Danielle and Laura Kosann’s website, The New Potato, seeks out the leaders in fashion, food, and lifestyle for their addictive daily profiles. Today’s intriguing subject? Style.com’s editor in chief, Dirk Standen. In the interview, Standen shares everything from his ideal food day—you can catch him at the farmers’ market and Barbuto during the summer—to his opinions on print versus digital. He also clues you in on what makes good content, where to eat in Milan and Marrakech, and why food and fashion really aren’t that different. Click here to read the full story.
Speaking to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Courtney Love revealed that the long-rumored Kurt Cobain biopic will be entering production in the next year. While the actor to portray Cobain has yet to be cast, Love says she, daughter Frances Bean Cobain, and Cobain’s former Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl will all be involved in the project. Of demo reels she’s received thus far, Love offered, “That was really tough because these boys are so pretty, so cute. I won’t name names because I don’t want to jinx it for anyone, but these are 25-year-olds who are blond, gorgeous, and the new Brad Pitts. There are a ton of those. Some are really good actors, not just pretty faces. I don’t want to be the person who makes that decision. Let’s leave that to the agents; I have great agents now. But I will have a say in it.” Will the flick spur yet another grunge revival? We’ll keep our ripped jeans and Dries Van Noten plaids in our closets just in case.
The CFDA announced this morning that it has acquired the Fashion Calendar. The Calendar’s Ruth Finley and CFDA CEO Steven Kolb signed an agreement this past Tuesday. The move comes on the heels of show-schedule doyenne Finley earning the CFDA’s Board of Directors Tribute Award. Her decision to pass the reins comes after helming the famous pink biweekly paper for 65 years, dating back to her days as a student at Simmons College in the forties. “My original thought was to keep my business in my family, but it turned out I didn’t have any granddaughters who were interested in doing it,” Finley told WWD. “Therefore, as a family business, it wasn’t going to work. That basically changed the whole approach. I felt the CFDA was the ideal solution for keeping it going, and I hope it goes on for another 65 years.”
Finley will stay on in the capacity of an adviser, and the Fashion Calendar will continue to exist as a subscription service under the same name. The unified entity won’t make its debut until the Fall ’15 shows, formally going into effect on October 1 and allowing a few months for a smooth transition before February.
There’s cautious optimism that the merger will resolve some of the myriad problems with NYFW’s current chockablock agenda. A veritable minefield of nearly 400 events and overlapping shows, it leaves many an editor and buyer Uber-ing frantically from Milk Studios to the “tents” at Lincoln Center. Here’s hoping the Fashion Calendar’s weighty heritage and CFDA’s 21st-century capabilities make for a winning combo and a more streamlined schedule.
Christopher Owens Talks Shooting Photos With Hedi Slimane, Going Country, and Modeling to Fund His Art-------
Two years ago, indie-rock figurehead Christopher Owens and his friend Hedi Slimane found themselves in the same position, tasked with starting new chapters in their careers: Owens had just announced the dissolution of his band Girls and Slimane was newly in charge at Saint Laurent, so they turned to each other for help. Slimane recruited Owens for his first campaign at the storied fashion house; that project doubled as Owens’ coming-out party as a solo artist. It was a mutually beneficial move that allowed Slimane to establish the rock-and-roll vibe he’s since maintained and gave Owens greater visibility as an artist and model. (Owens has since starred in an ad for Isabel Marant’s capsule collection for H&M, and has lent his looks to other photographers, including Logan White who snapped the shot above.)
A year later, Owens has settled into his solo career and reinvented himself again—this time with spurs and Stetson hats. His next solo album, fittingly titled A New Testament, has more of a country lean than anything he’s done before and, with it, comes Owens drawing from his days spent working on a ranch in Amarillo, Texas—cowboy attire, to boot. While preparing for the announcement of A New Testament—out September 30—the San Francisco-based artist took a moment to talk about his friendship with Slimane, his new country look, and his reaction to how musicians are turning more to fashion to fund their art.
Had you been thinking of exploring country music in a more overt way for a while?
On the first Girls album, Album, there’s a song called “Darling” that I feel is a little country. On Broken Dreams Club, we tried to do things that were pretty country—we even had a pedal steel player. It was something I hoped to do in a more focused way. Then when I actually put my shoulder to the boulder on this one, I found all of these great elements coming out from people I had asked to work with me and I didn’t try to suppress those things. At the end of the day, I thought, We’re not coloring in the lines of the country aesthetic, but it would be a shame not to use it.
It seems like you’ve committed to that aesthetic all around. In promo photos, you wear country gear.
There is a bit of a story behind that. I lived in Amarillo for nine years before moving to San Francisco. I worked on a ranch, and the hats I’m wearing in the photos come from that period. One was a parting gift I got when I left the ranch. On various Girls tours, I’ve stopped in Amarillo and bought a new pair of boots—not thinking, One day I’ll use this for an album aesthetic. It’s just fun to get to do all of this stuff, image-wise. Modern country people are doing everything from dubstep to rapping; I think there’s room for me in there.
Has your wardrobe expanded a lot since you’ve taken on these modeling jobs with Hedi Slimane and Isabel Marant for H&M?
In the H&M shoot, I only wore one T-shirt and jeans, so I didn’t get any kind of wardrobe expansion, but Hedi was nice enough to send me a few things that I really liked.
Interestingly, when I signed up for H&M I was a little bit scared—it was very different from Saint Laurent. As much as it was whirlwind, when it came time to do the editorial photos for Saint Laurent, I had already shot on a personal level at my house, walking around Golden Gate Park, and Hedi’s house in L.A. as a friend—photos that weren’t to be used for anything, just photos for photos’ sake. We had become friends, so when he said, “Do you want to do this?” it was easier to say yes. Jeez, Yves Saint Laurent was a pillar of fashion, and I kind of fancy myself as a young David Bowie dipping my toe in the fashion pool.
The H&M thing was something where I thought, Maybe it’s not really me. I don’t know anyone there. At the same time, the music industry is changing. People don’t survive on record sales anymore. I had done a boutique-y album with my first solo album and said, “I’m only going to play small rooms with good sounds. I’m not going to play any festivals because they throw you up on stage five minutes before your set with no sound check.” Coachella was going to pay me for a short set whether it was good or not, and I said no to that. So the H&M thing seemed like the right thing to do at the right time. They were happy to pay me for my time. I lost money touring because I took a nine-piece band on a theater tour, and this was a way for me to recoup with my label and have money to do this album.
Sky Ferreira, another musician who has modeled for Hedi, has also talked about how modeling can be a good way to fund art.
I think it’s a very genuine issue right now for artists to find other ways to make money. People stream your music on Spotify and you get zilch back, and you’re expected to make videos and do a lot of things that cost money. I think it’s important to have some moral template that you keep in mind. I wouldn’t want to say, “Just hand over the rights of a song to a company to do whatever with.” I’m happy to take a photo. I like doing that. I think we will see more of this.
On the flip side, have you thought about why brands are more interested in using musicians instead of models?
You could be right about that, but, for me, I don’t really see that. I remember when Pete Doherty was Hedi Slimane’s muse. Back in the day, Mick Jagger and Bowie and Liza Minnelli were in fashion. I think it’s something that left during the post-punk alternative craze of everybody having to make a point and say “I’m not a sellout,” but I think that’s going away again. People are saying, “I like to work with other people on other things that’s not my work,” whether that’s being in a movie or being in fashion. I want to have budgets to make exciting records. I want to do things even bigger than I’ve been able to do.
Before the Saint Laurent ads, you weren’t in the mainstream public consciousness. How did you deal with being the face of a massive campaign?
[Hedi] followed it up very quickly with photos of Marilyn Manson, Courtney Love, and Beck, so the focus was taken off me very quickly. I feel like my photos that happened in the beginning were a bit anonymous. People were like, “Who is this Macaulay Culkin type with bad teeth in the new ads?” And it didn’t really matter who it was. The comments I saw were more on the aesthetic rather than directed toward me.
I really enjoyed that whole experience and I would do it again. Hedi was behind the camera. It wasn’t like I came in and shook his hand and he handed me off to some crew. It was very relaxed. The model was very professional and helped me to understand what to do in a photo shoot. I like to think of Hedi as a friend. He’s a very personable guy. No airs of greatness. He just likes to do his work, and he seems to work a lot, which I respect.
The timing was really interesting because both of you were kind of in the same place in different industries.
Yeah. It was while I was on the ranch that Hedi called me to ask about doing the campaign. I was on a little trip that was designed to get away from things—after I made the announcement that I was leaving my band—and I went to see my family and went back to Amarillo and stayed on Stanley Marsh’s ranch. The timing is bizarre, but isn’t that the way it goes? Sometimes things just line up right.
If you’ve always dreamed of touring Coco Chanel’s apartment on 31 rue Cambon, you’re in luck. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who just wrapped Fifty Shades of Grey, recently took up residence inside the designer’s home to shoot Second Floor, a set of 45 images that will debut at London’s Saatchi Gallery in September. According to The Telegraph, the exhibit will be everything we could hope for—and more. “Shooting at Coco Chanel’s apartment was an unexpectedly absorbing experience,” said Taylor-Johnson. “The essence of Chanel is firmly rooted there in all of her possessions, and I truly believe that her spirit and soul still inhabit the second floor.” We get pretty spiritual when we talk about Chanel, too.
Save for a few special guests, the apartment has long been a mystery to the public, so it’s going to be exciting to see Coco’s chandelier with rock-crystal camellias; leather-bound editions of Shakespeare, Voltaire, and Byron; and the white satin armchair in which she sat for a Horst photograph in 1937 (above). “The apartment is beautifully stylish,” said Taylor-Johnson. “It feels like she had meticulously chosen every object.” And in case you were wondering—no. None of those curated objects are whips.
Second Floor will be on view September 12 to 22 at the Saatchi Gallery, London, and will be accompanied by a book.