At this very moment, cult sub-Fourteenth Street denim label BLK DNM is plastering downtown Manhattan with its newest “Wild” poster campaign—the company’s only form of advertising since its inception in 2011. Lensed by the brand’s founder and creative director, Johan Lindeberg, the sixth installment of the guerrilla promos feature none other than genetic Powerball winner Gisele Bündchen. But this isn’t your standard Gisele fare—in fact, all that’s shown is the model’s mile-long legs and covetable Brazilian posterior in a pair of second-skin jeans as she’s inspecting the engine of a vintage automobile.
“We drove together in that car to Brooklyn for the shoot,” Lindeberg laughed. “It’s an ’85 Mercedes!” The designer and model celebrated their collaboration last night at BLK DNM’s Lafayette Street store, where guests such as Marina Abramovic, Theophilus London, and Waris Ahluwalia perused an expansive series of Lindeberg x Bündchen imagery. In darkened gray scale, the arguably austere shots depict Bündchen in various states of undress and undulation. “Maybe it’s a little bit the dark winters [in Sweden], and both my grandparents were priests,” said Lindeberg, addressing his style. “I like that kind of deeper expression, somehow.”
Bündchen, perhaps, paraphrased the Lindeberg aesthetic best. “He sees women as real—or, he has a very real idea of women. There’s no retouching. There’s a rawness that’s just kind of who you are, you know?”
An exhibition of Lindeberg’s Gisele portraits will be on view at BLK DNM’s 237 Lafayette Street boutique for the next month.
Every year, the crème de la crème of the film industry get glammed up to hobnob and vamp for the paparazzi at the Cannes Film Festival. While A-listers such as Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Carey Mulligan, and Zoe Saldana have made an impressive showing thus far, they’ve arguably been eclipsed by the contingent of top-tier catwalkers who have flocked to the red carpets en masse. Yesterday, in particular, was a model-watcher’s paradise, with the likes of Joan Smalls, Petra Nemcova, Barbara Palvin, Chanel Iman, Jessica Hart, and Erin Heatherton posing for the cameras like the pros that they are. Milla Jovovich, Liya Kebede, and Doutzen Kroes were snapped multiple times earlier in the week, and Yasmin Warsame and Irina Lazareanu made some memorable cameos, too. Presumably, even more runway regulars will turn up at the amfAR blowout on Thursday—we’ve got it on authority that Liu Wen and Karolina Kurkova are already in town. Sorry, starlets. When it comes to posing and strutting in borrowed gowns, models simply do it best.
Tucked away in the ninth arrondissement, the family-run Pallas atelier, which is known for its hand-finished Petite Couture tailoring, has been a secret weapon for major fashion houses, from Balenciaga to Céline to Thierry Mugler, since it was founded in 1961. Fifty-two years later, Pallas is emerging from behind the scenes with a new capsule collection of seven made-to-order tuxedos done in collaboration with Hannelore Knuts. An iconic Belgian model, Knuts is best known for her androgynous appeal (she recently played David Bowie in the indie film DAVE), as well as setting a record for covering—count ’em—three consecutive issues of Vogue Italia, back in 2001. “As someone who’s always been typecast as a tomboy, I felt somehow related to the aesthetic of the Le Smoking,” Knuts told Style.com.
Despite never having designed a suit before (she has, however, done a handbag with Delvaux and a bike for Marniek Kint), Knuts had plenty of ideas for modernizing the classic tuxedo based on her years on the job. “I was really close with Haider Ackermann and got to work closely with Azzedine Alaïa, who regularly did fittings on me and always welcomed me in his studio,” she said. “I’ve seen the process. I’ve witnessed and experienced it. And now I’m actually doing it for the first time, but it didn’t feel unnatural. I appreciate that details, like adjusting the hemline a few centimeters or changing the button finishing, can make or break the entire look.” Knuts herself wasn’t hunched over a table with a measuring tape around her neck and pins in her mouth, but she did suggest several updated silhouettes, such as a hoodie jacket and a seventies-inspired jumpsuit. She also styled and photographed herself for the lookbook. The images, which Knuts shot in Paris’ Le Petit Trianon Theatre, debut above. “I appreciate Pallas’ old-school approach to craft and am excited to help them creatively,” offered Knuts. “Experiences like this make modeling richer and more fulfilling.”
Although she starred in the recent Mario Sorrenti-lensed Rihanna for River Island campaign (above), Japanese model Tao Okamoto has largely been missing from the catwalk. And now, our suspicions as to why have been confirmed. The trailer for the new X-Men film, The Wolverine (out this summer), was released today, and guess who plays Wolverine’s (i.e., Hugh Jackman’s) love interest, Mariko Yashida? Sure, we know the stigma surrounding the “model-slash-actress” title, but perhaps Okamoto will follow in the footsteps of peers like Milla Jovovich and Amber Valletta to make her mark. Take a peek at Okamoto’s acting debut in the film’s trailer, below.
Narrowing down the season’s top newcomers to just ten girls is never an easy task. After following their progress through New York, London, Milan, and Paris, we admittedly feel a bit like stage moms cheering on all the rookies. But, considering Fall ’13′s impressive crop of fresh faces, picking our favorites this season was even more gut-wrenching than usual.
At the end of the day, however, decisions have to be made. But the runners-up deserve a round of applause, too. At the top of our list of girls who almost made the cut is Elisabeth Erm (WILHELMINA), who shot to the front of the pack after walking Calvin Klein in New York, and then went on to kill it in Europe. She ended particularly strong in Paris, turning up at Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, and Miu Miu, among others. Another girl who boasted a very impressive show list was Nicole Pollard (ELITE), a favorite of Raf Simons, who closed the month with twenty-seven top-tier turns, including Dior, Alexander Wang, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Givenchy.
Some girls only walked a few shows, but that doesn’t mean they went unnoticed. Take Binx Walton (NEXT), for instance. The Tennessee native racked up exclusives at Marc Jacobs and Versace, and also appeared at Miu Miu in Paris, and Giles and Sister by Sibling in London (clearly, Katie Grand, who styles both collections, is a fan). Breathtaking brunettes Elise Smidt (WOMEN) and Lauren English (IMG) also went the selective but premium route. Smidt caught the eye of casting directors in Milan, at Prada and Jil Sander, then went on to hit the runway at Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Chloé, and Dior in Paris. English emerged as a favorite of Alexander Wang (who definitely has a sixth sense for models) in New York, then turned up again on his Balenciaga catwalk in Paris. She rounded out the season with Céline, Acne Studios, Loewe, and Maison Martin Margiela. Keep an eye out for these ladies during the next few months—we have a feeling you’ll be seeing more of them.