Crossing Channels

Given my respect for confidentiality, I won't name names, but last week I assisted on a photo shoot for The Last Magazine featuring an up-and-coming British actress. I personally hadn't heard of her before, but in my opinion, I think she's got a shot at making a name for herself. She has a few hot forthcoming projects, the first one being a Nick Hornby-penned script starring Peter Sarsgaard and Orlando Bloom. I think it's due in theaters in early 2009. The buzz is that she has the potential to become a new indie darling, and the fact that she was heading to a Purple magazine shoot directly after can all but confirm this.

The above photo was (again) taken from my iPhone. My apologies, but I suppose it adds to the mystery. I promise to try to get some valid photos on the next shoot. I didn't want to creep the girl out by taking pictures of her on a closed set.

The highlight of the shoot for me, naturally, was the wearables. Everything was pulled from the Yves Saint Laurent Spring 2009 collection. The clothing (looks 1, 4, 29 and 31see below) set against the backdrop of the French King Suite at the Lafayette House, in combination with her pixie cut and dimples conjured a very mod, 60s London feeling in the photos taken by the lovely Jaime Isaia. Very Rosemary's Baby.

I am now completely obsessed with the crinoline booties from the collection. They are amazing to look at and it took iron will not to slip my little feet in them.

By looking at photos from the runway show, I thought that the heel was Lucite with caging around it. To my surprise, and compliments to the ingenious Stefano Pilati and his team at YSL, I discovered that it is completely hollow, and made from some sort of supermetal. This is the benefit of getting to see these things in person. You really come to appreciate the work, love and thought that goes into them. These birdcage booties would be so perfect for hot weather since they are completely open and the summer breeze can blow right through. A girl can dream...


This Year's Model

Since I won't be going on any photo shoots until next week, and 'tis the season for wish lists (can you believe they're already playing Christmas music?!?) I thought I'd compile a few of my own. Here is my top ten list of models I'd seriously die to work with (although several would be extremely intimidating given their own outstanding personal style):

10. Maryna Linchuk - She's the up-and-comer of the bunch. Now that she's starting to get her share of the ad campaigns I'd like to see her used for more than just beauty shots. I think there is an edgier side that is not being utilized and I would love to bring that out with rougher styling, hair and make-up.

9. Gisele Bundchen - She brings such energy to her photos. I'd love to see what she could do on a photo shoot with a darker mood and styling.

8. Daria Werbowy - She has a very distinctive look that I cannot compare to anyone else. She can be extreme, toned down or anywhere in between, but still unmistakably Daria.

7. Sasha Pivovarova - I admire that she's willing to take risks in her photos. I loved the shoot she did with Hedi Slimane for the April 2008 issue of French Vogue.

6. Natalia Vodianova - She brings so much emotion to her photos. Almost a certain sadness. One of my favorite editorials of all time was the Alice in Wonderland story Annie Leibowitz shot for American Vogue. Only Anna Wintour could commission the greatest designers of our time to design a signature dress for Alice.

5. Gemma Ward - Quite possibly one of the most striking faces of the new guard. Her Kewpie-dollness begs to be photographed. Not to mention she's the perfect hanger.

4. Shalom Harlow - She's withstood the test of time, and is possibly even more captivating now. If you haven't already, view Victor & Rolf's Spring 2009 "runway" presentation. She was the only model featured in their digitalized show. Very V&R.

3. Erin Wasson - She has such great style and brings it to her editorials. But you don't see her enough. Maybe she's foregoing the modeling for all of the designing and styling she's been up to?

2. Anja Rubik - Forget Agyness, she's got the fiercest chop on the block. Anja can morph between tough and sweet in the swipe of a make-up brush. She is editorial, runway and kicked ass in the Chloe and Valentino ad campaigns this fall. Love her.

1. Kate Moss - Anyone who denies they feel the same is clearly lying. She is the most famous and versatile supermodel of all time. Period. I would love to just sit back and watch the master do her thing. And maybe even get some styling tips.


Flashing Lights

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I recently moved to New York to be closer to my first love. Fashion. The city, among its other charms is the capitol of the fashion industry. OK, that may be my opinion, but bring on the debates if need be. Just being in the streets, people-watching, the architecture and energy brings me to a head space filled with creative thoughts and impulses.

In L.A. I worked more on the business side of the industry, and loved being in the vicinity of fashion, but felt lacking on the creative side. It may be a quarter-life crisis of sorts, but I have turned over a lot of new leaves this year, and maybe the highest-ranking risk is not moving across the country leaving friends and family, but quite possibly leaving the security of a decent-paying, secure job in these economically uncertain times to pursue what I really want to do. It may not be the best time, but I feel it is the time.

And after a little time spent relentlessly cold-callingor in this case cold-emailing, is there another term here??I finally got a few leads and am now waist-deep in the action. I have begun fashion/wardrobe styling, well assisting stylists, and am loving it! Which brings me to the whole point of this entry. I think things on this blog will also be moving in a new direction here on out. I want to take it on a more personal note. Not in the sense of self-exploitation, but to make things connect morewhere I connect with fashion. Not just thoughts and comments, but also in regards to how I affect (or intend one day to affect) the industry.

So, to make my explanation less abstract, I have decided to start chronicling the styling jobs I work on. Just a little taste of what's to comeI apologize for the photo quality, this is somewhat of an epiphany arrived upon after the fact, and is courtesty of my iPhone. The shoot was for ultra hip British magazine Wonderland, styled by the amazing fashion editor Anthony Unwin, whom I assisted. It was a really fun job to work on given the energy among all of the creatives on set. Foremost, the photographer Alexi Lubomirski and the very talented model, Olga Sherer. Olga was a wonder to watch. She really knows her stuff and brought a very upbeat, sexually-charged vibe to the photos. She is definitely one to see in action, having already been in basically everyone's runway show over the past few seasons. She can bring the heat to the editorial as well so I look forward to seeing more print work from her.

The overall look had a very sexy boardroom-meets-bedroom feel. There were lots of shoulder pads and mini skirts. Not to mention super high-high heels. I fell in love with a pair of suede, Bordeaux pumps by Christian Louboutin. They should hopefully make it into the mag given they were used for multiple looks, so I can drool over them a little longer. I definitely contemplated returning those Loubs a day late to the showroom for a one-night stand. Kidding! Anyway, I'm guessing since it's a five times a year pub it should be the Spring 2009 issue. Look out. More to come...


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...except let the Hope begin...



Having recently transplanted in NYC from L.A., I am not one to blink at the occasional celebrity sighting. Today walking near my apartment in the East Village I was excited to catch a glimpse of the colorful Lynn Yaeger and Michael Musto stepping in to a cafe for lunch together. I suppose it is not a stretch to see them as lunchtime companions since they do work together at the neighboring Village Voice offices. I always wondered if Yaeger really did dress as eccentrically on a daily basis, the answer, at least from what I could see, was yes.
Less than five minutes later brunette-turned-blonde-then-back-again model Mariacarla Boscono blew past me in a in a wispy gust of a hurry.

Not to say that any of these people are celebrities in the sense of the word that L.A. is accustomed to, but for me and anyone else entrenched in the depths of the fashion world, it felt like a very New York moment.


Take Me to Hell in a Handbag

Stop the press! Sofia Coppola is collaborating with Louis Vuitton on a small collection of accessories due out next spring. She is photographed above with one of the bags, appropriately named "SC." Another teaming with Marc Jacobs, but the first time with the French fashion house of LV. Writer, director, actor, modelthe woman even has her own champagnenow luxury-goods designer. Can she please do something else to make me and the other legions of Sofia-cool lovers more envious?

Click here for her interview with Suzy Menkes for the IHT.

My Chérie Amour

The new ad campaign for Miss Dior Chérie is so breath taking. There is such a sugary-sweet softness to model Maryna Linchuk that lends itself to the whimsy of the photographs taken by Tim Walker. The accompanying commercial that is expected to be released early next year will be by no other than Sofia Coppola! I'm picturing something along the lines of a hybrid of Marie Antoinette and The Virgin Suicides.

Fashion houses are really going to new heights with their advertising. Now it's not only about celebrity brand ambassadors but also celebrity directors. What's next, Scorsese shooting the Dior Homme cologne commercial? Actually, that would be pretty amazing... And considering the gritty rock star appeal of the menswear brand and Martin's recent foray in to rock docs, I have to say, possibly not too far fetched. Galliano are you listening?


Wild Horses

A.P.C. strikes again! The French label hits another naturally provocative chord with its winter 2009 ad campaign featuring the equally compelling Stella Tennant, shot by Bruce Weber. The neo-nautical look juxtaposed with the rural countryside, complete with trusty stead and burro, clearly translates the brand's aesthetic which is equal parts sophisticated and whimsical. I can't wait to see more images from this photo shoot or the new collection. And we won't have to wait too long. Hits stores September 23rd...


Supermodel Sweep

It's impossible to not notice the overwhelming presence of the 90s era Supermodels dominating the Fall/Winter '08 ad campaigns. It must be harder than ever for the up-and-coming modelettes to make a decent living in our current celebrity-obsessed culture.

The awkward cheekbones, gaunt physiques and lifeless expressions of the nameless legion of girls may work for the minimalistic or low-key luxury likes of Calvin Klein Collection or Alberta Ferretti, but only the biggest, most bold-faced names will do for mega-watt luxury labels like Louis Vuitton, YSL and Chanel.

What's in a name? I've compiled a list of the top models in fashion today based on their supermodel status and brand caché. This list takes in to account not only the quantity of campaigns, but the quality. And yes, it is my opinion, not fact.

Top 15 Supermodels of Fall/Winter '08:

1. Kate Moss: Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, David Yurman, Just Cavalli, Longchamp, Rimmel

2. Angela Lindvall: Chloe, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Roberto Cavalli, Jones New York

3. Claudia Schiffer: Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo

4. Daria Werbowy: Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Isabel Marant, David Yurman

5. Stella Tennant: Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs

6. Natalia Vodianova: Versace, DVF, Jacob & Co

7. Linda Evangelista: Prada, L'Oreal

8. Kristen Owen: Marc Jacobs, Givenchy

9. Naomi Campbell: Yves Saint Laurent (exclusive contract, perhaps?)

10. Eva Herzigova: Louis Vuitton (another question of exclusivity)

11. Raquel Zimmerman: Fendi, Lavin, Roberto Cavalli

12. Shalom Harlow: Tiffany & Co., Tumi

13. Carolyn Murphy: Lord & Taylor, Banana Republic, Estée Lauder's Sensuous

14. Christy Turlington: Escada

15. Natasha Poly: Jil Sander, Nina Ricci, Blumarine

Ten out of these fifteen "girls" cemented their fame and name in 90s. The vast majority of the ad campaigns they star in are for the large corporate fashion labels, basically the most highly visible (and well-paying) real estate in the business.

In fact, The Supermodels have even edged out the movie star contingent that was so standard a few seasons ago. That is, with exception to Gwyneth Paltrow, who took over for Sienna Miller in the Tod's campaign. Of course, there are a few other minor celeb-endorsed ads (like Hayden Panettiere for Dooney & Burke) but let's not waste any space here.

One of the most compelling ads this season is for Jimmy Choo featuring Angela Lindvall, shot by Terry Richardson. Lindvall disappeared for a few years, got married and had a few kids, then re-emerged quietly a few seasons ago. Season by season she has picked up momentum and bagged a growing roster of contracts. She could be considered a supermodel, she is a name, but more so to the fashion world than the mainstream household. That is to say she is no Claudia or Naomi.

I am drawn to her ads because they are purposeful but don't bank on her image alone to sell us. Each of her ads is artistically driven and beautiful. This chameleon-like quality has made her a front-runner for the most top campaigns this season.

Where does that leave the new names and the no names? Jessica Stam, who was quickly becoming one of the hottest new faces, has dwindled down to co-starring in Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbanna ads. Her fellow Victoria's Secret model, Doutzen Kroes, has also been relegated to ads for the lingerie giant as well as 7 for All Mankind. Either they're shelling out, or she's needing to cash in...

Others are turning to the magazine's editorial fashion spreads. Coco Rocha is sealing her presence with prime pages in September US Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, a Barney's New York and Phi ads, among other things. Sasha Pivovarova has ensemble Lanvin, Tiffany & Co. and GAP ads in addition to being a fashion feature favorite. Amber Valleta has also been heating up the fashion pages as of late.

As much as I love Kate and Claudia, looking at the same faces is growing boring (no matter what kind of wig you throw on them, ahem, Karl). And whereas the ads could have great art direction, setting, and actually highlight the product, it instead relies on a "name" face to carry the brand. I would much rather be bowled over by a intoxicating visual pictorial that reflects the brand's image than be dumbed down by a supermodel.

And dare I ask where Gisele has gone?


Campaign Trail

Here are a few of my personal favorite F/W'08 ad campaigns:

Missoni: The dark, Bertuluccian drama starring Iselin Steiro, Kinga Rajzak and Mathias Lauridsen, photographed by Steven Meisel.

Jimmy Choo: The bronzed, leggy Angela Lindvall shot by always provocative Terry Richardson.

Chloe: Returning to it's breezy Bohemia with Angela Lindvall and Anja Rubik, shot by some of my favorite photogs Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin.

Gucci: A boho-luxe fantasy with Lily Donaldson & Co. romping en plein air, also as envisioned by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.

Miu Miu: With the auburn-maned Vanessa Paradis in Los Angeles captured by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

Burberry: The room is oddly bereft of the white-haired "elephant", Agyness Deyn (who is noticeably absent everywhere). This season a fresh, wintry breathe blows in with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Sam Riley by Mario Testino.

What are your favorite campaigns for fall/winter?


Like Father, Like Son

I am absolutely obsessed with the spread in the 2008 Fashion Rocks supplement featuring Sasha Pivovarova and Dhani Harrison. The illustrious 10-pages of hippie-luxe dreamland was magnificently photographed by Steven Meisel. My only problem with the photos is the overabundance of fur being used. Not quite sure how Papa Beatle, George Harrison, would feel about that, having been a vegetarian during his day.

It is amazing how Dhani is such a dead-ringer for his father. It appears now he is even following in his musical footsteps with his band, thenewno2, releasing their first album titled You Are Here.

Photos courtesy of Fashion Rocks