August 30 2014

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19 posts tagged "Annie Leibovitz"

Heather Huey Gets Pleated


“I felt like I needed to do something a little bit more classic,” says thirty-two-year-old Heather Huey, the milliner-cum-conceptual-designer best known for her dramatic body cages (as worn by Rihanna in her Annie Leibovitz-lensed Vogue spread last November), crystal bunny masks, and sculptural chapeaux. Indeed, Pleated Project, her latest collection of pleated grosgrain and felt headpieces, stems from classic references (like circle hats and papal miters), but the result is hardly traditional. Made completely in black (“I love black,” says Huey. “It’s classic, flattering, easy, and lets me focus on other elements of design, like shape, texture, and finish.”), the collection features a host of structured toppers that are simultaneously wearable and editorial. Take, for instance, a fascinator that twists and arcs like a pair of frowning lips, or a large piece with upturned wings that merges Hunger Games-esque futurism with a Victorian silhouette (thanks to her background in architecture, Huey’s shapes are always unusual but considered).

So who can pull off Huey’s head sculptures? “She has to have confidence and a desire to commit to whatever look she is creating,” explains the designer, who describes her personal aesthetic as “low-key casual” and rarely wears her own work. (There are exceptions, of course, like when her boyfriend, photographer Billy Kidd shot Huey in her creations for an exhibition at Clic Gallery last year.) She does, however, try on her toppers during the design process. “My head isn’t really a ‘hat’ head, so I know if it looks good on me, it’s going to look amazing on anyone else,” she laughs.

After spending several months on her intricate pleated looks, Huey is already planning her next move—a new range of cages. “The Pleated Project challenged me to take on the traditional,” she says. “Now I’m ready to try something new and modern again.”

Heather Huey’s handmade hats and cages are available at Kiki de Montparnasse, on her Web site, and at other select retailers.

Photos: Billy Kidd

Anja Rubik: Let’s Talk About Sex


It may not come as a surprise to those who have seen her work gravity-defying wonders in an Anthony Vaccarello gown slit just about to her sternum, but Anja Rubik isn’t shy about sex or sexuality. And now, with her relaunch of 25 Magazine, she’s creating a forum to talk about it.

Rubik has been involved with the magazine since 2009, when she and then-boyfriend (now-husband) Sasha Knezevic signed on to work on the Viennese title, but she’s since taken full editorial control and rebranded the glossy in the image of Viva, the Bob Guccione-published erotica mag targeted at women, which ran from 1973 through the end of the decade. But mere smut it isn’t; the new issue, shot entirely by women, features photos by Inez van Lamsweerde, Annie Leibovitz, Ellen von Unwerth, and Paola Kudacki, whose “Heroes of 25″ series is pictured above.

Calling in from her native Poland—between shooting in London and jetting off to Cannes, where on Wednesday she’ll launch the magazine with a party at Pierre Cardin’s manse Palais Bulles—Rubik spoke with about sex versus sensuality, men versus women, and the lessons she’s learned as a newly minted editor. Key among them: Don’t fear the nipple.

Tell me about the vision for 25.
I had the idea because I really loved the magazine Viva from the seventies, which was a Penthouse publication for women. I loved the vision of it, and that was what formed the inspiration for me. 25 is basically directed toward very strong-minded, ambitious women, who are very comfortable with themselves and their sexuality. I was thinking a lot recently and looking how sex is approached nowadays, and nudity, and bodies. Erotica kind of disappeared. The way we approach sex is either really prude or very vulgar.

What will be in the new issue?
Every picture that’s in the magazine is shot by a woman. We have incredible photographers, like Inez [van Lamsweerde], Emma Summerton, and Katja Rahlwes. Annie Leibovitz donated pictures. Ellen von Unwerth. Basically, the magazine consists of beautiful images. It’s less of a magazine, more of an album. And in general, 25 is more than the magazine. We were trying to create an identity, to do a lot of projects connected to it. We’re doing one with Net-a-Porter that will launch quite soon. We did a video with Barnaby Roper and Kanye West that will launch at Colette. It’s a whole lifestyle, a whole vision.

Were there editors you looked to for inspiration or advice? Or other magazines?
I had a lot of references from past magazines, and Viva was the very big inspiration. [But also] Playboy from the seventies, Penthouse from the seventies. And of course editors, yes, Carine [Roitfeld] was a big inspiration as well. Fabien Baron is incredible; I think he has an incredible vision, so clean and minimalistic, that influenced the magazine as well. But I didn’t want it to be too clean on the other hand, because the inspiration was the seventies, and the magazines in the seventies are very far from that. It was a bit of a struggle. And I don’t want it to be taken too seriously. There’s a lot in it that has a sense of humor, a wink.

Do you think men and women approach sex differently?
I think it’s definitely different. In general, I think women approach it in a more sensual way, and a more personal way than a man. A man looks at it and thinks is it sexy or not. A woman will look at every little detail and more of the feeling of the image rather than is the girl sexy. For a woman to take a sexy picture, it takes way more than for a man.
Continue Reading “Anja Rubik: Let’s Talk About Sex” »

The Olympic Torch Tops Design Of The Year List, Beyoncé The Beautiful, Jack White’s First Feature Film Score, And More…


What topped the list for the Design Museum’s Design of the Year? The Olympic torch not only beat out Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding dress but also the Met’s McQueen exhibition. “Nothing is harder to get right than designing for the Olympics,” Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic tells Reuters. “The lightness and simplicity of Barber Osgerby’s Olympic Torch does just that.” [Vogue U.K.]

Beyoncé has been named the world’s most beautiful woman in 2012 by People magazine. The pop star says, “I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt because I’ve given birth. I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth.” [People]

Jack White has snagged his first-ever feature film score, for Disney’s upcoming film The Lone Ranger, starring beauty icon Johnny Depp. Reportedly, adaption of the 1950′s television show will include a “fresh take on the ‘William Tell Overture.’ ” [Spin]

Maria Shriver is set to present photographer Annie Leibovitz with the 7th Annual MOCA Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts on Tuesday. Also on the program for the awards luncheon—an Akris Fall fashion show. [The Hollywood Reporter]


What Anna Wants, What Annie Needs,
What Issey Has Earned, And More…


Anna Dello Russo picks her top ten looks from Spring ’11, from Jil Sander and Balenciaga (left) to Mary Katrantzou and Haider Ackermann. Just as good: She pastes a picture of her cherry-hatted head atop each one. Think of it as a preview of every street-style blog you’ll read over the next three months. [Anna Dello Russo]

In case you missed it over the weekend, the FT‘s take on Annie Leibovitz and her continued financial difficulties is worth a read. The takeaway: If you’re going to stay solvent, it helps to kiss a little art-world ass. [FT]

Issey Miyake is set to receive Japan’s Order of Culture from Emperor Akihito next week on November 3, the country’s national Culture Day. [WWD]

And Harvey Nicks heads to Hong Kong: The English department store is opening up an 83,000-square-foot location in the Eastern capital. [WWD]


Behind-The-Scenesters: Mary Howard


Designers design. Photographers photograph. Models model. That much—in broad strokes, at least—is clear. But what about the artists, technicians, and industry insiders, often unpublicized and underappreciated, who help to get clothes and accessories made and shown? Call them Behind-the-Scenesters: people who shape our experience of fashion but never take a bow on the catwalk or strike a pose for the camera. Without them—from pattern-makers to production designers—the show wouldn’t go on. And in a new series, sits down with a few of these pros to find out, basically, what they do.

Mary Howard is the set designer on virtually every key fashion photographer’s speed dial. She’s the consummate background professional, literally—she creates the mise-en-scène of a shoot. Howard (left works regularly with Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, and Steven Klein, among others, and her sets range as widely as her collaborators’ styles. She does dazzlingly elaborate (Leibovitz’s 2008 Wizard of Oz shoot starring Keira Knightley), and she can make a set virtually invisible, too (Meisel’s Spring ’10 Prada campaign.) On any given day, you can find Howard mottling the gray backdrop at a studio shoot or packing up a selection of Art Deco lamps headed off on location. Here, she talks to about working with the masters, how much stuff is too much stuff, and learning when to leave the bobby pins in.

So, Mary: In one sentence, what do you do?
I call myself a set designer for print. Could be editorial, could be ads. In movies, they call someone like me a production designer; in fashion, the name “set designer” has stuck but it doesn’t entirely describe the job. There’s a lot of art direction involved; it’s not just about picking out a rug. But I guess if I have to boil down my job description to one sentence, I’d say—I create the world around the girl. I don’t have anything to do with the model, but I shape the physical environment that surrounds her and help the photographer and the stylist and everyone else involved with the shoot tell the right story and make the girl pop.

Why do you think the fashion industry has shied away from the title “production designer”?
I think some of it has to do with the fact that this is still an emerging field. It barely existed when I moved to New York; it wasn’t until recently that my studio even began getting credits in magazine. I work quite a bit with Grace Coddington at Vogue, and she’ll tell stories about sending her assistants out to just, you know, grab a chair. Or the photographer would send his assistant out to pick up props.

How did you get into set design?
I grew up in New Orleans, and after I got my MFA, I went back down there to build Mardi Gras floats. Then I came to New York City and built floats for the Macy’s parade. I was always making things—I’d make props for Saturday Night Live, for instance. Eventually I began working with a set designer—this was about 20 years ago, and it’s possible that she was the only one. We began working with Richard Avedon, and that led to other photographers and editors seeking us out. Then I went out on my own. Honestly, I feel like a grandma in this field.

What’s an average workday like for you?
I think that, like a lot of people in fashion, I do what I do because there isn’t really “an average day.” There are days on set, and there are prep days that involve a lot of thinking or researching or pounding the pavement looking at stuff. So there’s a routine, but the work itself is so dependent on the assignment—if I’m working with Annie, her process is totally different from, say, Steven Meisel’s process. Continue Reading “Behind-The-Scenesters: Mary Howard” »