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11 posts tagged "Cher"

Dressing for Fame: A Queen Latifah Video, a Never-Ending Cher Shoot, and More Styling Experiences From Maryam and Marjan Malakpour


If celebrity status is conferred in red-carpet appearances, then no actress today can compete without the help of just the right stylist. As Kerry Washington once told Glamour after she noticeably upped the sartorial ante, “There were a couple of actresses whom I felt were having the upper hand careerwise—because they knew how to work that red carpet.” A carefully crafted collaboration between stylist and client, the perfect look can create an indelible impact on agents, casting directors, and those of us watching from the sidelines. Straight from the epicenter of all things celebrity, we’ve asked some of the industry’s top stylists to share their experiences and impressions from their perch above Tinseltown. With our Dressing for Fame series, we bring you an exclusive, insider look at everything it takes to create those iconic moments captured by a million photo flashes.

Maryam and Marjan Malakpour

Maryam and Marjan Malakpour

With a client roster that reads like a who’s who of music’s living legends (think Cher, David Bowie, and Keith Richards), Maryam and Marjan Malakpour have mastered the rock god(dess) aesthetic. When they’re not busy with NewbarK, their line of impeccable flats, the two spend their time on the set of music videos and photo shoots, keeping the likes of Heidi Klum and Julian Casablancas ahead of the trends—Maryam even lends her magic Malakpour touch to Angelina Jolie on special projects. Here, the sisters talk to about how Queen Latifah played a role in their journey, why styling on set is better than the red carpet, and a Cher shoot that took a cool 22 hours to complete.

How did you get your starts styling?
Marjan Malakpour: For me, it was kind of by surprise. At the time I was living in San Francisco and came here to L.A. to help Maryam, who had been styling a Queen Latifah video shoot. I never left.

Maryam Malakpour: Styling for me was not a planned thing. I didn’t even know that stylists existed until I met a Japanese stylist and she asked me if I would assist her on a few projects. I never interned at a magazine or with a huge stylist to really know how they do it. I would say if I could take time back, I would have done that, interned at Vogue or for Carine Roitfeld—she is my hero!

As designers of the brand NewbarK, how do you maintain a balance between life as stylists and designers?
Marjan: Sometimes it’s very challenging because they are both very full-on projects. But I feel like by now Maryam and I have figured out how to give each area its time. Somehow it works out between the two of us.

Maryam: I do most of the designing for NewbarK, and then present them to my sister. Then together we make edits and comments and changes. I have to get up very early to give time to styling and e-mails and sometimes research for the next inspiration. Most of the time it’s all happening simultaneously when I’m alone in my studio office at home and everyone is sleeping.

Do you think being a designer informs your work as a stylist or vice versa?

Marjan: Definitely. Maryam does the design for NewbarK. Because of styling, every season we know what is missing out there or how to make the design better. Basically, this is how NewbarK started. At the time there really weren’t any cool flats besides ballerinas and we wanted something that was more rock ‘n’ roll.

Maryam: For the kind of brand that we have, it’s all about what people need and want and can’t find. So being a stylist really helps us know that. I am shopping all the time and see great things and not-so-great things and pretty much know what works and what doesn’t work for a certain type of person. Also, most brands hire stylists to consult and gather information and ideas for them. In our case, we are all in-house, designing, styling, researching ideas and inspiration—we’re doing it all.

What was your “made it” moment?
Marjan: I think when I met David Bowie for “The Next Day” music video I shot with him—that was pretty amazing.

Maryam: When I got my first gig with the Rolling Stones.

What do you find more challenging, photo shoots or red carpets?
Marjan: It really depends on whom you are working with. I can tell you the last photo shoot I did with Cher, who is a great client of mine, went over 22 hours. My alarm clock went off for the next day in my pocket.

Maryam: I prefer photo shoots. It’s more that I love to create a moment that’s about storytelling rather than just a look on a red carpet.

How do you challenge yourselves to keep things fresh, even after working with some of the same clients for years?
Marjan: Always looking for and keeping up with cool and upcoming designers.

Maryam: It never gets old, as long as you keep dreaming and being inspired and love what you do.

Photo: Roger Davies

Cher’s Twitter Bombshell


CherYesterday Cher announced over the course of several tweets that Bob Mackie, longtime collaborator and the man behind her infamous 1986 Oscars getup, would not be bringing his brand of bling to her upcoming (and perhaps truly final) tour.

“Nobody wanted to design this last tour more than I did! I am sick about it. My professional and business commitments were just too great,” Mackie said in a statement, adding that, “After all these years of collaborating, it is like turning down your own little sister, and how many guys have a little sister like Cher?”

British designer Hugh Durrant, who created the costumes for Cher’s misleadingly named 2002 Farewell Tour, will be designing in Mackie’s stead. While this news both stuns and saddens, as the Goddess of Pop assured via Twitter, “WE WILL PERSEVERE.” Steady on.

Photo: Ron Galella/WireImage

Michele Lamy: Adorned and Unfiltered


Michele Lamy

“These were some of the first shoes Rick ever made when he was in Hollywood,” said Michele Lamy at the opening of Show and Tell: Calder Jewelry and Mobiles last night. Lamy—the wife and muse of Rick Owens—was referring to a pair of sky-high, heelless black platforms that she wore while effortlessly climbing the spiral staircase of Salon94‘s uptown gallery. Lamy had come into town from Paris to style the exhibition, which showcased the oft-overlooked crowns, earrings, necklaces, and cuffs (most of which are for sale through Salon94) crafted by twentieth-century sculptor and painter Alexander Calder. “I screamed when I first saw the jewelry,” professed Lamy during our interview, pulling her tattoo- and ring-covered fingers to the chest of her Comme des Garçons vest. She flashed a smile, exposing her gold and diamond teeth. “I’m such a fan of his.”

In addition to styling models for the event, Lamy enlisted artist Matthew Stone to snap Polaroids (with Andy Warhol’s camera, no less) of guests donning Calder’s creations. Furthermore, she’s working with artist Youssef Nabil on a Calder-centric photo series, which will star such characters as Debbie Harry, Cindy Sherman, Björk, Joni Mitchell, and Cher.

Although Lamy is most frequently associated with Owens, whom she met in her forties, she’s led an enthralling and utterly eccentric existence all her own. “It’s like she’s had ten lives,” said artist Carson McColl, who flew in from London for the fete with his boyfriend, Gareth Pugh. Considering she’s spent time as a cabaret dancer, an L.A. club kid, a fashion designer, a law-school student, and a stripper, he was hardly exaggerating. Here, Lamy talks to about Rick Owens’ Spring show, Calder’s work, and her taste in jewelry.

This exhibition celebrates an artist who also made jewelry. Do you think that jewelry and fashion are art?
That’s always the question! Some think art is unique pieces, and the Calder pieces are unique. If you do your own piece, it could be art. It’s very difficult to know the difference. Calder’s pieces were made by hand, and I think that makes it art. Clothing is more difficult because you have to produce more of it.

Do you think what you and Rick create is art?
I hope our life is.

Are your and Rick’s creative visions always in line? Do they ever differ?
They differ, but he always wins. If you don’t have the same aesthetic values, it’s difficult to live with somebody. If you don’t have the same political ideas or whatever, it’s fine. But if somebody says, “Oh, I like this,” you have to know what it is and feel the same way. Because he’s the designer, he’s the one at the front, and then I’m navigating. He’s the captain, but I’m pushing him.

You’re the current.

I recently interviewed Nicola Formichetti, and he said that Rick’s Spring show “changed everything” and that he and the other designers who watched it “were all jealous of his genius.” What is your reaction to that, and how did you feel about the show?
It was extraordinary to come [to the States] after the show, because it was around Halloween and there were people who went dressed as Rick Owens steppers! I told him immediately that this was a statement. The show was such a burst of joy and emotion. Those girls rehearsed themselves. It’s what they do, and all their hearts were in it. It was a burst of humanité, générosité, and loving, and everything was fantastic. Rick said that it was so real that he’s not going to try to top this show…of course, we’ll see. You know, in New York there was a discussion about [race on the runway], and then [people said] that Rick did this show and it was the answer. But it was just a spontaneous gesture—wanting to express how you feel about yourself to the world. Continue Reading “Michele Lamy: Adorned and Unfiltered” »

Confirmed: Cher Is a Crazy Goddess


Cher at the Oscars in 1986Enduring diva Cher is gearing up for her umpteenth maybe-final tour, and she’s tapped her longtime costumer, Bob Mackie, to create the wardrobe. “It’s not like dressing a regular person—it’s like dressing a crazy goddess,” Mackie told WWD. If the new duds are anything like Mackie’s previous Cher looks (like that infamous Mohawk-ed ensemble she wore to the Oscars in 1986, or the silver-tinseled jumpsuit she donned onstage with Michael Jackson in the seventies), we say keep the farewell tours coming—somebody has to keep Gaga on her toes, no?

Photos: Getty Images/ Jim Smeal

Stephen Burrows, Still Dancing


The work of Stephen Burrows is as much about fun as it is about fashion. And that message shines through in a retrospective of the designer’s early creations, which opens at the Museum of the City of New York tomorrow. Burrows and the show’s curators, Phyllis Magidson and Daniela Morera, gave a sneak peek of the exhibition, which features more than fifty garments created between 1968 and 1983. “I didn’t think of it as history-making or anything,” says Burrows of his early, flowing garments made to be worn with ease on the dance floor until 4 a.m. “I just did what I wanted to see in front of me.”

Intentional or not, Burrows’ clothes were history-making. At the beginning of his career, fashion’s status quo was old-world, and generally French. It wasn’t until the fabled “Battle of Versailles”—a decadent 1973 fund-raiser for the then-decaying palace during which American designers Burrows, Halston, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Anne Klein outshined elite French talents Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro—that American designers became truly respected. Burrows’ fresh, fun, and wildly colorful Versailles collection—shown on video in the exhibition—was all about a free-spirited aesthetic. His presence at “The Battle” also made him the first African-American designer to rise to international acclaim. Continue Reading “Stephen Burrows, Still Dancing” »