS VLM Productions Stephanie Bargas Eva Harte Brian Anderson Tucker Birbilis Great Bowery Lauren Lanier Sally Born StereoHorse Mina Pekovic Exposure NY Stacy Fischer Audrey Greene IMG Lens Steven Chaiken IMG Tricia Freeman Women Management Michael Bruno The Wall Group Shannon Ryan Madison Brown Gregg Rudner Luiza Zyskowska Anne du Boucheron Ashley Herson Harry Fisher Arianna Pradarelli CLM Jasmine Kharbanda Management+Artists Stacee Robert Rebekah Lichter Angelo Benkaddour 360PM James Fuller Noomi Yates Bryan Bantry Carole Lawrence Art Partner Alexis Costa Anais Merle Serlin Associates Philippa Serlin Phoebe Cole Artists by Timothy Priano Streeters Daniel Weiner Gabriela Moussaieff Vanessa Setton Art Department Lesley Macleod Creative Exchange Agency Steven Pranica Michael Schwartz Kate Moss Agency Chelsea Price The Magnet Agency Jana Crandal Julian Watson Caitlin Thomas LGA Management Jade Quinlan Artlist Paris Carole Truques Ryan Bianchi Park City Peaks Hotel Le Palace Club Pier59 Studios Shoreditch Studios COVER 1: DUA LIPA WEARS DRESS GUCCI NECKLACE MOSCHINO COVER 2: SZA WEARS BODYSUIT VERSACE V is a registered trademark of V Magazine LLC. Copyright © 2018 V Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A. V (BIPAD 96492) is published bimonthly by V Magazine LLC. Principal office: 11 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10013. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to V Magazine, 11 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10013. For customer service, subscriptions, address changes, and adjustments, please contact V Magazine, tel. 212.274.8959, e-mail: subscriptions@vmagazine.com. For back issues contact V Magazine, 11 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10013, tel. 212.274.8959. For press inquiries please contact Purple PR, tel. 212.858.9888.

28 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_28_30_32_OPENERS.indd 28

4/2/18 8:18 AM


30683_ADS.indd 29

4/3/18 12:18 PM


FOR THE RECORD Through the years, V has dreamt up and artfully executed the first high-fashion photos of such musical luminaries as Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Troye Sivan, Lorde, and Lana Del Rey, all lensed by influential photographers. Music and fashion have always been two art forms we take seriously and celebrate consistently. There’s much to be passionate about in both creatively charged fields, and there are many organic ways these mediums dovetail: on stage, on the runway, and, of course, on the page. This issue, we continue our tradition of honoring the legendary artists who have remained eternally relevant—from Toni Braxton, who released a new album this season, to Steven Tyler, who remains ever the rock star, to the late and great Nina Simone, whose powerful work recently earned her a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But it wouldn’t be a music issue if we weren’t above all focused on the voices that make up the soundtrack to the zeitgeist right now. It’s truly exciting to witness where these supremely talented acts are taking music in 2018: a place of greater lyrical freedom, genre fluidity, and individualized sounds. Leading the pack are

DIOR LADY DIOR CALFSKIN BAG (PRICE UPON REQUEST, AVAILABLE AT DIOR BOUTIQUES NATIONWIDE)

cover stars SZA and Dua Lipa—touting numerous Grammy nominations and record-breaking YouTube views, respectively. SZA sits down with Jada Pinkett Smith and Dua chats candidly with Katy Perry. Both enlightening conversations explore ambition, muse on staying grounded and sane amid a meteoric career ascent, and much more. A dynamic range of artists, like R&B vocal powerhouse Jorja Smith, guitar rocker Lindsey Jordan of the band Snail Mail, and the mysterious act H.E.R. grace these pages, as do stars like the risqué rapper Cupcakke, experimental-pop artist Sophie, and cellist-and-singer Kelsey Lu, all dressed in captivating pre-fall looks. Plus, we’re celebrating the best of couture in this issue. The strongest, meticulously crafted pieces are showcased in their full glory, photographed by Chris Colls and styled by Anna Trevelyan. There’s also the new Prada capsule collection that has everyone talking. And last but certainly not least, we’ve got a strong roundup of the biggest Sundance standouts to look out for in theaters (that is, in between music festivals, of course). MR. V

30 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_28_30_32_OPENERS.indd 30

4/2/18 8:19 AM


HANDCR AF T ED MODERN CHAIN

30683_ADS.indd 31

4/3/18 12:18 PM


JAM SESSION 34 HEROES A salute to the legends whose musical gifts keep on giving. 40 V NEWS Tune in to the latest fashion intel. 42 WINNING LOOK Model Olivia Anakwe channels the American Varsity spirit. 44 V GIRLS From R&B to soul to alt-rock, the freshest new voices in the music game. 48 V WANT YOU TO KNOW The future looks bright with these upcoming exhibitions and festivals. 50 GARDEN PARTY BY SIMON PROCTER See Chanel’s spring couture collection unfold.

56 COUTURE’S NEXT FRONTIER BY CHRIS COLLS The most riveting couture looks of the season. Styled by Anna Trevelyan. 64 DUA LIPA BY INEZ & VINOODH Famed for her infectious pop sound (and a major record-breaking music video) Dua Lipa has a meaningful talk with industry mainstay Katy Perry. Styled by George Cortina. 72 SZA BY INEZ & VINOODH On the heels of an acclaimed debut album, Ctrl, and multiple Grammy nominations, SZA muses on climbing to the top of the music world and more with Jada Pinkett Smith. Styled by George Cortina. 80 THE SOUND OF NOW BY LUKE GILFORD Six captivating music marvels soundtracking the present (and future). Styled by Kyle Luu.

88 STATE OF JORJA BY BRITT LLOYD With her debut full-length album due in June, Jorja Smith’s fans have lots to look forward to. Styled by Kate Iorga. 90 HIDE & SEEK BY BRITT LLOYD Her identity may be mysterious, but it’s very clear why H.E.R.’s sound is a hit. Styled by Kate Iorga. 92 PRE-FALL FINERY BY THOMAS LOHR Mixing and matching pre-fall’s most intriguing looks. Styled by Tom Van Dorpe. 100 HOMECOMING BY SCHOHAJA STAFFLER A closer look at Chanel’s pre-fall collection inspired by Karl Lagerfeld’s birthplace of Hamburg, Germany. Introduced by Amanda Harlech.

LOUIS VUITTON STAR TRAIL ANKLE BOOT (PRICE UPON REQUEST, LOUISVUITTON.COM)

102 STARS OF SUNDANCE BY SHARIF HAMZA The actors and films that made an impact at the Park City cinema festival. Styled by Andrew Mukamal. 114 FORM + FUNCTION BY JASON PIETRA The architect and designer collaboration capsule, Prada Invites, offers some of the smartest functional pieces of the season. 118 NIGHT VISION BY ANTOINE HARINTHE Paris nightlife is being thoroughly revitalized, thanks to Luka Isaac’s nomadic party, Kaliente. Styled by Thomas Davis 120 BEHIND THE MUSIC Fun behind-the-scenes snaps from friends of V in the music biz.

32 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_28_30_32_OPENERS.indd 32

4/2/18 8:19 AM


30683_ADS.indd 33

4/3/18 12:18 PM


PHOTOGRAPHED IN ALLIGATOR HEAD, JAMAICA, 2015

GRACE JONES

PERHAPS NOW MORE THAN EVER, THE ENDURING CULTURAL LEGACY OF THIS ICON IS UNMISSABLE. PHOTOGRAPHY GREG GORMAN There is a moment in Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Sophie Fiennes’s monumental new documentary, when Jones sits down to chat with her famed collaborator (and former partner) Jean-Paul Goude. Having just reunited for a photo shoot (for V, no less), Goude asks the 70-year-old icon if she can see herself being alone when she grows old. “I can see myself being alone, but never lonely,” Jones responds. “I have always found plenty of things to occupy myself. I still get a big kick out of staying up all night and watching the sun come up.” It’s a telling glimpse into the interior world of one of culture’s most daring provocateurs. Having spent much of the last five decades alternately revolutionizing and terrorizing the worlds of music, fashion, and film, Jones exists in the popular consciousness as monolith—a figure so powerful and intimidating by design that she seems almost impossible to actually know. Now, nearly 50 years into her storied career, culture might finally be catching up to the real Grace Jones. In 2015, Jones published I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, a rollicking tour through her life, work, and many loves that shone a particularly bold light on her childhood in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Unapologetic and predictably unfiltered, the book includes the requisite behindthe-scenes look at Jones’s infamous Studio 54 days, dalliances and feuds with the then-reigning gods of fashion, and no small amount of drug use. More than a mere tell-all, the book also unpacks how Jones created her own transgressive public identity in the face of misogyny, racism, and a culture that tended to view her outre persona as equal parts thrilling and threatening. 34 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_34_38-39_HEROES_REV.indd 34

It’s hard to imagine many other living artists who might convincingly write, “I flew on the Concorde so many times I knew the pilots. I knew their families. I could have flown the plane, except I would have wanted to do it naked, sprayed silver, in roller skates.” In fashion photography Jones’s importance has never wavered—her work with Goude is a shorthand for chic, minimalist severity—but as the pendulum finally swings back in pop culture, suddenly Jones is everywhere. As her most famous records and long-form video works (A One Man Show, Nightclubbing, Slave to the Rhythm) get the deluxe reissue treatment, and with the documentary’s release, Jones’s music remains an evergreen inspiration. Her visual aesthetic is legendary but her uncanny ability to metabolize influences—reggae, dub, disco, pop, Argentine tango, French cabaret songs—and morph them into something uniquely her own may be her most enduring legacy. It’s impossible to see a new generation of creators, so many of whom are either queer, people of color, or both—like SZA, Janelle Monáe, Moor Mother, Serpentwithfeet, and Solange—and not see Jones’s influence writ large. Still, her thorny resilience, and her penchant for artistic generosity and truly giving not a single fuck, might be her most admirable traits. Jones created her own iron-clad identity and has shied away from seemingly nothing in her life. She remains a sterling example of how to be an artist in the 21st century. “I can’t be bought and people hate that,” she told the Guardian in 2015. “Everybody has their price—but not me.” T. COLE RACHEL

HE RO ES

4/5/18 10:12 AM


PHOTOGRAPHED IN MIAMI IN 1976

STEVEN TYLER

THIS LIVING LEGEND IS PROOF THAT ROCK STARS KEEP ON KEEPING ON. PHOTOGRAPHY BOB GRUEN Steven Tyler isn’t going anywhere. He thinks he’ll stick around for a while. After all, the alternative isn’t exactly appealing. “I look around at people my age,” the Aerosmith frontman says, “and they’re over. They get lazy. They don’t care anymore. Their eating habits are fucked.” Speaking by phone from his home in Maui one recent afternoon, the singer continues, “I’ve had this picture in the back of my mind of being let out to pasture and I’ve always hated that. I thought, why go out that way? If you’re strong, why not stay strong? I’m addicted to next. What’s the next big thing? My life has been go big or go home.” Tyler’s forward-looking mentality goes a long way toward explaining why he’s that rare breed of horse: the quintessential rock star who’s battled drug abuse, failed marriages, inter-band conflict and yes, the occasional dud album, but has still come out yelping with glee. “Sure, my knees fall apart, my feet are terrible, but there’s nothing I can’t do,” Tyler, who is 70, says. “There’s nothing I can’t sing. I’ve got myself in trouble

over the years. I’ve put myself in situations. God knows I spent years with not-so-good people around me. And then there was Aerosmith. We go up and down. We’ve been to the moon and back. In fact, we’ve lived on the dark side of the moon for a lot of years. But it’s all still going strong.” Things weren’t always what they seemed, however. Back in their salad days, Aerosmith ran on endless aggression and sweet emotion, and lived life at razor’s edge. Watching early footage of Tyler and his band onstage in the ’70s—those willowy shawls, those billowing pants, Tyler’s notoriously massive mouth agape with ferocity as he let out that trademark banshee howl— reads as four men enjoying pure rock revelry. But “I don’t feel like I really enjoyed the ’70s,” Tyler admits. “We were working so much. We were constantly on tour. I didn’t really stop and think about what a badass band I was in.” Even now he’s still working tirelessly—Tyler released his debut solo album in 2016, and toured the world with

Aerosmith last year. But lately the singer has finally given himself to reflecting on his legacy. “Here I am, this schmuck who grew up in Yonkers,” Tyler says with a laugh, and a half-century later his band is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; last year he received a UN Humanitarian Award for his non-profit organization Janie’s Fund, which helps young women who are victims of abuse; and yes, in case you were wondering, he has names like Oprah and Obama in his cell phone. To think this all happened “because of this band, because of the career, is beyond,” Tyler says. “It’s too much. It’s almost hard to believe.” Life is all about taking risks, the singer adds. And this rock and roll fantasy he’s been living remains one gigantic leap he’s thankful for taking. “A lot of people would rather think they’re miserable than take a risk and be happy,” Tyler offers. “So many beautiful things come out of taking risks. Sure, there’s some down time and there’s some bad things but all in all, what a ride! I feel like I’m living in a storybook reality.” DAN HYMAN VMAGAZINE.COM 3 5

30683_34-39_HEROES.indd 35

4/3/18 10:12 AM


HEROES

KYLIE MINOGUE

THE LONGTIME POP MAVEN GOES A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY. PHOTOGRAPHY ALI MAHDAVI Kylie Minogue is a chameleon. Throughout her illustrious career, which spans nearly three decades and 13 studio albums, she is always re-inventing the wheel without ever losing the sparkling pop sheen or theatrical flair that’s made her beloved for this long. She’s been a perpetual musical force even amid personal hardships like her battle with breast cancer. Today, she continues to be open with admissions of struggle, which only serve to humanize her. “I had a bit of a crappy end to 2016,” she says. “You know when you just go, Alright, ok, that’s it? I just thought, I need to reclaim myself. I want to be true to myself.” That M.O. has led Minogue down previously uncharted territory. Her new album, Golden, puts a twangy spin on electro-pop. The impetus? A trip to Nashville—and a few nudges from her A&R. The country influences are notable for a pop artist of her stature, but it’s what she says on the album that is most significant. Golden is her most emotional, self-reflective record to date; Minogue doesn’t hold back her deepest thoughts and fears. “Maybe I reached a point in my life where I just don’t have the time or energy to do stuff that doesn’t mean anything to me,” she explains. “It doesn’t mean I’m not gonna go out and have fun and do stupid things. I haven’t become super serious or anything, but I just want some fulfillment on my terms.” Tracks like “Dancing” and “Live A Little” tackle the

urgency of life and death more clearly than ever before, and turning 50 this year absolutely has something to do with it. “I think if I was 20 or 25 singing ‘Dancing,’ it just wouldn’t resonate that much,” she says. “But people know no matter what the road is that gets you to 50 years old, you’ve got stories to tell. You’ve got stuff to say, and people can believe you when you’re saying it.” The pop star draws on stories from her upbringing in the album. “Something like ‘Shelby ’68’ stems from my dad’s Mustang, which is a Shelby ’68, or as he’s now informed me, ‘Darling, we call it a ’68 Shelby,’” she laughs. “I was like, Oh fine! But Shelby ’68 sounds good.” Now, Minogue is once again faced with the most exciting, challenging part of a new album release: touring, a task made even more interesting given her new sound. The pop star loves to put on a spectacle, but it makes sense for the Golden tour to focus on intimate connections. “You’ve got to have the right balance with shows. Important parts are normally where [it’s stripped down]. Singing ‘If You Don’t Love Me’ sitting on the steps of Aphrodite is when you really get those intimate moments.” That said, she also notes, “I’d love if you could hear a few thousand people stomping their feet or clapping, just break it down and make it the biggest barn dance you’ve ever been to.” There could be no better soundtrack than Golden. JAKE VISWANATH

EN VOGUE

THE SEMINAL ’90S GIRL GROUP IS HERE TO STAY.

36 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_34-39_HEROES.indd 36

4/5/18 11:19 AM


STILLS FROM EN VOGUE’S “ROCKET”

This spring, En Vogue released its first studio album in 14 years. Titled Electric CafŽ, the full-length floats between R&B, soul, hip-hop, and dance to create a sound that feels both relevant and true to the group’s roots. But—as the saying goes—don’t call it a comeback. “We’ve grown with [the music industry] because we’ve never stopped moving,” founding member Terry Ellis says. “We never stopped recording, we never stopped performing. It’s been 27 years now and we’ve consistently been able to work and stay in this industry.” Those years haven’t been without friction. Founding members Maxine Jones and Dawn Robinson have been in and out of the group multiple times, culminating in a 2012 lawsuit over rights to the En Vogue name. Since then, the group has been a three-piece, consisting of original members Ellis and Cindy Herron-Braggs, with the addition of Rhona Bennett, who has filled in during lineup turbulence since 2003. Ellis understands that

fans loved the original group, so it has been important to be transparent with them about the band’s evolution and its new chapter. “[Our fans] deserve an explanation; they deserve to know. Our hope is that they understand. Change is a part of life,” she says. Ellis is positive, light, and grateful. She seems to see the group’s every schism as evolution: an abstract element as certain as fire and water, or death and taxes. “The transitions we’ve gone through and the ups and downs—all a part of life—what comes with that is wisdom,” she says. “We’re older now and we’ve gained so much in experience. The industry is definitely different, but I think because of the experiences that we’ve had, we’re able to continue to navigate in a way that is positive.” The group’s foundational tracks include “Free Your Mind,” “My Lovin’,” and “Whatta Man,” which featured fellow superstar girl group Salt-N-Pepa. “The ’90s was just …” Ellis trails off. “It was special.” The decade was the defining cusp between analog and digital, a time

when musicians (not computer programs) still played instruments and vocals-tweaking technology wasn’t advanced enough to be used as a crutch. “You had to work,” Ellis emphasizes. “That required more of you as an artist. It required more of your creativity.” That work is evident in the enduring quality of En Vogue’s catalog of catchy hits, with messages that still resonate. In “Free Your Mind,” the women sing about being judged on sight, from clothing choice (“I wear tight clothes and high heel shoes, doesn’t mean that I’m a prostitute”) to racial profiling (“I can’t look without being watched, you rang my buy before I made up my mind”). “The song became a hit, I believe, because all ethnicities can relate to those moments or experiences we’re singing about,” Ellis muses, “and it’s unfortunate that we’re all still experiencing that today. It’s a bit saddening, but I’m proud we were able to write a song from our perspective and share it with the world and to have such a powerful message.” NICOLA FUMO VMAGAZINE.COM 3 7

30683_34-39_HEROES.indd 37

4/5/18 11:19 AM


HEROES

TONI BRAXTON IN HER VIDEO FOR “AS LONG AS I LIVE,” FROM HER LATEST ALBUM SEX & CIGARETTES

TONI BRAXTON

ON HER FIRST SOLO ALBUM IN EIGHT YEARS, THIS R&B SUPERSTAR KEEPS THE HITS COMING. Few artists can do a wrenching ballad about love gone wrong quite like Toni Braxton, as underscored by her latest album, Sex & Cigarettes. Her first solo effort in eight years, it’s filled with the epic laments the superstar is synonymous with. The title track is a wistful, heartbreaking tale of being cheated on, imploring an unfaithful lover to hide indiscretions instead of coming “straight to our bed, smelling like sex and cigarettes.” “I’ve always been a writer, and this is the album where Babyface said, ‘It’s time for you to really get out there. We signed you as a writer and singer, so it’s time for you to write and sing, because you know what you’re doing with producing,” Braxton says, as she drives around her Calabasas neighborhood. (She collaborated with Babyface—who, along with L.A. Reid, discovered Braxton during the early ’90s—on 2014’s Love, Marriage, & Divorce.) “He pushed me to get my creative flow-flow.” Braxton has been vocal about her battle with lupus for the past decade, but she hasn’t let the autoimmune disease impede her career. “I’m really excited. I love touring—that’s my favorite part of the whole process

of music—but I’ve learned my body will tell me if it’s too fatigued,” she explains. “I know how to tour now; I can’t do five shows consecutively. Being in the game for over 25 years, I understand that it’s about pacing, even if you don’t have any ailments or illnesses. Touring can be really grueling.” For Braxton, being on the road is all about an intense, “instant” connection with show-goers: “I like a lot of participation; I like to call the audience onstage, hear what they have to say, and [have them] sing with me,” she says. “I make it a whole family affair. It’s like Benihana’s for me: I’m the food, they’re sitting around, watching me, and I want to invite them in to eat and be comfortable.” Braxton’s iconic 1996 track, “Un-break My Heart,” almost didn’t happen. “I wasn’t quite sure, and L.A. Reid told me to listen to it again, and I fell in love with the song.” Its enduring legacy truly surprises her: “David Foster said to me, ‘Some songs are great, number-one songs, but there are historic songs like ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ and ‘Un-break My Heart’ is one of those,’” Braxton recalls. “I was completely flattered; I’d never thought of it like that.”

Throughout her illustrious, Grammy-decorated career, “diva” is a moniker that’s been used to describe Braxton, but it doesn’t make her balk. “Diva can have a negative definition sometimes. I think it’s because you have limits, or when you’re a girl and you have something to say,” Braxton theorizes. “Or, if you’re very opinionated about the process of your career and the movements of it, they call you a diva or a bitch. I’d like to think they are terms of endearment, too. Have you ever heard, ‘That bitch was great!’?” As for the next generation of female artists, Braxton waxes poetic about Rihanna. “She’s my favorite, and I found out I’m one of her favorites, so I was very proud she asked me to perform at her birthday party; I was the only talent she had play,” Braxton enthuses. “I’ve been watching her career. I love that she’s fearless. She paves her own path, she makes me proud.” The mutual appreciation was a welcome surprise to Braxton. “I had no idea that I’ve been inspiring her; she’s been inspiring me!” Braxton would love their friendship to evolve: “I’d like to have a cigar and a nice, old scotch with her, and just girl-talk about the industry.” ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV

38 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_34_38-39_HEROES_REV.indd 38

4/5/18 10:12 AM


NINA SIMONE

AS JAZZ’S PREMIERE CHANTEUSE, NINA SIMONE SANG SO MUCH MORE THAN THE BLUES.

Reference photograph courtesy Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

ILLUSTRATION MASON ROBERTS Nina Simone had many gifts. Born Eunice Waymon, the prodigy’s rigorous piano training in the masters— Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Beethoven—from the age of three gave her a technical foundation that would dazzle audiences for decades. As a singer, performing under her stage name, she seamlessly fluttered between the realms of soul, jazz, blues, gospel, and folk, and her catalog of almost 50 studio albums earned her a deserved place among the world’s greatest entertainers. She was a sonic activist too, who galvanized her community and brought people together through song in a time of hatred and civil unrest, during an era when black Americans so desperately needed something to soothe the wounds of racial subjugation and violence at the hands of a white ruling class. Simone made her time onstage much more than an evening’s entertainment: it was also an opportunity to pointedly jab at the injustice she felt all around her, with a voice so stirring she left listeners contemplating her music long after the last note. A reluctant singer at first (she began performing on the club circuit only after being rejected for a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music, dashing her dreams of becoming a concert pianist) she played the pop game to great success until refocusing her energy and talent on the growing 1960s civil rights movement. She was close to Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, and Malcolm X, as well as many other prominent poets, artists, writers, and thinkers. When the playwright Lorraine Hansberry, a close friend said to be one of the luminaries responsible for Simone’s social awakening, tragically died at age 34, Simone penned one of her greatest tracks in her honor: “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” which took on a life of its own as a blistering anthem of the black-power era. So deep was her passion for change that, when performing 1964’s “Mississippi Goddam”—her response to the June 12, 1963 murder of activist Medgar Evers and the September 15, 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four young black girls and partially blinded a fifth—it’s said she got so angry her voice broke, never returning to its former state. Her lyrics to the song illustrate why: “Hound dogs on my trail / School children sitting in jail / Black cat cross my path / I think every day’s gonna be my last / But this whole country is full of lies / You’re all gonna die and die like flies.” She was singing about the 1960s, but an unrelenting weight is felt just as heavily in Trump’s America. She unapologetically denounced the music industry, and rejected its strict parameters and unfair remuneration for her work, as well as its blacklisting of her political music. When Dr. King was slain in 1968, she spoke of her disdain for the U.S.—its revolution was too slow to come for her, and she never permanently resided there again after his death. Simone’s enmity towards the inequalities she and many other black women faced is no more prevalent than in the song “Four Women,” a poignant snapshot of stereotypes that shadow black women. Lyrically she discusses the ways black female appearance has been magnified and ridiculed, and social mobility thwarted by the country’s history of slavery; she explores sexual objectification and racial oppression, the longing for freedom looming in the melody. She called her music “black classical music,” blasting at the school that denied her a place at age 19, yet awarded her an honorary diploma just two days before her death from breast cancer. Having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this spring, Simone remains the musician’s singer of choice; everyone from Miles Davis to Lauryn Hill has expressed admiration for a voice at once wispy, ebullient, and roaring. The subtleties of her musicality are a mirror of her well-documented, volatile temperament. Still, Simone’s is a story we can all find ourselves in: of a dream deferred, of how life and its unpredictability can be both an exuberant jubilee of personal triumph and a harrowing struggle. LYNETTE NYLANDER VMAGAZINE.COM 3 9

30683_34_38-39_HEROES_REV.indd 39

4/5/18 10:12 AM


V NE W S

THE RIGHT NOTES

Clockwise from top: OFF-WHITE X BYREDO Elevator Music plays up notes of midnight violets and burning wood amidst a heart of jasmine petals and amber ($255, Barneys New York, Madison Avenue). LOUIS VUITTON Le Jour Se Lève bursts out of the shadows and into the daybreak with hints of fresh dew, mandarin, and bergamot ($240, louisvuitton.com). MAISON MARGIELA PARIS Music Festival, from the brand's Replica collection, exudes the electric energy of patchouli, tobacco, and incense, dancing into a trance over cedar wood ($126, Barneys.com). —STELLA PAK

WHEN KAIA MET PETER

Legendary photographer Peter Lindbergh’s images of supermodel Cindy Crawford are cemented in fashion history books. Now, he’s capturing the next generation, photographing Kaia Gerber for Omega's new Trésor watches campaign. "In many ways, Kaia represents the ‘no rules’ fashion of today,” Omega president Raynald Aeschlimann says. It’s a fitting partnership, as Kaia's energy mirrors the new watch style's refreshing edge. —JAKE VISWANATH

GIORGIO ARMANI'S ARTFUL FRAMES

PAUL ANDREW'S FIRST AT FERRAGAMO

In Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2018 collection, accessories reign supreme. Perhaps most notable are their showstopping D’Artiste sunnies: a polished, round pair of lenses featuring intricate floral designs. Boasting an ultra-light metal frame, the D’Artiste sunglasses are available in three colors: a pale gold frame with brown floral lenses, a gunmetal frame with navy floral lenses, and a rose-gold frame with pink floral lenses. GIORGIO

Creative director Paul Andrew has unveiled his debut handbag for Salvatore Ferragamo, the Studio bag. Two special editions, one silver and one color-blocked, celebrate the house's first studio, the Hollywood Boot Shop; 95 of each will be produced in honor of the studio’s 95th anniversary. Besides these exclusives, the bag also comes in three sizes and various colors, plus premium editions in crocodile, ostrich, and shearling. SALVATORE FERRAGAMO STUDIO BAG

ARMANI D'ARTISTE SUNGLASSES ($330, ARMANI.COM) —TESS GARCIA

(AVAILABLE AT SALVATORE FERRAGAMO BOUTIQUES NATIONWIDE) —TG

TOM FORD O'CLOCK

Tom Ford's debut timepiece collection is offered in eight styles, each featuring a sleek, rectangular silhouette. The Swiss-made watches come in 18-karat yellow gold, brushed or polished stainless steel with a white or black dial, and matte steel. Best of all, there are a whopping 62 variations of interchangeable straps, offered in two sizes and four materials: pebble grain, calf leather, braided calf leather, and alligator. TOM FORD 001 WATCH & ALLIGATOR STRAP

($2,070/$620, TOMFORD.COM) —EMMA MIKHAILOFF

Clockwise from top: photography Stella Pak; photography Therese Aldgard; photography Therese Aldgard; photography Therese Aldgard; courtesy Omega

Turn up the volume on the latest fashion intel.

40 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_40_NEWS.indd 40

4/4/18 2:00 PM


British classics. Designed for life today. Available April 19th uniqlo.com/jwanderson

30683_ADS.indd 41

Denim Jacket $59.90+Tax, Patchwork Skirt $49.90+Tax, Hat $19.90+Tax Stand Collar Long Shirt $39.90+Tax, Striped T-Shirt $14.90+Tax, Straight Jeans $49.90+Tax

4/3/18 12:18 PM


WINNING LOOK

JACKET MSGM JACKET (UNDERNEATH) AND PANTS BURBERRY SHIRT UNIQLO SHOES VERSACE

OLIVIA IN AMERICAN VARSITY PHOTOGRAPHY ROB KULISEK FASHION TEREZA ORTIZ HEAD TO VMAGAZINE.COM FOR MORE PRE-FALL TRENDS

SWEATER PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND SHIRT AND SKIRT GUCCI BAG CHANEL

JACKET MISSONI VEST BOTTEGA VENETA SKIRT CARVEN SKIRT (UNDERNEATH) FENDI

DRESS BALMAIN

Makeup Asami Matsuda (Artlist) using Chanel Hair Sean Bennett Model Olivia Anakwe (New York Model Management) Stylist assistant Danaisha Ross

JACKET AND SCARF CHANEL TOP AND PANTS ISSEY MIYAKE BAG FENDI WATCH OMEGA

42 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_42_TRENDS.indd 42

4/4/18 2:09 PM


30683_ADS.indd 43

4/3/18 12:18 PM


V GIRLS

The rising artists to put on your playlist right now. PHOTOGRAPHY MARCUS MAM FASHION MARCELL ROCHA

AMBER WEARS JACKET JEREMY SCOTT TOP 7 FOR ALL MANKIND JEANS FRAME EARRINGS GUESS NECKLACES AMBER’S OWN

AMBER MARK

THIS NEW YORK-BASED MUSICIAN FOLLOWS LAST YEAR’S EMOTIONAL DEBUT WITH HER NEW EP AND NEXT CHAPTER. It’s 11 AM and Amber Mark is rushing out the door of her West Village apartment to go to a spa. The 23-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer has just returned from Los Angeles, and the change in climate is making her skin act up. “It must be the heat!” she sighs. Luckily, it’s the perfect time for some well-earned pampering. Since uploading her first song to SoundCloud less than two years ago, Mark has signed with PMR Records (a subsidiary of Universal), released her first EP 3:33am to critical acclaim, and toured the US. “It’s everything I’ve dreamed of, and more,” Mark says. “But I never thought I would get this far, this fast.” Mark’s fairytale is bittersweet. Her widely acclaimed debut is about coming to terms with the death of her mom. The seven songs each correspond to a different stage of grief: single “Lose My Cool” details the searing anger, while slow-burning R&B jam “Monsoon” shares the crushing sadness. The sounds Mark absorbed while growing up around the world with her nomadic artist mom can be heard in her work—house from Berlin, R&B from New York, bossa nova from Brazil. Creating 3:33am proved cathartic, and now that Mark has gone through the

grieving process, her life—and music—have changed. Her new EP, Conexão (the Portuguese word for “connection”), marries the rhythms and romantic energy of bossa nova with the sultry vibes of R&B. Mark says it represents her next chapter. “I’ve gone through this whole thing and now I’ve found love. I really wanted to talk about that, but I didn’t want to do it in a cheesy way,” she laughs. She usually self-produces, but is now starting to work with outside producers. “It’s a challenge for me, honestly. I’m so intimidated by everyone because they know so much,” she says of her collaborators’ technical prowess. But what she may lack in theoretical knowledge, Mark makes up for with instinct and natural ability. After all, not everyone can get a glowing compliment from Sade. Mark recorded a cover of the iconic singer’s “Love Is Stronger Than Pride,” and because she rearranged the song, her cover had to be approved by the artist. “My A&R is good friends with Sade and went over to her house and played the song for her,” Mark gushes. “Then, she sent back a note being like, ‘Amber, I wish you all the success. That was absolutely amazing what you did with the song; you’re going to be a star’—which was the most amazing thing I could ever receive from the queen!” SARAH GOODING

44 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_44-47_VGIRLS.indd 44

4/2/18 8:33 AM


LINDSEY JORDAN

THE INDIE-ROCK STAR OF SNAIL MAIL CREATES GUITAR ANTHEMS WITH A COOL, LO-FI VIBE. Guitar music has lately found itself on the cultural outskirts as a generation of young people turn to the art of electronic production. Thankfully, Lindsey Jordan didn’t get the memo. The 18-year-old Baltimore-based artist, who performs as Snail Mail, began playing the guitar at age five, and this June will release her debut full-length album, Lush, with one of rock music’s most coveted independent labels, Matador Records. She was signed to the label last fall, fresh off her first EP, Habit, which she packed with a riff-heavy blend of ’90s grunge and emo-inspired rock and roll. It’s a dream come true for Jordan, who grew up listening to Avril Lavigne and Liz Phair. “I’m really thankful to be involved with Matador; they have such a cool legacy,” she says, on the eve of a tour that will take her to play nine shows at SXSW, and then to Coachella, where she’ll share a stage with Beyoncé, David Byrne, and Cardi B. “I personally like touring, traveling, and writing.” Jordan’s past year has been filled with all of those things. After touring back-toback throughout the summer and fall of 2017 with fellow indie-rock artists Girlpool, Waxahatchee, and Beach Fossils, Jordan then had the challenge of writing songs for her forthcoming album. Despite the fluidity exhibited on Habit, she says writing

lyrics is something she’s taken awhile to come around to. In her mid-teens, she says, “there wasn’t a lot of interest from me personally to be a songwriter. I just hoped that I could be a guitar player in someone else’s band.” But after several years of practice, she now loves the process and you can hear this confidence in her music. “At some point I started to pick it up and then I realized I kind of like songwriting,” she says. “It’s really developed now; it’s almost like a habit at this point.” To write Lush, Jordan locked herself in her room and surrounded herself with literature and other forms of art. “I was reading crazy amounts,” she says. “I feel like it puts you into a different world.” She highlights Miriam Toews’s book All My Puny Sorrows, which she purchased during a two-month stint living in New York City, as having had a profound influence on her. “The book kind of changed my life,” she says. After several weeks of writing and completing what she calls “a really strong self-editing process,” she came away with 30 songs, 10 of which made the final cut. They find Jordan dissecting her life and looking to the future with a nervous but optimistic worldview—washing away the past, and redirecting the narrative through swooping melodies and bristling guitars. NICK FULTON

LINDSEY WEARS JACKET KATE SPADE

30683_44-47_VGIRLS.indd 45

4/5/18 9:29 AM


V GIRLS

CHARLOTTE DAY WILSON

THIS TORONTO NATIVE SERVES UP SOLEMN SOULFULNESS. “I think they’re active listeners,” says Charlotte Day Wilson of her ever-growing fan base. “I’m really lucky to have listeners who are actually paying attention to the details of the production and the instrumentation.” Those details are indeed worth noting on Wilson’s powerful new EP, Stone Woman, for which she served as a writer, singer, producer, and instrumentalist. “I had been practicing producing for a long time, but I guess I didn’t think I was good enough to actually put something out there that could potentially be on, like, Spotify. So when I did [my first EP] CDW, I really pushed myself to get better and better,” she recalls. “But now that I listen to it, I’m like, wow, the production is kind of naive and immature sounding. I think with Stone Woman, I’ve definitely honed my production chops a lot more and I’m collaborating with some really great players to curate the sounds that I’m going for, exploring some of the darker tones that I shied away from in CDW.” Stone Woman is certainly steeped in a heightened sense of melancholy. The achingly wrought, six-song meditation on love and loss opens with its namesake track and the spare, stripped-down “Doubt,” ultimately finishing with the tellingly

titled “Falling Apart” and “Funeral.” “I was obsessed with [Maggie Nelson’s] Bluets when I was making this EP. It’s a really amazing piece of, like, semi-poetry,” explains Wilson, and the influence of Nelson’s lyrical-prose literature laced with sorrow and solitude is quite apparent. But amid this somberness, Wilson’s signature rich, soulful vocals shine through. It’s this sound that places her at the forefront of the vibrant R&B movement for which Toronto has become known, although she asserts that there is much more diversity to the scene than meets the eye. Her recent collaborations with acts like fellow Torontonian Daniel Caesar make her hometown pride palpable. “We’re pretty close friends, so it was a really natural collaboration for us. We’ve known each other for, I guess, three or four years now. As soon as I heard his song ‘Violet’ I fell in love with it and was like, who is this?” she says of her history with Caesar. Speaking to that unifying local thread, she continues: “Mutual friends introduced us. We’re all part of the same community in Toronto, so whenever I’m back and he’s back in Toronto, we’re all hanging out.” LISA MISCHIANTI

CHARLOTTE WEARS JACKET LEVI’S

30683_44-47_VGIRLS.indd 46

4/5/18 9:29 AM


Makeup Chris Colbeck (Art Department) for Dior Beauty Hair David Von Cannon (The Wall Group) Photo assistant Vincenzo Dimino Stylist assistant Kate Longarzo Location ROOT BKN

RAVYN WEARS JACKET GUESS SHIRT LAND OF DISTRACTION

RAVYN LENAE

THE 19-YEAR-OLD ARTIST’S SOUND EVOLVES ON HER STRONG NEW EP. “It kind of started with mimicking Beyoncé videos,” says Ravyn Lenae with a laugh of her blossoming career’s earliest beginnings. Well, perhaps it was that—as well as her comprehensive study of classical music, music history, and music technology at the prestigious Chicago High School for the Arts. That’s where Lenae honed an aptitude that had been apparent since age eight, when she started dabbling in guitar, then piano, singing, and songwriting. Now 19, Lenae has already released three EPs: 2015’s Moon Shoes, 2017’s Midnight Moonlight, and the latest, 2018’s Crush. “When I think about those projects, I like to imagine flipping through a photo album and seeing that progression,” says Lenae, who describes her work’s trajectory as charting her personal and emotional maturation. With Crush, she has arrived at a place of acceptance and openness when it comes to her feelings, as well as a complete embrace of her feminine energy. “With the social climate that we’re in, I think it was very important for me to highlight the qualities of being a young woman,” she explains. “I’ve been really in touch with my girly side.” Crush also marks something of a sonic shift for Lenae. Her first two EPs, produced by fellow Chi-town local Monte Booker, featured Lenae’s soulful vocals layered over Booker’s signature synth sounds and unconventional percussion. For this latest project, however, she partnered with The Internet guitarist and SoCal

phenom Steve Lacy, who produced and also co-wrote lyrics for the EP. “It was just a completely different style,” says Lenae. “I was used to this very intricate and fast electronic music, and Steve is more about live instrumentation and slower beats with a lot of space.” Lacy is also, famously, very low-key in his process, often using his iPhone as a primary music-making tool—a technique that Lenae encountered early in their collaboration, and which ultimately helped give rise to Crush’s star single, “Sticky.” “Our first session was actually [with The Internet]. I was just hanging out with them, and when they went out for a break, Steve pulled up the beat for ‘Sticky.’ He played it, and I was like, ‘Whoa. I want to get on that one,’” she recalls. “So he just brought it up on his cell phone [laughs] and I recorded on his phone—using a pop filter and an iPhone speaker—the hook to ‘Sticky.’” That hook is a powerful one, defined by a soaring falsetto with a psychedelic guitar riff and organ chord backdrop. Recently, Lenae embarked on a tour for Crush, an experience she was prepared for thanks to time spent touring with SZA last year. “She did a really good job of pulling me to the side and asking how I was doing, and just being very encouraging,” says Lenae. “She would remind me that she was once in my position, and that [this would be] a stepping stone.” Looking at Lenae now, it seems like SZA was right. LM VMAGAZINE.COM 4 7

30683_44-47_VGIRLS.indd 47

4/5/18 9:29 AM


V WANT YO U T O K NOW What does the future look like? An exhibition at the V&A details the years ahead, while David Lynch, Reza Abdoh, and Nick Cave chart out the months to come. TEXT AJ LONGABAUGH

MAY

VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE

MAY 12

THE FUTURE STARTS HERE

An exhibit exploring the power of design in shaping the world of tomorrow, The Future Starts Here at the V&A in London brings together smart appliances, artificial intelligence, and internet culture to reflect on the present and imagine what’s to come.

JUNE JUNE 1

GOVERNORS BALL

This annual festival filled with music, art, and eats at Randall’s Island Park in NYC will start the summer right with a star-powered roster of musical headliners like Jack White, Travis Scott, and Eminem, plus supporting acts like Halsey, Kelela, Khalid, and Billie Eilish.

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition, titled FREESPACE, will open at the Giardini and the Arsenale in Venice. Promoting the “desire” of architecture and the role it plays in our lives, curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara use the exhibit as a tool to consciously question the spaces we find ourselves in, and to better understand architecture as “thinking applied to the space where we live, that we inhabit.” The enormously scaled exhibition will feature the works of 71 participants and runs through November.

MAY 18

DAVID LYNCH’S FESTIVAL OF DISRUPTION

This event’s third incarnation is coming to Brooklyn Steel in NYC. Curated entirely by David Lynch, it boasts a performance lineup featuring Animal Collective, Angel Olsen, and Flying Lotus. Other activities include exclusive Bob Roth-led meditations and art exhibitions.

JUNE 3

JUNE 7

REZA ABDOH AT MOMA PS1

NICK CAVE AT PARK AVENUE ARMORY

Acclaimed IranianAmerican theater artist Reza Abdoh is most known for his ambitious approach to direction, set design, and incorporating actors into unusually oriented spaces. This groundbreaking new exhibition features video footage of Abdoh’s work, an installation based on his production Bogeyman, and content surrounding the AIDS crisis.

A standout on the upcoming roster of must-sees, artist Nick Cave will take over the Park Avenue Armory for the world premiere of his dance-based town hall, The Let Go. Transforming the entire space, he encourages visitors to “let go” in his immersive installationmeets-performance that includes games of Twister and Soul Train lines, hyped by some of NYC’s leading DJs. A series of Cave’s unseen work and his signature “soundsuits” will be on display for viewing, as well as nightly dance performances of Cave’s original choreography.

JUNE 28

MICHAEL JACKSON: ON THE WALL

The National Portrait Gallery in London will host Michael Jackson: On the Wall, an exhibition exploring the impact the King of Pop had on other artistic mediums, including contemporary art. Director Nicholas Cullinan says the show “breaks new ground” for the NPG and will encourage “new avenues” of conversation surrounding art and identity.

Clockwise from top left: Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Radical Love, DNA portrait of Chelsea Manning, 2015, courtesy the artist and Fridman Gallery, New York City; photography Dean Hurley, courtesy Press Here Productions; courtesy La Biennale di Venezia; Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, 1984, courtesy National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian Institution; photography Nick Knight, Nick Cave, mockup of The Let Go installation; photography Jan Deen, Reza Abdoh, Bogeyman, 1990; courtesy Alive Coverage

MAY 26

48 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_48_CALENDAR.indd 48

4/4/18 2:12 PM


WELCOME TO SUMMER 20 1 8

Celebrating the sounds and stars of the past, present, and future has always been the Music Issue’s mission. This year, we spotlight SZA and Dua Lipa—two of the industry’s most exciting new talents—plus a powerful portfolio of artists we’re obsessing over, the stars of Sundance, and the best of the haute couture and pre-fall collections. It’s a marriage of art forms at its most forward-looking, a study in genre-mixing both literally and figuratively. Because musicality, and its spirit, can be felt in more ways than one. VMAGAZINE.COM 49


GARDEN

50 VMAGAZINE.COM


PARTY

OPEN FOR MORE

This season’s Chanel couture collection is at home amid intricate trellises, bubbling fountains, and bursting blooms. Photography Simon Procter

VMAGAZINE.COM 51


C

hanel’s Spring/Summer 2018 haute couture proves that tackling stylistic truisms can be an enticingly bold feat. For this collection, Karl Lagerfeld went with the classic concept of florals for spring. In case anyone had doubts about its flowery intentions, the brand ventured to transform Paris’s Le Grand Palais into an opulent garden party. The richly bucolic scene, filled with ivy and rose-laden trellis tunnels surrounding a sparkling water fountain, both mirrored and contextualized the pieces. Prancing around with the rebellious teenage temperament Lagerfeld has deemed “the new attitude,” models were adorned in chiffon, tulle with embroidered trim, and flowery headdresses—their faces often covered in ethereal veils. The fashion house’s signature tweed material appeared in varying forms, such as dramatic collars that enveloped the neck, or shoes with modern, transparent heels. Creamy hues of pink and baby blue ran rampant, punctuated by color-blocked pleated dresses. It all came together to serve as an ode to the simple act of enjoying something for being pretty, reminding us that sometimes, it takes a powerhouse like Chanel to make us stop and smell the roses. MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

52 VMAGAZINE.COM


CLOTHING, SHOES, ACCESSORIES (THROUGHOUT) CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE

VMAGAZINE.COM 5 5


COUTURE’S NEXT FRONTIER COAT MAISON MARGIELA ARTISANAL VISOR ISLYNYC

The spring haute couture collections offer an otherworldly vision of the future, charged with high-sheen spectacles and dramatic plays on proportion. Photography Chris Colls Fashion Anna Trevelyan 56 VMAGAZINE.COM


DRESS ARMANI PRIVÉ HAT CHRISTIAN COWAN EARRINGS AND RINGS DIOR FINE JEWELRY

30683_57-63_COUTURE_RAW.indd 57

4/3/18 10:21 AM


DRESS GIAMBATTISTA VALLI HAUTE COUTURE SUNGLASSES ALAIN MIKLI X ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER EARRINGS BULGARI BOOTS TRASH & VAUDEVILLE

30683_57-63_COUTURE_RAW.indd 58

4/3/18 10:21 AM


TOP AND PANTS ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER HAUTE COUTURE BODYSUIT (UNDERNEATH) STYLIST’S OWN HAT CHRISTIAN COWAN EARRINGS CHOPARD

ON EYES CHANEL LES 4 OMBRES MULTI-EFFECT QUADRA EYESHADOW IN 274 CODES ÉLÉGANTS

VMAGAZINE.COM 5 9

30683_57-63_COUTURE_RAW.indd 59

4/3/18 10:21 AM


DRESS VALENTINO HAUTE COUTURE EARRINGS CHOPARD RING ELLAGEM ON HAIR R+CO TROPHY SHINE + TEXTURE SPRAY

60 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_57-63_COUTURE_RAW.indd 60

4/3/18 10:21 AM


HAT, TOP, SKIRT CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE BOOTS GAULTIER PARIS

30683_57-63_COUTURE_RAW.indd 61

4/3/18 10:21 AM


DRESS GAULTIER PARIS SHOES DUSTY

30683_57-63_COUTURE_RAW.indd 62

4/3/18 10:21 AM


SKIRT GIVENCHY HAUTE COUTURE HAT NASIR MAZHAR SUNGLASSES PLANET I BELT LUAR

MAKEUP FULVIA FAROLFI (BRYAN BANTRY) FOR CHANEL HAIR DIEGO DA SILVA (STREETERS) USING PHYTO MODEL ALEXANDRA AGOSTON (IMG) MANICURE MAKI SAKAMOTO (THE WALL GROUP) USING NARS PRODUCTION PHOEBE COLE (SERLIN ASSOCIATES) DIGITAL TECHNICIAN JEANINE ROBINSON PHOTO ASSISTANT DANIIL ZAIKIN STYLIST ASSISTANT KRISTTIAN CHÆ’VERE MAKEUP ASSISTANT ROBERT REYES HAIR ASSISTANT NAOMI ENDO

VMAGAZINE.COM 6 3

30683_57-63_COUTURE_RAW.indd 63

4/3/18 10:21 AM


Rising musical sensation Dua Lipa discusses her rapid ascent to fame, striving for her personal best, and keeping sane in the process. Photography Inez & Vinoodh Fashion George Cortina Interview Katy Perry

DUA WEARS DRESS (THROUGHOUT) VERSACE S/S ’18 NECKLACE MOSCHINO TIGHTS WOLFORD SHOES BUFFALO VMAGAZINE.COM 6 5


“I can let my guard down: I’m quite sensitive sometimes with people I’m really close to. But with my career and where I want to take it, I can be tough because I know what I want quite a lot.” —Dua Lipa DRESS VERSACE S/S ’18 ON LIPS NARS LIP GLOSS IN CHELSEA GIRLS


Over a billion: that’s how many times the video for Dua Lipa’s single “New Rules,” from her self-titled debut album, has been viewed on YouTube, making her the youngest female artist to ever reach that milestone. It’s an amazing feat, one that—coupled with her other megahits like “IDGAF” and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)”— could put her next in line for the Queen of Pop throne. Making it in music has always been the only game plan for the 22-year-old Londoner—it was this or bust, no backup. And it worked: music megastardom and pop-culture domination are obviously in her cards, and few people understand that experience quite like fellow chart-topper Katy Perry. Here Lipa chats with the industry mainstay about everything from pre-show superstitions to celebrity in the age of social media to that one time she crashed Katy’s stage as a teenager.

LISA MISCHIANTI DUA LIPA Hi, babe! KATY PERRY Are you alright? DL I’m good, how are you? KP I’m happy, thank you. Your name is so beautiful, interesting, and unique. What does it mean? DL My parents are Albanian, from Kosovo, and Dua means love. KP That’s so beautiful. What would you have been if not a singer? DL Probably nothing. When I was figuring out what I wanted to do, I couldn’t go to university because I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I was like, I’m just gonna take a year out and try to do music, put some covers online, and meet people. I knew if I gave myself a plan B, or a study to go into at uni, then I’d always have something to fall back on. I’d always be like, if this doesn’t work out, then I can always do that. I’d never get what I wanted. KP Right. You’d always know there would be somewhere to fall; it’s better to have nowhere to fall. Well, you can go to school at any time in your life, and it seems like it’s working out for you, kid. So, you’re on tour now in New Zealand: do you have any pre-show rituals? DL I’m really superstitious. First I’ll warm up, drink lots of tea, hang out with my band. If people in the room have anything in their cups, they aren’t allowed to cheers. Not just before a show, but ever. Before a show in Stockholm, my band thought it’d be funny to cheers with water before our show. I was so mad at them, and we went onstage and literally everything went wrong. Everything. Before my Brit Awards performance, I was so worried that I was gonna jinx my performance by being so nervous—so I wore my knickers inside out, under my outfit. KP What?! Wow, I’m going to adopt that superstition and just wear my underwear inside out for the rest of my life. Okay, what’s your sign? DL I’m a Leo. I don’t know much about my sign, but I know that we’re confident and quite stubborn. KP Is this true for you? DL To some extent. I also can let my guard down: I’m quite sensitive sometimes with people I’m really close to. But with my career and where I want to take it, I can be tough because I know what I want quite a lot. I like to be listened to. KP Yes, you like to be respected, darling. Sometimes it’s hard for people to manage the idea that you’re incredibly intelligent, as well as being drop-dead gorgeous. There’s real navigation in the beginning of your career, as far as trusting your intuition, figuring out who you can trust and what their motives are towards you. How would you define yourself spiritually? DL More often than not, I feel quite grounded. I’m very close to the people I work with, and they’re honest with me. But sometimes, life gets really confusing, especially when people you don’t know at all have such opinions on your personal life. I’m in a weird part of my career where it’s such a learning curve. It’s a crazy transition,

“I’m in a weird part of my career where it’s such a learning curve. It’s a crazy transition, and it’s happening so fast. I’m coming to grips with that.” —Dua Lipa and it’s happening so fast. I’m coming to grips with that. In personal relationships, you’re already going through shit on your own; doing that in front of the public makes it a lot harder. With work, because everything’s so crazy and busy, I feel like I should have a bit more time to rehearse, but I also want to be able to do everything at once. I want to be able to seize the moment, but do it all really well. I feel conflicted. KP I think you’re learning, and it’s beautiful that your intention is to want to do everything to the best of your ability. People will see that. Even if it’s not perfect every single time, they’ll see that your heart is in it. They’ll trust that you’re not just trying to take advantage of anyone’s eyes and ears, that you really want to contribute something beautiful artistically. I still find myself, even 10 years later, constantly with the same feeling. There are not enough hours in the world to rehearse, to do this; especially when I’m putting out a record. It’s a blessing and it’s a curse, but everything in life has a positive and a negative. When you just embrace that, you’re not so hard on yourself. I see you as a real talent. Last year, I think two stars really started to shine bright: you and Cardi B. People are just getting to know and trust you; it’s going to take a little bit more time. I think you’re almost there, where you can start to answer “no” every once in a while. DL Right—thank you. KP So, you’ve told me that you came to my show [years ago] and I pulled you up onstage with a medley of other people [Lipa laughs]. I was on the “California Dreams” tour, which was me at my most candy-fied, and I was pulling people up to dance with me during the cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” What really went on? Tell me everything! DL I think I was 15 and a friend of mine surprised me [with tickets] for a birthday gift. I was like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe it, I wanna go to the front!” We queued for quite a while at the Hammersmith Apollo. There were super-fans in gingerbread costumes with blue wigs and I was so pissed I didn’t have a wig. KP [Laughs.] I’m sending you one. DL Fuck yes. Anyway, we get into the venue and everything’s so magical. You were doing your cover and you were like, “Who’s gonna come up with me?” and no one even pointed at me, so I was like, fuck this, I’m going up there [Perry squeals]. I was so excited. One of your dancers helped me up. I had to squeeze through a couple girls, climb the barrier, then your dancer pulled me up and I started dancing onstage. You were wearing this glittery blue rhinestone bodysuit and I just wanted to touch the suit. KP Did you touch it?! DL I did, and then I joined in on the hug with everyone. KP You were always meant to be onstage! Are you friendly with any other people in the industry? DL I did a [BBC] Radio 1 Live Lounge of my song “IDGAF,” and I hadn’t actually met Zara Larsson before, but I just messaged her—we’d been friends on social media—and was like, “Hey, do you want to come down and sing this song with me?” Then I asked Charli XCX

and MØ and Alma, and I was like, “Why don’t you guys come down and sing this song with me?” It’s nice to come together with other girls in the industry. It’s interesting to see people just hanging out. For so many years, the media has kind of pitted girls against each other. From so early on, I’ve dealt with some people not being nice, or not being too happy about my success. That sometimes comes with the territory. But it’s important to also be happy for people. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. It is what it is. KP You just light a candle for them and pray for them. DL Yes, exactly. You just have to be the bigger person. But more often than not, I’ve really had such nice luck meeting people. Everybody has been so lovely. KP Whose career trajectory would you like to emulate? DL I think P!nk has been able to go with the times, and stay true to herself. And everything you’ve done has been so inspiring to me, since I was really young. The most important thing is staying true to who you are musically, but growing in a really healthy way. Fans get upset if their favorite artist changes genres, but it can just be about growing with who they are as a person. KP I agree with you wholeheartedly. When you get onto the scene, you know you’re going to have to open yourself up, but you don’t actually realize how difficult it can be to have the whole world commenting on how you should look, how you should move, what you should sound like, what you should do better. I don’t really read the comments. I used to scroll down and I’d see a lot of really great things, and you see that one [negative] thing, which just blows out all the good things. DL I find myself there quite often. I’ve tried to stop reading the comments. Why is it that the one bad one sticks in your mind? It’s so weird. KP It’s a learning process. I remember when I was where you are, I went through times of having Google alerts on and off. People around me keep me aware if things are bubbling or burning, if I need to look at something. But you can’t control everything. If you’re educating yourself and putting your best foot forward, you’re doing the best you can. Lately, people are more open to the idea that artists are not perfect; they’re fallible and human, just like everyone else. But we still get put on quite an intense pedestal. Also, as females, we just have to do the job 10 times better and in heels. Where would you like to see pop music go in the next three to five years? DL It’s interesting; there really isn’t a [pop] genre. Everything is becoming weirder and so sonically different. People are creating their own sounds and genres. There’s a lot to be inspired by. Also, music is becoming a lot more political. That’s a big thing in rap and hip-hop; it’s interesting how it’s crossed over to “pop” artists. And so many unexpected collaborations are happening. It’s very exciting. KP So, [your “New Rules”] music video hit one billion views. That’s such an incredible feat. DL For “New Rules,” I had no idea where I wanted it to go. Some directors were sending ideas but there was nothing that I liked. In the meantime, I saw a picture of [an old] Gianni Versace campaign with Naomi Campbell on the back of [Kristen McMenamy]. I loved the colors, how it was shot, and the message of girls looking after each other. Initially, “New Rules” felt like such a sad song, even though it’s upbeat. It was nice to change it into a routine with friends if you’re going through a breakup or any sort of trouble. KP What does the roof of your dreams look like? DL I don’t ever want to feel accomplished, because there should always be something else to look forward to. I always want to be nervous and scared of my dreams, but at the same time, I want to be confident enough to go and get them. KP I think that’s the recipe for success. Never get comfortable.

68 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_64-71_DUA.indd 68

4/6/18 4:14 PM


HAT RONALD VAN DER KEMP COUTURE

30683_64-71_DUA.indd 69

4/6/18 4:14 PM


DRESS GUCCI

ON EYES GUCCI OPULENT VOLUME MASCARA IN ICONIC BLACK AND SMOKEY EYE PENCIL IN BLACK

MAKEUP AARON DE MEY (ART PARTNER) HAIR WARD (THE WALL GROUP) MANICURE GINA VIVIANO (ARTISTS BY TIMOTHY PRIANO) USING DIOR VERNIS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER STEPHANIE BARGAS (VLM PRODUCTIONS) PRODUCTION COORDINATOR EVA HARTE (VLM PRODUCTIONS) STUDIO PRODUCER TUCKER BIRBILIS (VLM PRODUCTIONS) DIGITAL TECHNICIAN BRIAN ANDERSON (VLM STUDIO) LIGHTING TECHNICIAN JODOKUS DRIESSEN (VLM STUDIO) PHOTO ASSISTANT JOE HUME TAILOR MARTIN KEEHN STYLIST ASSISTANTS STEVEN LA FUENTE, JULIE BRIGATI MAKEUP ASSISTANT TAYLER TREADWELL HAIR ASSISTANTS BRIAN CASEY, BILLY SCHAEDLER


“I always want to be nervous and scared of my dreams, but at the same time, I want to be confident enough to go and get them.” —Dua Lipa 30683_64-71_DUA.indd 71

4/6/18 4:15 PM


30683_72-79_SZA.indd 72

4/6/18 4:16 PM


SZA opens up about healing her rapidly growing audience through her distinctive sound, and tapping into a powerful sense of femininity along the way. Photography Inez & Vinoodh Fashion George Cortina Interview Jada Pinkett Smith

SZA WEARS BODYSUIT VERSACE BODYSUIT (UNDERNEATH) WOLFORD EARRINGS VINTAGE FROM FD GALLERY SHOES TRASH & VAUDEVILLE

ON HAIR ORIBE CURL CONTROL SILKENING CRÉME AND FLASH FORM FINISHING SPRAY WAX VMAGAZINE.COM 7 3

30683_72-79_SZA.indd 73

4/6/18 4:16 PM


THIS SPREAD: BODYSUIT DOLCE & GABBANA EARRINGS VINTAGE FROM FD GALLERY GLOVES PORTOLANO

30683_72-79_SZA.indd 74

4/6/18 4:16 PM


“I’m in another state of consciousness when I’m making music. But when I’m my most effective ... I send out and absorb love.” –SZA 30683_72-79_SZA.indd 75

4/6/18 4:16 PM


If music today is defined by authenticity, it’s thanks to acts like SZA. Born Solána Rowe, the songwriter whose voice is currently inescapable on the radio (see: “The Weekend” and “Love Galore”) helped usher in alternative R&B’s rise in 2012 with her self-released debut EP, See.SZA.Run. She followed it up with S, which resonated with dreamy electronic beats that cushioned candid lines like “Wish I was prettier,” and, “Feel like maturity is overrated.” Four years later, SZA has doubled down on those sentiments with her longawaited full-length album Ctrl, an emotional and sonic masterpiece that celebrates the kinds of feelings— anxiety, insecurity, loneliness—that sit like a brick in your stomach. Its reach is clear: Ctrl has gone platinum, its charttopping singles have gone twice-platinum, and the album earned SZA five nods at the recent Grammy Awards, making her the most-nominated female artist of the year—which SZA has since dismissed. She’s casual, after all. When she arrives to her interview, she’s wearing sweatpants and a boxy tie-dye T-shirt. When she sings, “I mean really, it’s same me, it’s old me,” she’s not kidding. MARISSA G MULLER

JADA PINKETT SMITH Girl, how is everything going, and

what’s changed in your life? SZA No privacy, a lot of expectations, responsibilities, and weird encounters, and recognizing my service, purpose, and place. It goes from [reaching] 10 kids to a thousand kids to a million kids. You have to be really listening to and touching them, all the time. JPS I talk about that a lot with musicians I know. Music is such an influence, as a transmission of what people take in vibrationally. What is it that you look to transmit in your music? SZA In my music, it’s really hard to be super-conscious; I’m in another state of consciousness when I’m making music. But when I’m my most effective, that mode of healing is when I get to perform and see everybody. I send out and absorb love. Meet-and-greets are a new thing I never got to do before. I meet, like, 200 people before each show. We hug each other and really look at each other. Healing and loving people, I guess that’s me. JPS When I watch you perform, there’s a certain gentleness and openness. I know it’s all new for you, in a way; it’s on a different scale. It’s really refreshing to see that feminine fluidity. There’s not a lot of gentleness in the world today. It’s just kind of natural for you to flow like that; it’s really beautiful to watch, honestly. Your audiences have grown: how’s that been for you energetically on stage? SZA [After] I’d just come off my American tour, where everybody knew me, then I [was] opening for someone else in niche places I’ve never been. It was rough and weird. Normally [the audience will] bounce stuff at me and I bounce it back, but sometimes I feel like I’m pulling and dragging the joy out of the moment and trying to magnify it. You’ve just gotta try anyway. JPS Absolutely. As an artist you just have to figure out how to break through to people in a different manner. When you’re on the road, how do you keep yourself centered? For me, that’s one of the most difficult aspects of what we do: being away from everyday life and surroundings, from our grounded, rooted space. SZA Meditation is the easiest way to re-center and ground yourself. Sometimes, I get really tired; I feel like I’m hitting a wall I’m about to break through. I just know I have to keep going because there’s about to be some sort of weird endurance experience after. I’d never been on tour before; I never did 40 or 50 cities. I just had to build calmness. I talk to my mom a lot. If I feel super chaotic, she usually calls me first. She always knows. JPS She seems like she’s a real grounding force for you. Tell me about your relationship.

“[My mom] is just amazing. She can find joy in anything. She’s incredibly nonreactive; there’s so much love emanating from her presence. She walks in a room, and it just lights up.” –SZA SZA Oh my God, I would love for you to meet my mom.

It would be insane. She is just amazing. She can find joy in anything. She’s incredibly nonreactive; there’s so much love emanating from her presence. She walks in a room, and it just lights up. She used to be a pathologist, so her voice is super-soothing; her diction is amazing. I love her. JPS [Laughs] I can tell! That’s beautiful. Are you the only child? SZA I have half-brothers and half-sisters, but I’m my mom’s only child. She’s my favorite person, but I grew into that. JPS When did you learn that your mom was amazing? There is a moment—I see Willow kind of transitioning into that. SZA Willow has always known. JPS Yeah, but it just deepens. It really does. When she looks at me, it’s a trip. SZA For my mom, too. I’m, like, obsessed with her and she’s like, what’s wrong with you? I always knew my mom was so joyous and radiating, but it used to repel me because I didn’t understand. I felt super chaotic when I was young. I was going through so much darkness. My mom said I was born serious as hell. I don’t know what that means, but I went through a lot of bullying and ostracizing in school, so it was hard for me to connect with anyone. JPS Why were you bullied? SZA I was awkward. I’m super sensitive, and my mother made me extra sensitive because she’s just so unapologetically loving. I’ve realized some people don’t hug in their families, or say that they love each other all day. My family tells me they love me all day; I’m hyperaffectionate, laying it on other people, just because it’s what we do in my house. But in the world, that was weird, and it was really difficult to be super sensitive and hyper-open. It was just frightening. I guess my mom represented something that made me feel weak. I felt like, this is why I’m hurt. When I got older, I realized, Oh shit, the whole world is wrong and my mom is right. I sort of panicked. I needed to align myself with the way she lives her life in order to better understand her. Then, when I got to better understand her, I started really loving and cherishing her in a different way, like my sensei. It’s a whole different vibe. JPS It’s beautiful that you see the power, the feminine spirit, in your mother—in a world where the feminine is really kind of degraded, not respected in its truest form, the receptive, nurturing, open, compassionate, and understanding. I see that power and feminine essence in you. We as women are really understanding and embracing all of those feminine characteristics that this world tells everyone they shouldn’t be. I want to give you props on that, and kudos to your mom. SZA Thank you. You’re part of that, for my mom, myself, my sisters, all of us. JPS How did you meet Willow, actually? SZA So random! I heard her song once, and I just was really drawn to her. I was like, I have to meet her; I don’t know why, but I just have to know her. She’s super

special. She had so much glow and confidence. JPS You’ve always been there as her big sister, and I’ve appreciated that. She’s always talking about you. She has a definite special connection to you. SZA I feel that way about her. She’s so much older than her age. I just love to watch her blossom. It’s so wonderful. Y’all are blessed. JPS I feel blessed she chose me as her mom; she’s taught me a lot. In regards to being black, female, and in the music industry, where there’s so much misogyny, it can be hard. Do you feel any of that? SZA It’s tricky. I’m the only woman on my label. It’s tough, but I’m also not afraid. My mom has a hyper-femininity, but my dad is hyper-masculine. My daddy’s over six feet, bald head, 260 [pounds], he’s immense, but in the most beautiful way. He’s very powerful. It would take a lot for me to be afraid of you as a man. JPS So you feel a certain internal protection? SZA I feel like I don’t need a man to protect me. I love my dad. My dad is so masculine, so I feel like I’ve already experienced extreme hyper-masculinity. I’m not afraid of it, but nor do I welcome it. I’ve seen it go in that deep egoic space when it just gets like, you can’t hear me at all. JPS That’s actually a really beautiful, very powerful position: Hey, I’m just here as me. I didn’t have a father, so I took on a lot of masculine traits. SZA I had a father, but he was so masculine, I took on a lot of masculine traits. I didn’t connect to my mother, her femininity didn’t reach me, until I was older and could understand. I tapped into my dad’s aggression; I’ve learned how to love my dad, and damn near heal my dad. JPS Are your parents still together? SZA Mhm. I think they’ve been [together] for 38 [years]. JPS Wow. You’re like a unicorn! I need to have a conversation with [your mom] about marriage. Okay, well, let me ask this. You were nominated for a lot of Grammys. How did that feel? SZA That was a crazy lesson: Although you may want to quantify yourself by this landmark, God will not allow it. Be grateful for where you’re at, this was just an indicator you’re doing a good job; now stay fucking focused. My granny and mom were there, and it was the first time my mom didn’t know what to say. My mom is so well-spoken, and she was struggling to find the words. I had to perform after all the news broke. It was definitely the most clear, obvious test anyone’s ever given me: God’s just going at me like, so you lost all five [awards], they’re gonna announce you were nominated for all five right before you go onstage, and you have to do a good job and believe in yourself, are you ready? I’m just like, OK, no doubt. JPS So you get nominated and you don’t go to any afterparties? SZA No, no, no, no. But I never was an afterparty person. Even if I was to win, I wouldn’t go to the afterparty. I’m just not that way. It’s so draining. JPS It’s very hard. I know and I get it. SZA I don’t drink, either, so I never see the point. I went out to the club recently, for my friend’s birthday party—I had a horrible time. I never want to do it again. JPS So, what do you do? What does a night look like for you after the Grammys? SZA I roll up a big ol’ blunt, I dial my friends, and we just talk. We laugh a lot, actually. I meditate really hard. My regular nights, sometimes I go for a drive, or usually smoke a blunt, meditate, chill with people I love. I wish I had something more fun to say. JPS But that is the most fun! Sitting at home, with your people. I love just being here with my girls, we get a little bit of wine and it’s the most fun I’ll ever have. I totally get it. I’m really proud of you, not just your musical career achievements. You’re coming into yourself, you’re standing strong. It’s tough. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m always here for you, mama. I love you. SZA I love you, too!

76 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_72-79_SZA.indd 76

4/6/18 4:16 PM


ON EYES CHANEL LES 4 OMBRES MULTI-EFFECT QUADRA EYESHADOW AND LE VOLUME DE CHANEL MASCARA ON LIPS CHANEL ROUGE COCO LIP BLUSH

30683_72-79_SZA.indd 77

4/6/18 4:16 PM


BODYSUIT VERSACE BODYSUIT (UNDERNEATH) WOLFORD EARRINGS VINTAGE FROM FD GALLERY


“I’m the only woman on my label. It’s tough, but I’m also not afraid.” –SZA

MAKEUP SAMUEL PAUL (FORWARD ARTISTS) USING CHANEL BEAUTY HAIR RANDY STODGHILL (OPUS BEAUTY) USING ORIBE MANICURE GINA VIVIANO (ARTISTS BY TIMOTHY PRIANO) USING DIOR VERNIS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER STEPHANIE BARGAS (VLM PRODUCTIONS) PRODUCTION COORDINATOR EVA HARTE (VLM PRODUCTIONS) STUDIO PRODUCER TUCKER BIRBILIS (VLM PRODUCTIONS) DIGITAL TECHNICIAN BRIAN ANDERSON (VLM STUDIO) LIGHTING TECHNICIAN JODOKUS DRIESSEN (VLM STUDIO) PHOTO ASSISTANT JOE HUME TAILOR MARTIN KEEHN STYLIST ASSISTANTS STEVEN LA FUENTE, JULIE BRIGATI

30683_72-79_SZA.indd 79

4/6/18 4:16 PM


T HHEE SOUND OF NOW

These six artists are dismantling genre barriers, delivering a message with meaning— and damn, does it sound good. Photography Luke Gilford Fashion Kyle Luu Interviews Devin Barrett

80 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_80-87_GILFORD.indd 80

4/4/18 8:20 AM


K

E

L

E

L

A

STRADDLING THE DIVIDE BETWEEN R&B AND ELECTRONICA “The priority for me is that there’s a safe space created through the music. I just really like providing people with an intimate way to experience music with others—to connect on the dance floor in the club on a real level in a meaningful way. It’s not mindless. I think the biggest challenge in the industry is quality control, as well as making sure that excellent contributions are acknowledged properly—especially for black people. The contribution that black people have brought to the music industry doesn’t match up with the accolades, or the credit and recognition. In music specifically, it’s so lopsided. We’re talking about music that’s sort of an experience, and comes through an experience, that can actually get ignored. So, the valuing of black work without valuing black people is the thing that I want to change.”

KELELA WEARS JACKET AND PANTS DIOR HOMME EARRING BALENCIAGA NECKLACE BULGARI ON LIPS DIOR ROUGE DIOR COUTURE COLOUR IN 990 CHOCOLATE MATTE ON EYES DIOR DIORSHOW PUMP’N’VOLUME MASCARA

30683_80-87_GILFORD.indd 81

4/9/18 4:04 PM


TOMMY WEARS COAT MOSCHINO EARRING JENNIFER FISHER BELTS DIOR HOMME BOOTS GUCCI

30683_80-87_GILFORD.indd 82

4/4/18 8:20 AM


TOMMY WEARS JACKET TELFAR EARRING JOHN HARDY ON HAIR LIVING PROOF STYLE LAB BLOWOUT AND STYLE LAB CONTROL HAIRSPRAY ON LIPS MARC JACOBS BEAUTY ENAMORED HI-SHINE LIP LACQUER IN FORBIDDEN FRUIT 334 ON BROWS ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS BROW DEFINER IN TAUPE

T O M M Y

G E N E S I S

POP TAKES ON A DARKER, POETIC FORM

“Right now I feel like each song is its own world. I hope [the listener] takes away whatever feelings they already have—I hope it makes them feel empowered and strong. When I listen to certain music, it helps me get through certain phases of my life. That’s all I would hope for. I’m naturally confident, I’m just shy out of nature. It has a lot to do with my identity. It’s more that I’m reluctant. I think making music, making art, it’s good when you’re so vulnerable. I personally love performing, but I’m still getting comfortable with my new songs and my new album. I’m kind of a perfectionist. But in live

performances you don’t really have that control where you can decide how you’re going to feel. If you mess up, you have to keep going. Anyone can make music. It’s not like [an exclusive] club. Anyone can put themselves out there. It’s more about your ideas and thoughts. I don’t want to be a part of something that’s not open. Music is something you can hear anywhere and anyone can hear, as opposed to certain forms of art that live in a gallery. The documentation of it in itself is the actual art. It’s the same as a photograph: you’re seeing the actual work. You can put a song out [into the world] and anyone can listen to it.” VMAGAZINE.COM 83

30683_80-87_GILFORD.indd 83

4/4/18 8:20 AM


SOPHIE WEARS JACKET, SHIRT, SKIRT BALENCIAGA ON LIPS L’ORÉAL COLOUR RICHE MATTE LIPSTICK IN 808 MATTE-CADEMIA

S

O

P

H

APPROACHING MUSIC THROUGH A SCULPTURAL LENS

“Sound is very important to me, rather than genre. I like to make the characteristics of individual sounds connect with the content of the song. When I’m synthesizing textures it’s very much thinking about materials from the real world and trying to figure out why they stand the way they do and their characteristics, sonically. In the past, I’ve been interested in sculpture and in some way that’s informed how I think about things now. I really like to start my compositions from a sculptural point. I’m a huge admirer of Pet Shop Boys and how they reflect on culture, queer culture, fashion, pop culture, and world history. Neil Tennant was

I

E

studying history of some sort, and seeing pop culture as living in recent history. It’s something I don’t feel a lot of people do. I’d like to see it in that way—as meaningful and reflective of where society is now, in the context of more classical history and art. The biggest challenge in today’s music industry is unchallenging ideas being sold as experimental ideas. That’s a huge problem when you’re trying to get to something authentic and emotional in music whilst still engaging with this system. There are infinite possibilities of where music can move. Now, pop music can be anything at all.”

84 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_80-87_GILFORD.indd 84

4/4/18 8:20 AM


C

U

P

C

A

K

K

E

DELIVERING HYPERRISQUÉ LYRICS THAT CUT SHARP AND SMART “My sound is original—fresh and bold. My look is more sexual and standout. I was in church doing poetry first. Then, this guy said, ‘I think you should switch from poetry to music.’ And ever since then, I’ve been rapping and entertaining. Listeners can take away sex tips, heartbreak advice, and to love thyself even more than they already do. Shock factor is definitely what people get the first time listening to my music. The biggest challenge of doing music to me is the fact I do everything myself. It’s very difficult, but I definitely get it done.”

CUPCAKKE WEARS JACKET ADRIENNE LANDAU EARRINGS JENNIFER FISHER ON LIPS DIOR ADDICT LACQUER STICK IN 577 LAZY

30683_80-87_GILFORD.indd 85

4/4/18 8:20 AM


M

O

S

E

S

S

U

M

N

E

Y

AN INTERGALACTIC STRAIN OF SOUL “The easiest way to describe [my sound] is soul music. It has elements of soul as a genre, but also, it’s music from the soul, about the condition of the soul. I also think of it as outerspace music or hammock music—music you’d listen to in a hammock, maybe a hammock dangling in space. There’s a slowness to a lot of it, but it’s also quite cerebral. I would describe my look as romantic-era vampire, Edwardian priest, or wannabe goth. My parents are pastors; I grew up in the church and that really influenced what I like in terms of clothing. I’ve always loved different music. After school we’d go to church. We were messing around on the P.A. system; it was recording and I think my dad made a cassette tape of us singing in the microphone. The idea that I could hear my voice and it could be an audio journal entry became so fascinating to me. That’s the moment I explicitly visualized and desired being a performer.”

MOSES WEARS PANTS LUAR NOSE RING HIS OWN ON FACE NARS SOFT MATTE COMPLETE CONCEALER IN DARK COFFEE MAKEUP RALPH SICILLIANO (THE WALL GROUP) USING MAC COSMETICS HAIR WARD (THE WALL GROUP) SET DESIGNER LAUREN NIKROOZ (THE MAGNET AGENCY) PHOTO ASSISTANTS JASON ACTON, JOHN GRIFFITH SET DESIGNER ASSISTANT ALVIN MANALO LOCATION PIER 59 STUDIOS NYC

30683_80-87_GILFORD.indd 86

4/4/18 8:20 AM


KELSEY LU WEARS ROBE MOSCHINO EARRINGS AND BRIEFS HER OWN ON EYES NARS DUO EYESHADOW IN ISOLDE ON LIPS MAYBELLINE COLOR SENSATIONAL CREAMY MATTE LIPSTICK IN PINK SUGAR

K

E

L

S

E

Y

A BACKGROUND IN CELLO INFORMS THIS ARTIST’S UNIQUELY ETHEREAL WORK

“Music was always around the house [growing up]. I explored music outside of the confines of the classical music world, which is what I was going to school for and had trained in for so long. Being really, super depressed kind of pushed me into finding other avenues of sound that would help me out of that depressive feeling. That’s when I started working with local musicians. I went from doing underground rap and hip hop and singing, to playing cello again, and then discovering my own sound: a lot of layers of strings, and then voice, so it kind of brings you into this world that also allows you to create your own world. I still do string instrumental work

L

U

and piano; I like messing with field recordings. My music is a spectrum of sound and light and inspiration: From one song talking about my parents to another talking about me having sex. I’ve played the cello for 20 years. I like wrapping my body around it—I feel very connected to it. When I first saw it, I was in my violin lesson and my teacher had it leaned up against the window. I was so intrigued by it; I wanted to take it home. I was like, I have to take that, so I did. I immediately fell in love with the sound—the tone is so close to the human voice—and the way it contacts your body. You can feel the vibrations. I fell in love with it.” VMAGAZINE.COM 87

30683_80-87_GILFORD.indd 87

4/4/18 8:20 AM


STATE OF JORJA

In just over two years, U.K. crooner Jorja Smith has gone from her first SoundCloud single to becoming a bona fide R&B force. Photography Britt Lloyd Fashion Kate Iorga Text Lisa Mischianti It feels rather fitting that Jorja Smith is calling from her hometown of Walsall in the West Midlands of England. The 20-year-old Londoner has returned to her old stomping grounds for some weekend family time, allowing her to reflect on the start of her luminous young career in the place where it all began. “I started singing when I was 8, and then when I was 11, I started writing my first songs,” recalls Smith of her earliest efforts. “I wrote about all of the shops closing down [in Walsall during the recession]. I tried to write about my environment, to put it into music. I still do that now.” Smith’s father, who himself was part of a neo-soul band called 2nd Naicha, encouraged her to pursue her talents at school; meanwhile, her home life was kept—very literally—harmonious. “[Growing up] I listened to a lot of Amy Winehouse, Damian Marley, Adele, and Lily Allen. And my parents would play a lot of iconic reggae and ska,” Smith says. “They always would have music playing in the house when I’d come back from school; my mom would have the volume turned up really loud. My house was just full of music.” A 2016 SoundCloud track—self-released right after quitting her Starbucks day job—was the first the world heard of Smith. Entitled “Blue Lights,” it’s a powerful R&B ballad about police oppression that stood out in a sea of online uploads, garnering over 100,000 listens in its first week and catching the attention of acts like Stormzy, Skrillex, and—most famously—Drake, who has remained among Smith’s most vocal champions and ultimately featured her on two tracks from his album More Life. “I guess it was kind of a big leap of faith. But I like to think that good music will always be found, that what we put out there is always going to be discovered by the right people,” muses Smith, making the seemingly daunting prospect of debuting work on the Internet feel more like a poetic path to destiny. She followed the success of “Blue Lights” with two more singles— “A Prince” and “Where Did I Go?”—then later a fourtrack EP dubbed Project 11. By the start of 2018, she had four more singles under her belt, including a hit collaboration with Stormzy called “Let Me Down,” plus a track on the Black Panther soundtrack curated by Kendrick Lamar. Smith’s debut full-length album comes out this June. When asked what fans can anticipate, she answers simply: “People can expect more Jorja. The album is like a bigger version of my EP—a mixture of songs [about everything] from love to social issues. I hope they feel my honesty in the music, and I hope they get to know me a bit more.” This will inevitably mean a generous serving of Smith’s signature soulful, jazz-inflected vocals, which have won her comparisons to legends like Lauryn Hill. It will also mean more of the raw, emotional energy present in her existing releases. “The songs on my album are songs that I have written between the ages of 17–20, and a lot of the songs are recordings I’ve already made,” Smith explains. “I hate re-recording. I like singing, but I don’t like recording a song over and over, making it too perfect.” Considering her career thus far, she does seem to have a knack for getting things right the first time.

DRESS AND SLIP GUCCI EARRINGS (THROUGHOUT) STONE PARIS

88 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_88-89_JORJA.indd 88

4/4/18 2:15 PM


DRESS DIOR SHOES CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN ON FACE DIOR BACKSTAGE AIRFLASH SPRAY FOUNDATION AND RADIANCE MIST

MAKEUP CAROL LOPEZ REID HAIR MARCIA LEE PRODUCTION HARRY FISHER AND MARIANA C STYLIST ASSISTANT JUSTIN HAMILTON LOCATION SHOWSTUDIO

30683_88-89_JORJA.indd 89

4/2/18 9:23 AM


H.E.R. WEARS JACKET, PANTS, BELT OFF-WHITE C/O VIRGIL ABLOH TOP WOLFORD RINGS BULGARI SUNGLASSES AND NECKLACE HER OWN

HIDE & SEEK

In an era of oversharing, H.E.R. keeps her identity discreet, her sound strong, and her fans craving more. Photography Britt Lloyd Fashion Kate Iorga Text Lara Johnson-Wheeler The beauty of the artist who goes by H.E.R. is such that one might well question her desire for anonymity. When her debut, H.E.R. Vol. 1, was released in 2016, it quickly made iTunes’ Best of 2016 R&B/Soul Albums list. But much to the angst of the Internet, the identity and face of the singer behind it remained a mystery. This riddle has since been solved, turning the name of a 20-year-old woman into public knowledge. Still, H.E.R. prefers to let her music serve as her persona, an anomaly in our social-media-driven age of likes, follows, and over-the-top sharing. “I think it’s rare to come by artists that are mostly about the message and not about the looks and the associations—who they’re with and how many followers they have,” she says. “For people to love the music just because they love the music and not because of who I am or who I know, that’s important.” Bare-faced in a blue Champion hoodie, slide sandals, and socks, she is about to be styled up in Gucci, Jimmy Choo, and a series of sunglasses to conceal her countenance. The paradox of her approach is fascinating: hiding one’s identity can make people even more preocccupied with it, but she seems unbothered by the competing forces at play. Her demeanor is down-to-earth, and she exudes a relatability that runs counter to the notion of a mysterious R&B star. Ultimately, keeping a discreet identity contributes to the authenticity and relatability H.E.R. wants to pursue in her music. “When I decided to name my project H.E.R.

and totally be H.E.R., it became a chance to represent everyone. That wasn’t exactly the plan when it started, but that’s what it turned into,” she says. “In the beginning it was about exactly how I was feeling, but I realized I’m not alone. Everyone can relate to certain challenges as a young woman. It made sense to be so simple and general that anyone could feel like, wow, she gets me. “Being a woman is important,” she continues. “More women need to stand up and represent that strength and not feel the need to be perfect, but show that it’s okay to be whatever you want to be, however you represent a woman.” The concept of being a woman in 2018 is in a state of flux. Her stage name, an acronym for “having everything revealed,” indicates not only the dichotomy in her disguise, but also alludes to pressures modern women face—pressures the artist is trying to avoid in a world of exposure and social-media celebrity. Delving into identity politics and body politics may seem like contentious territory, but H.E.R.’s music opens up questions beyond the everyday assumptions one might make about a young woman in the industry. When asked, “Do you consider yourself a feminist?” she answers without hesitation. “Absolutely,” she says. “Everybody has their own definition of being a feminist. And it’s whatever makes you feel empowered. And how you make the people around you feel empowered. To me, that’s what a feminist is.”

90 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_90-91_HER.indd 90

4/4/18 2:33 PM


JACKET AND PANTS GUCCI BRACELET AND RING BULGARI SHOES JIMMY CHOO

MAKEUP MARIA ASADI HAIR VIRGINIE PINTO MOREIRA PRODUCER HARRY FISHER PRODUCTION ASSISTANT THOMAS ABIBU STYLIST ASSISTANT JUSTIN HAMILTON LOCATION SHOREDITCH STUDIOS

30683_90-91_HER.indd 91

4/2/18 9:37 AM


PRE-FALL F INERY

GUCCI

Ranging from smart trenches to rich evening wear, the pre-fall collections orchestrate an intriguing combination of utility and fantasy. Photography Thomas Lohr Fashion Tom Van Dorpe

LINGERIE (THROUGHOUT) ROSAMOSARIO BOOTS (THROUGHOUT) VINTAGE FROM COSTUME STUDIO 92 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_92-99_LOHR.indd 92

4/2/18 9:40 AM


LOUIS VUITTON

ON EYES NARS BLUSH IN EXHIBIT A

30683_093_LOHR_REV.indd 93

4/5/18 10:07 AM


GIORGIO ARMANI

TOP (UNDERNEATH) MM6 MAISON MARGIELA

30683_92-99_LOHR.indd 94

4/2/18 9:41 AM


BALENCIAGA

30683_92-99_LOHR.indd 95

4/2/18 9:41 AM


DIOR

ON EYES: M.A.C COSMETICS RETRO MATTE LIQUID LIPCOLOUR IN METROCHROME AND PIGMENT IN COPPER SPARKLE

30683_92-99_LOHR.indd 96

4/2/18 9:41 AM


GIVENCHY

30683_92-99_LOHR.indd 97

4/2/18 9:41 AM


SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO

30683_92-99_LOHR.indd 98

4/2/18 9:41 AM


FENDI

ON LIPS CHANEL POUDRE À LÉVRES IN ROSSO PARTHENOPE MAKEUP KARIN WESTERLUND (ARTLIST PARIS) HAIR LOUIS GHEWY (MANAGEMENT+ARTISTS) MODEL GIEDRE DUKAUSKAITE (WOMEN MANAGEMENT) MANICURE KEELY (HOUSE OF LADY MUCK) SET DESIGN MIGUEL BENTO (STREETERS LONDON) DIGITAL TECHNICIAN FABIAN BLASCHKE PHOTO ASSISTANTS THOMAS WEATHERILL, OSCAR YOOSEFINEJAD STYLIST ASSISTANTS JULIA SANCHIS, MARGHERITA ALAIMO, DIOGO PINTO PRODUCTION JAMES FULLER (360PM) PRODUCTION MANAGER LEONIE MARZECKI (360PM) PRODUCTION COORDINATOR RHIAN GWENLAN (360PM) CASTING DIRECTOR ARIANNA PRADARELLI

30683_92-99_LOHR.indd 99

4/2/18 9:41 AM


HOMECOMING Amanda Harlech, close collaborator and friend of Karl Lagerfeld, muses on the designer’s history with his hometown—the German port city of Hamburg—and on the Chanel Métiers d’Art collection it inspired. Photography Schohaja Staffler Karl’s city. A place he called home. Pitched between two mighty rivers, the Elbe and the Alster, this Hanseatic imperial freeport has reigned over the waves as a gateway to the world. As a young boy, Karl would have watched the ships glide out to sea from his parents’ villa high on the hillside along the sound. Their port and starboard lights would mark his own rite of passage when, following his mother’s advice, he left Germany for Paris. The mystery of that elsewhere hangs like the aroma of coffee outside the narrow red-brick merchant warehouses of the HafenCity. The docks, great fortresses of containers, still dominate the night as giant illuminated cranes freight the waiting ships. The Elbe glitters. A siren moans. Metal cleaves against metal. A city in motion. Hamburg never sleeps. Hamburg moves ever onwards, as wave follows wave. Karl knows every bend in the river, every bridge, every corner of every street. It has sung its song to him for so many years. The art of memory has a way of filtering form, abstracting it before distilling the details like a negative in a dark room. Everything Hamburg meant to Karl rose out of that December fog like the ethereal ghost sail of the Herzog & de Meuron Elbphilharmonie building—courageous, beautiful, connected to its medieval past and Charlemagne’s fortress before that, and yet structurally entirely new. The Chanel Métiers d’Art show was held in the acoustic paradise of the Elbphilharmonie’s amphitheater. Music is never forgotten here, where mournful ships’ horns bellow and gulls cry. After all, this is where

30683_100_CHANEL_PRE_FALL_REV.indd 100

the Beatles started out, performing in the rope-making quarter—the Reeperbahn—the red-light district where sailors danced their pay away. The collection spilled down the steep levels of the concert hall to the melody of composer Oliver Coates’s powerful and moving exploration of sea shanties. A naval officer, immaculate in a white pique waistcoat and midnight velvet and satin. Pitch-black attenuated silhouettes sparkling with reflected lights like the Elbe itself. Peaked fiddler caps misted with veils of tulle. Narrow black grosgrain Feininger heels and the elongated romance of darkgrey greatcoats. Jawlensky-blue cable-knit mariner sweaters and wide sailor pants. Tricot dresses and tweeds echoing the HafenCity brickwork. Karl orchestrated memories from his heart and created his dream of Hamburg. As Hudson Kroenig said to his godfather as the applause broke into cheers and bravos, “We will always remember how happy we were here.”

4/9/18 7:40 AM


GRACE ELIZABETH WEARS CLOTHING, SHOES, ACCESSORIES CHANEL VMAGAZINE.COM 100


S T ARS OF SUNDANCE The names from the annual Park City festival that have everyone talking. Photography Sharif Hamza Fashion Andrew Mukamal

M I A WASIKOWSKA

“It all came up really quickly,” recalls Aussie actress Mia Wasikowska of her part in Piercing, director Nicolas Pesce’s psychosexual thriller. “I was supposed to play a different role, then a week before they were about to start filming they asked if I wanted to play Jackie,” she says of her character, a prostitute who ends up in a cat-and-mouse game with a client named Reed, played by Christopher Abbott. “I took a day to think about it, then jumped onboard. Since the film is so risky and disturbing, it was the best way to do it, to not think about it too much.” Based on a Ryū Murakami novel of the same name, the film follows Reed’s sinister scheme to exorcise his inner demons by killing an unsuspecting call girl—but when Jackie arrives, things don’t go as planned. Wasikowska is familiar with films inspired by literature: she starred in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre adaptation. She’s also used to traversing wildly disparate realms, from Wonderland and Victorian England to the supernatural sphere in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. In her other new movie, the Zellner brothers’ Damsel, she journeys to the Old West with costar Robert Pattinson. For Wasikowska, dabbling in varied environs is among the biggest perks of the job. “Being an actor, you get to inhabit all these different worlds,” she says. “It’s kind of a semi-lazy job where we turn up to amazing sets and we just have to pretend. It’s pretty great.” LISA MISCHIANTI

MIA WEARS JACKET ALEXANDER MCQUEEN S/S ’18 TIGHTS TSE

102 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 102

4/5/18 8:15 AM


TESSA WEARS TOP AND PANTS DUNDAS

T E S S A T H O M P S O N Tessa Thompson wants a much better Hollywood. The 34-year-old actress has already endeared herself to basically every audience with her indie hit Dear White People and blockbusters like Selma, Creed, and Thor: Ragnarok. Despite that mainstream visibility, she‘s vocal about her politics: she led the women’s march alongside Jane Fonda at this year’s Sundance, and has pushed for changes to representation in her industry. “I’ve always been of the mind that it’s really hard to separate the art from the time in which you make it and how you feel about what’s going on,” Thompson explains. “I don’t think it’s a mandate, but for me, it feels like something that’s natural, and I feel really lucky to get to do work that has something to say.” Dear White People, the 2014 lacerating satire of race relations on a college campus, said a lot. Thompson, who had worked in TV, felt like the movie was “a real game-changer“ for her. “I was sort of in a rut before getting it,” she confides. The script gave her a calling. Her latest Sundance sensation, Sorry to Bother You (out July 6), is at once similar to yet utterly unlike her breakout film. Directed by Oakland-based musician Boots Riley, it sends up racial divisions, but in a way that’s out of this universe. Thompson is the activist girlfriend to Lakeith Stanfield’s telemarketer, who gets ahead in his career by adopting a “white” voice. Along the way, he confronts a reality-shifting secret that sends the whole story (and viewers) into a spiral. Thompson isn’t worried about its reception, even with the more out-there elements. “I was so excited to work in the space of magical realism,” she notes, citing Michel Gondry as an influence. “Particularly for folks of color, it just doesn’t happen all that often.” PAUL SCHRODT

BILL WEARS COAT PALM ANGELS TOP GUESS JEANS BURBERRY BELT VINTAGE

B I L L S K A R S G • R D Bill Skarsgård is the first to admit he doesn’t exactly come off as cheerful on-screen. “I might be a pretty intense performer,” the 27-year-old Swedish actor laughs. That’s a bit of an understatement. Best known for his ghoulish take on Pennywise the clown in the 2017 movie adaptation of Stephen King’s It, Skarsgård brings a heightened, almost nonhuman quality to his characters, aided by his towering 6'4" frame and angular features. “It’s easy for me to tap into that state of mind, which lends itself pretty well to darker, more sinister things.” In Assassination Nation—which sold for over $10 million in Sundance’s biggest sale—Skarsgård plays Mark, a “clueless, out-oftouch boyfriend who’s also a piece of shit,” he explains. The movie centers on a group of high school girls who are violated and, in a violent turn, take up arms against the men who’ve wronged them. Playing the villain is easy enough for Skarsgård, son of Stellan and brother of Alexander, famous actors in their own right who are equally capable of gravitas. But one scene during filming made him squirm. “It was very disturbing,” he recalls. “My character wrestles down Odessa Young’s character with two other guys, and they pull down her pants and take photos of her. It’s very aggressive; you can only fake it to a point. She’s not really acting anymore.” He hopes the final product offers a catharsis for young women. People at the Sundance midnight screening were “screaming and rooting for the girls” as they carried out revenge. “One of the film’s goals is to be a release of teenage girls’ frustrations,” Skarsgård says, adding that a 16-year-old who recently watched it started bawling. “That’s, in a sense, the best review you can get.” PS

30683_103_SUNDANCE_REV2.indd 103

4/9/18 4:23 PM


ANDREA WEARS JACKET AND PANTS CHANEL BODYSUIT STYLIST’S OWN SHOES ALEXANDER WANG

A N D R E A RISEBOROUGH With an impressive résumé of both stage and screen roles, Andrea Riseborough is raising the bar for what it means to be a working actress today. At this year’s Sundance, Riseborough appeared in four films, resulting in a promotion schedule that made her experience there “completely bananas.” Of the four projects, the one that the actress seems most impassioned by is Nancy, written and directed by Christina Choe. Riseborough was first introduced to the film during a meeting with Choe at a café; it evolved into a three-year labor of love. “Nancy is one of the only true independent films that premiered this past Sundance,” Riseborough contends. The movie follows the psychological journey of a woman who believes she was kidnapped as a child; when she meets a couple whose daughter went missing 30 years prior, her worldview starkly shifts. Riseborough relished the chance to portray a female “antihero” sans the clichéd “gnarly trajectory” of such roles. “Nancy, to be perfectly forward, is a real, complex human being who you can empathize with and freely revel in her oddness,” says Riseborough. Bringing Choe’s remarkable film to fruition was a worthwhile challenge: “multiple incarnations” of teams and crew made the realities of the industry apparent. “Christina Choe is a female director and writer of color, and her genius work has been routinely denied the platform that it needs to take her work to the next level,” says Riseborough. “As women, we call ourselves the problem. I’m not the problem. I just don’t have any power in this hyper-sexualized, hyper-marginalized world I work in. The reality is, someone needs to step up and support us. That also means someone has to care enough to pay for it.” AJ LONGABAUGH

MAIA WEARS COAT PRADA S/S ’18 BODYSUIT ALEXANDER WANG TIGHTS WOLFORD

M A I A M I T C H E L L At some point during the filming of Never Goin’ Back, the indie buddy comedy in which Maia Mitchell plays one-half of a best friend duo struggling to get their act together, the 24-year-old found herself attached to a vomit rig—which is exactly what it sounds like. “It’s this hose thing that the art department strapped underneath my clothes all the way to my face, and then these two guys would pump soup through,” Mitchell explains. “This might be too much information, but I think they used cream of corn. It was so disgusting that I actually ended up throwing up for real in one of the takes.” She pauses a beat. “I think that was the one we wound up actually using.” Mitchell’s character, Angela, is a hot-mess high-school dropout who, along with her bestie Jessie, played by Camila Morrone, spends the entirety of the movie getting into trouble. Written and directed by Augustine Frizzell, the film is as much an ode to the wildness of youth as it is to the kind of attached-at-the-hip female friendship that’s only possible when you spend every waking moment together. The character and subject matter are a sharp departure from the role that Mitchell has played for the past six years on The Fosters, the Freeform network’s much-loved family drama, which is now in its final season. And that’s precisely the point, she says. “I think it’s easy to put young women, and especially young women who are on TV and have played the same character for a long time, in a box,” she explains from Turks and Caicos, where she’s filming The Fosters finale. “And I’m doing everything I can to stay out of it.”

ELIZABETH KIEFER

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 104

4/5/18 8:16 AM


JADEN WEARS JUMPSUIT THOM BROWNE T-SHIRT HIS OWN

J A D E N S M I T H

Skate Kitchen, the latest film by director Crystal Moselle of the critically acclaimed documentary The Wolfpack, celebrates the value of community and the quest for self-identity as it follows an all-female skate crew around New York City. It’s a stunningly realistic coming-of-age story. In fact, many cast members play versions of themselves, including Jaden Smith’s co-star Rachelle Vinberg, who Smith already knew from Instagram before joining the project. “My friend Harry showed her to me. I was like, ‘Yo, this girl is really cute and she skates. This is a real vibe. I should go skate with her.’ She’s mad cool, but I was scared because she skates hard,” he says. Unlike Vinberg, Smith doesn’t play himself, but that’s why he was attracted to the role. “Freedom really drew me to the project. To play someone who’s so far away from who I am: That’s what I look for in a role. I want to play roles where I have to speak a different language, change my identity, change the way I think about the world.” Smith’s preparation for his character, Devon, involved immersing himself in NYC’s skate subculture: “I just hung out. I got to know everybody in the skate scene at the LES [Coleman] Skatepark, so that when it came down to shooting, it wasn’t weird. I was one of the kids.” He continues, “It’s a really reckless community. There are a lot of different sayings that go along with skating, like ‘skate destroy.’ It’s kind of like a middle finger to the man and the system. I’ve always been intrigued. To be able to be inside looking out, instead of outside looking in, was really fun. They also own New York City; they run the streets.” Being in Skate Kitchen shifted Smith’s perception of the Big Apple. “When I was young, I was really scared of New York. I couldn’t deal with it. After making this film, I really feel like I can go there. Broadway belongs to me. It’s my campus. There’s nothing more invigorating than just skating down the middle of the street with no cars. I realized, that’s the way to see New York.” DEVIN BARRETT

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 105

4/5/18 8:16 AM


CHLOË WEARS TOP ALEXANDER WANG SKIRT BALMAIN

C H L O Ë G R A C E M O R E T Z Having built an enormously successful career since age seven, Chlo‘ Grace Moretz needed a break. So, in 2016, she took a hiatus from Hollywood to “re-evaluate my career: who I was as an actor, who I wanted to be, what I wanted to perpetuate, and what’s important to me,” Moretz explains. She vowed to hold out for a script that “lights a fire in me and makes me feel like it’s the right step forward.” The Miseducation of Cameron Post, about a gay conversion therapy camp in the ’90s, ended her acting intermission and went on to win Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize. “I devoured the script literally within an hour,” she recalls. Meeting director Desiree Akhavan shortly after further convinced her, thanks to a shared objective: “To open the minds of people who don’t know gay-conversion therapy isn’t an archaic issue, it’s a modern issue— and something a lot of people aren’t even aware is a reality.” The cast prepped for the film by meeting with survivors, like Mathew Shurka, an outspoken anti-conversiontherapy advocate. Moretz was surprised by the breadth of “god-fearing families” from vastly different situations and backgrounds who have opted for conversion therapy. “[They] crossed religions, and economic barriers; it wasn’t just rich, upper-class families,” she says. Moretz hopes the film can provide solace for survivors, and perhaps dissuade families considering “converting” a gay child: “There’s no ‘fixing’ someone. There’s only accepting and nourishing.” Next, she’ll star in Party of the Century, about Truman Capote’s Black and White ball; The Widow, co-starring Isabelle Huppert; and the Luca Guadagnino-helmed remake of Suspiria, alongside Tilda Swinton. She’s also codirecting a short film with her brother and producing partner, Trevor Duke Moretz. “We don’t have to mince words; we can be incredibly blunt and real, and we’re like two halves of the same brain,” Moretz says of working with him. “It’s wonderful because you know you’re always safe.” ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV

30683_103_106_108_SUNDANCE_REV.indd 106

4/9/18 4:05 PM


ODESSA WEARS COAT DUNDAS TIGHTS WOLFORD

KIERSEY WEARS COAT AND TOP MOSCHINO BRIEFS ARAKS TIGHTS WOLFORD

RACHELLE VINBERG

O D E S S A Y O U N G

“I think during shooting we were often so wrapped up in the story and mood of the film, it was almost hard to remember that life existed outside of it for those six weeks,” admits Australian actress Odessa Young of Assassination Nation, Sundance’s hit high-school revenge flick. She didn’t really worry that its bold, violent narrative crossed a line: “I had so much trust and faith in our director that I never questioned how far he was taking it. Most of the time we’d even say, push it further.” The movie—which features Young alongside Hari Nef, Bill Skarsgård, Suki Waterhouse, and more—could easily sit alongside teen cult classics like Heathers or Spring Breakers. “The script was confronting, timely, hilarious, frightening, and dark,” recalls Young of the film. “It was ambitious, and until I met [director Sam Levinson], I had no idea how anybody would pull it off. But it was so well written, and his vision screamed at you from the page; I couldn’t say no. It kept me up at night.” The way the film tackles sexism, racism, social media, and more, to Young, is a direct product of the times. “The most I can ask of the film is that people see a mirror—not an alternate universe, not a dystopian portal, but a reflection, albeit amplified, of where we stand in the world today,” she says. “That’s another thing that has shocked me since making this movie; every day there’s a new, real story about an event that could literally be taken right out of it.” GREG KRELENSTEIN

Watching Rachelle Vinberg in Skate Kitchen without any prior context is revelatory. She comes across as a selfassured star and an effortless skating pro—because she’s actually both. The budding actress took up the sport under her cousin’s guidance, and started mastering tricks alone outside her Long Island home. But after she met fellow skater (and future co-star) Nina Moran and started going to skate parks in NYC, she formed her own community, now lovingly known as the Skate Kitchen. “Everyone starts out with the skateboard as a friend,” she says. “Then, you relate to each other through [that] common thread.” The film explores the skate community’s gender dynamics, and is a heightened yet accurate portrayal of Vinberg’s life. Most of her skater co-stars, aside from her mother (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and love interest Devon (Jaden Smith), were real-life friends. Every detail of the movie—from her initiation into the Skate Kitchen to the physical fights—contains more truth than exaggeration, down to an emotional moment when her character Camille opens up about her father. “When I’m talking to Janay about my dad, that’s all real,” she said. “I did leave him, I did go to my mom, and he has no idea why. So when he sees it, it’s gonna be me talking to him. It’s too scary in real life, so I’d rather do it in a movie.” Rarely does a rising star’s debut double as a visual memoir. That authentic storytelling makes Vinberg enchanting to watch.

KIERSEY CLEMONS

JAKE VISWANATH

RACHELLE WEARS JUMPSUIT AND JACKET DIOR S/S ’18 GLASSES HER OWN

It’s pretty much impossible not to fall in love with Kiersey Clemons. The 24-yearold actress—who you may know from Transparent, Angie Tribeca, Dope, or Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, among a bevy of other projects—is quick to laugh or make a self-deprecating observation. Her brand of funny is the smart, slowbuild kind, on display in real life the same way it has been onscreen throughout her career so far. It’s also one of the many reasons she was so perfectly paired with Nick Offerman in the film Hearts Beat Loud, which premiered at Sundance this year. The film tells the story of a Brooklyn dad who isn’t ready for his daughter to head off to college on the West Coast— and so, grasping at the straws of their last summer together, decides they should form a band. Clemons portrays Offerman’s offspring, Sam. The film is pitch-perfect—equal parts wry comedy and bittersweet coming-of-age tale—and, as expected, it was also a pretty fun set. At one point during filming, Clemons stopped by a stationery store and walked out with a bunch of tiny rubber hands. “They looked like baby hands. We did little short films on my phone, skits all day,” she says (yes, you can find them online). “Nick Offerman and the little hand … sounds like a porno.” As for how her own teen years compare to her Hearts Beat Loud character? Not tons of rebellion on either front. “I never caused a lot of trouble. I was never too eager to be out and partying,” she says. But, “I did get mad when I didn’t have a ride to the beach.” EK

VMAGAZINE.COM 10 7

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 107

4/5/18 8:16 AM


THOMASIN WEARS DRESS ALEXANDER WANG

T H O M A S I N M C K E N Z I E Seventeen-year-old actress Thomasin McKenzie has quickly made a name for herself with her star-worthy performance in director Debra Granik’s (of Winter’s Bone) new film, Leave No Trace. The movie follows a father whose struggle with PTSD is so severe, he takes himself and his daughter off the grid to live in a state park outside Portland, Oregon. “[My character] Tom is extremely innocent and pure, and she has never been exposed to social media,” McKenzie says. “So, it was kind of tricky for me to basically learn what life is like without those things.” But, having grown up in “the bush” of New Zealand, McKenzie does find a natural connection between the two almost completely untouched environments. “[Tom] is obsessed with collecting mushrooms and my last trail walk before leaving to film in America, I found this massive mushroom, and it was the first time I’d seen a wild mushroom in New Zealand. I took that as the best possible sign heading into a project that I didn’t realize would be this successful,” she says. Granik is often credited with launching Jennifer Lawrence’s insanely successful career, and plenty of press regarding McKenzie’s performance has alluded to Lawrence. “I was actually worried that the main question everyone at the festival would be asking was, ‘How does it feel being called the next Jennifer Lawrence?’ But I didn’t get that at all.” Humble and mature, the actress continues, “I would love to be like Jennifer; she’s incredible and I think she’s an amazing actress. But we are also two very different people who have different acting styles.” What McKenzie loves most about Leave No Trace is that “it’s about the goodness in people, rather than a clear antagonist and protagonist. There honestly isn’t a wrong-intentioned character.” AL

MATILDA WEARS JUMPSUIT, BRA, BRIEFS CHANEL

M A T I L D A L U T Z

Not long after relocating to L.A. and beginning to dabble in acting, Matilda Lutz found herself at a café meeting with acclaimed French director Coralie Fargeat. “The moment we met each other, it was that instant feeling of ‘I know you’ and we didn’t even really talk about film. The next morning she was going to Paris and she asked me if I would want to audition for her next project, Revenge.” After an audition that felt “sublimely challenging” and a two-month waiting period, Lutz finally got a call from Fargeat telling her they had gone forward with another actress for the role, and to not let this “knock her” in any way. Months later and a week before production started on the groundbreaking film, Fargeat reached out to tell Lutz that the actress they had cast had gotten cold feet and was seemingly too frightened to take on the role. “It was a total surprise. When Coralie said that she trusted me to play the intense part, everything just felt right. So, I went directly into rehearsals and then right off to Morocco to start filming.” Revenge follows a mistress invited by her millionaire lover on an annual hunting trip that evolves into a tale of female survival and the pursuit of ultimate revenge. “While on set, I’m not the type of actor who wants to see certain takes or what things look like while working, so watching the film for the first time at the screening, I couldn’t believe how complex and genre-bending it is. The audience was very reactionary to my character Jen’s journey and were audibly rooting for her, as was I, because I honestly couldn’t see myself in the character, which is a testament to Coralie’s supreme direction.” In particular, Lutz recalls one woman after the screening of the film yelling to her, “You’re all of us!” It was, as she put it, a true moment of validation. AL

30683_103_106_108_SUNDANCE_REV.indd 108

4/9/18 4:06 PM


JACK WEARS JACKET AND PANTS PRADA TOP GUESS

J A C K K I L M E R “I am normally pretty thick-skinned, but let’s just say this movie pushed me to my limit,” says Jack Kilmer of his lurid role in Jonas Åkerlund’s dark, disturbing black-metal biopic Lords of Chaos. The film details the rise and fall of the band Mayhem, through its co-founder “Euronymous” (played by Rory Culkin). “It’s really all in the music,” says Kilmer of getting into character. “The music is so violent and abrasive that you can’t help but want to bang your head against a wall. I had a lot of fun, but was also taken to some dark places. Luckily, I had my amazing cast and crew support me through the more challenging days.” His character, Dead, the band’s first singer, had an affinity for spraying the crowd with his own blood and killing cats; his dedication to the world of black metal is ultimately what led to his “early demise,” as illustrated in the film. “[Jonas] even made me a perfume and candle that smelled of “death” because [Dead] wanted to achieve the same thing. I had never played a real person before so I wanted to make sure that I did as much research as possible so I would not shame him.” Preparation for the challenging role included speaking with Dead’s brother in Stockholm, who helped him “sculpt the character,” and lessons with blackmetal band “Bornholm.” Part of his research, however, did come naturally: “I was attracted to black metal in my early teens because it’s so extreme. I was a rebellious teenager. On a deeper level, black metal has a spiritual, ethereal quality that I find really interesting. Imagine the music echoing through the forest in Norway. It is quite a visceral experience to listen to.” Despite its hypermelancholic material, Kilmer hopes Lords of Chaos can help viewers be “creative rather than self-destructive. There’s a lot about this film that is morally ambiguous, but this movie has heart and should be looked at as a cautionary tale.” DB

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 109

4/5/18 8:16 AM


SASHA WEARS BODYSUIT VERSACE RING HER OWN

S A S H A L A N E “Oh man, that was insane,” says Sasha Lane of learning that The Miseducation of Cameron Post won the coveted Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Lane’s role in the coming-ofage tale, adapted from a novel and centered on teens at a gay conversion therapy camp called God’s Promise, was one that touched her from the outset. “Having a gay brother and also being amongst that community myself, it’s like, you don’t want anyone to go through this. I was reading it on the plane and then I met with Desiree [Akhavan], the director, that same night. The connection we shared and the way she spoke about the film made me want to be a part of it even more,” Lane explains. “The movie is set in ’93—that’s not long ago, and to know that [conversion therapy] is still going on now, it’s just something that needs to be spoken about.” Filming the movie alongside co-star Chlo‘ Grace Moretz was an immersive experience. “The place where we shot it was some type of resort or camp, so we basically lived there, which was kind of eerie because we had the God’s Promise sign up and we were always around each other, so we constantly were, like, in the movie,” says Lane. Meanwhile, the outside world, and the current sociopolitical climate, only bolstered their resolve that the project was an important one. “The inauguration was happening when we were filming,” recalls Lane. “We were all pretty upset, but Desiree gave this really big speech and it just kind of made us all realize what we were really doing and why we were there.” Lane’s other Sundance film, Hearts Beat Loud—the sweet story of a father (Nick Offerman) and daughter (Kiersey Clemons) becoming an unlikely songwriting duo during the last summer before she leaves for college—serves a purpose in trying times as well. “It means a lot because it’s just such a feel-good movie, and I think we need that, because sometimes movies are escapes or just a way to warm your heart,” says Lane. “To work with Kiersey was amazing—to play two biracial women in a gay relationship, it just felt like something, like we finally get to be represented, and other people will feel represented too.” LM

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 110

4/5/18 8:16 AM


BARRY WEARS JACKET AND PANTS GUCCI TOP GUESS

SKY WEARS COAT ADRIENNE LANDAU BODYSUIT STYLIST’S OWN TIGHTS WOLFORD SHOES CHANEL

H E L E N A H O W A R D

B A R R Y KEOGHAN

“It was a street casting. I was a kid in the inner city of Dublin and there was a flyer inside a shop window and I showed up,” say Barry Keoghan of his career’s beginnings. Now, having caught critics and audiences’ attention alike in Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and now Sundance hit American Animals, it’s clear that the 25-year-old actor has tremendous talent. American Animals, directed by Bart Layton, is a story of four young men who attempt to execute one of the most noteworthy art heists the U.S. has ever witnessed. “This was my second time at Sundance and it was so thrilling to get such a lovely reaction. It ended up being a big-seater so the buzz and promotion of the film took up most of my time, but it was great to get the boys back in the same room and all watch it together,” says Keoghan. His rise in the industry has afforded him a wide range of film experiences. He got to work intimately with seasoned A-listers Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell in The Killing of a Sacred Deer, of which he says, “The film is a total experience like none other; an experiment of sorts. Nicole and Colin taught me a lot as an actor, especially about what it’s like to commit to an intense film without creating an intense set.” But regardless of Keoghan’s rising fame, becoming starstruck is still a very real thing. “I recently was in the same room as Leonardo DiCaprio, and one of my favorite movies is Basketball Diaries,” he says. “That movie hits home for me in so many ways, and in that moment I was like, I have to thank this dude. So I did.” Never wavering from his small-town Irish roots, Keoghan now constantly reminds himself that what got him to this place in his life is “being passionate.” AL

“I feel in every instance of theater or film, you have to draw from yourself,” Helena Howard says about mastering the art of acting. It’s surprising to think that even a sliver of her namesake character in Sundance critical hit Madeline’s Madeline could possibly connect to her own experience. Madeline is extremely intense, switching between passionate and passive, fulfilled and insatiable, aggressive and wistful with a simple flinch. Howard pulls the part off with the physical and emotional gravitas of a seasoned pro, even though the film is her major debut. That’s because there may be more parallels between character and actor than meet the eye. “She wrote my life, on steroids,” Howard says with a bright laugh, referring to director and writer Josephine Decker, who elevated aspects of Howard’s own personal narrative into a movie so consuming that it’s draining for both Howard and the audience (in the best way possible). Madeline is a budding acting student with the ability to perform jaw-dropping emotion at a moment’s notice, trained under the guidance of a dedicated director and with the baggage of a difficult family situation. Of course, the script was heightened for dramatic effect; Howard is forced to get violent and exhibit mental health issues. “I thought about all the times I’ve fought with my parents or my brother and just went to that place where I actually started getting anxious,” she explains. “I felt the physical agitation. It really was not a place I wanted to be, but as an actor, you have to do what you have to do because it’s your profession; it’s my life and my love.” JV

S K Y FERREIRA

HELENA WEARS DRESS COACH 1941

“I get a bit weary and jaded when I receive music scripts, especially ‘rock’ ones, for obvious reasons,” explains musician and actress Sky Ferreira. But when it came to Lords of Chaos—the story of Norwegian black-metal band Mayhem set in 1990s Oslo, directed by Jonas Åkerlund—things were different. “Danny Gabai, who executive-produced the film with Vice, told me to read it. He said it was kind of a no-brainer—and that was very true.” Ferreira appears in the movie as Ann-Marit, photographer and girlfriend to Mayhem founder Euronymous (Rory Culkin). “It was kind of funny because I’m the only professional musician in the film, and I am the only one that isn’t [playing] a musician. I’m the only female character in [that peer group], too,” she muses. “There is so much craziness happening during the entire film, and it sort of lands on my character to be the audience’s perspective.” Ferreira found it natural to embody Anne-Marit: “Honestly, I’ve been her before during this lifetime. I’ve been the cool 17-year-old girl who is not impressed. I’ve been friends, and in love with, boys, especially musicians, but their surroundings are absolutely ridiculous. I’ve witnessed the early demise of others far too young who refused to let me help. I think most young girls mature faster than boys.” To prep for the role, Ferreira studied up on Anne-Marit’s ’80s- and ’90s-era Norwegian fashion and glam. “We used images of her from when she was 17 … She has big hair and a lot purple eyeshadow. Over time we had her wear more eyeliner and lots of black,” Ferreira says. “[But it was] the boys [who] got to have all of the fun. They spent 10 times longer getting ready because of the wigs and makeup.” GK

VMAGAZINE.COM 111

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 111

4/5/18 8:17 AM


CAMILA WEARS BRA VINTAGE SKIRT BALMAIN TIGHTS WOLFORD

C A M I L A M O R R O N E You might not know her name yet, but you’re probably familiar with Camila Morrone’s face (or at the very least her unforgettable eyebrows). The daughter of male supermodel Maximo Morrone and Argentinian actress Lucila Solá, Camila, who goes by Cami, has graced the pages of Vogue, earned a spot in the recruitment ranks of Victoria’s Secret Pink, and runs around with the new-school pretty-young-thing crew that includes the likes of Hailey Baldwin and Kendall Jenner. But now that the 20-year-old Morrone has decided to retire from the runway, expect to see a lot more of her on the big screen. For starters, you can catch her in the Sundance sweetheart flick Never Goin’ Back, written and directed by Augustine Frizzle. The film tells the stories of two best friends, Jessie (Morrone) and Angela (Maia Mitchell), who dream of leaving their tiny hometown in the dust. Morrone says she wasn’t nearly as wild as her onscreen counterpart—“My parents would be happy to hear me say that!” she says—though she definitely related to the ride-or-die dynamic of the characters. But the hardest part? “We had two big cocaine scenes,” says Morrone. “I definitely had to ask around and do some research while preparing.” On the heels of Never Goin’ Back and the festival circuit came Morrone’s most high-profile role to date: Death Wish, released nationwide in March, is the story of a man (Bruce Willis) hellbent on revenge after an unknown assailant breaks into his home and attacks his family. As Willis’s daughter, Morrone got to demonstrate that she’s much more than a pretty face: She has dramatic chops and can hold her own alongside major stars. EK

LAKEITH WEARS VEST AND PANTS HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE

L A K E I T H S T A N F I E L D

“I’m looking at a really cool bowl right now,” Lakeith Stanfield says without a hint of irony. It’s not just any bowl, but one adorned with skulls. The 26-year-old actor is ostensibly busy in L.A. with the season-two premiere of FX’s Atlanta. But much like his beloved, hilarious stonerphilosopher character Darius, Stanfield is preoccupied with his own world. And Hollywood, thankfully, is waking up to it. After signing up for a modeling school he found online and faking his way down a runway so he could get time with agents, the Southern California native scored an acting audition, which “started my long failure process for five years,” he explains. Stanfield eventually nabbed a role in Short Term 12, an acclaimed 2013 movie starring Brie Larson as a supervisor at a facility for troubled teens, including Stanfield as Marcus, who, on the edge of adulthood, is unsettled at the prospect of moving forward. Stanfield received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance, a sign of how fully he committed to the character. After a minor but chilling part in Get Out, his role in Atlanta, and an appearance in Jay-Z’s “Moonlight” video (he does a killer Hova impression, by the way), Stanfield became a known entity. But even ardent fans may be surprised by his turn in Sorry to Bother You, which premiered to raves and some puzzlement at Sundance. The surrealist sci-fi/comedy head-trip follows a telemarketer, played by Stanfield, who finds the secret to success in the ultimate white-man voice, then stumbles on strange happenings up the corporate ladder. It’s material few could pull off. When asked if he sought peers’ wisdom for his first lead role, Stanfield answers flatly, “No, the only person I ever ask for advice is my inner demons.” PS

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 112

4/5/18 8:17 AM


HARI WEARS DRESS, GLOVES, TIGHTS GUCCI S/S ’18

H A R I N E F

MAKEUP CIARA O’SHEA (LGA) HAIR RUBI JONES (JULIAN WATSON) PRODUCER ASHLEY HERSON LOCAL PRODUCER KATE HOLLAND DIGITAL TECHNICIAN CASEY RICHARDSON PHOTO ASSISTANTS TIM HOFFMAN, SHEN WILLIAMS-COHEN STYLIST ASSISTANT JERMAINE DALEY HAIR ASSISTANT MEGAN GORLEY PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS TOM O’MEARA, RIQUE CARROLL RETOUCHING HEMPSTEAD MAY LOCATION PARK CITY PEAKS HOTEL

30683_102-113_SUNDANCE.indd 113

“It’s the first script I’ve read that nails being a young American girl in the social-media era,” says Hari Nef in high praise of Assassination Nation, the film she stars in alongside the likes of Bill Skarsgård, Odessa Young, and Suki Waterhouse. “I think contemporary American youth culture is based on a mix of optimism and nihilism,” Nef continues, speaking to the zeitgeist that the film so adeptly encapsulates. “Pretty much [every one] of my friends believes that she can change the world for the better—yet she’ll party every night like there’s literally no tomorrow. I think Assassination Nation captures my generation’s dissatisfaction with the present and its yearning for a more equitable future.” As someone who herself has a major presence on Instagram, Nef considers the film’s treatment of social media and the role it plays in young people’s lives thoughtful and interesting. “The film satirizes and interrogates the ‘social’ aspect of social media, which can enrich or ruin lives,” suggests Nef. “It all depends on how, why, and by whom social media is used. If social media is leveraged for violence and hatred, then let’s interrogate where that violence and hatred comes from.” GK

4/5/18 8:17 AM


Prada has enlisted four luminaries from the worlds of architecture and design to interpret the house’s iconic black nylon for a new initiative dubbed Prada Invites. Photography Jason Pietra Text Mathias Rosenzweig NYLON FRONTPACK ($1,560, SELECT PRADA BOUTIQUES)

REM KOOLHAAS

Rem Koolhaas has a longstanding relationship with Prada, having played a key role in designing Milan’s Fondazione Prada through his firm, OMA. Prada Invites took Koolhaas’s relationship with the Italian brand to the next level by enabling him to cross over from architectural design into fashion, a longtime dream for the Dutch creative. “I’ve always been dying to design fashion,” Koolhaas says, adding that it never felt like a plausible industry for him while growing up in Holland. “When [Prada] asked me to do something, I immediately had the idea, and immediately did it.” That idea was to create a black nylon carryall, reminiscent of Prada’s backpack from 1984, but with a literal twist. Koolhaas’s design is meant to be worn in front, providing a more intimate sense of ownership over the items within, as well as a method to avoid accidentally bumping your bag into your surroundings. Koolhaas notes that the mass-produced backpacks we see today have led to people carrying far more objects than before, and moreover, in a completely disorganized manner. (Here, he pantomimes waiting behind someone in line at the airport as they sort through their bags.) Thus, he says, the frontpack “was also based on a longstanding anthropological observation. So anthropology and fashion came together in a good, single moment.”

REM KOOLHAAS

Portrait courtesy Prada

FUNCTION

FORM

F RONT PAC K

114 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_114-117_PRADA.indd 114

4/2/18 10:48 AM


P ORTF O L I O

RONAN & ERWAN BOUROULLEC

Portrait courtesy Prada

Brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are particularly captivated by the movements brought about by inanimate objects. They find a common thread here between the arts of furniture design and fashion. “What you wear or what you sit on dramatically changes the way you move or the posture of your body,” they note. Furthermore, they’re intrigued by the juxtaposition between movement and stillness. For their contribution to Prada Invites, the French brothers created a shoulder bag—the kind worn by art students to carry and transport art—honing in on the image of a sharply cut rectangle swinging like a pendulum as the wearer walks around. Known for their knack for “poetic practicality,” the brothers were a fitting choice to reinterpret the use of industrial black nylon. For them, Prada’s innovation makes the brand a mutually obvious fit. “Prada has always proven that they make clothing for the sake of change and expanding new perimeters,” they say of their fondness for the Italian label’s open-minded attitude toward shapes. For the Bouroullecs, these notions of bustling motion and placid inactivity leave a sentimental impression. “We make a number of projects,” they say, “and they all create a very intense emotional relationship with themselves, but also with us.”

RONAN BOUROULLEC

30683_114-117_PRADA.indd 115

NYLON PORTFOLIO ($1,130, SELECT PRADA BOUTIQUES)

4/2/18 10:48 AM


NYLON APRON WITH POCKETS ($1,790, SELECT PRADA BOUTIQUES)

AP RON

KONSTANTIN GRCIC

KONSTANTIN GRCIC

30683_114-117_PRADA.indd 116

Portrait courtesy Prada

“If it came down to choosing between one or the other, I’d always value simplicity over minimalism,” says industrial designer Konstantin Grcic. “In relation to everyday life, the term minimalism carries a negative notion of abstinence— even doctrine—whereas simplicity stands for enlightenment.” Much of Grcic’s work has revolved around this dichotomy, and his work for Prada also adds the ideas of practicality and versatility. For Prada Invites, the German designer created a multi-pocketed fisherman’s vest that can also be used as a hood or an apron, inspired by artist Joseph Beuys’s uniform, which Grcic describes as a “trilby hat, fishing vest, and long, fur-lined coat.” Beuys lived and taught in a West German town not far from Wuppertal, where Grcic grew up during the 1970s. “His particular uniform became an iconic look for the artist’s antiestablishment attitude, which really attracted me as a teenager—like punk rock,” Grcic says. He paired this inspiration with a nod to Prada’s original 1984 nylon backpack. “There is no contradiction between fashion and practicality,” Grcic says of the two concepts, for which the varying intersections (sometimes fully overlapping, other times humorously distant) are the crux of Prada Invites. “Function is the intelligence of a product. Intelligence produces beauty.”

4/5/18 9:10 AM


COAT

HERZOG & DE MEURON

NYLON COAT ($2,340, SELECT PRADA BOUTIQUES)

Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron created a shirt wrapped in lettering, as well as a jacket with buttons also covered in the text from an ancient language. In a joint statement, they explain: “Text is perceived as design, pattern, or decoration, comparable to the oncepotent symbols and signs, now tattooed on human bodies without number.” The pieces touch on the dilution of language in an age when terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news” abound. “It is the nature of language to be used and abused, and it is up to us to sharpen our perception when faced with the flood of information that wants to persuade,” Herzog says. Calling out ads, politics, and “socalled” news, he emphasizes the respect we should have for words: “It’s so important to be aware of what we’re doing when we speak or write, namely, that we always take a stand and have an agenda.” To him, both understanding and expressing are imperative.

Portrait courtesy Prada (2)

JACQUES HERZOG

PIERRE DE MEURON

30683_114-117_PRADA.indd 117

4/2/18 10:49 AM


NIGHT VISION

Photographed at legendary nightclub Le Palace, a new roving party dubbed Kaliente is re-energizing Paris after dark, seen here through Alain Mikli shades. Photography Antoine Harinthe Fashion Thomas Davis Text Devin Barrett Le Palace was the Parisian answer to Studio 54. It was similarly formative, and undeniably inimitable. The club celebrated a unique marriage of regulars—the young and rising with the older and eminent, the known with the unknown. It was this combination of minds, styles, and attitudes that surely sparked the resulting cultural output for years (even decades) to come. The legendary space soon established itself as a watering hole for the likes of Mick Jagger, Yves Saint Laurent, Prince, Kenzō Takada, Grace Jones, Karl Lagerfeld, and Issey Miyake. DJ Michel Gaubert got his start at Le Palace playing a soundtrack of Rick James, Devo, Talking Heads, Yma Sumac, and Public Image. “Le Palace was special in that Paris had very few nightclubs and that it was the first major night playground to open its doors,” recalls Gaubert. “The time was also appropriate as it was March, 1978 at the height of the disco and punk era. The policy of Le Palace was to welcome everyone who had ‘it.’ People of all kinds of backgrounds were dancing next to each other, creating the most fun melting-pot ever seen in a club.” Today, Kaliente—spearheaded by Luka Isaac, Pandora Graessl, and a crew of creatives—is reimagining hallowed hotspots like Le Palace, orchestrating a new wave of memorable nights. Born out of the spirit of collaboration, and soundtracked by “current and future” techno, the monthly party series combines a myriad of intriguing locations with lighting, set design, and sound curation. Freedom after dark is hard to come by in the age of the Internet and social media, but this pursuit of social liberation in condensed cities is exactly what inspired the Kaliente collective’s unique community. “Kaliente [is] a mirror of the pulsing new generation in Paris,” they explain in a collective statement. If Le Palace’s golden age existed at the height of new-wave glamour, its second iteration is slightly edgier in spirit: “Kaliente is rhythm. It’s an energy, a way of being and living your own life—this inner fire of decadence and warmth. Mixed communities experiment dancing without the prejudices of sexuality set in stone.”

FROM LEFT: PANDORA WEARS TOP AND EARRINGS Y/PROJECT PANTS PALACE SUNGLASSES ALAIN MIKLI X ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER LUKA WEARS TOP VINTAGE PANTS GMBH SUNGLASSES ALAIN MIKLI X ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER

KIRA WEARS JACKET SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO BODYSUIT KIRA LILLIE SUNGLASSES ALAIN MIKLI X ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER NECKLACES HER OWN

HEAD TO VMAGAZINE.COM FOR MORE ON KALIENTE 118 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_118-119_MIKLI.indd 118

4/5/18 10:25 AM


FROM LEFT: AMBRE WEARS DRESS ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER SUNGLASSES ALAIN MIKLI X ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER SHOES AND NECKLACE HER OWN OPHÉLIE WEARS JACKET ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER SUNGLASSES ALAIN MIKLI SUMMER 2018 FIONA WEARS JACKET AND SHOES GIVENCHY BRA, TOP, PANTS KENZO LA COLLECTION MEMENTO S/S ’18 SUNGLASSES ALAIN MIKLI SUMMER 2018 AALIYAH WEARS JACKET AND PANTS DIOR DUSTIN WEARS SHRUG AND SHIRT ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER SUNGLASSES ALAIN MIKLI SUMMER 2018 TIGHTS AND SHOES GIVENCHY ALI WEARS PANTS LOUIS VUITTON SHOES NIKE X RICCARDO TISCI MAKEUP KARIN WESTERLUND (ARTLIST) HAIR RIMI URA (WALTER SCHUPFER MANAGEMENT) TALENT LUKA ISAAC (KATE MOSS AGENCY), ALI LATIF (NEXT MODELS), AALIYAH HYDES (MARILYN MODELS), PANDORA GRAESSL, KIRA LILLIE, AMBRE HAZLEWOOD, OPHÉLIE COZETTE, FIONA RADSZUHN, DUSTIN MUCHUVITZ SET DESIGN CÉSAR SÉBASTIEN CASTING DIRECTOR REMI FELIPE ART DIRECTION MATHIEU SELVATICI STYLIST ASSISTANT LOUIS PORTEJOIE HAIR ASSISTANT YUI HIROHATA LOCATION LE PALACE CLUB

VMAGAZINE.COM 119

30683_118-119_MIKLI.indd 119

4/5/18 10:25 AM


BEHIND THE MUSIC

A few musician friends send us a quick snap to say hello from the studio to the stage and beyond.

LYKKE LI SHOOTING A MUSIC VIDEO FOR HER NEW SINGLE “DEEP END” IN MEXICO

LANY AT THE BUCKHEAD THEATRE IN ATLANTA

ROBYN IN HER STUDIO IN STOCKHOLM

TROYE SIVAN BACKSTAGE AT THE TONIGHT SHOW IN NYC

BTS AT AN AWARDS SHOW IN LAS VEGAS

JESSIE WARE ON HER “GLASSHOUSE” TOUR AT PARADISO IN AMSTERDAM

THE INTERNET ON SET OF A PHOTOSHOOT IN LOS ANGELES

MAGGIE ROGERS IN HER HOME STUDIO IN MARYLAND

KACY HILL IN HER HOME STUDIO IN LOS ANGELES

BØRNS AT THE MOMA ARMORY PARTY IN NYC

OLLY ALEXANDER WAITING FOR THE SAILORS, IN BANGKOK, THAILAND

120 VMAGAZINE.COM

30683_120_BACKPAGE.indd 120

4/3/18 10:23 AM

V113: Digital Edition With SZA  
V113: Digital Edition With SZA