22 posts tagged "Ann Demeulemeester"
As creative director of her family’s business, Selfridges’ Alannah Weston has turned the massive department store on London’s Oxford Street into her private fiefdom of fun with a series of large-scale events that have brought together artists, filmmakers, musicians, and designers in the name of underscoring the store’s retail vision. Wednesday night saw one of the smartest, artiest events yet, to mark the opening of the Women’s Designer Galleries. Curator Emma Reeves commissioned a set of short films to interpret seven of the collections carried in the new space. The single criterion? A strong female character at the heart of each film. For Ann Demeulemeester, for instance, Michael Pitt filmed his fiancée, Jamie Bochert, as a wraithlike figure moving through the desert (top), like a contemporary version of Isabelle Eberhardt, the 19th-century French traveler who inspired the designer’s collection. For Comme des Garçons, Katerina Jebb filmed concert pianist Madeleine Malraux, the widow of cultural nabob André Malraux, still playing at the age of 90.
Ruth Hogben made a typically brilliant piece of film for Gareth Pugh (above), a hectic slice of Cabaret-style decadence. She also created a sepulchral German-expressionist short for Rick Owens: harsh angles, shadowy reveals, eldritch textures, and an opera soundtrack. Her grasp of atmospheric moviemaking is so acute it came as a surprise to hear Hogben admit that all she wants to do is take still pictures. I swear everybody’s going to be reading real books again in a few years.
Speaking of atmosphere, set designer Simon Costin has made Mars out of molehills, and here he turned the derelict Selfridges’ hotel into an outlying branch of the Overlook, with curtained-off spaces intended to obliquely echo the building’s former use. There were “rooms” with oversize sofas, long dining tables, cracked vanity tables, and huge beds, with the movies projected on the ceiling above them. That was how we got to see an edit of the film Christopher Doyle had made, but not used, as the backdrop for Dries Van Noten’s show for Fall 2005. (Technical issues pulled it at the last minute.) Doyle was the man whose camerawork made In the Mood for Love into the swoonsville date movie of the millennium. A perfect match for Dries’s own romantic leanings. It was kinda nice watching it lying down, too.
Funny, only one of the films—the McQueen one—really featured recognizable clothes. The others were all projections, figurative and literal, like Delfine Balfort’s erotic equine dance for A.F. Vandevorst. You can see them all on Selfridges’ Web site, but you’ve got till March 26 to experience them in person. More fun that way.
It’s rare to see new designers joining the Milan fashion week ranks. Rarer still for that designer to be a Chinese woman. Uma Wang, an alumnus of China Textile University and Central Saint Martins in London and the founder of a nearly seven-year-old eponymous line with a flagship store in Shanghai, made her Italian debut on Sunday night. Guests who managed to squeeze her show in between Aquilano.Rimondi and Versus witnessed a collection from the Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester school of fashion. Colors were mostly blacks and neutrals, with a hit or two of red, and her cuts, for the most part, were asymmetric and unconstructed. There was a focus on innovative knitwear and dramatic coats—often in one piece. It’s too soon to say if Wang will be back next season (she showed in Paris once last year), but wherever she ends up, she’s a designer to watch.
Ann Demeulemeester’s dreaming of a black Christmas. For the holiday season, the designer created a capsule collection of four black pieces, for men and women, in collaboration with the online retailer TheCorner.com; Ann Demeulemeester (thecorner.com), as the collection is known, will go online on November 22.
To celebrate the capsule collection—which consists of a leather and cotton waistcoat, a cotton cashmere tank top, a pair of pants, and a shopper bag, ranging in price from $430 for the top to $1,290 for the waistcoat—Demeulemeester commissioned artist Erik Madigan Heck, who has worked with Kenzo and Mary Katrantzou, to shoot an 8mm short film in Antwerp featuring the collection. “It’s beautiful how a human being brings a garment to life,” Demeulemeester tells Style.com. “The inexplicable mystery and contrast of a man and a woman and how they intrigue. My aim has always been to incorporate authentic feelings in my work. Erik Madigan Heck’s short movie is a beautiful expression of this.” For his part, Heck described the film earlier this year in conversation with Style.com. “I’m in love with it,” he said at the time. “It’s very blown out, and the models look like angels appearing and disappearing.” The film premieres exclusively below on Style.com.
Giambattista Valli, Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackermann, Ann Demeulemeester—those are just a few of the heavy hitters photographer Erik Madigan Heck has worked with over the past few years. It’s no wonder those big names are knocking at his door. Just take a look at the images from his hyper-colored Surreal Planes series with Mary Katrantzou (Janice Alida is wearing a Fall 2011 runway look). The anthology and corresponding exhibition feature his work from the past eight months (including images from his Artist as Muse series for A Magazine, where he is a regular contributor). Style.com spoke with Heck about art, fashion, and playing hooky during NYFW.
What do you find interesting about fashion as a photography subject?
That it is malleable; it can become anything, or be a catalyst to do anything else with it.
Tell me a little bit about your working methods. How, for example, did you achieve the high-pigmented color look in those portraits you did for Mary Katrantzou?
My working methods are pretty simple; I like to have a small closed set, one assistant, natural light, and an outside or small studio space. On Mary Katrantzou, that’s a secret, but it’s not how you would think.
What kind of camera do you use?
I use an old Canon EOS 630 film camera.
Tell me a little bit more about the exhibition/book itself. What’s your favorite image in the series?
The book took two months of hard work in terms of designing and laying out, and then obviously shooting all the work this year was intense, but the book just happened naturally. It felt like the right moment. My favorite works are probably the A Return to Giverny series—I want to live in those photographs. Continue Reading “What The Heck” »
“Revenge is beautiful.” It’s more than the tagline for the new Zoe Saldana film Colombiana. It’s the operating principle behind the female badass movie. Recall Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft in short shorts and a low-cut tank that revealed décolletage and deltoids in equal measure. As Colombiana‘s costume designer Olivier Bériot put it, the wardrobe in these movies is “a little bit unreal, but that’s as much for the men in the audience (‘she’s sexy!’ [they're thinking]) as it is for the women (‘she’s powerful’).”
Saldana’s dangerous woman fits the accustomed mold, but there are others these days who are breaking it. In David Fincher’s upcoming The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara sports bleached eyebrows, piercings, and an asymmetrical, dyed-black haircut that is, to quote Stieg Larsson, as “short as a fuse.” (And if you ask us, she bears an uncanny resemblance to model of the moment Saskia de Brauw.) The wintery white Inuit-inspired clothes that costume designer Lucie Bates created for Saoirse Ronan in Hanna, meanwhile, flouted genre convention; still, her character, a 16-year-old trained assassin, was no less efficient at her tasks.
Black, of course, is the wardrobe color of choice for screen killers—and for their deadly chic counterparts on the runways. In his review of Ann Demeulemeester’s Fall collection, Tim Blanks likened her models to “a lost tribe of Amazonian warrior women,” their bodies slung with bandoliers stuffed with feathers instead of bullets. Ohne Titel’s Alexa Adams and Flora Gill similarly amplified the human form, cutting a shearling leather and knit jacket with exaggerated, full sleeves. “It’s about the embrace of the female body,” Adams said, “but not being afraid of its powerful side.”
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW, and let us know if you’re ready to embrace your inner badass.