58 posts tagged "Gareth Pugh"
“I own everything, baby!” sang the oft foul-mouthed stripper-turned-rapper Brooke Candy before wrapping up a phone interview last week. She wasn’t referencing any kind of newfound wealth—after signing with RCA Records in February, the formerly homeless L.A.-based artist is just finding her footing in the pop music biz. Rather, her proclamation was a line from her new song and music video, “Opulence,” which dropped at a Diesel-sponsored party in New York last night.
The flick is lensed by Steven Klein and styled by Nicola Formichetti, who, after discovering Candy online in Grimes’ “Genesis” video, has taken the starlet under his wing. In October, he cast her as the face of his Diesel accessories campaign and flew her to Tokyo, where, flanked by gyrating exotic dancers, she performed at a bondage-themed sex party to fete the collection. “I wasn’t really looking for anybody. I wanted to just focus on Diesel,” admitted Formichetti, Diesel’s artistic director and former stylist to Lady Gaga. “But when I saw her, I couldn’t resist.”
Before teaming with Formichetti, Candy, 25, already had a sufficiently severe look, one that involved braids down to her calves, velvet bikinis, platform sneakers, and more bare skin than Miley—a deliberate and independent choice, according to Candy, that she believes expresses feminist power. “I have an agenda, and I’m not selling anything,” she said of her penchant for nudity and raunchy dance moves, adding that not all pop stars fall into the same category. “I don’t want to say any names, but there’s a difference between being knowledgeable about what you’re doing, and doing it because someone is behind you, telling you to do it. You don’t have to be the most genius fucking person in the world to tell when a woman taking her clothes off is authentic, and when it’s sad.”
“I see her as a blank canvas, and I just want to elevate her,” said Formichetti. “I love who she is. She’s very involved, and I don’t want her to suddenly become a new person.” Indeed, Candy has maintained her raw, sometimes shocking appearance. But these days, the braids have been traded for finger waves, the teeny bikinis for custom Olima Atelier bustiers.
“She’s queen of the freaks!” laughed Formichetti, when asked about the video wardrobe, which includes upwards of twenty-five ensembles, among them a Gareth Pugh trenchcoat, bespoke Alexis Bittar jeweled masks, and leather Diesel duds covered in plastic gems that the stylist found in Chinatown.
The “freak” element, as well as the overall concept of the film—which traces Candy’s evolution from a skinhead exacting revenge on a man who’s just robbed her, to a glammed-out queen of the night who becomes a gluttonous, glitter-covered monster—both stem from Candy’s primary inspiration, Paris Is Burning, the cult documentary about gay voguers in the 1980s. “That movie changed my perspective on everything,” raved Candy. “And I really related to this one moment when they’re describing opulence. Basically, the idea is that you show off so much confidence and poise that you create the impression that you’re the wealthiest, most intelligent, powerful person on the planet, and you own everything. And when those people were performing at the balls in their costumes, they were safe,” said the singer, noting that she feels most at home in underground gay clubs. In fact, the video’s theme was conceived with Formichetti at a drag bar in Tokyo, and was shot in a Bushwick warehouse filled with Candy’s friends, namely a transgender woman, a gaggle of drag queens, and her loyal posse of gay men. “We’re all freaks and outcasts, and this was meant to empower them.”
Though she asserts she “can’t predict the future,” Candy doesn’t foresee herself turning into the materialistic creature depicted in the video—mainly, she says, because she hasn’t forgotten where she came from. “I literally lived on the street and was wearing outfits made of paper because that’s all I could afford,” said Candy. (Side note: She actually grew up in the L.A. suburbs but fell on hard times after her mother and father—the CEO of Hustler Casinos—didn’t quite understand her artistic pursuits.) With that in mind, she and Formichetti aimed to champion other outré up-and-coming talents, like Nasir Mazhar, Charlie Le Mindu, and Natasha Morgan, by incorporating their designs in the film.
Even so, Candy has undergone quite the transformation—aesthetic and otherwise—since she set out to become a star. Best known for songs like “I Wanna Fuck Right Now,” the artist has toned down her lyrics in “Opulence,” the first single she’s released under RCA. “I worked with Sia and she felt the vibration I was putting out, but she said to me, ‘You have two paths you can follow. You can keep doing what you’re doing, or you can tone it down and go that much further.’ I don’t really let anything cloud my head, but I thought, If that’s going to help me speak to a broader audience, that’s fine. I’ll just ramp up my imagery.” And ramp it up she did—in one scene, Candy rolls around on the screen covered in blood, touching herself, while wearing lingerie, three crowns, and a fur coat gifted to her by Formichetti.
So did she sell out? “No. The lyrics were my decision. It’s a smarter way to go. And it’s just a different vehicle.” It’s a vehicle that Formichetti supports. “I like that I can sing along with it now,” he said. “And we need more freaky people in the mainstream.” No doubt, Candy is pushing her way into pop culture—she has another Diesel campaign in the works, and she’ll be starting a small tour this May. Naturally, Formichetti will be making the costumes. But is pop culture ready for Candy? “I think so,” said Formichetti. “I hope so. She’s in between edgy and crazy and pop, and that is where the magic happens.”
Instagram Fears the Nipple: An Exclusive Interview with Anja Rubik About Getting Kicked Off the Social Platform, and Celebrating the Naked Body-------
Instagram doesn’t just fear the nipple—it’s terrified of it. This morning, Anja Rubik’s erotic magazine, 25, was kicked off the social media platform without warning. Why, you ask? 25 had posted an image or two that included partial female nudity. (One of said images may or may not have been a screen shot of yesterday’s Style.com homepage, which featured Rubik in Anthony Vaccarello’s transparent Fall ’14 finale look.) And that, apparently, was just not acceptable. “I think this whole thing is ridiculous,” Rubik told us by phone from Paris fashion week. “It’s like saying to the world that a woman’s body is offensive. You can’t show a nipple behind a sheer shirt?”
Yesterday, Style.com reported on Fall ’14′s nipple trend (which continued at Gareth Pugh). And while the judges are still out on whether this catwalk craze is a vehicle for female empowerment or objectification, we agree with Rubik that social media shouldn’t censor pictures that celebrate the body. “Like all forms of social media, Instagram is a form of a self-expression,” said Style.com social media editor Rachel Walgrove. “The digitally-driven have grown to accept it as an art form and prefer that companies not stifle their messages with their terms or censorship.”
What’s more is that there’s so much clothed vulgarity allowed on Instagram. Miley Cyrus can post a close-up of her derriere in a pair of white panties printed with a wagging tongue that reads “Bangers,” but Rubik can’t share a runway snap of her barely visible breasts? Pish posh. Here, in an exclusive interview, Rubik talks to Style.com about getting kicked off (and immediately relaunching on) Instagram, the dangers of censorship, and why there is no need to fear the nipple.
Instagram is obviously fearing the nipple, and they canceled your magazine’s account today because of it. How did you find out?
Well, [my colleague] who runs 25 magazine’s account called me and told me that it was down. We didn’t even get a warning. We know Instagram’s restrictions, and we’ve been very careful. So we started to think, What image could have triggered this? And actually, we think it was a screen shot of the Style.com homepage, where I’m wearing Anthony Vaccarello.
Stop. Are you serious?
Yes! And we loved [the image] because underneath, you guys wrote, “Don’t Fear the Nipple,” which is our slogan that originally came from an interview I did with Style.com, and it became our thing, and we did T-shirts around it. It’s all about empowering women and being comfortable with your body and your sexuality. Anyway, I guess that image triggered a lot of reports, which is why the account was closed.
Have you posted any other images that people might report?
Well, there was also an image I posted from French Vogue of a naked girl standing backward. You couldn’t see anything, but they took that down. And actually, this is the second time I’ve been thrown off Instagram. The first time was because a photographer friend of mine sent me a print with a beautiful note on it, and I posted a picture of it to say thank you, and they kicked me off for that without warning. It’s quite frustrating, especially because, when you look through Instagram, there are so many crude, vulgar images, which are apparently fine. But when you post a beautiful body of a naked woman, which is the most natural thing that can exist, then we have a problem. What’s the worst thing that will happen? Even if it’s children flipping through, why should they be offended by a breast? Especially if it’s photographed or shown in a very natural way that’s not vulgar.
It’s not like you’re posting porn.
No! Not at all!
So Instagram allows crass, clothed images but censors photographs that celebrate a woman’s nude body. What kind of message do you think that’s sending to the public?
I think it’s very strange. It makes us think that we should have some kind of complex about our bodies. It sends the message that our bodies are unnatural and not beautiful, and I think women need to fight this. Talking about sex and the naked body has become such a taboo, and that’s when people start having problems—when they can’t be open about it. We need to be proud of our bodies. We create all these really fake ideals of beauty nowadays with images of women that are physically altered, and women are trying to attain these insane, unrealistic ideals. But we show a natural woman naked and that’s an issue? I don’t understand it.
Do you hope that 25 can help make issues and discussions surrounding sex and the naked body less of a taboo?
Yes. I hope that is something that we’re doing through the magazine. We shoot all different women for 25—models and real women. Women shouldn’t feel like they need to hide their bodies. If you look at the sixties or the seventies, women were free and comfortable in their bodies. All this censorship can start to make women feel uncomfortable, and that’s a very big problem
Do you think that this fear of the female body is inherently American, or is it an international sentiment?
I feel that we see it much more in the States. In general, people in America tend to be a little bit more prude than in Europe. But I think it’s spreading, unfortunately. Europe is becoming more and more prude. And it’s ridiculous because when you turn on the TV—a reality show—you’re faced with so many vulgar images. That’s what should be censored and not allowed, in my opinion.
I see that 25 has relaunched with another Instagram account. Will you continue to try and push the envelope with the images you post?
We will. And if they kick us off, we’ll open another account. We’re here at fashion week [in Paris] and it’s an important event for fashion and women. So we thought we should open a new account to keep our readers updated going forward. But after fashion week, we’re going to have to decide how we approach this issue. I’m considering opening a private account so only our users can see the photos. Maybe that will solve the problem. I don’t know.
More generally, we have seen a lot of bare breasts on the runway for Fall ’14. Do you think this is a positive thing? And would you walk around in the Anthony Vaccarello finale look that you wore down the runway?
Yes! Of course. In the right place, why not? I would feel comfortable. I mean, I wouldn’t wear it on the street, but this whole nipple thing is insane. Didn’t people want Anne Hathaway to apologize because you could see the outline of her nipples in her Oscars dress? That’s crazy. That’s like apologizing for having a leg. Honestly. She wasn’t even showing the nipple! It was just peeking through the dress. Obviously there’s a nipple in there! Why do we care? That’s really awkward! We should be apologizing to her. There was nothing vulgar about that dress.
You said that you wouldn’t go braless in a completely sheer top when just walking down the street. Why not?
I think because the world, unfortunately, is not quite prepared for that. In Europe, I’d probably do it—in Italy or the south of France. But in other places, I think it would cause too much trouble.
Is there anything you’d like to say to Instagram or to members of the general public who fear the nipple?
They should wake up. We’re going backward—way backward. Instead of celebrating our bodies and moving forward and exploring our sensuality, we’re blocking all these things and making them shameful. And to the people who don’t like these images and report them on Instagram, just don’t follow us. It’s very simple. I don’t understand why they’re following us in the first place if they find our images so offensive. I’m not putting a gun to their heads.
I have a borderline compulsive addiction to headwear, so you can imagine my delight when I learned that today happens to be National Hat Day (yes, there is such a thing). Seeing as spring is just around the corner, I can’t fathom a better way to celebrate the holiday than by rounding up a few of the season’s best toppers—and there were many to choose from. Carolina Herrera, for instance, sent an oversize black-and-white sun hat with artful, abstract embroidery down her Spring ’14 runway. The classic color combo and dramatic swoosh of its brim are enough to make you feel like you’re sipping rosé on the French Riviera whenever you wear it. Hussein Chalayan‘s ingenious umbrella-hat hybrids are, in my opinion, essential accessories—what better way to brave spring’s showers than with a surreal, waterproof headpiece? Gareth Pugh‘s lavender ostrich chapeau, which looks like a cross between Sam the Eagle and a beefeater’s helmet, is screaming to be worn for a night out on the town (probably not to the theater, though), and Victoria Grant’s Burnout hat—a silver beret that’s garnished with two extra-long cigarettes and golden singe marks—would make quite the conversation piece (not to mention, it would be a fabulous complement to her Velvet Smoke number, which is currently hanging on the hat tree in my bedroom). Stephen Jones’ bedazzled, feather-embellished visor is the only option for a dolled-up game of tennis, and those desiring a bit of quirky glam need look no further than Piers Atkinson’s It’s My Party collection. The milliner’s Swarovski cupcake headband and nail-art-studded hyper cherries are my personal favorites, but in the event that I need to be incognito, this veiled style with an electric-pink mustache would be just the ticket.
“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 Style.com 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” »