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August 21 2014

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18 posts tagged "Ellen von Unwerth"

EXCLUSIVE: Karen Elson and Ellen von Unwerth Push Palter DeLiso Into the (Retro) Future

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Karen Elson and Ellen von Unwerth for Palter DeLiso

“It’s like my wedding day!” exclaimed Palter DeLiso cofounder and president Lauren Bruksch. “Except in this case, I’m the groom, watching Karen [Elson] walk down the aisle.” Bruksch is talking about the recently relaunched luxury shoe brand Palter DeLiso’s premiere millennial campaign—a retro-futuristic vision of a woman (fiery-locked Elson) embarking on a rather glamorous excursion from JFK’s currently out-of-commission Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center, all the while wearing some very cared-for pumps. Along with her cofounder, creative director Taz Saunders, Bruksch’s been planning and anxiously awaiting the campaign shoot day for months now, and it’s here at last. Elson, who is being shot by fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth, is decked out in a fifties-style Roland Mouret dress and cherry-red Valentino cape, preening and waving as the camera clicks. Her feet, of course, slide into Palter DeLiso’s Fall ’14 heels—first, an ink-drop-stained pair of slender pumps and, later, a classic nude heel.

Palter DeLiso Shoes

“I think the thing that we immediately realized is that [ours] is such an authentic story,” said Bruksch of the brand, which was initially founded in New York, in 1927, and later credited with inventing the peep-toe slingback. “I feel like there are so many brands that pop up and say, ‘Luxury this’ or ‘American heritage.’ Palter DeLiso has such a clear tie to the heritage, and it’s remaining really true.”

For Ellen von Unwerth, reviving—and modernizing—the Palter DeLiso image was all about creating a story of stylized adventure. “You know, this is an old brand from the fifties, so we decided to find a location that has a little bit of that aspect, but is also photogenic and interesting and can create a story—the woman traveling,” explained von Unwerth between shots. “So we pulled pictures from the fifties, of Avedon or Marilyn—you know, the pictures that make us dream. [For] me at least.”

Palter DeLiso shoes

In its first life, Palter DeLiso was photographed by Richard Avedon, Richard Rutledge, Karen Radkai, and others. The behind-the-scenes images from the new campaign debut here. Bruksch and Saunders hope the final products will embody the spirit of the original ads. That said, Bruksch insists, “Now, it’s less about looking to the past and more about, had the brand never gone away and never eclipsed, who would Palter DeLiso be today?”

Photos: Courtesy Photos 

Welcome to the ANDAM Family

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Ellen Von UnwerthThe 25th annual ANDAM Fashion Award ceremony will take place on July 3, and today it was announced that seven new judges will be joining the expert panel. John Demsey (group president, Estée Lauder Companies Inc.), Caroline de Maigret (music producer and model), Stefano Martinetto (CEO, Tomorrow London Ltd.), François-Henri Pinault (CEO, Kering), Xavier Romatet (CEO, Condé Nast France), Anne-Sophie Von Clear (Le Figaro), and Ellen von Unwerth (photographer, pictured left) will determine who will win the grand prize of 250,000 euros and far-reaching global recognition. The new team joins such returning judges as curator Pamela Golbin, Colette’s Sarah Andelman, and Style.com’s Nicole Phelps.

Photo: Leandro Justen/BFANYC.com 

Diane Pernet Loves Film, Fashion, and Zoolander

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diane-pernetFashion film is a curious genre. Oftentimes, the Style.com team is confronted with the typical pitch: a short little flick featuring haunting indie music, a pensive-looking model, a vintage bohemian ambiance, and, of course, a new collection. Sure, there are great ones (as evidenced by our Video Fashion Week series, which wrapped today), but more often than not, they’re cheesy and lacking in both plot and substance. However, according to former designer, renowned journalist, and A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival founder Diane Pernet, this breed of cinematography is not fashion film at all. “Just because you’ve used a movie camera doesn’t mean you’ve made a film,” Pernet told Style.com. And she would know. Having launched her famed Paris-based festival in 2008 (it gets its name from her blog, A Shaded View on Fashion), Pernet now sorts through more than five hundred cinematic submissions each year before curating the lineup of films to be shown (and judged) during her grand event. As you can imagine, she’s seen the bad, the terrible, but also the spectacular.

Last weekend, thanks to a little help from the French Institute Alliance Française and Kering, Pernet brought New York its first taste of ASVOFF. She screened the festival’s greatest hits by the likes of Bruce Weber, Ellen von Unwerth, and Mike Figgis with the hopes of inspiring and enlightening her stateside fans. There was no competition element this time around, but Pernet, who’s as well known for her marvelously outré noir uniform as for her widespread work in sartorial cinema, hinted that she hopes to bring the full-fledged festival to the Big Apple next year. Also on her docket? The launch of a trio of perfumes, which debut on Style.com’s Beauty Counter this afternoon. Here, Pernet talks to Style.com about the role of fashion film, her frustration with runway shows, and why fashion flicks are so rarely taken seriously.

Oftentimes, fashion film is not taken seriously. Why do you think that is?

I think the reason it’s not taken seriously is that a lot of fashion photographers making films aren’t filmmakers. It’s their agents who are telling them, “You’d better get a video camera and you’d better make a film because that’s where it’s at.” And a film director has to think of so many different elements that you don’t think about in a frozen image. So a big problem is that some fashion photographers have a hard time making the segue. Of course, there are people who have made a nice entry, like Bruce Weber or Ellen von Unwerth who have been doing it for over a decade, or newer people like Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, and Inez & Vinoodh. But a lot of photographers are just making fashion photo shoots that move. That’s not a film. It’s a fashion shoot in motion and that’s not interesting. Not interesting to me, anyway.

A lot of fashion films that we see are almost a parody of themselves, with the indie music, the “deep in thought” models, the vintage vibe…With that in mind, what does it take to make a compelling fashion film?

I always use this as an example because it’s something everybody knows: A Therapy, Roman Polanski’s 2012 film for Prada. That’s an excellent fashion film. I personally like a narrative. I think you need a narrative if you’re going to hold somebody’s interest for three minutes. CO’s She Said, She Said [2013] by Stuart Blumberg, which won best acting in my festival, is a great example. It had a wonderful story. After my festival at Centre Pompidou, I got an e-mail from a digital person at LVMH that said, “Now that is a great way to show fashion.” Fashion film is not about just selling the product—it’s about creating an atmosphere. It’s a story. A great fashion film needs the same criteria as a feature film. Does it take you somewhere? Does it have some kind of emotion? And humor is always great. People in fashion need humor.

Does it upset you that so many brands are dubbing these moving photo shoots “fashion films”?

I get about five hundred submissions [for my festival] every year, and an awful lot are in that category. I think people still don’t have a grip on what a fashion film is—they still believe that if someone’s moving in front of the camera, it’s a film. So that’s a little depressing, but it’s getting better. People are starting to realize that it’s not about, like, here’s the shoe, here’s the dress, here’s this. It’s not an animated lookbook, for God’s sake. It’s a film.

Do you think that fashion film can stand on its own as an art form, or will its primary purpose always be to showcase a product?

I think it can stand on its own. There are a lot of fashion films that are made by actual filmmakers that are not just about a product, even when it is for a product. We have to move away from [product-centric fashion films] because they’re not very interesting. You want something that’s going to make you think. It’s just not about being pretty—it’s got to be more than that.

You were really the first major champion of fashion film. How did you come to be so passionate about it?

Well, my background is in film. That’s what I have my degree in, and I’ve always loved film and I’ve always loved fashion. I think from the first Walt Disney movie I saw in a drive-in, the fantasy of films just captured me. And as far as clothing, I was a designer for thirteen years. I think the real seed of it, though, was planted when I moved to Paris at the end of 1990. My first job was working on a feature film as a costume designer, and I realized how directors are really afraid of fashion. Of course, some directors, like David Lynch and Peter Greenaway, got it. But most are afraid that the fashions are going to take too much importance. But really, fashion is supporting the character, and it can be very subtle. Most directors just don’t understand fashion or they don’t give it the credit that it really warrants. That really made me think about the relationship between fashion and film.

Do you think the fact that directors like Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson, who have made films for Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, respectively, have elevated the practice to higher regard?

Absolutely. That’s why we like to always have one of our films presented at Cannes because we want more directors like that to be involved. I just met Alejandro Jodorowsky’s son, Adan Jodorowsky, who made this incredible film, The Voice Thief [2013], with Asia Argento. We’re going to put it in the next edition of ASVOFF. I want to always raise the bar, and I want more real directors. I think that’s important.

Do you think that something originally pegged as a fashion film could evolve into something that ends up being a mainstream feature?

Yeah, I hope so. I’d love that. And why not? Take Wes Anderson. I haven’t seen The Grand Budapest Hotel yet. But I think there are directors whose features you can call fashion films. We had William Klein two years ago as a special guest, and that film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? [1996], was a fashion film. Or what about Zoolander [2001]? I love Zoolander. That’s a fashion film. I thought it was really interesting. And I love some documentaries, like the one on Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has to Travel [2011]. I loved that film. I thought it was really inspiring.

How do fashion films make us look at garments differently than a fashion photograph or a runway show does?

Fashion films are a dream. They’re all about desire. You’re seeing the garment in 3-D. I love a frozen image, too, so I’m not against print. I think there’s a value to that, and they can be something really beautiful. Fashion films are just another way to show fashion—not the only way. I’m not saying that fashion films are going to take over runway shows, because they’ve always been the most efficient way to show fashion, even though now, I think, for the most part they look pretty last century. I don’t think that will change right away.

Do you think it should change? Should we move away from runway shows?

I’d be happier to see more films and installations. I think so many fashion shows shouldn’t even happen. You spend so much time going from one end [of a city] to the other just to see things walking up and down the runway. If you’re going to take us somewhere, like Alexander McQueen used to or like [John] Galliano did in his day, or sometimes other designers like Rick Owens or Haider Ackermann do, there’s something special and emotional about a show. There’s a mood. But I don’t see that a lot anymore. I’ve talked to Rick Owens about this, and he likes the “tribe” experience of a show, but if you ask me, the main point of a lot of these fashion shows now is just to see who’s sitting in what row. I mean, who cares? I think they’re not necessary.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Andrew Richardson: Downtown and Dirty

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Richardson

Sex and streetwear aren’t the most obvious bedfellows, but editor, stylist, and all-around provocateur Andrew Richardson has united them in his new store, Richardson. “I don’t know if there is a logical connection between sex and streetwear, but I always thought that streetwear was sexy and cool,” he mused between puffs on a cigarette. “There’s always an attitude, and I think that’s sexy—sexy confidence.” That may be so, but his shop, which opens this Friday at 325 Broome Street in New York, sells swag that’s arguably more perverse than confidence-boosting hoodies.

Best known for his cerebral, self-titled sex magazine, also called Richardson, Andrew is well versed in the streetwear subculture—he’s even done a bevy of projects with cult label (or, as some would argue, lifestyle) Supreme. In his store, Andrew presents his liberated take on sex and bondage via clever T-shirts, bomber jackets, swim trunks, caps, and towels—many of which were created in collaboration with such artists as Christopher Wool, Bjarne Melgaard, and Aaron Bondaroff. Some highlights include a melting snowman shirt by Nate Lowman; a tee printed with a car that reads “Blow Jobs”; totes scribed with the store’s ethos, “Work hard, play nice, communicate”; and a sweatsuit by artist Mark Gonzales. Embellished with images of lady parts and a cowboy flaunting his impressive member, the latter is guaranteed to inspire stares.

Olympia le Tan

The shop goes beyond threads, though. For instance, good pal Olympia Le-Tan designed a signature patch for Richardson’s club car jacket—more intriguing, though, is her capsule of erotic minaudières (think bags embroidered with busty femmes and titles like Fanny Hill, Cutter Girl, Carnal Cargo, or Sweet and 20.) Above the clutches’ case hang drawings by Japanese artist Hauro Namaikawa that depict couples in compromising, albeit comical, positions. And, across the room, shelves are lined with an A-to-Z collection of erotic tomes, which was curated by Idea Books, London. Richardson is, of course, on sale, too. “There are going to be guys who are my age who are going to come in and spend $1,800 on an original drawing, and I think we’ll have 25-year-old skaters who want to wear fucked-up T-shirts to scare their parents,” said Andrew of his clientele. “There’ll be a range.”

When the editor—whose résumé, it should be noted, includes working on Madonna’s Sex book, as well as shoots with heavyweights like Terry Richardson, Steven Meisel, and Ellen von Unwerth—was asked about the thinking behind his sex-themed products, he told us, “I was always into that idea of idolizing women through sexual provocation…and I’m trying to find that fine line between palatability and provocation. If you’re too provocative, you end the debate.” Ultimately, his patrons will be the ones to decide whether he’s found that balance; however, no matter how explicit or ridiculous Richardson’s offerings may be, everything is done with a wink, a smile, and a streetwise attitude. And somehow, that makes it seem all the sexier.

Richardson

Photos: Michael Aghy

Pledging Allegiance to Kenzo

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Carol Lim. Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari, Micol Talso and Humberto Leon at the Kenzo party

Leave it to Kenzo designers and Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim to host a full-on Fourth of July BBQ a Paris. On Thursday, the pair invited guests such as André Saraiva, Rose McGowan, Sarah Andelman, Ellen von Unwerth, and Léa Seydoux to the Jardin d’Acclimatation, where they got their fix of hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and nineties jams. The occasion (other than an Independence Day celebration for the visiting Américains) was the unveiling of Kenzo’s Fall ’13 campaign. This season, the designers teamed up with Toilet Paper magazine founders (and the evening’s cohosts) Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari, and Micol Talso, to create their imagery. The surreal ads (below) star Leon and Lim pals Rinko Kikuchi and Sean O’Pry, who pose among a cast of giant insects, gangs of mice, bananas, kittens hiding in boots, the Fall collection’s eye motif, and Cattelan’s favorite—the tiger dog.

Cattelan—an OC devotee—reported that he was pleasantly surprised when Leon and Lim called to collaborate, and described the shoot as a “creative laboratory.” In addition to appearing in Fall glossies, the ads will be featured in Kenzine—a limited-edition Toilet Paper-esque magazine—as well as on a capsule collection of sweatshirts and T-shirts, which will hit stores this September.

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