19 posts tagged "Bruce Weber"
Acne Studios has rarely met an out-of-the-box idea it hasn’t liked. So though for most labels, publishing its own limited-edition collection of rodeo-rider portraits from a mid-century physique photographer wouldn’t be the first order of business, here it is. And so last night, with its usual clutch of models in tow—Hanne Gaby Odiele, Jacquelyn Jablonski, Ji Hye Park, et al.—Acne launched Rodeo, a hardbound book of photos from the collection of New Yorker critic Vince Aletti. Must be something in the air lately. As Hedi Slimane’s latest editorial suggested: Cowboys—they’re a thing.
Bruce of Los Angeles, little-known except among physique-photo aficionados, has nevertheless been influential among later photographers. Aletti traced elements of his style in the work of Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, and Bruce Weber. (The similarities were in some cases so striking, you could probably have bylined the book Bruce of Los Weber.) “It’s clear that he’s looked at it and had some appreciation of this period of work,” Aletti said between tête-à-têtes with Fran Lebowitz last night. “And I’d imagine he knows [of] some other photographer named Bruce.”
Unlike much of the photographer’s oeuvre, these rodeo shots are naturalistic, of real guys (rather than models) in their own clothes (rather than nude). Of course, exceptions apply. In any case, Acne took the opportunity to create a little capsule collection of clothes around them, too, for those who prefer to wear, rather than page through, their vintage beefcake. There are T-shirts, glammy cowboy boots stitched with appliqués of cowboys, and the traffic-stopping shirt modeled last night by the label’s Louise du Toit, available at Acne shops now.
The Spring 2013 issue of Du Jour, the online and print magazine that caters to Gilt Groupe‘s top spenders, has an unlikely cover girl. Out today online and the first week of March in print, the new issue features Kim Kardashian, who, shot by Bruce Weber, appears in her first pregnancy photo shoot. Weber lensed two covers: The first, which debuts above, shows Kardashian dressed up like a Tahitian princess (although, with a floral Du Jour crown hovering about her head, she looks uncannily like a Madonna), while the second depicts her, sans makeup, emerging from a pool. The pared-down photographs were taken at Weber’s Miami home. “We had come off this moment where we launched with Christy Turlington and were lucky enough to have Nicole Kidman on the second cover, with Patrick Demarchelier shooting, and we wanted to try something a little bit different,” says Nicole Vecchiarelli, who serves as the magazine’s co-editor in chief, along with Keith Pollock.
Now one might not think a reality-TV star would appeal to the magazine’s high-net-worth readers, but Vecchiarelli believes Kardashian will capture their interest. “We realized that everyone has an opinion about her. Our idea was that any audience would be able to appreciate seeing someone who they may view in a certain way reshape her image. It was an artistic endeavor, and I think there’s a lot for our audience to really delve in to, whether they’re personally into her or not.” Vecchiarelli adds that the interview with Kardashian, written by Du Jour‘s editor at large Alyssa Giacobbe, reveals that as she approaches motherhood, the reality queen is rethinking her approach to privacy and how she connects with her fans. What’s more is that Weber chose do draw visual comparisons to Kardashian and Elizabeth Taylor (there are even a few images of Kardashian leafing through books about the actress). “Could she ever be an Elizabeth Taylor or Marilyn Monroe personality of her generation? If she [were to become that] it would be because she’s continued down the road that she did with Bruce—opening herself up to different ideas and pairing herself with different kinds of people.”
When the droves that came to Miami this week depart at the end of Art Basel Miami Beach, one new arrival will stay: Dior Homme, which opened its new store, and fifth in the U.S., on December 1st. Tonight marks the boutique’s launch event and, for the occasion, the label commissioned Miami native Bruce Weber to create a film that will become a permanent installation at the new store. “It’s one of the great perks of my job that I have the ability to work with these creative talents who I so admire,” says Dior Homme’s creative director, Kris Van Assche. “Bruce is an incredibly talented photographer and filmmaker and one of the most influential figures in the world of fashion. This new film is particularly fascinating as he brings a very personal aesthetic, and we tapped a particularly diverse range of young males.”
For Can I Make the Music Fly?, Weber tapped a few prodigies of the dance and classical music world: among them, fashion favorite Charlie Siem, who at 26 is already the veteran of several ad campaigns; the Ukrainian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, whom Weber calls “the dance world’s fastest-rising star”; and 10-year-old Claudius Agrippa, an “astonishingly gifted” violinist. They do make the music fly, like the film’s dedicatee, the frenetic pianist Glenn Gould, used to. If this kind of impassioned playing seems to border on spectator sport, that’s all part of the Weber point. Miami, the photographer said in a statement, “is my hometown and also the hometown of a great ballet company and orchestra—and last but not least, the hometown of the Miami Heat. I made this film with all of that in mind; as well as my love for classical music and how sometimes the wildness of the 4th quarter of a basketball game is like the giant leap of a ballet dancer.” The trailer premieres exclusively on Style.com, above.
Named after Formula One Grand Prix racer Wayne Rainey, fresh-faced model Rainey Forkner (pictured) was born to be an adrenaline junkie. When she isn’t skateboarding to and from castings in New York, you’ll likely find the 19-year-old up-and-comer zooming around Los Angeles on her Honda CBR sportbike or taking a spin around the dirt bike track in nearby Oak Hills, California. Forkner’s father wanted to be a pro racer his entire life and dedicates nearly all of his time and money to fixing engines and getting faster, so it’s not surprising that he made a racing protégée out of his daredevil daughter.When Forkner was just 13, her dad took her to a local course and put her on an entry-level bike with manual transmission for the first time. “I just popped the clutch and took off. Even though I was running into everything, my dad said I did great, and afterwards he bought me my own bike, a Kawasaki KX 100,” Forkner told Style.com. “After that, I began going out to a big open lot near my house with jumps. I’d spend about seven hours a day—split up into three sessions—out there, and after a lot of practice and coaching from my dad, I got really good at it, so competing was the next step.”
Despite wearing a chest guard, elbow pads, rubber pants, knee pads, and obviously a helmet every time she gets behind the wheels, Forkner has had her fair share of injuries. “I’ve got many, many scars, which comes with the territory. My agencies are really on my case about not riding because they don’t want me to get hurt or, even worse, look busted,” she laughed. “The scariest time was when I highsided the bike. It’s basically when the front tire dips under and you get pitched over the handlebars. I landed really hard and popped out my shoulder.”
Forkner leads a fast-paced life, and that need for speed has helped her with modeling, too. Although she’s walked in a few runway shows including Mark Fast and Math Collective in London this season (and Cushnie et Ochs’ Fall ’12 show), Forkner is still a catwalk novice but is racking up editorial and commercial work in the meanwhile. She appeared in a beauty spread shot by Raymond Maier in the August issue of Teen Vogue and will star in the forthcoming Bruce Weber-lensed Abercrombie Holiday campaign. Forkner explained, “I’ve had kind of one foot in and one foot out of modeling for a while, but think I’m finally ready to be full-on committed to it. I’ve been practicing my walk all day every day and am getting feedback that it’s really strong.” So what’s next? “I’d love to do Ralph Lauren, and obviously Victoria’s Secret would be a dream. It’s like the Super Bowl for modeling.”
Alannah Weston’s favorite book as a child was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler, the story of two children who decide to spend the night in the Metropolitan Museum. An advantage of being a scion of one of world’s great retail dynasties is that Weston got to re-create that childhood fantasy as a Christmas campaign, only now it’s a night in Selfridges, the legendary London department store where she is creative director. And she had as her co-conspirator the equally legendary Bruce Weber. “As a kid, I always wanted to run around a department store at night, fantasizing that I could buy anything I wanted,” he recalls. “Years later, as a teenager, I remember seeing a TV show with Barbra Streisand after-hours in Bergdorf’s and I thought, ‘Boy, is she lucky!’ “
Weston and Weber go back, at least to the mid-nineties. “We share a lot of things in life, especially dogs and art,” says the photographer. She calls his massive career overview Blood, Sweat and Tears her bible. They last worked together two years ago, on a shoe campaign for Selfridges. “Everything has to have a bit of a twist for me,” says Weston. “I’m not much of a fashion person. There always has to be a story.” Which makes Weber, the past master of the implied narrative, a dream collaborator for her. In that last campaign, a handsome fireman turned into a superhero in the ladies’ shoe department. In this new one, a ballerina meets a poet, a beautiful young Grace Jones lookalike is lovestruck by a boxer. He’s holding a puppy while she soothes his bruised eye. It’s a quintessential Weber moment, young outsiders meeting in a romantic fantasy…with dogs. There’s also a wizard, a Rasta Santa, five ponies, a handful of adorable kids, and Tim Easton, the face of Weber’s iconic campaigns for Ralph Lauren in the eighties. That mix of old, new, and slightly skewed is a Weber signature. “I still photograph people I met 30 years ago, so I do have a big repertory company—old friends, parents of models, my favorite dogs I meet walking around the neighborhood, people I’d love to dance with, others I’d like to play football with. As you can see, the people I’m drawn to in my work are limitless. I like it when a sitting is like making a vegetable soup from scratch.”
Weston’s sentiments exactly. “Knowing Bruce’s film work, knowing his documentary work, I wouldn’t be looking for the same thing his other clients would be looking for,” she explains. Which is why the meat of the campaign is the two short films Weber has made. A New-Fashioned Christmas captures the fairy-tale Nutcracker-meets-The Big Store spirit of the whole endeavor. Have Yourself a Count Basie Christmas (see it here, exclusively on Style.com) is more impressionistic, a little wilder. “I think New-Fashioned represents Alannah’s quieter self and Count Basie reflects her party self,” says Weber. Something that stands out in both films is how un-promotional they are. “I never think of selling something when I make films like these,” he agrees. “I think of what the experience is and what it means to the person we are collaborating with.” Adds Weston, with a wry laugh, “The only thing you can buy in the whole shoot is the T-shirt for Kids Company, the charity we’re promoting.”
That same unconventional spirit permeates the advertising campaign made up of stills lifted from the movies. Come Christmas, billboards all over London will be plastered with an image of Weber’s boxer, back to the camera in his yellow robe. Given the season, it’s kind of audacious, but Alannah Weston wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s been one of those experiences that changes you.”