5 posts tagged "Erykah Badu"
You two are good friends with Kate Moss, and have been working with her for years. How was the Playboy shoot different from your previous collaborations with her? Did you have any hesitations?
Mert Alas: Oh, my God, it was a no-brainer. When Kate asked us to shoot her for Playboy‘s sixtieth anniversary issue, you know, we had to do it.
Marcus Piggott: We didn’t have any hesitations. We were all in from the start. We’ve done a lot of things with Kate—a lot of role-playing, a lot of fashion pictures, a lot of personal pictures—and when we started this project, we asked ourselves what not to do. We wanted it to be really Kate. It wasn’t about the hair or the makeup, it wasn’t about styling or fashion. It wasn’t about all the frivolous tools of our industry. It was about her—her lips, her charisma, her body, her skin, her eyes…
What makes this shoot stand out from a typical Playboy spread?
MP: She’s dressed more than the girls in most Playboy editorials. It was a bit of a striptease. We wanted to leave a little bit to the imagination, and we wanted the reader to get excited imagining what’s underneath. But there are a lot of crazy pictures that you haven’t seen…
Oh, really? What kind of pictures?
MA: They were just fun pictures—a bit ruder and crazier than what’s in the magazine. Someday they’ll come out! Marcus and Kate and I were laughing, and we told her that we’ll get them out there when she’s 60.
You mentioned that you didn’t want this to be like a fashion shoot, but you can find naked women in pretty much any high-end fashion magazine. Do you think there’s too much nudity in fashion? We are selling clothes, after all.
MA: First of all, we must appreciate what a fashion magazine is. I don’t like calling them fashion magazines. I just call them magazines. In the old days, you’d see a great article, a great fashion picture, and a great nude all under one hat. So, no, I don’t mind seeing a naked girl in a fashion magazine as long as the photograph represents something beyond meat, flesh, and sex. If it’s about an object, or creating a beautiful print, or there’s a message in it, or it inspires you, or makes you happy or angry, then it has substance. And as long as there’s substance, I think, why not? Continue Reading “Mert and Marcus Talk Playboy, Lady Gaga, And Why They’re Better Together” »
The fashion biz has had quite a year. 2013 was jam-packed with major designer shake-ups, groundbreaking ad campaigns, celebrity collaborations, and pop-star performance wardrobes filled with custom-made designer duds. In the final days leading up to 2014, we’re counting down Style File’s most popular twenty stories of the past year. So sit back, relax, and relive 2013′s unforgettable moments. Read our top five stories, below. To see all of our most popular posts from 2013, click here.
5. Diamond Girl: Behind the Scenes of Rihanna’s World Tour Wardrobe
Rihanna had a banner year when it came to fashion, culminating in becoming the face of Balmain’s Spring ’14 campaign. Back in March, the star kicked off her Diamonds world tour, and thanks to her stylist, Mel Ottenberg, her onstage wardrobe, which was comprised of mega-watt looks by Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Dior’s Raf Simons, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, and her River Island co-designer, Adam Selman, had just as much sparkle as the tour’s title would suggest. Style.com’s Katharine K. Zarrella spoke to Ottenberg about all seven of the singer’s custom costumes and what it takes to dress the pop-culture force that is RiRi.
4. Marc Jacobs Bids Adieu to Louis Vuitton
After sixteen years at the helm of Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs stepped down from his post as creative director following his Spring ’14 show for the storied house. Following his epic Spring presentation, whose all-black set incorporated pieces from his most memorable shows (remember the escalator? that carousel? the baroque elevator? they were all there), LVMH announced that Nicolas Ghesquière will be filling his shoes come Fall ’14. Jacobs, in turn, will be taking his eponymous company public and further expanding the MJ empire. As the news of his departure broke, Style.com took a look back at Jacobs’ greatest hits for Vuitton.
3. A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou on His New Collaboration With Kanye West
What a year it has been for Kanye West—a new album, a baby, a fiancée, a cornucopia of Margiela masks…but his most notable contribution to the fashion biz in 2013 was no doubt his collaboration with cult favorite French label A.P.C. The range of sweatshirts, tees, and denim sold out in a matter of hours and caused a veritable frenzy of discussion on the Internet. Style.com’s Matthew Schneier broke the news of the team-up in July and interviewed A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou about working with Yeezy and the “Kingdom of Dopeness.”
2. Roller Girl
In May, L.A.-based jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth enlisted actress Alison Brie—of Mad Men and Community fame—to put on some roller skates and show off her bohemian-luxe wares in a short film. Shot in a roller rink in New Jersey, the flick features a cameo from the designer (who admitted that her skating skills are a little shaky) as well as an original song by electro-pop trio Au Revoir Simone. The video debuted exclusively on Style.com.
And the number-one story of 2013 is…
1. Erykah Badu Fronts Givenchy’s New Campaign
Riccardo Tisci surprised and pleased us all when he chose neo-soul singer Erykah Badu to front his Mert & Marcus-lensed Spring ’14 Givenchy campaign, which debuted exclusively on Style.com. Matthew Schneier spoke to Tisci about the new ads, why Badu is “an icon,” and the presence of women of color in fashion.
Riccardo Tisci is known, among other talents, for having one of the keenest eyes in casting. So when he puts an unexpected face in his ad campaigns for Givenchy, the world takes notice. Expect tremors on this one. Presenting the new star of the label’s Mert & Marcus-shot campaigns: neo-soul singer Erykah Badu.
“Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!” Tisci said by phone from Paris. “What I want to do with my advertising campaign is spread the love. Already now it’s been three seasons that I’ve been using people that express something—they are great artists, or beautiful women, or stylish women, or models that I really believe in. It’s kind of a family portfolio.”
Tisci had known Badu slightly but had never worked with her. Still, he said, he’d had her image in the back of his mind when he was designing the Spring 2014 collection, a mash-up of African and Japanese influences. “She’s one of the most stylish women I’ve met in my life,” he said. “She’s got such a good sense of proportion, of colors.”
What may attract as much attention as the unexpected Badu cameo is the fact that all of the campaign’s female models are women of color (the models Maria Borges, newcomer Riley, and Asia Chow). It follows a season with a noticeable uptick in the use of models of color on the runway, following scathing condemnations of homogeneity in fashion from Bethann Hardison and Iman, sounding off from certain casting directors, and coverage of the issue in The New York Times.
“There was a lot of talk this season in fashion,” Tisci said. “Me, I was one of the persons who ended up not being touched by this. I discovered Joan Smalls, I discovered Maria [Borges]. I discovered a lot of black girls, and I’ve been always supporting them. For me, I grew up in a family and I grew up in a culture, an education, that we all are the same.” (He was already working on the collection, and had Badu in mind, when the first articles came out.)
It’s true that Tisci has been active in promoting women of color on his runway and in his campaigns. (Besides Smalls and Borges, he has championed Grace Mahary, Dalianah Arekion, and Daniela Braga, among others.) Does he think the world will catch up to his lead? “I hope so,” he said. “It’s 2013. Everybody’s being so cool about Instagram, about Facebook, any media—everybody’s being so open. At the end of the day, why are not so many black girls or Latin girls in shows? When you have an American president who is black! When I see this happening, it’s quite sad, I think. People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color.”
Justice was served—we guess—in Dallas today, where city officials report that R&B singer Erykah Badu has paid a $500 fine for stripping down to her birthday suit in the city’s Dealey Plaza for a music video for her song “Window Seat.” (You can see the NSFW video here; in it, Badu re-creates the assassination of President Kennedy, except, of course, more naked.) Law abiding is a pretty good reason for Erykah to remain clothed in public, but we can think of another good one, too: For all her wild style, she actually gets it right a lot of the time. We’ve combed through the year in Badu performances and found that the singer (and/or her stylists) tend to hit right on trend. Below, a few onstage outfits and their runway precedents. The top hat, on the other hand, is 100 percent her own.
Left: Erykah Badu performs at Lollapalooza in Chicago, August 2010. Right: Louis Vuitton, Fall ’10.
Left: Erykah Badu performs at Lilith Fair in Washington, July 2010. Right: Ralph Lauren, Spring ’10.
Left: Erykah Badu performs at The Palms in Las Vegas, June 2010. Right: Oscar de la Renta, pre-fall ’10.