800.929.Dior (3467) Dior.com
800.929.Dior (3467) Dior.com
cole photographed by juergen teller www.marcjacobs.com
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vMan 31 Editor-in-Chief / Creative Director StEphEn Gan Editor Elliott DaviD art Director Cian BrownE Senior Editor patrik SanDBErG Managing Director StEvEn ChaikEn Creative Services Director JEnniFEr roSEnBluM photo & Bookings Editor SpEnCEr MorGan taylor associate Market Editors MiChaEl GlEESon Mia Solkin Design alExa viGnolES online Editor nataSha StaGG
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artwork cian browne
on the Cover niCholaS hoult in los angeles, Clothing BurBErry prorSuM photoGraphy Mario tEStino FaShion BEat BolliGEr
48 THE SON OF MAN C L A S S I C A N D C O N T E M P O R A RY, T H E H AT R E P R E S E N T S G E N E R AT I O N S OF STYLE 50 ELEMENTS OF DESIRE CARRY EARTH, AIR, FIRE, OR WATER WITH THE SEASON’S STYLISH BAGS 52 CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS THE LIGHT AND DARK TWISTS ON GETTING GOOD PORES 54 TAILORED FATE DESIGNER ALESSANDRO SARTORI EXPANDS BERLUTI’S HISTORIC INFLUENCE 56 STRIKE THE EMPIRE BACK MEET THREE DESIGNER TALENTS POISED TO TAKE THE INDUSTRY BY STORM 60 IN THE BEGINNING... STRAPPED UP SANDALS HAVE WEATHERED CENTURIES IN STYLE, AND THIS SPRING IS ANOTHER GREAT STAGE IN THEIR EVOLUTION 64 THE ESSENCE OF LIFE THE SCENTS THAT WILL HAVE YOU ASKING MOTHER NATURE FOR MORE 68 HANDS OF TIME WHATEVER YOUR FAITH, PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR THE TIMEPIECES WORTH PRAISING 74 ROBERT ALFONS: TRUST ISSUES WITH HIS INCANDESCENT SOPHOMORE ALBUM JOYLAND, TRUST BRINGS LISTENERS CLOSER TO THE RAPTURE 78 CONNAN MOCKASIN: SUGAR SEX MAGIC TAKE ONE LISTEN TO THE SULTRY SOUNDS OF CONNAN MOCKASIN AND YOU’LL BE CASCADING DOWN PEAKS AND VALLEYS OF MELLOW PERFECTION 82 AXEL WILLNER: FIELD THEORIES LET YOUR MIND SURRENDER TO THE TRANCE-INDUCING TUNES OF THE FIELD 84 SAM SMITH: SOUL MAN THE 21-YEAR-OLD OPENS UP ABOUT UNREQUITED LOVE, HIS OWN MUSICAL PROCESS, AND HOW HE GIVES HIMSELF TO HIS AUDIENCE
92 LIKE THE FIRST TIME NYmphOmANiAc stAr STACY MARTIN DECONSTRUCTS SEXUALITY AND REDEFINES WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A WOMAN 42 VMAN
artwork cian browne
88 WHENEVER I HAVE DONE A THING IN FLAMES MICHAEL SHANNON, ACTING’S MASTER OF MENACE, TALKS THEATER, MUSIC, AND MADNESS
102 TRanshUMan afTER aLL BY niCK KniGhT BEhoLd a fUsion of Man and MaChinE LiKE no oThER 112 sEXY BEasT BY MaRio TEsTino niChoLas hoULT has hELd his oWn in a hosT of RoLEs fRoM ThE aGE of sEVEn. hERE, hE TaLKs To XMEN diRECToR BRYan sinGER aBoUT hoW hE MoRPhEd inTo ThE Man hE is TodaY 124 BoRn aGain BY inEZ & Vinoodh ERMEnEGiLdo ZEGna, BaLEnCiaGa, and diEsEL aRE infUsEd WiTh nEW BLood and REadY To REViVE Us aLL 128 VaniTY TREaTMEnTs BY RiChaRd BURBRidGE LaThER UP in naTURE’s MosT PRoVoCaTiVE PRodUCTs foR sUBLiME sKin 136 BEaUTifUL anaRChY BY MaRK sEGaL LEaThER, MEsh, and BLEaCh-BLond haiR in ThE CiTY of anGELs PRoVE PUnK’s noT dEad 148 dEEPaK ChoPRa BY TERRY RiChaRdson ThE EnTREPREnEURiaL GURU GETs REaL on REaLiTY 154 ThE REinCaRnaTion of sETh RoGEn BY JaMEs fRanCo ThE CoMEdY CRoWn PRinCE TaLKs To his LonGTiME BRo fRanCo on ThE sET of his sECond diRECToRiaL EffoRT, ThE inTERViEW 162 EasT of EdEn BY sEBasTian faEna GiGi hadid is RidinG ThE TRansfoRMaTion TRain sTRaiGhT fRoM REaLiTY TV To ThE hiGh-fashion aLTaR 168 ThE PoWER and ThE GLoRY BY CEdRiC BUChET ThE sPoRTY ’90 s sUiT REdEfinEd foR ToMoRRoW ’s BRaVE nEW WoRLd 178 sPLEndoR in ThE GRass BY daniEL RiERa MiX-and-MaTCh GETs a nEW BLEnd This sPRinG sEason. fEaR noT WhEn PLaYinG WiTh ThE PaTTERns of PLanET EaRTh
192 LinEs of siGhT ThE KEY To YoUR fUTURE in ThE PaLM of YoUR hands 44 VMan
artwork cian browne
184 hiGhER LEaRninG BY shaRif haMZa WhEn iT CoMEs To LEssons in sTYLE, PaY aTTEnTion. iT’s an EdUCaTion in EXCELLEnCE
ARTWoRK CIAN BRoWNE
Spring is synonymous with rebirth. When the inertia of winter has dissipated, new perspectives blossom—on style, health, travel, creativity, entertainment, spirituality, and, really, life itself. The need for restoration this time of year sent us on a journey of discovery. Looking to the future, who (and what) is replenishing our faith in mankind? Though you might not be completely familiar with him, the fresh-faced movie star Nicholas Hoult was a natural choice. Long one of Hollywood’s hardest-working and most promising actors (he started at age three), Hoult has built a steady and impressive career within the towering industry of flm and whittled his craft with precision and grace. With this summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns to the helm of the superhero franchise he built into a global phenomenon. The sci-f epic is destined to be Hoult’s most blockbuster turn to date—and it doesn’t hurt that he’s performing opposite his much-obsessed-about girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence. For his cover story, photographed by Mario Testino and styled by Beat Bolliger, Hoult and Singer talk about making mythology come alive, traveling through time, and reconnecting with your soul on the open road. But believe us, the journey of rediscovery doesn’t end there. The fashion industry has a fever for what’s fresh that’s higher than ever. Several established brands are boasting new talent and reinventing codes long established under their respective names. Berluti has expanded into ready-to-wear under designer Alessandro Sartori, Stefano Pilati is ushering in a welcome return to the menswear stage at his new post at Ermenegildo Zegna, Alexander Wang is wielding his adroit vision in new ways at Balenciaga, and VMAN contributing fashion editor Nicola Formichetti is staging a comprehensive revolution at the iconic denim brand Diesel. In this issue, we take stock of these changes and assess what they mean for the business of fashion moving forward. In addition to the big-name houses and designers we’ve come to know and trust, there are, of course, innumerable bright young talents making waves this season in London and New York. Here we spotlight only a few of these emerging designers in hope of seeing more from them in the seasons to come. Get to know Astrid Andersen, Siki Im, and Telfar Clemens. Direct from the catwalks, the Spring collections reiterated an intense fascination with technology and the future. If you’ve attended a fashion show within the last four years, you’re already well aware of man’s symbiosis with mobile devices, which capture each look for the masses via social media. Who better to highlight the trend of man-meets-machine than the technically astute Nick Knight? In a dizzying feat of technopsychedelia, Knight and stylist Simon Foxton capture fashion’s brave new world in a colorful and kinetic digital landscape. Richard Burbridge and Robbie Spencer bask in the beautiful and bizarre natural treatments that will keep your skin suspended in time. We’ve also got the big picture covered when it comes to breaking down prints, bringing back the power suit, and beckoning the spirit of punk to follow us farther into the 21st century. Breakout supermodel Gigi Hadid strips down for her most revealing shoot yet, and we bring you the latest on Seth Rogen’s next directorial feature, courtesy of his brother in crime, our fearless friend James Franco. We’re so smitten right now with the science of the spirit that we’ve even got Deepak Chopra! See how he’s changing the lives of urban youth through yoga in a way you’ve never seen the guru before—by none other than Terry Richardson. Whatever your beliefs—spiritual, scientifc, or supernatural—now is the dawn of a new journey of the soul. Enjoy what these designers and artists have to offer and see if you feel your faith restored. The ediTors
on LeFt, FroM LeFt: sean Wears Jacket PRADA shirt CARVEN hat BORSALINO siMon Wears cLothing JUNYA WATANABE hat BORSALINO
BeLoW: siMon anD Louis Wear cLothing anD hats BERLUTI
on right: cLothing anD hats RAG & BONE
photography charlie engman fashion christian stroble 48 vman
Location Fast ashLeys BrookLyn
the hat is a means of self-expression accepted by men of every ilk and ideology, transcending a centuryâ€™s worth of class structures, cultural shifts, art movements, and musical genres. it is at once a declaration of uniqueness and a codifier of fellowship. its prevalence this spring proves that some traditions still serve to bring us closer together.
d e s i r e
fire, air, water, earthâ€”brave the adventurous months ahead by summoning earthly aspects to your aid. the whole world is within your grasp. photography junichi ito fashion julian antetomaso 50 vman
clockwise from top left: fire givenchy by riccardo tisci air salvatore ferragamo water versace earth lanvin
photo assistant nobu narita
e l e m e n t s
cleanliness is next to godliness yin and yang, p ositive and negative, light and dark . manâ€™s duality is best p ondered with pure p ores, as freshness is easily advocated over filth.
photography daniel lindh fashion Julian antetomaso
Dark TOM FORD intensiVe PuriFying MuD Mask
ProP stylist Michele Faro (art DePartMent) Photo assistants nick DaMiano anD cole slutzky ProDuction Bo zhang (ManageMent artists) location root stuDios catering Monterone
light TOM FORD oil-Free Daily Moisturizer
spring summer 14 m .co ain lm www.ba
t A i l o r e d
f A t e
AlessAndro sArtori, Artistic director of the house of Berluti, speArheAds the first prêt-à-porter And fully Bespoke mensweAr offerings from A BrAnd thAt hAs its roots in the 19th century. photogrAphy j.d. ferguson it’s almost cosmic that after nearly 125 years in business,
Retouching Leah LehReR
Berluti hired alessandro Sartori as artistic director, bringing him on not only to oversee the creative direction of the house’s already well-known leather shoes, but also to expand into men’s ready-to-wear for the frst time in a century. Sartori shares a frst name with the house’s founder, alessandro Berluti, and his family name comes from the italian for “tailor.” that’s plenty of fodder for fatalists. “it is for sure just a coincidence,” Sartori says of his landing at Berluti, clearly not seduced by the notion of kismet. But he was certainly destined to design. he’s been making suits since he was an 11-year-old child in Biella, italy—an ancient town in the foothills of the alps whose statues indicate a tradition of garment-making that began as early as the 13th century. it is a land of historic spirituality, a site of sanctuaries, shrines, and churches also dating back to the Middle ages. But fatalism aside, Sartori recalls an early passion and innate “will to create,” which has been with him ever since. in a few short seasons, Sartori put Berluti menswear on the map, and last fall he launched an all-occasions, head-to-toe bespoke range. “tuxedos, suits, jackets, but also shirts and chinos,” Sartori says, with the optimism of his 11-year-old self. “Berluti is now the only men’s brand in the world to offer a full bespoke wardrobe.” the difference between making suits on his mother’s sewing machine in the ’70s and the way he works today is that Sartori has the French tailoring company arnys (acquired by LVMh in 2012 and then folded into Berluti) under his command. So between the legendary craftsmanship of two historic houses—Berluti, for leatherworking, and arnys, for tailoring—Sartori has found himself in a place where he can indulge in nearly any creative impulse. “i cut, i sketch, and it’s like constant work, like a laboratory study, an atelier in my mind,” he says. Something about the way Sartori speaks is meditative: he is constantly clarifying, revising, delving deeper and further into expression. “When i inspect the material, when i do the treatments, i want to know that the exact thing i am doing will last forever, getting better as the garment gets older, aging better.” it’s that obsessive, almost spiritual approach to design that bonds Sartori to the Berluti man. he recalls a customer who would visit the London store every week to have coffee and read magazines while the manager personally tended to the glaçage of his shoes (using the word “polishing” feels to Berluti almost like swearing in church). it is not uncommon for the house to take in 15 or 20 pairs of shoes for refurbishing while their owner goes away on vacation. Being a Berluti man comes with its own set of rituals and obsessions, and maintaining such a wardrobe is as much a commitment as it is a luxury. “our customer really likes what we do, and they do not take lightly the job.” neither does Sartori, evidently. Todd Plummer
strike the empire back the force is strong with these ones. meet three maverick d e s i g n e r s c h a r g i n g t h e g at e s o f t h e fa s h i o n e s ta b l i s h m e n t b y e x pa n d i n g t h e c o d e s o f w h at i t means to be masculine. consider t h e m m e n s w e a r’ s n e w h o p e .
photography benjamin lennox fashion tom van dorpe
astrid andersen City: London and Copenhagen Launched: 2011. My frst show was for Fall, in February of that year. What was your breakout moment? I will always think back to my frst feature in i-D; it was the frst time I felt things moving beyond my own capacity. It was a whole page styled by Simon Foxton before I had even graduated from the Royal College of Art. Getting the fnale catwalk at RCA for some reason feels very prestigious when you are there, and it felt like such an overwhelming appreciation of my work. How would you describe your Spring collection? It’s inspired by a stone collection I saw in Florence last summer. It had such a huge impact in terms of beauty, but also held the story of something very hard and strong yet sensitive in its spiritual aspects and delicate colors. These are the opposites I always try to fnd in my work. It’s what attracts me to men in general. The most prominent piece for me is the frst outft that went out on the catwalk: tight, ftted spandex with lace inserts, all white. This look was exactly what I wanted that season: very clean, with a nod to performancewear, with a fabric combination and cut that still looks very masculine while treading a fne line with feminine references. Do you have a personal philosophy when it comes to design? I strongly believe in physically being in a place that relaxes you, surrounded by people who matter, which is why my studio is in Copenhagen. It is essential for my work that I am comfortable in my everyday routines. Then I get to travel so much back and forth, which is amazing because I love London and feel very connected to the city. How has the response been to your Spring show? Every season I feel even more overwhelmed at the nice response to my work. It was my frst solo show in London, so it was about defning a direction without labeling the brand too much. The real test is in impressing buyers, as they will really determine the future of the brand. This season sales stepped up and the right shops I’d been hoping for were excited. What’s next for Fall? I just showed Autumn 2014 last week and now I’m on my way to Paris to do sales. I’m also doing a very limited collaboration on a capsule with Topman, which I am super excited about. I feel honored to be working with them as I continue to receive their amazing support as part of NEWGEN.
giuseppe homme giuseppe zanotti design
shop at www.giuseppezanottidesign.com
City: New York Launched: 2009. My frst show was at a factory in the Meatpacking District, before it was converted. It was my Lord of the Flies collection. What was your breakout moment? Fall 2010. Every collection is based in a certain subculture. This collection was the American Psycho–Wall Street collection, and it was when the recession hit. There was Jewish dressing, but there was also hard-core music. There were different cultures and I was trying to mix them. How would you describe your Spring collection? This collection is inspired by prisons and hospitals. I was reading Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and there was this one passage where the protagonist talks about looking at these inmates and he feels like they appreciate life more than people outside the prison do, and I guess it makes sense. In life we take things for granted. And it is a happy topic, though it is about institutionalization and prison. I wanted to do a cute, paisley-ish print, but with tattoos, so my friend Maxime Buchi designed a print based on Russian prison tattoos. Some of them are actually my personal tattoos I have on my body. Do you have a personal philosophy when it comes to design? I’m fascinated by certain cultures. When I get close to something that moves me, usually it happens to be something more broken, more honest, and dark. But there is something poetic and redeeming about it; there’s always something good. It doesn’t need to be in-your-face or jolly, but personally I gravitate toward heavier subjects. I try to respect them and not create caricatures, but on the other hand I don’t want it to be too serious either. How has the response been to your Spring show? I was made fun of on Jimmy Kimmel and it really woke me up and showed me how stupid what I’m doing is when you take it out of context [laughs]. It was great. The plastic made an impact. What’s next for Fall? We are deep into the new collection, and it’s going to be totally different. I can’t tell you too much so you should be surprised. One of the subjects is something I always hated, but it still intrigues me and I feel like it’s right now, so I’ve been researching and trying to make it my own. It’s so disgusting that I love it now. You’ll have to wait and see what it is.
telfar City: New York Launched: 2004. I was selling genderless jersey styles that came in black, white, and gray. I shot the lookbooks with myself as the model. When did you experience a breakthrough? It happens each season when I see the fnal product of the collection. It’s always a breakthrough. How would you describe your Spring collection? It’s based on swim-inspired activewear, in terms of detail and functionality. Everything is adjustable. The details are similar to what you’d fnd on bikinis and board shorts, but remixed with casual items like dress shirts and khaki slacks. The waterproof nylon makes streetwear swimcapable. For the show, I collaborated with Babak Radboy of Shanzhai Biennial on a video lookbook that was adapted into another clothing line that we called Get-TheLook, featuring each look from the collection on a T-shirt. We used a 20-foot LED curtain to project video simultaneously, as the matching prerecorded model walked the runway—sixty models walked out to images of their own faces. Do you have a personal philosophy when it comes to design? Usefulness and functionality. If it doesn’t do anything for you, I won’t make it. How has the response been to your Spring show? Amazing. I feel like there was something for everyone in this collection, hence the title, Mainstream:Fluid. I also feel like it was groundbreaking in terms of what we created with video. Our content took on many different lives. What’s next for Fall? We are having a BIG show. I’m again collaborating with Shanzhai Biennial and we’re creating an extra-special release. Hint: it comes packaged in all sizes.
HAIR MARK HAMpTON (JULIAN WATSON AGENcY) GROOMING DOTTI USING MALIN + GOETz (STREETERS) MODELS FELIx REISS (DNA), JAN AEBERHARD (NY MODELS), KYLE MOBUS (RE:QUEST), ABEL VAN OEVEREN (VNY), FELIx LILJEFORS AND KIRILL (WILHELMINA) DIGITAL TEcHNIcIAN ADAM LEON pROp STYLIST ELI METcALF (MAREK & ASSOcIATES) pHOTO ASSISTANTS BEN BEAGENT, JAMES BROADRIBB, cOREY JENKINS, BEN MILLS STYLIST ASSISTANT cARRIE WEIDNER HAIR ASSISTANTS TIM AND YASUHIRO GROOMING ASSISTANTS KATIE ROBINSON AND LAURA STIASSNI pRODUcTION BO zHANG (MANAGEMENT ARTISTS) pROp STYLIST ASSISTANTS BRIAN BUSTOS AND ROY DELGADO RETOUcHING UppERSTUDIO.cO.UK LOcATION LIGHTBOx-NY cATERING GREEN cATERING
KISS Photographed by Danny Clinch, Brooklyn NY 2014
V I E W T H E F I L M A T J O H N VA RVA T O S . C O M
i n t h e beginning... fig leaves and loincloths may have fa l l e n o u t o f fa s h i o n , b u t t h e sandal is one biblical staple still relevant after all these millennia
photography dan forbes fashion julian antetomaso 60 vman
givenchy By RiccARDO TiSci
Photo assistant Corinne Weber set design assistant sam York LoCation root studios Catering monterone sPeCiaL thanks duke (exotiCs unLimited)
giuseppe zanotti design
body makeup Jenai Chin using makeup Forever (artists at Wilhelmina) models Craig, shane, aleJandro (parts models) set design matt JaCkson (brydges maCkinney)
calvin klein collection
e s s e n c e o f l i f e when concocting an arcadian scent for all seasons, top brands issue a c a l l t o t h e w i l d. g e t a s f r e s h a s the flora our world has to offer . photographY jill greenberg
BOTTEGA vEnETA pour homme
evoking pinewood, hay, fr cones, and wild irises, Bottega Veneta pour homme is a rustic retreat from reality.
ermenegildo ZegnA haitian vetiver
Bright and uplifting, ermenegildo Zegnaâ€™s haitian vetiver is made from private crops harvested in southwest haiti. Derived from one signature raw material, it joins fve other fragrances as a part of the houseâ€™s essenze collection.
GIVENCHY gentlemen only
green mandarin, pink pepper, nutmeg, cedar wood, patchouli, and vetiver blend to create a woody, timeless aroma.
grooming laura dE lE贸n (JoE) modEls hEath hutchins (nY modEls), JEEho baE (rEd), michaEl langE (WilhElmina) grooming assistant miguEl llEdo rEtouching Jill grEEnbErg
TOM FORD noir clothing TOM FORD
containing pure citrus, spearmint, dry black pepper, enriched clary sage, and Egyptian geranium, tom Ford noir is now cooler and more carnal than ever.
clothing, ring, cuff links, watch versace rosary DaviD yurman
h a n d s t i m
o f e
n e a r ly e v e ry r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e t r e at s h a n d s a s a n t e n n a e t o t h e h e av e n s , t o o l s for transcendence. But regardless of what you Believe, keep your wrists reverent to that which we all most devoutly oBey: time. photography anthony cotsifas fashion michael reynolds 68 vman
watch cartier shirt etro necklace shambaLLa JeWeLs bracelet (top) kaia bracelets (bottom) david yurman
Body makeup anneliese Tieck using jouer (arTisTs aT Wilhelmina) manicure mar y soul (ray BroWn pro) phoTo assisTanTs karl leiTz, amanda hakan, caleB andriella reTouching anonymous reTouch
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v m a n 3 1 THE OUTER LIMITS MIN D-ALTERIN G MU SIC MAKE RS
TRUST, CONNAN MOCKASIN, THE FIELD, SAM SMITH
FIL M’ S EX TR EMISTS
THE RADIANT MADNESS OF MICHAEL SHANNON N y m p h o m a N i a c S TA R A N D L A R S v O N T R I E R M U S E S TA C y M A R T I N p H O T O G R A p H E D b y G A S p A R N O É
r o b e r t a l f o n s : t r u s t i s s u e s robert alfons, aka trust, makes such compelling and cohesive music he requires a band name. a new album, Jo yland, explores the duality of light and d a r k , m a s c u l i n e a n d f e m i n i n e , e c s tat i c g l e e a n d exquisite gloom. photography seth fluker text carrie battan
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began as a collaborative act, with austra’s maya postepski—is alfons’s solo project. Solitude seems to be a natural state for the vocalist, who says he passes much of his time on e-mail coordinating the logistics of the trust project—the tours, the recording, the promotion. He acts as his own manager, a rare situation for an artist in an age when the industry has become a rube Goldberg machine of booking agencies and factory-like management companies. “[Having a manager] is a very intimate relationship,” he says. “and i haven’t found the right partnership with someone who will take it on.” aside from his preference for being a one-man show-runner, alfons has a respect for simplicity and seclusion in his everyday life. Solitude had a restorative effect in his world following a marathon tour in support of his 2012 debut TRST, after which he returned to toronto to relish a routine of doing very little. taking solitary walks, visiting the waterfront
near his new apartment, playing video games—these are the experiences alfons sought after the whirlwind of travel and work. “it was stuff that i hadn’t been able to do for years and years,” he says. “Civil, human things. i felt so grateful.” Solitude has also helped spark creative development, in the guise of wanderlust. alfons experienced a bit of a breakthrough a couple of years ago, during a solo trip to argentina, where the ideational seeds of the new record were planted. He went there on something of a whim, acting on a fascination with South america and a desire to travel in a setting he hadn’t experienced before. “i was alone there,” he said. “i felt really isolated. i was like, this is the start of it.” at the time he was reading The Autobiography of Red, the best-known work of revered Canadian language experimentalist and oddball author anne Carson, which is partially set in argentina. the book struck him in a way that books can only strike young people during forma-
tive, soul-searching experiences, often in foreign countries, and he latched on to one passage of Carson’s in particular. “at one point, the book focuses on two characters,” he explains, recalling Carson’s words as though they’re sitting in front of him. “they’re young and they have a connection, and she describes them as two superior eels at the bottom of the tank, and they recognize each other like italics. “it’s a special sort of quaint idea,” he says. “it really sort of revved me up.” alfons grew up in the small city of Winnipeg, which is situated in the Canadian prairies, where he says the sky is “bigger than you’ve ever seen it before.” He says he feels a pull toward that sort of landscape, and could see himself moving back to the prairies one day. it’s important for him to maintain a connection with the natural world. “is that cheesy?” he asks me. “i remember David byrne saying he would never take pictures of a landscape or a cloud and thinking, but why? Watching the sunset—there’s nothing that could be better.”
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When you hear the frst single off Joyland, the sophomore album from Canadian electro-goth act trust, you assume two voices are present: amid the basement-booming throb and the trademark slippery, low-register vocals arrives a featherlight new tone, a feminine foil to the song’s brooding masculinity. So it’s a surprise to hear that robert alfons, whose distinctive moody growl shaped the sound of trust’s debut record, is responsible for both. “it exemplifes crazy mood swings the way that i experience them,” alfons says one Friday evening, in his hometown of toronto, where he’s lived on and off for most of his adult life. “but at the same time, it’s also like a playground. it’s not literal and it’s obviously a chance for me to be creative and slip into a character and perform. “i wanted to make opportunities on this record to record duets with myself,” he continues. in conversation he’s soft-spoken yet direct, serious but not self-serious. Ultimately, he bears little resemblance to his recorded persona. “those [new] tones were a bit too maniacal for the frst record,” he says. “[but] i have to keep it interesting for myself.” it’s especially important for him to play around with new tools now that trust—which
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connan mockasin: sugar sex magic The elusive and mysTerious sonic shaman connan mockasin Took a fan-clamored sTep inTo The sp oTlighT wiTh This yearâ€™s album of seducTive soul jams for The criminally insane, C aramel. among his acolyTes is acTress brie larson, who declared her love of mockasinâ€™s pyrolyTic p op during her recenT ama on reddiT, where weirdos go To Thrive. an underground darling in her own righT, larson finally garnered well-deserved praise for her harrowing performance in Short term 12. larson caughT up wiTh mockasin in search of veraciTy in The viscousness.
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“I love beIng stuck In a project, and that ’s all you’re seeIng. I lIke the Idea of havIng somewhere else to go.” —connan mockasIn
His hair is growing longer, in blond strands. He wears sweaters in pink, cream, and gold. Or vests that look like Christmas. You could fnd him lounging in Tokyo hotels with Japanese girls, or sleeping on benches in London, or recording in a tent in his homeland of New Zealand. It’s hard to say who he is, really. Particularly because he’s reluctant to self-categorize: he wouldn’t say he is a songwriter—he doesn’t sit down and write with a guitar in a conventional sense. He moves around, hears music in his head, and (when he gets around to it) puts it into an album. He may fnish a painting. He may build a robot. “I love being stuck in a project, and that’s all you are seeing,” he says over Skype. “I like the idea of having somewhere else to go.” He may also open for your favorite bands, like Radiohead, Beck, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. He does occasionally perform, but he could feel more inclined to make a flm. Or interview the interviewer. His mind is unconfned, wide-eyed to the journey ahead, whatever that is. So the only way to go into his world is by pressing play. Both of his albums, 2010’s Please Turn Me Into the Snat and September’s Caramel, start with introductions: echoes and deep far-off tones that gently pull you in, guided by Connan’s voice, sounding like a sexually mischievous nipper recorded on vinyl now warped by the weather. The cover of Snat, which was rereleased in 2011, as Forever Dolphin Love, features a self-portrait in primary colors. On the album, Connan sings about love, he sings about black beans, and takes words we may fnd ugly—like “choade”—and transforms them into childlike rhymes that sound like real magic. Caramel was created by his love of the titular word: how it sounds, how it made him feel. “It was early last year when I thought, Oh, I feel like making a record called Caramel, and I want it to sound like an album that would be called Caramel. That was it. Nothing more to it.” Mockasin rented a hotel room in Tokyo, where he recorded with a revolving cast of characters, coming and going and coming. Who those people were and what happened in that room was nothing he could explain. Instead, what we get is an auricular artifact. The perfect mixture of butter and sugar, melted to form an album that sounds exactly how caramel tastes. The album moves sweetly, slowly, smoothly, once again revisiting the themes of love and longing. “I’m the Man, That Will Find You” will be the frst song to get stuck in your teeth, begging you to give the whole album another listen. “It’s Your Body” is a fve-part exploration that expresses the roller coaster of the physical—a moving warble, flled with tangents that seem to take you far from the center only to bring you back again. The tempos change, the feelings change from serene self-refection to angst and then back to an inner calm, seducing dance moves that might vary from slow fuidity to jittery jumping—it’s your body. Mockasin’s music gives the listener a chance to get closer, but closer to what? That isn’t for him to tell you.
Brie Larson is a writer and actress living in Los Angeles. She can be seen later this year starring opposite Mark Wahlberg in The Gambler.
A X E L W I L L N E R : f I E L d t h E o R I E s AXEL WILLNER, Who mAkEs musIc uNdER mANy moNIkERs but Is bEst kNoWN As thE fIELd, Is A mAstER cRAftsmAN of mEdItAtIvE souNdscApEs, goRgEous NootRopIc Loops thAt sEEp dEEp INto thE mINd, suppLANtINg thE NAtuRAL Rhythms thERE WIth thosE of hIs oWN INvENtIoN. photogRAphy ALEXANdRE dE bRAbANt fAshIoN pAuL mAXImILIAN schLossER tEXt joNNy coLEmAN
force-feeding every artistic intention makes people want to know more. and that wanting is worth more than ever. There are no discernable lyrics, just syllabic shards of words and recursive fricatives he uses as additional elements of his sonic pallet, communicative on many levels, but none of them literal. his music is devoid of big hooks, traditional pop structures, or context other than the sound that initiates each song, ever-present throughout its symphonic looping. The songs grow vertically more than linearly, much like the unconscious itself, composed as it is of memories stacked on memories. often Willner loops the same material without any variation, and the odd phenomenon is that the brain starts to imagine and impose its own sounds and patterns to create variation where there is none. That’s where the real power of his music comes from—letting his listeners co-navigate the experience, whether they know it or not. Willner is something of an enigma in the techno world, musical terrain dominated by the short form: singles, splits, ePs, remix packages, podcasts. he appears disinterested in administering an online voice or explaining much of his process. But all four of his albums as The Field, from his 2007 debut, From Here We Go Sublime, to last september’s Cupid’s Head, have been universally lauded by the critics. But even without a big single to his name or a loud media presence, Willner makes music that people outside the niches of techno, minimalism, and ambient fnd not merely accessible but infatuating. Which he’s achieved by essentially just making whatever he wants. The music consistently strikes a nerve, perhaps because the post-sensory experience resultant from listening to the music can transcend the music itself. or maybe it’s just that it’s really fucking good. Probably both. either way, it works. Willner took on a new guise, hands, for his most recent album, called The Soul Is Quick (ecstatic). When asked what it’s going to sound like, he says, “Droney with distant percussions...to try to sum it up in one word...”
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“…seasick,” answers axel Willner, and i’m not sure if he’s talking about feeling ill because of too much undulation, that woozy nausea that often accompanies a proper hangover, or if he means that he’s longing for the sea. Willner has a habit of bringing things around full circle and obfuscating them at the same time. We’ve been speaking for a while about yearning to be near water, a proclivity connected to his childhood in sweden and Portugal. now based in Berlin, Willner has a lifelong attraction to fuid, its origins arguably amniotic. When a body of water isn’t close by, his equilibrium is upset. he can become moody, despondent even. axel Willner makes trance music. not trance as in the genre dominated by Tiesto megarave fst-pumping, but trance as a state of consciousness—immersive music that relies on repetition and subtle guidance to alter your plane of awareness, music that tickles you in parts of your brain usually reserved for fugue states, dreams, waking nightmares. The eDm-via-classical kaleidoscopes of nils Frahm, the dystopic techno hodgepodge of James holden, The Disintegration Loops, Terry riley, Tangerine Dream, Wolfgang Voigt (aka Gas)—recordings that burrow into your head and never come up for air again. That trance. Willner records music under a variety of aliases, each with its own aesthetic signature—Lars Blek (pastoral drone), Loops of Your heart (heart-on-sleeve ambient analog warmth), Black Fog (John carpenter horror) —but he’s most widely recognized as The Field. Despite, or perhaps because of, his many creative aliases, he seems to exist somewhat anonymously. “making music with other monikers was kind of a meditation for me,” he says. Willner doesn’t use drugs or dabble in sensory deprivation or any sort of formal types of hypnotherapy or meditation. The work, he explains, comes out in short, intense bursts, in between commonplace rituals of listening and thinking, cooking and eating. he’s straightforward but also withholding. it’s unclear if he’s reticent because this is really how he is or if he knows that mystique is in short supply these days, that not
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PhotoGRaPhY maX Von GumPPEnBERG anD PatRiCK BiEnERt Fashion saBina sChREDER It’s an unremarkably cold night in December in New York City and the restaurant lounge
of Soho House is packed, though there is a noticeable divide among the people in atten-
dance: the majority is the usual crowd—socialites sipping wine and talking loudly over their seated dinners—the rest are standing between tables, or wherever they can fnd space, anxiously waiting to see Sam Smith, a buzzed-about British musician from the small town of Cambridgeshire. Half an hour passes, and fnally the 6'3" singer emerges, a towering presence that somehow goes unnoticed by all but his attentive fans. Smith nervously takes the microphone and wastes little time before beginning to sing, but a sound system error makes him almost impossible to hear. Then, mid-note, the volume is suddenly fxed, and his voice flls every square inch of the venue as he belts out a sound that would have given Whitney Houston shivers. The whole restaurant goes quiet, and all eyes turn to Sam Smith. The Soho House performance was one of his frst in the United States—and a very nerve-wracking one for the 21 year old. “I started off doing theater as a kid and I always played a character,” he says. “I hid behind the script and was told where to go. But to actually perform as yourself is very diffcult. I didn’t used to enjoy it, but now I do. If you listen to my lyrics, they’re just so honest and personal. When I sing, I want people to feel my soul.” Smith had a huge debut in the U.K. in the past year, his soulful voice featured on two widely successful tracks: Disclosure’s “Latch” and Naughty Boy’s “La La La,” which reached number one on the offcial singles chart. These projects speak not only to the faith that more established artists have in him but also to his versatility: Smith can sing on an upbeat electronic track just as easily as on a stirring ballad. These skills have already garnered him wide recognition in the music industry. Smith
began the year with the 2014 Critics’ Choice Brit Award as well as BBC’s “Sound of 2014” award already under his belt, not to mention public support from just about every major British artist, from Jessie Ware to Adele. Following the success of his debut EP, Nirvana, and frst single, “Money on My Mind,” comes Smith’s highly anticipated debut album, In the Lonely Hour. “The record is about the fact that I’ve never really been in a relationship before,” says Smith. “It sounds so sad, but I believe that the best songs are love songs, and I wanted to make it clear to everybody that unrequited love is a form of love. And even learning to love yourself. There are so many different forms of love. But we don’t call it real love, do we? We say real love is when you’re with someone. This album is my statement. It’s my message, saying, ‘I may never have been in a relationship, but I have felt love. I have felt pain and hurt.’” It is this warmth and openness that have made so many fans fall in love with Smith. When he sings, just as when he speaks, he is baring his soul. His songs are more than words, more than chords. From writing it to the moment he sings it, music is a spiritual experience for Smith, and this emotional investment in the art is invariably delivered to the listener not just through his incredible voice but also by his earnest sentiment—a rarity in pop music. “I’ve written about 100 songs over the past year,” he says. “You just know when you’ve written the right one, because it has that spirituality, it has that honesty and truth. I’ll write a song and think it’s great because I’m concentrating on it so much, and then one day I’ll write a song that just fows. It’s those songs that always make the cut, because they have spirituality in them. My music relies solely on the feeling. Just the feeling.” William Defebaugh
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whenever i have done a thing in flames m i c h a e l s h a n n o n i s o n e o f o u r m o s t i n c e n d i a ry a c t o r s . o n s ta g e a n d o n s c r e e n , o f t e n at t h e direction of our greatest auteurs, his performances a r e a lway s i g n i t i n g , a n d t h e i r s t r a n g e l i g h t illuminates the darker truths of man.
photography michael halsband fashion sabina schreder t e x t j u s t i n ta y l o r Michael Shannon is an expert at a certain kind of menace. Or maybe the menace comes naturally and his expertise is in everything else. He’s tall and imposing, with a blocky
jaw—a born bruiser—and when one of his characters does smile, he often seems to be simultaneously wincing in pain. Shannon has played many cold-blooded (as well as a few hot-blooded) murderers, and all manner of men on the verge or in the midst of psychic disaster. His Nelson Van Alden, probably the most interesting and underrated character on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, always looks like he’s about to be crushed by the endless abuse he suffers, but then, just when you expect him to fnally collapse, he explodes instead. To really get a sense of Shannon, it helps to get beyond the menacing stuff. This is the guy who made his flm debut with a tiny role in Groundhog Day, as a teenager sitting in a diner eternally eating the same omelet while Bill Murray’s Phil Connors is forced to live in Harold Ramis’s idea of No Exit. This is the guy who played Eminem’s mom’s boyfriend in 8 Mile, and Hart Crane’s lover in The Broken Tower (the former role required him to believably lose a fght with Eminem, the latter to wear a sailor suit and chase James Franco across the Brooklyn Bridge). This is the guy who basically won the Internet last summer with a dramatic reading of the “Delta Gamma Sorority Letter” for the website Funny or Die. All this is to say nothing of his theater career or his work with legendary directors such as Werner Herzog, William Friedkin, Sam Mendes (whose Revolutionary Road earned Shannon a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination), John Waters, Michael Bay, Oliver Stone, and particularly Jeff Nichols, a writer-director who has featured Shannon in all of his flms to date, from 2007’s Shotgun Stories to 2011’s Take Shelter, a flm that should have won every Academy Award it should have been nominated for—which is all of them (but was none of them).
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i caught up with shannon, who was weary but genial, fresh off his third or fourth fight of the past week. he’d been at sundance supporting an action sci-f movie called
Young Ones (he also has a cameo in another sundance premiere, They Came Together, david Wain’s new rom-com satire, starring amy Poehler and Paul rudd), then he went from Park city back to Brooklyn for the birth of his second daughter, then he hit the road again a few days later to meet up with Jeff nichols in new orleans. their new flm, Midnight Special, began shooting the very next day. “Jeff wanted me to say as little as possible,” shannon replied when i asked him about the movie. “But i can say that it is set in the future, in the midwest, colorado or Wyoming-type areas, and i play a man who is trying to protect his son from…forces.” Midnight Special is nichols’s frst time working with major studio backing, and though shannon himself has done everything from community theater to Man of Steel (he plays the genocidal alien warlord, General zod), his collaborations with nichols have all been intimately scaled and budgeted independent flms. i asked how the transition from indie to Warner Brothers might affect the way they worked. shannon chose to interpret this question as being specifcally about nichols. “he’s earned it,” he said. “and he won’t be wasteful. But there are just certain…considerations, when your budget is only a few million dollars or a few hundred thousand dollars.” this notion of “considerations” led me to wonder about the difference for shannon between working on stage versus acting for the screen. i’d read an onion a/v club interview with him in which he’d said, “theater is the best. that’s where you get the work done.” i asked him to expand on that thought. “in flm,” he said, “i don’t feel like i get to spend enough time with the character. no matter how much time you spend preparing, once you shoot the scene, it’s over. maybe a week later you would have thought of something different to bring to it, but it’s already shot.” But what about Boardwalk Empire? sure, any given scene with van alden is prepped, shot, and done, but shannon has lived with and shaped the character for a full fve years now. “van alden is like a ghost,” shannon said. “he comes when he is called. i go away from him for six months and don’t think about him, and then i go back to him and i can just do it.” theater, shannon said, offers the possibility of recreating—and reimagining—a performance over time, day by day or over the course of years, and that creates a different, deeper intimacy. also, “there’s an assumption in flm that what you are going for is some kind of naturalism, and in theater you don’t have that.” shannon is also a musician. he played in his school jazz band as a kid in Louisville, and later got into playing guitar. “i would say more than half of actors play guitar,” he said. “i like playing guitar. But everyone likes playing guitar.” his current band, corporal,
was founded with ray rizzo, another Louisville-to-Brooklyn transplant, and rob Beitzel. shannon writes lyrics, plays guitar and keys, and sings. their self-titled debut, which came out in 2011, has a fairly straightforward indie/ folk-rock sound with occasional punk outbursts and 12-minute epics. the band’s infuences include Pavement, the silver Jews, the Fall, Wilco, and the magnolia electric company, whose “Farewell transmission” shannon counts among his favorite songs. at the end of that song, singer-songwriter Jason molina (riP) repeats the word “listen” several times with a ghostly pleading passion that has to be heard to be properly understood. shannon told me that when he was directing a version of eugene ionesco’s Hunger and Thirst (the only play he has ever directed), one character had to tell her husband, “Listen,” and shannon told his actress to listen to the song. “not to imitate him, but to absorb the energy.” the absurdist ionesco is shannon’s favorite playwright. romanian-born but Parisian by choice, ionesco is one of the touchstones of avant-garde theater, and shannon will star in a newly translated version of The Killer at the theater for a new audience, in Brooklyn, this may and June. the play is about a regular Joe who fnds a secret “radiant city” near his own bleak urban neighborhood, a kind of tucked-away utopia troubled only by a single maniacal serial killer whom the police have elected to allow to remain at large. shannon, interestingly, will not play the maniac, but the regular Joe. “how can you take your life completely seriously, knowing how fragile it is?” shannon said. “you want your life to be sturdy, but it isn’t. Life is very unsturdy.” this absurdist streak is evident, albeit subtly, in much of shannon’s dramatic work as well. richard kuklinski, the remorseless contract killer shannon played in The Iceman, is a deeply absurd fgure: his unique combination of bloodlust and detachment makes him ideally suited for his line of work—he’s a kind of exemplary abomination—though it’s sheer serendipity that turns him pro. up until then, he’d been killing people just for the hell of it. even Take Shelter is, in a sense, an absurdist tragedy—and shannon’s curtis La Fourche a kind of inside-out iceman. instead of meting out endless punishment, curtis suffers slings and arrows shot not by enemies but by devastatingly impersonal forces: the economy, life in tornado country, the kafkan nightmare of health insurance, his own genetic predisposition for schizophrenia, his daughter’s medical needs. the flm derives much of its tension from the question of whether curtis’s visions of a coming super-storm are prophecy or paranoid delusion, but it does not hinge on this question, and ultimately refuses to resolve it. “People want it to be a fork in the road,” shannon said. “he’s crazy or the storm is real. But why can’t it be both?” Justin Taylor’s third book, Flings, will be published in August by Harper Collins
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“ I wo u l d f e e l e m p t y a f t e r , a n d I wo u l d t h I n k t o m y s e l f, Is thIs me as a person or Is thIs me as the character? t h e r e ’ s a r e a l ly f I n e l I n e . I wa s n ’ t a s h a m e d t o b e t I r e d or upset or angry. It’s probably how [my character] felt. I t ’ s d I f f I c u lt, b u t t h at ’ s t h e p r o c e s s . ” — s ta c y m a r t I n
opposite page: top Bouchra Jarrar pants hugo this page: Blouse Martin grant Bra ErEs skirt Jitrois shoes giusEppE Zanotti DEsign
Shirt NiNa Ricci Bra WolfoRd Skirt EmaNuEl uNgaRo GloveS maisoN fabRE Bracelet david YuRmaN
Stacy Martin sits in a quaint salon at the offces of her U.k. talent agency. all of the prototypical english amenities are lying untouched on the glass table between us. She carries herself contentedly and appears self-assured, but with a certain underlying sense of wide-eyed wonderment—a demeanor to be expected, as she’s only just begun the press rounds promoting her very frst flm, the incomparable lars von trier’s latest, Nymphomaniac. With 55 nude scenes in the can, a “porn double” on set (to stand in during hard-core penetration), and a prosthetic mold of her vagina now hanging around some prop house, the summation of her flmic experience reads like that of a seasoned art-house veteran, which makes the fact that this is her maiden performance all the more impressive. and while commercial viability never really enters the equation with von trier, expectations could not be higher as Martin’s acting debut is slated for a two-part american release in March and april of this year. Born and educated in Paris, though raised partly in Japan, the 23-year-old Martin seems either entirely unconcerned about or oblivious to the fact that she is poised to become a magnet for mainstream attention. and not just for the provocative nature of this role, but for her brilliant and compelling delivery as well. after fve years sheltered by relative anonymity while modeling her way through college and acting classes, she netted the opportunity of a lifetime as the younger analogue to charlotte Gainsbourg’s Joe: a hypersexual antihero, fucking her way to retribution and freedom from the prevailing social contract of polite society. the story, told in eight chapters through fashback and narration, follows Joe on her journey from childhood libidinal awakening to a sort of postsexual enlightenment, with plenty of oedipal conficts, adolescent angst, and sadomasochism in between. it isn’t just a flm about sex or sex addiction. it’s a flm about how sex governs and acts upon the entirety of our existence, right down to the very last banality of home life. Martin, for her part, is under no illusion about the nature of the business that gave her her start, to say nothing of its implicit correspondence with the subject of this flm. “Maybe i have been exploited as a model. When you’re a model, you’re a hanger. You are objectifed and you are used and then portrayed a certain way.” What’s most striking, however, about such a seemingly infammatory remark is that Martin delivers it without the slightest hint of cynicism or contempt, conveying only mindfulness of how things work. Sure, the money’s good, but it demands a palpable existential sacrifce to stand in for the aesthetic embodiment of some generic feminine persona, be it “the girl next door,” “the grungy kid,” “the sexy sophisticate,” or “the weird, quirky girl.” “it’s playing on what culture says a woman is,” Martin continues. and what culture says a woman is is exactly what Joe wants to destroy. these obsolete, hypocritical demands for both morally upstanding behavior and sex appeal are enough to drive anyone mad. Why can’t a woman be free to be both the Madonna and the whore without fear of judgment? “We as women give birth to everyone, but at the same time we’re restricted, we have to act a certain way, and we have to fll a certain role,” Stacy says, as if employing the subtext of Gustave courbet’s L’Origine du Monde (1866) to make her point. Forcing the world to confront its own collective duplicity is perhaps lars von trier’s greatest strength as an auteur. Not since Freud published his case study on Dora has there been a more vivid example of hysteria and the ineffable rift between woman as subject and woman as object than in Nymphomaniac. this becomes especially apparent when considered within the context of von trier’s other recent flms, Melancholia and Antichrist. Unfortunately, as is often the case with his more defant work, the biting nuance of his social commentary is often overlooked by an audience and media overly focused on the explicitness of its delivery. in Antichrist, for example—a tragic story about a mourning mother sadistically made to suppress her personal experience of grief according to the demands of an aloof husband turned psychoanalyst—the flm’s subtle psychology was overshadowed by a few shocking scenes of genital mutilation. if society insists on being so crass and vulgar as to reduce the idea of woman to the sum of her parts, the least it can do is acknowledge the staggering complexity that exists down there. But whether these ideas as brilliantly proffered by von trier in Nymphomaniac will overcome the flm’s graphic honesty remains to be seen.
a smiley young man enters the room to bring Stacy a tea, and on his way out kicks my umbrella by accident. he’s quick to apologize and nervously stands it back up. But Stacy just as quickly makes a joke to lighten the mood and allay his embarrassment, a talent not without its value in her line of work, especially when you’re spending long hours fully nude, simulating sex acts with men you’ve only just met in front of an entire flm crew. the door closes behind him, leaving us alone again, and the irony of the situation dawns on me: after having fnally fnished working on such a physically and emotionally demanding flm, she’s
now being asked to speak candidly with countless perfect strangers, such as myself, about her life—her real life. the complexity of this situation is not lost on Martin in the slightest, who is eager to talk about these types of serious subjects in hopes of providing a better understanding of the profound sense of alienation the flm confronts. Martin knew very well what Nymphomaniac was trying to say when she signed on to the project, and she remains passionate even now about wanting to deliver the message. this deep understanding is perhaps how she was able to keep such a positive outlook in spite of some of the more extreme physical demands of the role. there was never any expectation that flming numerous nude sex scenes—often more than one in the same day—was going to be an enjoyable experience. and it could yet emerge to have been a futile one, as these commentaries on gender bias and sexual oppression sometimes get lost in the fray of such shocking imagery. What carried her through the discomfort was her faith in lars. “it was an amazing opportunity,” she says, “and i just wanted to honor how good the script was.” When i ask whether she found the flming to be coercive or exploitative (a clear allusion on my part to the controversy surrounding abdellatif kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Color) Martin once again references her pragmatic approach to acting. “i just think, well, they are diffcult scenes, you’re not going to be laughing through them. i would feel empty after, and i would think to myself, is this me as a person or is this me as the character? there’s a really fne line. i wasn’t ashamed to be tired or upset or angry. it’s probably how [Joe] felt. it’s diffcult, but that’s the process.” Such an evolved perspective is impressive, and rare among frsttime actors. this is likely something von trier too was able to identify in Stacy, seeing as this sort of bravery and openness are so crucial to the role. the determination to be free from her oppressor by any means necessary sets Joe apart from the heroines of von trier’s other flms. Joe is not concerned with what the world thinks of her. her only care is what she thinks of herself. Something not unlike what Stacy Martin has undertaken in accepting this role. Joe calls society cowardly and hypocritical, and has devoted her life to transgressing what the “morality police” deem obscene. any attempt to identify herself with the outside world only ends up reaffrming her resolve to cut herself off from it once and for all. She acts according to what is right for her and her alone. Stacy, in turn, is building a career by taking the path less traveled, the one more timid individuals may have shied away from for fear of the negative perception it could bring. in both cases, what emerges is an affrmation of the subjective self in the face of societal prohibition, a blatant disregard for the judging eyes of others—something to which one cannot help but be attracted. Jacques lacan once theorized that “woman doesn’t exist” but rather is only “the symptom of man.” in a world as such, intent on the effacement of feminine subjectivity, where a woman’s identity is conditioned by motherhood, matrimony, and sex appeal, true power comes in the refusal to further perpetuate false selfhood. Joe’s journey in Nymphomaniac is that of a hysterical breakdown. in not being able to reconcile who she thinks she is with who she is expected to be, Joe can regain her subjectivity—her true autonomous identity—only by means of an irreversible break from society. Stacy Martin, for her part, seems to be following suit in engendering a similar idea of empowerment for herself. She too has broken from the comforts of the status quo, and is instead setting off into the unknown. “i really wasn’t that person i thought i was,” she says with regard to her exit from modeling to pursue what she felt would be a more fulflling existence. the signifcance of not merely having such a realization but being strong enough to act on it, to set off in one’s own way, on one’s own terms, cannot be overstated. We will see more of Stacy in the future to be sure, but it will be as she wants, not as what we want from her.
top Rag & Bone skirt giamBattista Valli gloves JitRois
Makeup Christine Corbel (ManageMent artists) hair olivier de vriendt (artlist) ManiCure kaMel (b-agenCy) photo assistant eMManuel trousse stylist assistant ouMeih benaiCha produCtion baCkwall retouChing MaxiMe lefebre roque (odalisques) speCial thanks le CarMen
83 Mercer street New York
t h e s p i r i t o f s p r i n g f a s h i o n Man anD MaChine Merge in futuristiC fashion fit for now a hoLLYwooD heartthrob goes into beast MoDe three houses weLCoMe new Menswear LeaDers LanD, sea, anD Creature unite for the gooD of the faCiaL a goDLess L.a. punk goes Crash in the night the guru to the stars giVes urban Youth a Leg up the eVoLution of an aMeriCan Motion-piCture CoMeDY king a beVerLY hiLLs boMbsheLL traVeLs east in searCh of aDVenture behoLD the resurreCtion of the uLtiMate power suit the CoexistenCe of prints of the season sChoLastiC enseMbLes put suMMer sChooL in session 101 VMan
this spread, from left: Claes wears ClothiNG CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION Josh wears shirt CHRISTOPHER KANE paNts JONATHAN SAUNDERS
t r a n s h u m a n a f t e r a l l a man named fm-2030 defined transhumanism as the â€œearliest manifestation of new evolutionary beings.â€? if fashion is a barometer of the attitudes of mankind, a future fusing menswear and machine has already arrived. will the singularity of body and smartphone follow suit? leave it to nick knight to illustrate in burning chrome what the eras ahead may look like, if only #asif.
photography nick knight
fashion simon foXton
this spread, from left: ramoN wears ClothiNG BASSO & BROOKE StudiO ChUCK wears ClothiNG GiVENCHY BY RiCCARdO tiSCi
this spread, from left: tino wears pants JOHN GALLIANO oisin wears t-shirt RAF SIMONS shorts SALVATORE FERRAGAMO
this spread, from left: ramoN wears JaCKet LOUIS VUITTON shirt aNd shorts CRAIG GREEN soCKs stYlist’s owN saNG wears JaCKet aNd baCKpaCK y-3 shirt aNd JeaNs ISSEy MIyAKE
GroomiNG Bea sweet UsiNG m.a.C CosmetiCs hair matt mUlhall UsiNG shU UemUra art of hair (streeters loNdoN) models JoshUa (amCk), oisiN atiko (models 1), ChUCk aChike (premier), saNG (seleCt), Claes Nordstroem (sUpa), ramoN GaszhaNG, tiNo maNiCUre miChelle hUmphrey UsiNG mayBelliNe New york (lmC) diGital CaptUre Joe Colley (passeridae ltd.) photo assistaNts laUra falCoNer, ClaUde leGGe, markN oGUe stylist assistaNt rasharN aGyemaNG GroomiNG assistaNt daisy harrs-d’aNdel hair assistaNt alex sere CreatiVe assistaNt Chris sUttoN imaGe asset direCtioN JoN emmoNy diGital post tom waNdraG (epiloGUe ltd.)
this spread, from left: ChUCk wears shirt aNd shorts HOOD BY AIR shoes NIKE X HOOD BY AIR tiNo wears Vest SALVATORE FERRAGAMO shorts JOYRICH UNderwear EMpORIO ARMANI sNeakers ADIDAS soCks stylist’s owN
n i c h o l a s h o u lt r e v i s i t s h i s r o l e a s b e a s t i n t h i s s p r i n g ’ s X - M e n : D a y s O f f u t u r e P a s t. h e r e , he talks with his director , bryan singer , about quantum mechanics, time travel, religion, a s t r o p h y s i c s , a n d c e l e b r i t y.
photography mario testino interview bryan singer
Fashion beat bolliger
Many believe that truth lies in simplicity, that a thing is fully itself when reduced to
its most basic. Particle physicists, string theorists, linguists, mathematicians, philosophers, even conceptual artists. Some demand empirical replicability—in order to confirm a discovery, the Large Hadron Collider needs 600 million collisions every second for two years. Some are more theoretical, epistemological, or aesthetic. Aldous Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy, Chomsky’s transformational grammar, Kant’s categorical imperative, Freud’s The Ego and the Id. But they all share the sentiment that ultimate truth exists in something like a singularity, and that through this truth, we can answer the bigger question of why? A smaller question is: how could you apply this logic to a person? How could you distill an individual to his or her elemental essence? One answer: very illegally. But say that person is Nicholas Hoult, the 24-year-old actor, who this spring revisits his role as Hank McCoy, alias Beast, in X-Men: Days of Future Past. In that case, it’s completely socially acceptable (and arguably ritualistic), as analyzing an oeuvre is one of the most fascinating means to appreciate art, to say nothing of picking apart celebrities. And before you assume there couldn’t be enough data on such a young man, Hoult has been acting since he was three, and has amassed a signifcant body of work. And it seems that there is indeed a core sentiment or fundamental force clearly evident in his twenty-plus-year career. If you were to summarize the work of Nicholas Hoult in one word, it would be “transformative.” Hoult is constantly transforming, both before the eyes of the audience and within the very characters he plays. And whether you’re inclined to argue it universalistic or merely coincidental, it is nevertheless consistently evident in the facts. So let’s look at them: Hoult starred in his frst major flm at the age of 12, opposite Hugh Grant in the adaptation of Nick Hornby’s About A Boy, playing Marcus, the troubled son of a suicidal mother
(Toni Collette). Grant’s character befriends the boy and attempts to draw him out of his introversion to engage in youth culture and develop an identity of his own. Hoult received rave reviews and awards for the Oscar-nominated flm. The next time Hoult caught the attention of the masses was for the U.K. hit series Skins. The precocious kid audiences had known was completely gone. Skins debuted in 2007, the year Hoult would turn 18, and he became a full-blown heartthrob. But the real transformation that pertains to Skins was one within his character. The show, featuring an ensemble cast that also includes later-breakout Dev Patel, is largely centered around Hoult’s character, Tony Stonem, a sort of extreme take on the high-school popular guy archetype: a smug, polysexual, sociopathic narcissist who gets off on his own innate intellect and fnds manipulation the ultimate form of entertainment. But, in the frst season’s fnale, his character entirely transforms after being hit by a bus and suffering a subdural hematoma. The second season, Hoult has to build his character from the ground up, a sort of Regarding Henry path of a sweet moron who must regain his faculties and then overcome the existential crisis of having lost his former identity while reconciling his past with his future selves. And Hoult pulls it off brilliantly, somehow maintaining the inexplicable core of his character throughout. The film role that followed Skins was not merely another transformation for Hoult, but for the filmmaker as well. A Single Man is fashion designer Tom Ford’s first foray into directing and screenwriting, and his adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel is a beautiful portrait of aesthetics and loneliness in 1960s Los Angeles. Hoult plays the handsome student attempting to transcend boundaries and become something more intimate to his depressed college professor, George, played by Colin Firth, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Hoult himself was subsequently nominated for a BAFTA.
TurTleneck GiorGio ArmAni
Coat, shirt, tie Saint Laurent by Hedi SLimane Jeans bLK dnm Boots (throughout) Officine creative
clothing Dolce & Gabbana
clothing BurBerry Prorsum
clothing Givenchy by RiccaRdo Tisci
“I thInk the reason people relate to [comIc-book fIlms] Is that they tell the story of the outsIder. the genre deals wIth moralIty and how to go from beIng an outsIder to becomIng part of somethIng, and that Is somethIng everyone can relate to.” —nIcholas hoult
After A Single Man, Hoult went from Southern California in ’62 to the world of ancient Greek Mythology in Clash of the Titans, playing Eusebios, one of the fnest soldiers in the Army of Argos, who accompanies Perseus on his quest and is ultimately turned to stone by Medusa. In last year’s underrated Warm Bodies, Hoult played a zombie midtransformation, his body and behaviors like that of the undead, but his mind still clinging to human sentiments of love and anti-cannibalism. But it’s between those two roles that Hoult made his most literal transformation. In 2011’s X-Men reboot, X-Men: First Class, he took on the role of a young Hank McCoy, a mutant blessed with hyperintellegence. Through experiments stemming from his own insecurity about the physical aspects of his mutation, he accidentally magnifes them, becoming the beautiful, blue Beast. Hoult would spend hours upon hours in the makeup chair to transform into the furry, animalistic character, and it’s a role he reprises this Spring in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Director Bryan Singer describes the flm—which follows Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine as he travels back in time via his own consciousness—as an “inbetwequel” of the previous X-Men flms and of First Class, on which Singer was a producer and story writer. Meaning that Future Past fuses characters ( ’ ) past and present, combining the last flm’s stellar cast (Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence, with whom Hoult is romantically involved) with Patrik Stewart, Sir Ian McKellan, and Jackman. The two franchise casts form an X-Men super group, which is likely to continue with the next X-Men: Apocalypse, also helmed by Singer. (Fun fact: Beast is one of the few mutants to be a member of both the X-Men and The Avengers so who knows where that could lead). Here, the talented, transformative Hoult speaks with Singer about being, believing, and what the future holds. FRANKLIN RICHARDS
BRYAN SINGER To begin, I originally knew your work from Skins and A Single Man. Initially you were not available for the roll of Beast [in X-Men: First Class, which Singer produced]. You were going to do Mad Max and, fortunately for us, that got pushed and you were able to play the role. I only remember the decision that [director] Matthew Vaughn and I made to cast you, but I don’t know how that came to you on your end. NICHOLAS HOULT I was down in Australia starting prep on Mad Max and they told us it wasn’t going to shoot that year, so I called my agent and said I needed a job. The next day I read for X-Men: First Class. Strangely, the direction I got from Matthew for that was to try one version of the scene doing an impression of Stewie Griffn from Family Guy, which I was actually quite adept at doing because I’d wasted most of my youth away doing impressions of Stewie. That same night, I got a phone call saying “Jump on a plane, they want you to go back and screen test.” The next day Jen [Jennifer Lawrence] and I screen-tested together with Lauren Shuler Donner [producer] and Matthew Vaughn, and I remember being very annoyed because I had to get straight back on a plane to Australia and I didn’t think I had gotten the job. BRYAN Well, I knew you had the job because we had already made the decision. Can you give people a little background on how you got your start? One’s beginnings can translate later into how one deals with things. NICK The frst thing I did, I was three years old. It was a play called The Caucasian Chalk Circle, but I really have no memory of that apart from doing a photo shoot for a day and being given juice and biscuits afterward. I got an agent when I was fve, which is not something my parents planned. So I ended up doing a lot of British television shows between the ages of fve and eleven. That’s when the Weitz brothers were casting About a Boy, and I went in for a few auditions for that and then they picked me. So that was my lucky break. How did you enjoy shooting this last X-Men? BRYAN This last X-Men was the most enjoyable experience I’ve had making a movie and I’m not just saying that because this is a conversation with one of our cast members.
It was the fact that the cast seemed to actually be enjoying themselves. I don’t know if that’s a function of the environment, the story, or just the simple fact that no one person is carrying the whole movie. NICK I agree with you. I felt a lot more pressure when we were shooting Jack the Giant Slayer [also directed by Singer] than I had ever felt on another job, just because [as a flm’s lead] you’re suddenly trying—in an odd way—to do more, but it’s not your job as
an actor to try and do more. You’re there to make it real. But in an ensemble you feel quite safe, particularly with this cast where we could mess around and have fun. I’ve been meaning to ask about time displacement, which seems to be such a central element of this flm. BRYAN Time displacement means, in terms of the flm, Wolverine [Hugh Jackman] of the future travels back in time, into the mind of his younger self, and while he is traveling, he is the observer. I was on the phone yesterday for an hour with James Cameron discussing a lot of this same stuff. There are theories in quantum physics, such as Schrödinger’s Cat, which dictate that all observable matter behaves differently when observed—by the very act of being observed. So if, for instance, you were not seeing an event, there are questions as to whether the event occurred yet since it was not observed. It goes back to If a tree falls in the woods did it make a sound if no one was there to hear it? So there’s a theory that two things can happen simultaneously until the observer witnesses it. Wolverine’s future consciousness exists in the past, so until he wakes up in the future, the future doesn’t set itself, it remains the way it was. Because he is the observer, the moment he sees the new future, the future takes hold. When the future and the past coexist, that’s called the super-position. So when Wolverine wakes up, he ultimately collapses the super-position. That’s the quantum physics terminology for what’s happening in X-Men: Days of Future Past. NICK I think that makes sense. My smaller brain understands what’s going on there. There is kind of a liquid state with all the time-traveling until it’s certain which time he is going to be in fully. In the future, will time travel become possible, or is it physically impossible? BRYAN In our lifetime, no. In the distant, distant future, I think before time travel we’ll have time perception. I think at some point humans, as their brains advance and as they commingle with technology, will begin to start perceiving time differently. Perhaps the frst stage will be suspended animation, you know, going to sleep for long periods of time and waking up 100 or 500 years from now. In order to discuss time travel, you really have to tap into the concept of multiverses and Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity, which articulate, among other things, that the closer you are to a gravitational force, the slower time moves relative to individuals existing far from a gravitational force. In other words, if you’re way out in space, away from our sun, time will move faster for you than if you were resting on Earth, near our sun. That’s people on Earth aging faster relative to someone travelling in space at great speed. But that’s not time travel, that’s time relativity. The harder thing to grasp is the idea of what gravity is. Everyone thinks gravity is like magnets, but no, gravity is an impression, it’s mass making an impression in space and time. NICK You’re very up on technology and science in general, so would you say that’s what you believe in more than any religion or philosophy? BRYAN I think so, generally speaking. But I leave myself open to things spiritual, because I believe there are so many things unknown. It is a miracle that we exist, that we have intelligence. It is such a miracle that we have Jupiter in our orbit to absorb all of the asteroids that could have destroyed the Earth, that we had just the right amount of carbon, just the right amount of heat, just the right amount of volcanoes and water. It’s a miracle that we have our consciousness and we can make art and music. NICK I remember in The Short History of Everything, the Bill Bryson book, he wrote down the chances of all the molecules lining up as they did and the number went on for pages. It wasn’t even a number that one could contemplate. So it is a miracle in that sense. BRYAN It’s great to have someone like Bryson explain things in layman’s terms so we can digest it. Christianity used to only be preached in Latin, so packs of people didn’t even know what was being said. Did you have a religious upbringing? NICK [I was raised] Christian, and I was even a choirboy for a couple years. I’ve never felt particularly religious though. I just try to be good. The sad thing is that a lot of the time, when you look at what’s wrong with the world, it’s people who believe their own religion so vehemently that they think everyone else’s god is wrong. It causes a lot of confict, unfortunately. BRYAN Yeah, the concept of us versus them instead of just “us.” NICK I’m not saying anything against religion, it can be wonderful for many people and provide support when you need that spiritual element to pick you up in times of trouble.
Sweater Belstaff Shirt Givenchy By RiccaRdo tisci tie BuRBeRRy PRoRsum JeanS BlK dnm Belt saint lauRent By hedi slimane
“it is a miracle that we exist, that we have jupiter in our orbit to absorb all of the asteroids that could have destroyed the earth, that we had just the right amount of carbon, just the right amount of heat, just the right amount of volcanoes and water. it’s a miracle that we have our consciousness and we can make art and music.” —bryan singer
BRYAN Well, here’s the thing: in [next year’s] sequel, Apocalypse, one thing I want to deal with is the notion of religion and the notion of what would happen if a mutant was born 2,000 years ago? In ancient times, what would a person think of a mutant, what would the mutant think of themselves? Would that mutant be called a god? Would it think it’s a god? And would it be right to think so, in the context of that culture and that world? Those are some of the aspects I’m playing with in the sequel. When we get to lunch, I’ll gladly pitch to you, we’ll talk through it. But in an alternate universe where you aren’t an actor, what do you think you would want to do for a living? NICK It’s difficult to say, because I’ve been involved in acting since I was so young that I haven’t ever really thought about doing anything else. The great thing about acting is that when you are prepping for a film like Days of Future Past you learn so much about science and time travel and all these things, and if I’m going off to play an ancient warrior, I learn about that historical time and how to use their weapons and what it was like to live like them. I learn a lot through that process, so that’s why it’s such a great job for me. BRYAN What are you feeling when you’re portraying a specifc role? How do you embody another person? NICK It’s tricky, because there’s no set approach to it with me. I’ve never really been taught a certain method or found one that I could stick with. It’s about being as prepared as possible, but also being fexible when you show up and someone says to do something different or says, “That’s not working, stand over there and do this and try that.” There can be times that you’re so involved in the character that you are completely in that zone and the cameras and everyone around you don’t exist and it’s just you and the other character you’re in the scene with. That’s a really great feeling. Even if the audience watching can’t see a difference between that take and a take where you’re distracted or something went wrong, it feels different. But sometimes it’s purely logistics. BRYAN The best advice I’ve gotten is to get myself a hobby. I haven’t been able to fnd one that I have taken seriously yet, but do you have one? Like, I know, for instance, Michael Fassbinder [who plays the young Magneto] has a fascination with sports and with racing and it’s a true interest. Is there something that takes you completely away? NICK One thing I really like is to get on a motorbike. It’s something that you have to be very focused on and it clears your mind. It feels very free. When you’re on the bike, no one is around telling you what to do, and that’s something about an actor’s life that you have a lot of, you know, you have to be at this place at this time and so on. So there’s kind of a freedom that goes along with being on a bike. I used to play a lot of racquetball, but now just whatever sport is around. I like to stay active and the rest of the time, pretty much, is just heavy, heavy drinking. BRYAN I just had an epiphany. Two other actors I’ve worked with, Tom Cruise and Hugh Laurie, are both motorcyclists, and I just realized it’s not a coincidence: Tom always said that when he’s on a motorcycle he wears a helmet, and a helmet hides your face, so it’s one of the rare times he can just tool around without security or protection in complete anonymity. So, on [the topic of] personal stuff, you and Jennifer Lawrence met on X-Men First Class, correct? NICK Yes, during our screen test. BRYAN Then you guys got together, then broke up, and now you’re together again. How has that been, working with someone that you’re seeing romantically? NICK It’s fun because in this business you are away from one another for long periods of time, so when you’re on set together it’s a brilliant thing, because you actually get to spend time together. Especially with this flm, I got to spend time with her, but also the rest of the cast who I’ve worked with, on the previous flm, so it was kind of like going back to school after the break and seeing all your old mates again. Which is a great thing. It doesn’t really affect the acting though. BRYAN Over a very short period of time she’s become quite famous with the Academy Awards and The Hunger Games and everything. Has that been interesting? Has she changed since attaining this particular level of fame? NICK The privacy thing obviously changes, but the rest pretty much stays the same. You can probably relate better, with you winning your frst Oscar at 24 years of age.
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BRYAN No, it was with The Usual Suspects and I was 27 or 28, but I was a flmmaker,
behind the scenes, and there isn’t the same attention projected onto you as when you’re a star. What I learned was that no one ever feels like they’re established. It humanized the industry for me, meeting with established actors and directors through that. NICK It’s like that thing whereby you don’t believe your own hype. Enjoy the good times, but don’t get swept away with it. And I think that’s something she’s capable of doing, and that’s what makes her special, but yeah, it is very odd, and I am just kind of a bystander in many ways. It is well-deserved for her. I haven’t really seen any change in her. BRYAN I asked James McAvoy something and I’ll ask you too. You know he can be very emotional, and in X-Men: Days of Future Past he has very emotional moments. So one night we were out at dinner and I asked him, “What do you think of when you’re crying?” The layman always assumes that you’re calling up some tragedy in your past or some very, very sad thought. But he said it was mostly, 99 percent of the time, that the character is sad and he allows himself to be sad for the character. When you do an emotional scene, are you calling upon something from your personal life or do you live it through that character? NICK It’s living through the character, but drawing from your own experience. The only time I can think back to doing that at the moment is, I remember shooting a scene in an episode of Skins, where my character was a jerk. He messed up and he was very lonely and upset with himself and it was kind of one of those things where in my head I had to think of a time when I felt similar, but at the same time I was thinking as the character in that world, in that position. So it’s kind of a mix of both. BRYAN I wish I had that talent to access the moment. When I try to say lines, it’s a total disaster. My frst short flm starred Ethan Hawke and I’ve never forgotten something he told me. He said, “Actors equal production value,” meaning you can blow up a bridge or a Death Star or a city, but nothing beats a close-up of the right actor in the right scene living that moment through. It’s just mesmerizing. That’s why we always look toward the most skilled actors to play these larger-than-life characters. What do you think of these comic-book movies now? NICK I think the reason people relate to them is that they tell the story of the outsider. With X-Men, Xavier and Charles have both approached the same problem and it’s interesting to see how each of them deals with it. The genre deals with morality and how to go from being an outsider to becoming part of something, and that is something everyone can relate to. Obviously they’re also popular because they’re entertaining and there’s a hero. The other day I was watching a video on YouTube of a dad putting on a batman mask and becoming his alter-ego, Batdad, around the house. And it was hilarious. People love a way to express themselves, and it’s a way for anyone to become a hero, even if they don’t have superpowers. BRYAN With comic-book flms, X-Men in particular, there is an identifcation with the desire to embrace your normal self but at the same time celebrate your special self. It’s a mixture of who you are to some people, who you are to yourself, and then who you aspire to be. Your job also has three facets to it. You’re Nicholas Hoult the person, Nicholas Hoult the actor, and now Nicholas Hoult the celebrity. How much do you worry about the way people perceive the character you’re playing versus the way people perceive celebrity Nick Hoult? NICK Well, to be clear, the most important is the personal life and then the acting. The celebrity life sort of takes care of itself, I don’t really worry about it. I suppose it would be stupid to say it’s irrelevant, because that’s sort of part of what being an actor is, but there’s also that part of me that doesn’t want anyone to know anything about my personal life, because then they won’t be thinking about the characters, they’ll be thinking, Oh, that’s him, I know this or that about his life. It’s the same with everybody I guess, you don’t want to take your job home. You want to do your best job and be proud of your work, but you want a life outside of it. The flm side of things can tend to be pretty allconsuming, particularly when you’re working for 12 hours a day with the same people, hanging out with them for months on end nonstop. It goes back to what I said earlier. You need your own life experiences to base the character on when you’re acting, so you do need time away from flm sets and the flm world. I do anyway.
CLOtHING Saint Laurent by Hedi SLimane SuNGLaSSeS mykita (avaILabLe at mrpOrter.COm)
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three visionary designers take the helm at iconic b r a n d s : s t e fa n o p i l at i at e r m e n e g i l d o z e g n a , alexander wang at balenciaga, and nicola formichetti at dieselâ€”a triumphal triforce linking fashionâ€™s vibrant past with its valiant future.
photography inez & vinoodh
text patrik sandberg
That Stefano Pilati’s debut collection for the esteemed Italian luxury brand Ermenegildo Zegna revolves around the concept of a “broken suit” is about as bold a statement of
intent as one could imagine. Considering that Zegna has been in the business of making suits for over 100 years, it was refreshing to see Pilati hit the ground running, reinventing the codes of the house by injecting bright and nuanced colorways and reinterpreting the men’s suit for today and tomorrow. “The concept of the broken suit is a luxurious act of style which can only be achieved with a vast wardrobe,” Pilati explains, allowing for “different jackets, trousers, and waistcoats of varying patterns and textures to be mixed together while still looking as though one is wearing a classic suit.” The disheveled elegance that came down the Milan runway indeed held to Zegna’s sophisticated
standards, while still enticing luxury consumers of today. To the brand’s credit, innovation has always been a part of its philosophy. When Ermenegildo founded his namesake business, in 1910, his goal was to push the boundaries of fne textiles through the ethical accumulation of fbers direct from their sources. For Pilati’s collection, his frst since leaving his post at Yves Saint Laurent, in March 2012, Ermenegildo Zegna Group gamely set forth the challenge of “conjugating contradictions.” According to Pilati, the subtle mismatching that makes up the new Zegna suit accomplishes this goal. “It enables a man to express his innate elegance,” he says. Bid ciao to the humdrum matchy-matchiness of eras past. Pilati says it best: “It’s a new way of dressing formally that is impeccably chic.”
When it came to his frst menswear collection for Balenciaga, Alexander Wang made a conscious decision to stay mum on the subject. in doing so, he solidifed a gracious entrance into the storied Parisian house, allowing the men’s clothing to speak, quietly, for itself. eschewing trendiness for simple and classic silhouettes, the spring clothes refect Wang’s ongoing move toward minimalism while remaining functional and accented with unusual materials. When it came to creating fasteners for blazers and pants, Wang designed a chic carabiner. A new collection of travel bags is named after Phileas, protagonist of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. Perhaps for the new American kid on the Parisian block, the relocation to europe inspired fantasies of travel, but the PVc topcoats and chic cropped leather jackets remind us that Wang’s roots remain planted frmly in good old downtown new York city.
When it was announced in April of last year that Nicola Formichetti had accepted a job as artistic director of Diesel, it was unclear where he would take the maverick luxury denim brand—one that defned the amped up, sexualized advertising of the ’90s. Many expected that he would bring his own in-your-face aesthetic straight to the denim racks, but Formichetti instead chose to roll out his vision slowly and steadily, with capsule collections. “Coming from Mugler and Gaga, I don’t really need to go crazy, aesthetically,” Formichetti says. “This is what I wear. It’s what I’ve always liked, so I don’t need to create a crazy fantasy.” Instead directing much of his creative whimsy to the brand’s advertising and imagery (for the most part executed with Inez & Vinoodh), the animated designer is continuing to shock with street and Internet casting, and by remaining true to Diesel founder Renzo Rosso’s original vision. “I like the fact that the clothes are so authentic. I don’t want to look crazy, I want to look cool. Obviously I will explore the other side of myself as well, but at the beginning
it’s important to make a clean palette and then take it from there.” For his Spring “tribute” collection, Formichetti is turning away from denim toward another one of Diesel’s signatures: black leather. “Everything is black with hardware zips,” he says. “I made whole sleeves and pants out of these leather patches, or sometimes I took a leather element and made it into denim. It’s hard-looking but super soft, it feels like denim but it looks like leather, so for me the materials are super exciting at the moment.” Formichetti hints that Diesel will next be moving into military- and activewear-inspired ranges. “We’re reintroducing Diesel to a new generation. I remember in London that the stores were an experience, with DJs, crazy kids with crazy hair, and it was kind of like a happening. With so many stores around the world, it was important to have consistency, and it made everything more linear. Now I think it’s time to have fun.”
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photography riChard burbridge fashion robbie spenCer text niCole Catanese
sweet relief yuri WEArS Clothing Prada
mollusk magic Clothing Bottega Veneta
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lightly salted Sweater Paul Smith
nailed it Clothing Comme des Garรงons
Hair Dennis DeVoy using PHyto (art DePartment) grooming ralPH siciliano (D+V) moDel yuri Pleskun (re:Quest) Digital tecHnician anDrew kenney (caPture tHis Digital) PHoto assistants kim reenberg anD ben wentzel stylist assistants Victor corDero anD katy Fox grooming assistants lucie nguyen anD yoHsuke Hiraka ProDuction Jessica Daly (art + commerce) ProDuction assistant caron lee (art + commerce) Printing & retoucHing norkin Digital art, ltD. casting larissa gunn (art + commerce) catering DisHFul sPecial tHanks naria Diaz cHi, l.ac (acuPuncturist), animals For aDVertising
cleopatra was the frst to make it chic to pour honey into baths—hers were milk—as well as all over one’s skin. and the egyptian queen chose the natural humectant for good reason. not only does it help increase hydration instantly, by drawing moisture from the air into the skin’s superfcial layers, it’s also the energizer bunny of hydrators, acting like a water magnet for deeper layers of skin too. while there are countless topical treatments that contain some form and amount of honey, nothing is as good a glow-getter as the real thing. case in point: the Paris roof top Honey Facial, an hour-long signature treatment at the six senses spa at the westin Paris Vend Ô me hotel ($198, thewestinparis. com), where honey whipped up by bees that call the tuileries home is slathered on your face while you lie in a cocoonlike room overlooking Paris. sweet.
From the Dead sea (said to have nearly nine times more salt than a typical ocean) to iceland’s blue lagoon, bathing in salty waters—which skyrockets the mineral content of skin—is an undisputed antiaging agent. at the latter, a breathtaking communal indoor-outdoor spa is built into the country’s largest natural hot spring. unlike a standard table-salt solution, which actually decreases moisture, geothermal seawater rich in mineral salt has been shown to solve a wide range of complexion concerns, from acne to dryness. the blue lagoon 90-minute Facial Deluxe (about $150 for 90 minutes, bluelagoon.com) pampers parched skin with a massage, silica mask, and an über-rich cream. the Four seasons nevis spa’s Hydrating mineral mask ($230 for 80 minutes, fourseasons.com) incorporates a sea-salt exfoliation all over the body to rev circulation and buff skin insanely smooth.
snail s creepy-crawlies have long played a vital role in medicine and healing. one in par- aCUPUnC t URe ticular that’s received a bit of buzz lately: snails. “ingredients found in snail slime are a licensed acupuncturist who offers facial sessions at her nyc practice ($1,100 for fve being used in asia and europe to help rejuvenate skin,” explains shirley madhere, 70-minute sessions; acunaria.com), naria D. chi started sticking clients in the face after witnessing the technique’s skin-smoothing and face-lift-like effects on an elderly patient. mD, a plastic surgeon in new york city and founder of the new aesthete practice (thenewaesthete.com). “snail secretion contains glycolic acid, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, “i have worked with her for a year,” she says, “as well as with others, and i’m convinced and elastin, all known to have antiaging properties.” translation: they stimulate skin-plump- that facial acupuncture not only revitalizes your internal health but also captures your ing collagen and elastin as well as repair photo damage. try the snail and Pace signature glow and holds off signs of aging.” the source of such powers? “Facial acupuncture meriden Face massage at the simply Divine alternative spa, in the u.k. (about $340 for works because the needling causes microtraumas in the skin to which the body responds six treatments, thebathhousecorby.com), which lets farmed (not straight-from-the-garden) by increasing blood fow and the production of collagen and elastin, for wound healing,” snails slowly work their way around your face, leaving behind an ice-cold slime that’s then explains chi, who suggests twice-weekly sessions for around ten weeks total. “the massaged into your skin. want the softening sans snails creeping on you? immunocologie needling, which is done at the level of the dermis, may also stimulate neurotransmitter super 7 elixir Firming complex ($300, shop.immunocologie.com) contains the mucus of production,” she adds. most important is what you’ll see in the mirror: softer, frmer, the slimy gastropods in its cocktail of turn-back-the-clock superchargers. line-free skin.
among the oldest of life forms, seaweed has been used for centuries to heal wounds.
researchers have yet to debut botox in a bottle, so for now synthetic snake venom
although beauty brands have looked to capture the skin-perfecting power of marine extracts
is the best thing going. “an ingredient found in snake venom has been shown to tem-
in a jar, some spas are going right to the source. “seaweed contains an abundance of minerals, and while it is most often used as an anticellulite treatment, it has many other benefts, such as detoxifcation, softening, and reducing water retention,” says grant lessard, assistant spa director at the ritz-carlton spa in naples, Florida, which offers an organic seaweed leaf body wrap that can be customized for the face as well ($240 for 80 minutes, theritzcarlton.com). Vermont’s stowe mountain lodge Voya organic restorative Facial ($225 for 80 minutes, stowemountainlodge.com) places harvested wild seaweed in hot water to allow its natural moisturizing gels to be released, and then each leaf is carefully wrapped across your face, infusing skin with countless essential minerals.
porarily inhibit muscle activity, and is therefore, like botox, considered a neurotoxin,”
explains Dr. madhere. “so, when applied topically, it can help reduce wrinkles, to a certain degree.” recently, the u.k.-based skincare company rodial teamed up with select equinox spas in the u.s. to debut their Freeze Facial ($225 for 80 minutes, equinox.com), which incorporates intense facial massage with a range of rodial glamtox products, including their snake serum ($162, nordstrom.com) and glamtox snake mask ($83, nordstrom.com). both incorporate a synthetic snake venom neuropeptide (aka syn-ake) to iron out expression lines and deeper wrinkles as well as give a tightening sensation all over.
snakes on a face Clothing prada
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since the 1970 s , the tenets of punk philosophy have differed depending on who was talking and which coast was closer . among all the nihilistic noise makers, jerks, germs, dreamers, and screamers, punkâ€™s most p otent subversion was an aesthetic one, forever altering the institution of fashion. because no matter the manifesto, if youâ€™re gonna tear the world apart, it â€™s got to watch you do it. photography mark segal
fashion jay massacret
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SHIRT AND PANTS EMPORIO ARMANI
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HAIR LESLy McMENAMIN (STREETERS) GRooMING DARLENE JACobS (STARwoRKSARTISTS.CoM) MoDEL CHRIS JACKSoN (RE:QuEST) DIGITAL TECHNICIANS JuSTIN RuHL (DAM CAPTuRE) AND CHAD MICHAEL bRooKS PHoTo ASSISTANTS SETH GuDMuNSoN AND JuSTIN SCHAEfERS STyLIST ASSISTANT oLIvIA KozLowSKI AND TEENA SAHEbI HAIR CoLoRISTS MARCy HARMoN AND REbEKA wALTERS (HAIRRoIN SALoN) PRoDuCTIoN f32 PRoDuCTIoNS PRoDuCTIoN ASSISTANT NoE MoNTES CASTING LARISSA GuNN (ART + CoMMERCE) CATERING fooD+LAb
SHIRT RAF SIMONS PANTS VINTAGE fRom jet RAg
D e e pa k C h o p r a i s o n e o f t h e m o s t p r o m i n e n t a n D p o l a r i z i n g f i g u r e s o f t h e pa s t C e n t u ry. f o r o v e r 30 years, he’s reCeiveD both tremenDous praise anD h a r s h C r i t i C i s m v o i C e D b y s o m e o f o u r g r e at e s t l i v i n g m i n D s . r e g a r D l e s s o f w h e r e yo u s ta n D, f o r a g r o u p o f t r o u b l e D k i D s i n n e w yo r k C i t y, C h o p r a’ s urban yogis program has proviDeD something l i k e s a lvat i o n .
photography terry riCharDson fashion Delphine Danhier text elliott DaviD Contemplating the nature of existence is as old as consciousness itself. Evidence of religion dates back to the earliest records of written language and the development of computable knowledge, but likely originated with oral language, if not mere sentience. Some ideas have lasted millennia: The I Ching originated in 2200 bce. Ontological notions that date back to 500 bce are similar to those being explored today on a particle level. A 2010 Gallup poll stated that 40 percent of Americans are still strict creationists who believe god invented humans 10,000 years ago—that’s four out of every ten people. Some beliefs have been entirely disregarded—few still pray to Zeus—while others are recent inventions, like humanism and Scientology. The array of nuanced metaphysical, epistemological, and supernatural ideologies devised by humans are more than any one person can fully comprehend in a lifetime. But Deepak Chopra has nevertheless attempted to do so. After moving to the States from New Delhi, in 1970, to study internal medicine and endocrinology, Chopra ultimately became the Chief of Staff at New England Memorial Hospital. In 1985, after meeting the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the mind behind Transcendental Meditation, Chopra left the hospital to pursue a less mechanistic, more alternative, holistic approach to medicine. After beginning with a focus on Ayurvedic treatments—a Hindu system of medicine based on a mind-body homeostasis achieved through diet, herbs, and yoga, among other things—Chopra would a decade later part ways with the Maharishi and become something of a spiritual polymath. In 1996, he founded the Chopra Center for Well
Being, which offers a “holistic view of life that sees human beings as networks of energy and information, integrating body, mind, and spirit.” Chopra built up a legion of powerful and famous followers, and in the process authored over 70 books in more than 85 languages, 20 of which are New York Times best sellers, ultimately becoming an international celebrity. Through various means of commercialism, Chopra has become a millionaire many times over. He has been the recipient of both support and criticism across many felds in the sciences and the humanities—skeptics and zealots, quantum physicists and religious fundamentalists alike—each side voiced by some of our greatest living minds. He is one of the most prominent and polarizing fgures of the past century. Chopra, who often works in conjunction with other specialists, plays the role that any so-called guru should (or could) in the year 2014. He’s an international brand whose goal is to promote health and wellness, his ideas consisting of a combination of ancient philosophies—he does not believe in the supernatural and has said that at least 80 percent of old healing traditions are superstition that need to be discarded—and modern understanding of cosmology, biology, physics, evolution, and “the role consciousness plays in evoking biological responses.” Chopra has defned “God” as “the evolutionary impulse of the universe,” spirituality as “self-awareness and awareness of other people’s needs,” and “spirit,” he says, is synonymous with consciousness, “a domain of awareness where we can experience our universality.” He has also stated he believes that consciousness is the product of a universe evolving to a point where it can acknowledge itself.
Chopra wears JaCket Gucci shirt Maison Martin Margiela Glasses (throuGhout) Chopraâ€™s own
FROM LEFT: RahEEM (siTTing) PanTs Rufskin EddiE shiRT ARmAni ExchAngE JEans michAEl koRs MakEEsha TOP and PanTs Rufskin TyRELL PanTs Rufskin dEEPak JackET gucci shiRT mAison mARtin mARgiElA JEans and shOEs chOPRa’s Own JuquiLE (siTTing) PanTs hugo JayTaun PanTs hugo
TO LEaRn MORE abOuT ThE incREdibLE sTORiEs OF ThEsE yOgis visiT ThE chOPRa wELL yOuTubE channEL.
“These kids are helping people siT quieTly and conTemplaTe Their lives—who They wanT To be, whaT They wanT To do. They have become The leaders in Their communiTy.” —deepak chopra
Chopra’s recent writings focus on the emerging forms of study that can provide empirical data on the benefts of some holistic practices. Epigenetics, or the study of how external factors activate or inhibit gene expression, suggests that our DNA doesn’t just happen to us, and things as simple as diet and exercise can actuate advantageous genes and keep any predispositions for disease dormant. Neuroplasticity is a theory that the brain is not static and can be rewired or even healed, which the pracice of meditation has been shown to demonstrate with increasing clinical certitude. A team of Harvard-affliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found that people who took a mere eight-week course in mindful meditation displayed increased gray-matter density in structures of the brain associated with learning, memory, self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. The resultant reductions in stress—a beneft of meditation long evident anecdotally—were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play a crucial role in anxiety and stress. These emergent felds can potentially serve to validate what has long been criticized or dismissed as overly spiritual or New Agey. Some in the scientifc community, certainly the positivists, resent having their felds interpreted (and sold) to the public in application to a philosophical agenda or anything a priori, no matter how well-intentioned. But often what can begin as high-minded dialogues, ranging from cosmology to diet, the health-care system to metaphysics, often become reduced to debates about Chopra himself, his terminology, semantics, capitalism, and ethics—with the occasional legal battle. But despite all the discourse, at some point you have to quantify one’s spiritual or religious agenda by the tangible effects it has had on the world, a sort of extrinsic fnality that has nothing to do with divinity, but rather concrete actions that have enacted positive change. And Chopra, at the very least, deserves respect for some of his results, such as the Urban Yogis program, a means by which Chopra and his yoga teacher, Eddie Stern, have helped a group of kids with troubled upbringings overcome their hardships, become leaders in their community, and lower acts of violence by teaching forms of meditation and yoga. To discuss this program and a world of other topics, Chopra sat down to casually chat about the universe over coffee.
ELLIOTT DAVID So let’s talk about those kids we were just with. When did the idea of developing this Urban Yogis program begin? DEEPAK CHOPRA About three years ago I met Ericka Ford, an African-American woman in her 40s who works with families of children who’ve been killed in violence. She asked me if I could come speak to the kids and teach them mindfulness or meditation or anything. So I started going there once a week, and, slowly, I began to teach them meditation and contemplative technologies—you might say contemplative discipline. We are almost in year three now, and these boys and girls are now certifed yoga teachers, and they’re employed by many schools to come and teach yoga and breathing techniques. They’re helping people sit quietly and contemplate their lives—who they want to be, what they want to do. The program is called Urban Yogis. It just happened by itself. ED I know that other groups have had a lot of success by bringing some forms of meditation to troubled schools, like the David Lynch Foundation. Have you seen a lot of results? DC What happened is the crime rate has gone down in that particular neighborhood by over 90 percent. The deaths were totally senseless. One kid shot a few people on a bus, and when they asked him why he said, “I didn’t like the way they were looking at me.” There are rival gangs who will just come and shoot people senselessly. When these kids started doing yoga, they said that a lot of other gangs and kids would come by and say they were sissies, that they were gay, and so on. But these kids continued, and now they have become literally the leaders in their community. They are also devel-
oping their own music label, a kind of hip-hop, yoga type of thing. We’re trying to get them their own merchandising on their label, on their clothes. They’re also teaching at the Harlem Village Academy. We want to take it nationwide. ED How do you feel the addition of yoga differs from or enhances meditation on its own—what is gained or lost in combining the practices? DC I think you need a balance of activity and stillness. If you have all stillness, people start to get fakey, tune-out, space-out even. I think yoga and meditation go together, and these kids are naturally athletic and like to move, so it’s a great outlet for them, especially because we combine it with music that they create on their own. They write their lyrics. You have to hear it. ED I feel like it’s so necessary to teach kids how to be still and unplugged, particularly a generation growing up in a world where so much of identity is projected digitally. I’ve been practicing some form of meditation on and off since I was in my teens—biofeedback, mindfulness, etcetera—but this year I began transcendental meditation. Six months into it, I’d never felt more fully myself, highly resistant to stress and anxiety. I love it because it’s more of a biohack than anything spiritual. My point is that the tangible results are undeniable and invaluable, I cherish that time very much, and yet it’s still a challenge to get myself to fucking do it, to turn away from technology and just shut my eyes. DC The contemplative traditions—it’s not just meditation, it’s self-refection, it’s selfawareness, self-observation, it’s transcendence, it’s being an observer of your choices, it’s also questioning your perceptual reality as fundamental. Now, just realize the human species has been around for 100,000 years, oral language 15,000 years, written language
has been around for 5,000 years, so as a species we’re probably not even adolescent yet. If you look back historically you fnd these amazing people, Plato, Parmenides, Socrates, some of the mythical prophets of the Old Testament, not all of them, anyone who could write the Psalms of Solomon, the Buddha, Confucius, it’s actually only a handful of people. We have a tendency to romanticize an ancient, glorifed state of civilization. It was even more barbaric than today, even though our capacity to be barbaric has increased, thanks to technology and science, but human beings have been barbaric. Other animals, they kill to eat. We kill because of ideas. All the wars in the world are ideological wars. So there is something very strange about our species. It’s barbaric, it loves to kill. The history of the United States has never been peaceful, from the War of Independence to right now, there’s been a war going on. Now it’s taken for granted that war is a normal state. “These drones are okay.” With all this digital stuff I tell myself, and other people also, you have to parcel out your time: so there’s sleep time, there’s meditation time, there’s playtime, there is mindful eating time, there’s relationship time, there is work time, and there is digital time. ED Right, digital time isn’t all of those times. DC It shouldn’t be. This we know now for sure, that multitasking is one of the things that gets worse with practice and it ruins the neural networks in your brain. You’re sending confused messages to your brain. You ask an athlete to multitask, they can’t do it, because they are so focused, disciplined. ED Have you read the theory that each person is only capable of so much discipline in a day, that willpower or self-control is a limited resource and it’s replenished through sleep? This is a psychology of habits kind of thing—you expend so much self-control on meditation time or mindful eating time or not having a cigarette time, then at night, you’re like, Oh, yeah, I should absolutely have four glasses of scotch. It’s like this daily zero-sum game. DC There may be something to that. I think it’s okay for people to once and a while let loose and indulge. But there are certain personalities who can’t do that. They are either all or nothing, you know? I think that’s why it has to be on an individual basis. I think there is something to be said for those people who say, “It’s Friday, let’s go celebrate.” ED Okay, so regarding the nature of addiction, how some people become dependent— or are using with that sort of frequency—but can be exposed to loss or trauma or have some epiphany and decide, This is terrible, time to stop now, and they stick to it, either on their own or through some program. But then there are people who just physiologically do not have that option, or it is such an insurmountable task that a massive chunk of their life and energy becomes devoted to not doing something. Maybe it’s genetic, maybe its situational, but obviously self-control is an issue there, so how do you scale the practice of yoga or mindfulness or meditation for them? DC First of all, addiction is the number one issue of our civilization. Here’s the thing: I believe that, particularly for addiction to drugs and alcohol, it’s a memory of pleasure. The frst time or frst few times that you take it, it leaves an impression. You are hooked to the memory of pleasure. Even after the pleasure has exhausted itself, you’re still hooked to the memory. You can’t get enough of what you don’t want anymore. It’s a huge problem. I’ve worked with addicts all my life. I used to work at the VA Hospital in Boston when I was a resident [Chopra supervised the addiction unit], and I myself loved to drink, I used to smoke—so I have a lot of empathy for people who are struggling with this. I also know that a memory of intense pleasure or any intense emotion can never be erased. You cannot erase memory. ED Right, nor can you trust it. There have been so many studies on how most memories are unreliable and outright self-deceiving. They say that because memories are processed so deeply and effortlessly, and recalled with such ease, that we trust them implicitly. But we don’t experience the distortion of memories after they’re stored. Assuming you even believe memories exist in the frst place, which many people would argue they do not. DC Well, they are stored in a nonlocal domain, yes. They are not erasable. So, what can you do? Well, the only thing you can hope for is to create a new memory, which is equally pleasurable and overshadows the old one. That’s a tough thing, because the addictive substance is so easy and so immediate. You get your kick, or your high right away. That thing for a lot of people is intense exercise. For a lot of people it’s yoga and all of that. For some, it’s meditation. Good enough! It’s keeping you healthy. ED That was my logic. After I quit some more, shall we say, deleterious behaviors, I supplanted one addiction with that of health and exercise. But it was no less of an addiction. I was cutting off all the other aspects of my life, other people, other friends. It took me a while to be able to quit that as well and fnd a life of moderation. But at the time, people close to me would always say, “This is no different.” And I’d be like, “Well, it’s better.” DC It’s better, but it is no different. I became an addict of writing and reading, exploring consciousness. ED So do you think that sort of grasping and flling the void just is the nature of people? DC In Eastern wisdom traditions, to go back to my tradition, everybody’s an addict—we wouldn’t incarnate into this life if we weren’t addicted to it. So the fact that we’re here is because we have an addiction. Enlightenment is that process where you slowly move from addictions to what you call attachments, and then from attachments to preferences, and then from preferences to intentions, then from intentions to subtle intentional choice. Finally to choiceless awareness, which means you’re free.
grooming laura de león (Joe) digital technician rafael rios lighting technician seth goldfarb photo assistant eric chakeen stylist assistant ashlee henderson production art partner retouching Velem catering monterone
clothing chopra’s own
the reincarnation o f s e t h r o g e n a c t o r , w r i t e r , s ta n d - u p, p r o d u c e r â€” f o r n e a r ly f i f t e e n y e a r s , s e t h r o g e n h a s e x p lo r e d e v e ry va r i at i o n o f h i m s e l f i n h i s s e a r c h f o r c r e at i v e e x p r e s s i o n . a f t e r t h e w i l d g lo b a l s u c c e s s o f h i s d i r e c t o r i a l d e b u t ( a lo n g w i t h e va n g o l d b e r g ) , t h i s i s t h e e n d, r o g e n f i n d s h i m s e l f r e b o r n b e h i n d t h e l e n s , a s i f a lway s d e s t i n e d t o d i r e c t. t h at f i l m â€™ s s ta r , J a m e s f r a n c o, s at d o w n t o i n t e rv i e w s e t h o n t h e s e t o f h i s s o p h o m o r e e f f o rt, t h e i n t e rv i e w , s ta r r i n g J a m e s f r a n c o.
photography and artwork James franco
JAMES FRANCO One theme of this issue of VMAN is reincarnation, so I fgured we could talk about your new role as director, now that it’s your second time around. SETH ROGEN I’ve been reincarnated, yep. JAMES It’s perfect, because we’re back in Vancouver, where you started. You were a kid here, a 16-year-old kid doing stand up, and then there was an audition for Freaks and Geeks in Vancouver? SETH Yeah, they went all around North America. I think they did one in Toronto and New York and Chicago. JAMES You got the role, but there was absolutely no interest in you writing on Freaks and Geeks? SETH I don’t think Judd knew I wrote at all. He knew I did stand up. I don’t think he knew if I was at all good at it. He just liked me as the character. It wasn’t until we were on the show that I think he slowly started to realize that I was interested in writing.
JAMES Right, because you gave him some scenes. Did he actually have time to read it? SETH I’m not 100 percent sure. I actually don’t think he read it during Freaks and Geeks. I think that’s why I got hired as a writer on Undeclared. He was fucking busy though. I don’t think I would read a script that some actor just handed me. Especially a 16-year-old one. JAMES And then how did you get hired as a writer on Undeclared? SETH I was frst hired as a writer on Undeclared before I was an actor, because they had specifcally said they didn’t want anyone from Freaks and Geeks on the show.
JAMES However, on Undeclared, suddenly you were the writer and the actor. Then on Pineapple Express you were the producer. So tell me, how did you decide that you were going to direct, or was that just something that you wanted to do before? SETH No. Honestly, I think directing is a job that has a weird mysticism to it. They make it seem a lot harder than it is in some ways. JAMES What do you mean? And did you believe that? SETH Yeah, I thought it was. JAMES Until you did it. SETH Until I did it? No. Before we did it, we had cracked the code, and maybe it’s that we had just slowly learned more and more. We had enough of our movies that we had written and made, and we’d been on set for a lot of movies, but we never talked about directing any of our movies before This Is The End. It was honestly during Green Hornet that we realized that we could have directed it, because we really had a front-row seat to everything, we saw it all happening, and that was as complicated a movie as you can humanly make. It has visual effects, it has huge sets and set pieces, car chases, two units going full-time. JAMES So that’s when you realized you could do it. SETH That’s when we realized we could probably do it. We at that point had no scripts that we had written yet. As we started to write This Is The End, we realized that it was going to be about our friends and that is when we were like, We should direct this one. So
“ d i r e c t i n g i s a j o b t h at h a s a w e i r d m y s t i c i s m to it...you see, it ’s all tricks. you learn how t o d e a l w i t h a l o g i s t i c a l c o m p l i c at e d s e q u e n c e , where you figure it out shot-by-shot. i t s e e m s i m p o s s i b l e . a n d t h e n y o u k n o w. ” —seth rogen
we started trying to get the concept art together, we talked to visual effects companies, and we started putting it together and we slowly realized we could do it. You see, it’s all tricks. You learn how to deal with a logistical complicated sequence, where you fgure it out shot-by-shot. It seems impossible. And then you know. You sit through hours and hours and hours of meetings, where you talk about every shot in the sequence and how it will be achieved. But we never sat in on those meetings before, so we didn’t really get how it happened, and how you have a team of people who help you fgure it out and you, as the director, are the one that says “here’s how we do it.” You can potentially say nothing, the whole thing just kind of comes together if you have good people, but you do and it helps. The more behind the scenes we were, the less mystical the process seemed. Much like Oz, your character in the flm. Once you look behind the curtain, you see that flms like Pineapple Express or Superbad were not complicated movies. JAMES So The Interview is your second flm. How did it come about? SETH I feel like it came from one of these jokes you always hear. Dan Rather interviewed Osama Bin Laden, you know, why didn’t he kill him? If he killed him, everything would have been over. JAMES Yeah, I just went on Charlie Rose and I asked him if he was ever approached by the CIA or anyone to kill anybody that he’s interviewed. SETH And what did he say? JAMES He was like, “Oh, no, no.”
SETH “No, I was too drunk to do that.” I do a lot of those shows; the backstage of them was always fascinating and hilarious to me. They are such bullshit. We do them and
contribute to them, and we’re doing it to help sell our movies, which I don’t think are bullshit necessarily, but in order to sell them you have to participate in this massive bullshit machine. So the idea of entertainment journalism in general was interesting to me. JAMES Now that you’ve gone from teen stand-up kid to actor to writer-actor to producer-writer-actor, to director-writer-producer-actor, is there another step? SETH I think we can do more as producers. JAMES Do you think you would ever direct a movie that you didn’t act in, or is the acting still essential? SETH No, not at all. Currently we’re signed on this Preacher comic book that we’re attached to write and direct the pilot, and I wouldn’t be in it at all. JAMES I guess the last question is how important is comedy and do you see yourself moving in directions that are not strictly comedy? Preacher maybe? SETH Preacher is still comedy. JAMES Preacher is comedy? SETH It’s all how you view comedy. The following spreads feature an exclusive James Franco découpage homage to the duo’s everlasting bromance. For more, visit vman.cOm
artwork James Franco
the transcontinental train ride remains a romantic symbol of innocence shed and the spirit of discovery. gigi hadid, model of the moment, departs b e v e r ly h i l l s f o r t h e b o r o u g h o f m a n h at ta n i n a quest to discover herself and become a bona fide fashion model . “the big city has really been a p l a c e w h e r e i f e e l l i k e a l l m y d r e a m s a r e at m y f i n g e rt i p s , ” s h e s ay s . “ i f i wo r k h a r d e n o u g h , i hope to accomplish as many of my goals as p ossible here.” things are just getting steamy for this lolita running on the rails to success. next stops: paris, london, and mila n. photography sebastian faena fashion delphine danhier
bra Calvin Klein Underwear
tigHts Calvin Klein Underwear
Hair EstHEr LangHam (art + CommErCE) makEup stEviE HuynH (D+v) moDEL gigi HaDiD (img) maniCurE Dawn stErLing using CHanEL (mELbournE artist managEmEnt) sEt DEsign JEssE kaufmann (frank rEps) LigHting DirECtor Erik LEE snyDEr DigitaL tECHniCian DEnis vLasov pHoto assistant siggy boDoLai styList assistant yEty akinoLa Hair assistant DaviD CoLvin proDuCtion assistants wyatt aLLgEiEr anD DaniEL graf rEtouCHing bLank LoCation morristown & EriE raiL
the power and the g l o r y the ’90s p ower suit got a spring resurgence in vivid colorways that lift you from wall street to st. barth’s in the blink of a redeye. if you’re on a roll , dress for success, but enjoy it while it lasts, ’cause you can’t always predict when the next stock will rise.
photography cedric buchet fashion michael philouze
MATThew weArs cloThing BERLUTI
BRAD weARs JACKeT GIORGIO ARMANI sHIRT BURBERRY PRORSUM (AVAILABLe AT MRPORTeR.COM) PANTs PRADA
ALEX wEArs JACKET SALVATORE FERRAGAMO sHIrT BALMAIN
COREY wEaRs suit LOUIS VUITTON t-shiRt baLeNcIaga sCaRF JeaN cOLONNa
RJ weaRs JaCKeT SALVATORE FERRAGAMO sHIRT CARVEN PaNTs 3.1 PHILLIP LIM BeLT LACONTRIE
CLARK weARs JACKeT CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION sHIRT PRADA PANTs GIORGIO ARMANI sCARF ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA BeLT LACONTRIE
KELLY wEars suit TOM FORD sCarF JULIEN DAVID
RJ weaRs JaCKeT BALENCIAGA TaNK Top HERMÈS
TOMMY wears JaCKeT SALVATORE FERRAGAMO sHIrT ISSEY MIYAKE PaNTs LANVIN
HaIr aKKI (arT ParTNer) GrOOMING aNNelIese TIeCK usING JOuer (arTIsTs aT wIlHelMINa) MOdels TOMMY duNN, Brad KrOeNIG, MaTTHew TerrY (FOrd NY), KellY rIPPY (IMG), ClarK BOCKelMaN, rJ KING, alex luNdqvIsT (wIlHelMINa), COreY BaPTIsTe (vNY) BOdY arT JeNaI CHIN usING sTIla COsMeTICs (arTIsTs aT wIlHelMINa) dIGITal TeCHNICIaN KYle laCY PHOTO assIsTaNTs luCas FlOres PIraN aNd dusaN szOKOlOvICs sTYlIsT assIsTaNTs aHNNa lee aNd JusTIN arrOYO HaIr assIsTaNT NaOMI eNdO reTOuCHING MONdeGreeN PrOduCTIONs lOCaTION duNe sTudIOs, NY CaTerING MONTerONe
splendor g r a
in the s s
some ideologies are by nature noninclusive, and many belief systems go heavy on the anachronistic fervency for conformity, compliance, and submissiveness. but our fanatical faith in fashion has never been as strong as it is this spring, with the most extreme patterns and prints coexisting in stylistic harmony.
photography daniel riera fashion brandon maxwell
from left: Joe wears sweatshirt Calvin Klein ColleCtion shirt (UNDerNeath) SiKi im shorts paul Smith Cap looSe tony fraNCisCo wears sweatshirt aND shirt (aroUND waist) Calvin Klein ColleCtion shorts iSSey miyaKe BraCelet pepperCotton watCh verSaCe loUis wears t-shirt Calvin Klein ColleCtion shirt (aroUND waist) verSaCe shorts ChriStopher Kane BaCkpaCk y-3
on right: louis wears shirt Just Cavalli jacket (around waist) GuCCi shorts vivienne westwood
below: joe wears sweater 3.1 PhilliP lim shirt (underneath) mosChino skirt and shorts GivenChy by riCCardo tisCi
Francisco wears sweatshirt anD shirt (arounD waist) Kenzo shirt (unDerneath) Raf SimonS Pants VeRSace shoes fendi caP LooSe Tony
Hair and GroominG roberto diCuia usinG oribe Hair Care (Lâ€™ateLier nYC) modeLs Joe b. and FranCisCo (Ford nY), Louis maYHew (red Citizen) diGitaL teCHniCian Quinton Jones PHoto assistant Po ewinG stYList assistants sandra amador, CoCo CamPbeLL, KusCHan HoJJatian GroominG assistant tim aYLward ProduCtion dan FoLeY and meLissa montoYa (Jed root inC.) VideoGraPHer PatriCio Lima Quintana eQuiPment rentaL Fast asHLeYs brooKLYn CaterinG new YorK KitCHen
from left: louis wears ClotHiNG Saint Laurent by hedi SLimane saNdals drieS Van noten fraNCisCo wears ClotHiNG dSquared2 Joe wears ClotHiNG JiL Sander (tHis looK aVailaBle at mrPorter.Com)
to see a Video of tHis sHoot, Go to VmaN.Com
janis wears jacket and belt Prada shirt and Pants ErMENEGILdO ZEGNa
a college degree may not mean what it used to, but universities will always (we hope) remain intellectual playgrounds for pioneers of enlightenment. initiate a new semester of post-preppy ivy league looks, fit for leisure and the library alike. if nothing else, you can get an education in excellent style. photography sharif hamza 184 vman
fashion tom van dorpe
janis wears shirt Emporio ArmAni Pants Jil SAndEr
FROM LEFT: ABEL AND JANIS WEAR cLOThINg Dior Homme
duncan wears Jacket AlexAnder McQueen shirt Siki iM Pants BAlenciAgA (available at mrPorter.com) briefcase PrAdA
FROM LEFT: Duncan WEaRS cLOThing Tim Coppens JaniS WEaRS cLOThing Tim Coppens ShOES BoTTeGA VeneTA
FROM LEFT: ABEL WEARS JAckET Salvatore Ferragamo ShiRT Balenciaga PAnTS tim coppenS BAg lanvin JAniS WEARS JAckET And PAnTS iceBerg ShiRT Jil Sander SOckS Falke ShOES Bottega veneta BAg louiS vuitton
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