“You know what? I’m blessed: I’ve been working with people who I’ve been working with since I was 16. Why would they want me still?” exhaled Naomi Campbell at SiriusXM’s midtown center yesterday afternoon. She was talking with her longtime friend and mentor Diane von Furstenberg, who was quick to reply, “One of the reasons they want you is precisely that you are the woman that you were.” There’s no denying that at the age of 43, after twenty-seven years in the business, Campbell is (and always has been) exactly what she represents herself to be—no apologies, no facades. Her reality-TV project, The Face, returns to Oxygen tonight (the reason for the radio time), and in the midst of all the press and ongoing paparazzi chaos, she continues to serve as an advocate through her work with Diversity Coalition, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and others. Of course, Campbell still hits select runways and pages—experiences she draws upon as she coaches the young models of The Face. Of her most recent FW14 appearance at Philipp Plein’s flame-engulfed, cowboy-themed show, Campbell told Style.com, “I saw backstage how the safety people were there, so I understood they had it all worked out—but to feel that heat…I’ve done a few [risky things for fashion], like being on a crane. [But this time], I was more worried about the audience: Are they going to get up and run?”
The conversation with Von Furstenberg touched on everything from Campbell’s early ambitions (“I wanted to be a dancer and travel the world. I wanted it to be spontaneous—I was 6.”) to the state of diversity in the industry (“Are we making progress? We’re definitely making progress on the ad campaigns. On the shows, especially in England, it could be a lot better. We do not want it to be a trend. We want it to be consistent.”). She discussed what’s left to be done: more advocacy, Saturday Night Live, and a child (“With or without a man! I’m gonna damn well try,” exclaimed Campbell.). And she related what keeps her going: “I do pray. And I am nervous, because I don’t ever want to feel like, I am the best. I can do it with my eyes closed,” she said. “I think my nervousness and my fear are what keep pushing me to strive to be better as a person in what I do—that’s why I still enjoy what I do.”
After the show, Campbell revealed a few Fall ’14 thoughts to Style.com. “I loved the new Alaïa presentation. Miu Miu was great,” she said. “And I loved Dolce & Gabbana—the fantasy of Little Red Riding Hood. I loved it! I think everybody’s going back to doing their fantasies. I love fantasies. It’s nice to dream.”
It’s back. VFiles’ satirical look at the modeling world, Model Files, returns for its third season today, and in its premiere, the mocumentary-meets-reality show’s host, casting director Preston Chaunsumlit, manages to tackle some pretty heavy topics—with his signature lighthearted approach, of course. “Not only is it really funny, but it touches on important fashion-world issues like racism and size-ism,” VFiles founder Julie Anne Quay said of the series. “You are going to love the second episode, when Preston collaborates on an über-secret project for a major international pop superstar,” she later teased.
In episode one, dubbed “The Asiancy,” Chaunsumlit addresses the lack of diversity in the modeling biz with the help of Humberto Leon, Jenny Shimizu, Jen Brill, and Quay. Sit back and watch his antics, above, and be sure to check out future episodes, airing every Tuesday, on VFiles.com.
Joining the likes of Victoria Beckham, Laura Brown, and Alexa Chung as a new “MyTheresa Woman” is French actress Clémence Poésy, who brings a healthy dose of Parisian chic to the table. The portrait series is comprised of short videos in which women of great style, intellect, and talent share their favorite finds from MyTheresa. In Poésy’s clip, which debuts exclusively on Style.com, the actress elaborates on her effortless, intuitive signature look.
“I love the idea of buying something that you keep for a long time,” Poésy offers in the film. “My favorite piece in my wardrobe is a shirt that was my mum’s in the 1970s. I’ve worn it so much that I can’t even take it out of my wardrobe anymore because I think it’s going to just break.”
Poésy’s personal style is quintessentially French—think floaty dresses, bedhead, and minimal accessories—but she admits to taking more risks when she travels stateside. “What I love about New York is that no one cares…You can wear whatever you want, you can be as crazy as you want. So I feel freer there.”
In her video, Poésy models everything from a sequined Saint Laurent blazer to an embroidered Valentino jumpsuit to a super-sheer white dress teamed with clunky lace-up boots. What can we say? We love a girl with multiple (sartorial) personalities.
Just when we thought Paris had maxed out on its supermodel sightings, Freja Beha Erichsen caused us to audibly gasp when she opened Louis Vuitton on the final day of shows. Sure, seeing Gisele Bündchen close Balenciaga and the high-wattage cast at Balmain earlier in the week were definite highlights, but for true model obsessives, it’s difficult to top a surprise appearance by Erichsen, who has been absent from the runways since Spring ’12. Among the other noteworthy ladies in the LV lineup were Liya Kebede, Maggie Rizer, Marte Mei van Haaster (who took a break this season to focus on school), and scads of newcomers including closer Rianne von Rompaey and Julia Bergshoeff. While Bergshoeff also walked Miu Miu later that day, we wish she had done more shows and taken a less exclusive route. Her only other Fall outing was Proenza Schouler.
There were plenty more major modeling moments during the second half of PFW. Miranda Kerr turned up at Sonia Rykiel of all places—the brand stepped things up this time around by enlisting stylist Katie Grand and casting director Anita Bitton. Elsewhere, Sasha Pivovarova made a lovely cameo at Chloé, and Kendall Jenner convinced us to consider her a serious model at Givenchy and Chanel. But even doing those big shows won’t quite earn Jenner a spot on our forthcoming top new models list. The competition in that category is steep, with fresh faces like Lexi Boling, Ola Rudnicka, Waleska Gorczevski, and Harleth Kuusik each walking more than fifty shows. All in all, a very strong season for veterans and promising rookies alike.
We can always count on Paris for high-wattage casts, but we never expected to see so many supermodels this early in the week. None other than Gisele Bündchen kicked things off today by closing Balenciaga (the last time she set foot on a runway was Alexander Wang’s Fall ’12 show two years ago), where she was notably joined by familiar faces Mariacarla Boscono and Natasha Poly. Several hours later, Balmain continued to raise the bar with a lineup full of A-listers, including Angela Lindvall, Anja Rubik, Emily DiDonato, Izabel Goulart, and closer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (who also walked in the label’s Spring show). Compared to those all-stars, the other major girls in the mix—Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn, and Edie Campbell—all but faded into the background. And then leave it to Rick Owens to throw a wrench into the works. Following his step dancers last season, the designer turned heads again by interspersing old-school veterans such as Kirsten Owen and Diana Dondoe with real, mature women (many of whom, we’re happy to say, were not sample size). But this was no street-casting job. Rather, Owens’s casting directors, Angus Munro and Noah Shelley, told Style.com that “most of the ‘women’ were part of the Owens organization.” Owens kept it fresh by keeping it in the family. Speaking of keeping it in the family, we were pleasantly surprised to see Harry Brant follow supermodel mom Stephanie Seymour when he made his runway debut at IRFE. Sadly, his older brother, Peter Brant Jr., didn’t make the cut. There’s always next season, Peter.