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August 23 2014

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21 posts tagged "David Bowie"

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

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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 Style.com 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

Won Hundred Takes on Bowie for Pre-Spring

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David Bowie’s decades of sartorial coups and stark Scandinavian cool don’t instinctively go hand in hand. And yet for Danish mainstay Won Hundred, the pairing made for a Pre-Spring ’15 offering that ticks all the proverbial boxes. Nikolaj Nielsen, the brand’s founder and creative director, looked to Bowie (a childhood idol), zeroing in on his fruitful “Berlin years” in the late seventies. “I love the way he has reinvented himself, transforming from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke, and onwards,” said Nielsen. “He has changed everything about himself and his style, and yet is still so recognizably David Bowie.” Teamed with Won Hundred’s lean, quietly sporty sensibilities, the Ziggy effect manifested itself in metallics and a particularly cool orange brushstroke print bomber. Even bolder was a black-and-white-striped Perfecto-style leather jacket (matching miniskirt optional).

image10Won Hundred has built a name on its competitively priced cult denim range, which got plenty of play. The Brigitte, a high-waisted skinny style that coaxes a variety of body types into slightly more va-va-voom silhouettes, captured this writer’s heart long ago. For Pre-Spring, they’re rolling out the Marilyn, a similar cut but with an even more generous rise that Norma Jean herself would no doubt approve of.

As to being lumped in with that nebulous entity, Scandinavian Style, Nielsen’s not too concerned. “[The brand's nationality] is very closely linked to Won Hundred’s identity. Denmark is a small country, but the differences between brands are quite varied. Being part of the larger Scandinavian movement is also vital to Won Hundred. Scandinavian fashion houses have been dominating the industry with clean lines, great quality, and beautiful design, and we love being part of that cutting-edge group.”

Won Hundred’s Pre-Spring short film, shot and produced by Super NYC, debuts exclusively here. The line is available at Barneys New York, Oak, Steven Alan, Bird, and wonhundred.com.

Photos: Courtesy of Won Hundred

Acceptance Oddity

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The Brit Awards 2014 Live Show At O2 Arena LondonBeyoncé was not the only one to make a surprise performance at the 2014 Brit Awards yesterday. David Bowie called upon Kate Moss to accept his award for British Male Solo Artist. Not only did the supe deliver Bowie’s acceptance speech, she also sported Kansai Yamamoto’s vintage Woodland Creatures jumpsuit—the same one Bowie wore when he performed as Ziggy Stardust in 1972. “In Japanese myth, the rabbits on my old costume that Kate’s wearing actually live on the moon, Kate comes from Venus, and I’m from Mars,” said Kate, reading a script written for her by Bowie. Sounds about right.

Photo: Redferns via Getty Images

Beautiful Apparition: Jamie Bochert Croons for NewbarK

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“It’s a kind of journey to self-discovery,” explained Floria Sigismondi, the artist who famously directed Tilda Swinton and David Bowie in the rock star’s smash music video “The Stars (Are Out Tonight).” Sigismondi was talking about her Fall ’14 film for the sisters Maryam and Marjan Malakpour’s bare luxury accessories line, NewbarK. The short stars a writhing, slithering Jamie Bochert in the designers’ simple red flats. Making its online premiere exclusively here, the film also serves as the debut of Bochert’s latest musical effort, and features a haunting track from the model-cum-singer-songwriter. “The film was shot in Los Angeles in a house stripped down to its most simplistic form—it seems to emit a lot of ambient vibe,” said Sigismondi of her darkly surrealist offering. “I think this was especially a great opportunity to expand on the idea of non-cohesive images being strung together to create a kind of new reality,” she continued. “Jamie encompassed that character really naturally.”

That Bochert organically embodied Sigismondi’s gothy, abstract vision is no surprise. Bochert’s own artistic output is undeniably in sync with the longtime director’s dreamily sinister aesthetic. “It was inspiring,” commented Bochert. “I felt free and safe because I love Floria’s work, art, and authenticity.”

Till Deth Do Us Part

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Deth Killers-Scott Campbell StoreSure, the once apocalyptic-looking Bowery may now be home to more than a few posh gyms, bloodless condo buildings, and, yes, even a 7-Eleven. But starting today, the fabled downtown street may regain at least a bit of its former cred, thanks to the arrival of Bushwick motorcycle club and cult denim brand Deth Killers. Since crystallizing back in 2002, the label and its asphalt-resistant denim have become the stuff of particularly hip legend—hell, you’ll even find Deth Killers in the V&A’s much-lauded, now-touring David Bowie exhibition.

Now, just in time for fashion week, founder Greg Minnig has teamed up with the bold-faced artist (of both fine and tattoo varieties, having inked the likes of Marc Jacobs) and longtime DK admirer Scott Campbell to revive the line. “I’m in it for very selfish reasons,” Campbell confesses. “Just for my closet’s sake, ’cause I want these things, and the only way for them to exist is to help Greg make them.”

Deth Killers-Scott Campbell Store

The duo have taken over a tiny former auto shop crouching on the corner of Great Jones and Bowery, and filled it with plenty of ephemera and apparel (and a smattering of vintage centerfolds). As Minnig tells it, “For me this place has been something I’ve driven by for twenty years. The thought that it would make a great spot for something has always been in the back of my mind.” And despite the 7-Eleven that looms across the street, Campbell is optimistic, too. “I feel like historically, all of the juju that has made Bowery what it is, is still underneath this pavement somewhere.” Shoppers can bask in the aforementioned vibes and browse the fabled, 16 percent Kevlar, USA-made jeans. While the denim is shockingly lightweight, for those not risking road rash, ultrasoft wash tees (some with art by Campbell himself) should please.

Deth Killers-Scott Campbell Store

But you may want to act fast. As Minnig tells it, Deth Killers has set its eventual sights pretty high. “2019 is the motorcycle club’s deadline to go to space. So one of the purposes behind Deth Killers—in addition to making asphalt-resistant clothes—is to be able to buy a ticket, maybe on Virgin Galactic, to get everybody into space, because it’s been a dream of ours and that’s one of our common threads with the guys we ride with—it’s like the next thing above motorcycles.” You’ve been advised.

Deth Killers’ new store is located at 348 Bowery in New York.

Photos: John Aquino