30 posts tagged "Anja Rubik"
Anthony Vaccarello doesn’t fear the nipple. Or any other body part, for that matter. The 31-year-old Italian-Belgian designer has earned a bold reputation for his vampy, va-va-voom aesthetic and daring—sometimes shocking—cutouts. His career has been on the rise following his 2011 ANDAM win, but everyone really started paying attention to the hot young talent after his friend Anja Rubik walked the 2012 Met Gala red carpet in a dangerously high-slit white gown that showcased her lanky gams and right hip. Surely that mega moment helped catch the eye of Donatella Versace, who’s tapped Vaccarello for what may very well be the most perfect Versus collaboration yet. And as if the Versace team-up, which will debut in New York later this year, weren’t enough, Vaccarello has today released his debut Inez & Vinoodh-lensed advertising campaign. Starring Rubik, the sharp ads debut exclusively here. Last week, Vaccarello rang us from Paris to discuss the Fall ’14 campaign, Versus Versace, and why Instagram’s nipple-phobia is utterly absurd.
Congratulations on your first campaign! Can you tell me about the concept behind the imagery?
The concept came from the Fall collection, which was inspired by Tony Viramontes. We wanted a raw image and to do something very dynamic that looked like a sketch. It was a dream for me that Inez & Vinoodh shot it. I never thought I would be able to work with them. I was talking to Anja [Rubik], and she said, “Why don’t you ask Inez & Vinoodh?” She pushed me to try, and they said yes. For me, they are the best because they understand simplicity. The campaign is very sharp but very soft at the same time. We chose red text because I wanted it to look like a gallery poster. And because we had red in the collection.
Why was now the right time to do your first campaign? It’s a big step.
I wanted to control the image of what I’m doing. There were a lot of editorials and stuff like that, but I thought it was important for me to put out the image in my mind that corresponds with the collection—the right image for the collection.
Anja has been somewhat of a poster girl for your brand since its early days. How did you two meet?
We met five years ago through a friend. We started talking straightaway, and she’s really supported me from the beginning. I’m always amazed by the things she does for me. For instance, she introduced me to Inez.
Earlier, you spoke about controlling your image, and arguably the most memorable Anthony Vaccarello image is from the 2012 Met Gala, when Anja wore your hip-baring white gown. What has that moment done for your career?
You know, when I was creating that dress on the mannequin, I didn’t expect all the buzz. But when Anja wore it with her legs and her attitude, it was completely different from what I expected. For me, it was just a simple white dress with a simple slit. It was virginal in a way, and I made it so Anja would feel comfortable. But after that moment, people became aware of what I was doing.
There’s a very fine line between sexy and vulgar. How do you make sure not to cross it?
I think it is a thin line. But a lot of it has to do with the person wearing the clothes. As a designer, you need to know the customer’s limits as far as what they can wear. Even if they love something, it might not be right for their body. Some things can look very chic on one girl and very trashy on another. So really, it’s all about the attitude that a woman gives the dress.
Do you think it’s possible to show too much? Rihanna was basically naked at the CFDAs, and Anja got kicked off Instagram for posting Style.com’s homepage image of her wearing your sheer Fall 2014 top without a bra.
That whole thing with Instagram is ridiculous. On Instagram, you see so many trashy things that are not censored. But if you can see a nipple it’s not allowed? I don’t think that sends a good message about femininity. And especially when you have boobs like Anja, you cannot hide them! I think celebrities like Rihanna or Miley Cyrus are just having fun. And I think that’s fine. Hiding the body and [the recent trend] of putting a woman’s body into all these boxy clothes cancels out the sexuality of women. That’s not a good thing. I like that Rihanna and Miley just do what they want.
You’re half-Belgian, half-Italian, and were born in Brussels. Historically, Belgian designers are quite restrained. So I’m curious, where does all this sexiness come from?
Maybe it comes from my Italian side. I’m never very controlled with my cuts. I think because of my Italian side, I’m more sensual and focus on the body and femininity.
You’ve recently dressed Anja, of course, as well as Gisele Bündchen and a handful of other stars for the red carpet. Is there anyone else you’d like to see in your gowns?
Not really. For me to dress a celebrity, I have to know her. I really need to have a contact, and to know how she feels about clothes. So far, I’ve dressed girls that I really want to work with. I’ve been lucky.
Do you think starlets need to take more risks on the red carpet? If so, who?
Yeah, I think that celebrities are afraid of doing something new and risky. I get very bored seeing them in that cliché prom look or those princess dresses. Maybe it’s a fantasy for women to be princesses. But I think [stars] need to be more risky. I probably shouldn’t say who, but there are a lot. And it’s not necessarily American celebrities. We have actresses in France who should take more risks. Bad taste is everywhere!
Versace recently tapped you to be its next Versus collaborator. How did Versace approach you?
I met Donatella last year. She wanted to meet me because she thought we had similar sensibilities when it comes to femininity. Straightaway, we started to talk like we’ve known each other forever. For me, meeting her was like meeting Madonna in the nineties. She is so cool, so gentle, and so open-minded.
You and Donatella definitely have parallel aesthetics. Is Versace a brand you’ve admired throughout your career?
Versace has inspired me since I was a kid. For me, the ultimate designers have always been Azzedine Alaïa, Helmut Lang, and Gianni Versace. I used to watch Gianni Versace on television. I was always obsessed with the house, its history, all the major photographers and models they worked with. So this collaboration is a dream come true. I know it’s cliché to say that, but I’m so happy with them. And I hope that people will like what I do. There are a lot of expectations, and I’m nervous that people won’t understand it. But it’s good to be stressed like this.
Can you give us any hints about what we can expect from the Versus collection?
It’s a secret! I can only tell you that it’s based on what was iconic for me when I was a kid.
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.
Instagram Fears the Nipple: An Exclusive Interview with Anja Rubik About Getting Kicked Off the Social Platform, and Celebrating the Naked Body-------
Instagram doesn’t just fear the nipple—it’s terrified of it. This morning, Anja Rubik’s erotic magazine, 25, was kicked off the social media platform without warning. Why, you ask? 25 had posted an image or two that included partial female nudity. (One of said images may or may not have been a screen shot of yesterday’s Style.com homepage, which featured Rubik in Anthony Vaccarello’s transparent Fall ’14 finale look.) And that, apparently, was just not acceptable. “I think this whole thing is ridiculous,” Rubik told us by phone from Paris fashion week. “It’s like saying to the world that a woman’s body is offensive. You can’t show a nipple behind a sheer shirt?”
Yesterday, Style.com reported on Fall ’14′s nipple trend (which continued at Gareth Pugh). And while the judges are still out on whether this catwalk craze is a vehicle for female empowerment or objectification, we agree with Rubik that social media shouldn’t censor pictures that celebrate the body. “Like all forms of social media, Instagram is a form of a self-expression,” said Style.com social media editor Rachel Walgrove. “The digitally-driven have grown to accept it as an art form and prefer that companies not stifle their messages with their terms or censorship.”
What’s more is that there’s so much clothed vulgarity allowed on Instagram. Miley Cyrus can post a close-up of her derriere in a pair of white panties printed with a wagging tongue that reads “Bangers,” but Rubik can’t share a runway snap of her barely visible breasts? Pish posh. Here, in an exclusive interview, Rubik talks to Style.com about getting kicked off (and immediately relaunching on) Instagram, the dangers of censorship, and why there is no need to fear the nipple.
Instagram is obviously fearing the nipple, and they canceled your magazine’s account today because of it. How did you find out?
Well, [my colleague] who runs 25 magazine’s account called me and told me that it was down. We didn’t even get a warning. We know Instagram’s restrictions, and we’ve been very careful. So we started to think, What image could have triggered this? And actually, we think it was a screen shot of the Style.com homepage, where I’m wearing Anthony Vaccarello.
Stop. Are you serious?
Yes! And we loved [the image] because underneath, you guys wrote, “Don’t Fear the Nipple,” which is our slogan that originally came from an interview I did with Style.com, and it became our thing, and we did T-shirts around it. It’s all about empowering women and being comfortable with your body and your sexuality. Anyway, I guess that image triggered a lot of reports, which is why the account was closed.
Have you posted any other images that people might report?
Well, there was also an image I posted from French Vogue of a naked girl standing backward. You couldn’t see anything, but they took that down. And actually, this is the second time I’ve been thrown off Instagram. The first time was because a photographer friend of mine sent me a print with a beautiful note on it, and I posted a picture of it to say thank you, and they kicked me off for that without warning. It’s quite frustrating, especially because, when you look through Instagram, there are so many crude, vulgar images, which are apparently fine. But when you post a beautiful body of a naked woman, which is the most natural thing that can exist, then we have a problem. What’s the worst thing that will happen? Even if it’s children flipping through, why should they be offended by a breast? Especially if it’s photographed or shown in a very natural way that’s not vulgar.
It’s not like you’re posting porn.
No! Not at all!
So Instagram allows crass, clothed images but censors photographs that celebrate a woman’s nude body. What kind of message do you think that’s sending to the public?
I think it’s very strange. It makes us think that we should have some kind of complex about our bodies. It sends the message that our bodies are unnatural and not beautiful, and I think women need to fight this. Talking about sex and the naked body has become such a taboo, and that’s when people start having problems—when they can’t be open about it. We need to be proud of our bodies. We create all these really fake ideals of beauty nowadays with images of women that are physically altered, and women are trying to attain these insane, unrealistic ideals. But we show a natural woman naked and that’s an issue? I don’t understand it.
Do you hope that 25 can help make issues and discussions surrounding sex and the naked body less of a taboo?
Yes. I hope that is something that we’re doing through the magazine. We shoot all different women for 25—models and real women. Women shouldn’t feel like they need to hide their bodies. If you look at the sixties or the seventies, women were free and comfortable in their bodies. All this censorship can start to make women feel uncomfortable, and that’s a very big problem
Do you think that this fear of the female body is inherently American, or is it an international sentiment?
I feel that we see it much more in the States. In general, people in America tend to be a little bit more prude than in Europe. But I think it’s spreading, unfortunately. Europe is becoming more and more prude. And it’s ridiculous because when you turn on the TV—a reality show—you’re faced with so many vulgar images. That’s what should be censored and not allowed, in my opinion.
I see that 25 has relaunched with another Instagram account. Will you continue to try and push the envelope with the images you post?
We will. And if they kick us off, we’ll open another account. We’re here at fashion week [in Paris] and it’s an important event for fashion and women. So we thought we should open a new account to keep our readers updated going forward. But after fashion week, we’re going to have to decide how we approach this issue. I’m considering opening a private account so only our users can see the photos. Maybe that will solve the problem. I don’t know.
More generally, we have seen a lot of bare breasts on the runway for Fall ’14. Do you think this is a positive thing? And would you walk around in the Anthony Vaccarello finale look that you wore down the runway?
Yes! Of course. In the right place, why not? I would feel comfortable. I mean, I wouldn’t wear it on the street, but this whole nipple thing is insane. Didn’t people want Anne Hathaway to apologize because you could see the outline of her nipples in her Oscars dress? That’s crazy. That’s like apologizing for having a leg. Honestly. She wasn’t even showing the nipple! It was just peeking through the dress. Obviously there’s a nipple in there! Why do we care? That’s really awkward! We should be apologizing to her. There was nothing vulgar about that dress.
You said that you wouldn’t go braless in a completely sheer top when just walking down the street. Why not?
I think because the world, unfortunately, is not quite prepared for that. In Europe, I’d probably do it—in Italy or the south of France. But in other places, I think it would cause too much trouble.
Is there anything you’d like to say to Instagram or to members of the general public who fear the nipple?
They should wake up. We’re going backward—way backward. Instead of celebrating our bodies and moving forward and exploring our sensuality, we’re blocking all these things and making them shameful. And to the people who don’t like these images and report them on Instagram, just don’t follow us. It’s very simple. I don’t understand why they’re following us in the first place if they find our images so offensive. I’m not putting a gun to their heads.
Well, well, well. It looks like we have some exhibitionists turning out for Fall ’14. There’s always a nipple here or there come show season, but in the past month, we’ve seen a bevy of naked bosoms proudly on display. While Jeremy Scott and Libertine‘s Johnson Hartig both put bare-chested models in sheer shirts at their Fall shows, the fuss really began (as it so often does) at Marc Jacobs. In her runway debut, Kendall Jenner floated down the catwalk in a transparent, nipple-flaunting sweater and the Internet went wild. Next came Malaika Firth, who walked braless in a see-through jumper at Fendi. And yesterday, Anja Rubik closed Anthony Vaccarello in a skirt slit up to here and a black point d’esprit blouse that left nothing to the imagination. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the model created a series of T-shirts that read, “Don’t Fear the Nipple” to celebrate the latest issue of her erotic magazine, 25, back in November.
To be honest, these brazen nipples wouldn’t be so newsworthy if they popped up in the Spring collections. On more than a few occasions, designers have sent sheer tops down the runway that clients will layer with a tank or playful brassiere. But something about these pieces suggests that they should be worn as shown. Not to mention, this is Fall/Winter 2014. Sure, we’ve seen fur (faux and real) chubbies and coats aplenty, but I’m not sure I’d want to brave the Polar Vortex 2.0 with an exposed chest—even if I were enveloped in a cozy topper.
“Oh, this is just some crazy catwalk trend,” they’ll say. “We’ll only see it in artsy editorials,” they’ll claim. False. Always ahead of the curve, Michelle Harper attended New York fashion week, during which the temperatures maxed out at a whopping 32 degrees, in a pink-skirted frock with a totally translucent bodice and not much else. Yes, this craze has hit the streets.
Not surprisingly, Fall’s nipples have been raising eyebrows. (To that point, Instagram was apparently deeply offended by Henry Holland’s Fall ’14 inspiration image—a vintage photo of a woman in a diaphanous white top and no bra—that we posted as part of our Split-Second Preview series. The platform removed the snap just hours after it went up.) And even I, a strong proponent of boundary-pushing attire, have to wonder, are these sheer shirts a celebration of female anatomy and feminine power, or are they examples of vulgarity and objectification? (It’s worth noting that all the brands mentioned above are designed by men—not necessarily straight men, but men nonetheless.) Did each designer watch Free the Nipple before editing his collection? Did Femen have a hand in this? Is everyone just pandering to Miley Cyrus? I suppose the message these looks sends really depends on how, and in what context, they’re worn. Speaking of which, come Fall ’14, are women actually going to ditch their bras, slip on a thin veil of chiffon, and flaunt their breasts with gusto? I guess we’ll have to wait until the clothes hit stores to find out.