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August 1 2014

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5 posts tagged "George Michael"

Behind Beyoncé’s “Yonce”: Supermodels, Sex, and Supreme

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Beyonce
Beyonce, Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, and Chanel Iman

From the time she launched her new, self-titled album at 12:01 a.m.—without any warning, press, leaks, or buildup buzz—today has been the Day of Beyoncé. The new Beyoncé features fourteen tracks and a full seventeen videos. One in particular has caught the attention of the Bey Hive: “‘Yonce,” which stars not only Bey, but also three of the fashion world’s top models—Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, and Chanel Iman—in an homage of sorts to George Michael’s famous supermodel-filled “Freedom ’90″ video. Director, video artist, and co-head of creative at Supreme, Ricky Saiz, shot the video over two days in Brooklyn. “When I started to propose ideas and put together a visual narrative, Beyoncé responded really well,” he said. “She was open to me pushing a bit, and to trying new things, and I didn’t want it to be overproduced. I didn’t want a performance video, which is like jazz hands. This was more like an upskirt.”

“Upskirt” does set the racy tone. Saiz was inspired by Daido Moriyama’s erotic photographs as well as the iconic George Michael Video—and styled by Karen Langley, the cast dons an array of revealing outfits, including a black Anthony Vaccarello dress (for Dunn) and a bondage-inspired molded bodysuit from Tom Ford’s tenure at YSL (for Beyoncé).

Here, Saiz talks to Style.com about the singer’s most smoldering video to date, what it was like working with the one of the world’s biggest stars and a trio of supermodels, and that time on set when Smalls decided to lick Beyoncé’s breast.

How did you come to work with Beyoncé on this in the first place?
It was very all of a sudden, actually. I have a working relationship with Todd Tourso, her creative director. We worked together on the 2011 Lady Gaga for Supreme campaign that we put together. He called me out of the blue and said they wanted me to do a video for them. Four days later, we did it. It was very fast, all of a sudden, and fun. I think Beyoncé is an incredible artist—she has ability, reach, and doesn’t compromise. She’s always kind of done her own thing. But the project that they approached me with was very much in my lane, and my aesthetic. If they had me do a big, drawn-out, cinematic production kind of video, I probably wouldn’t have done as good of a job.

What was the brief that Beyoncé and her team gave you? What were they asking for?
They came with a pretty broad concept. They had the models in line, and wanted something pretty simple. The brief was in the direction of George Michael’s “Freedom” video. And I kind of took it from there. I felt like doing something really simple, handheld, lo-fi. It felt like an interesting way of doing it. It could come off so bland if filmed the other way. And again, I wanted to explore her transgressive imagery. Things that were sexual and erotic, but not cliché. I didn’t want to see Beyoncé with her tongue out, you know?

How is this display of sexuality different from what Miley Cyrus does in “Wrecking Ball”?
Beyoncé is so sexy without having to do anything. I felt like she didn’t need to be wet, or need to twerk. It was more about a mature sense of eroticism, like what Madonna expressed in “Human Nature” in the nineties. A lot of the inspiration came from still photography. Like Daido Moriyama’s really tight close-ups of fishnets—things that felt abstract but still resonate.

What was Beyoncé’s reaction to your creative process? Was she very hands-on?
She’s incredible. She was very hands-on, and everything was a collaborative effort. I think once she saw my aesthetic and references in the styling and art direction, she had full trust in my ideas for the video. I’ve never worked with anyone that gave so much, and was so willing to try new things. For example, the styling; Karen Langley brought this Tom Ford [for YSL] molded-breast bodysuit with the pierced nipple, fishnets, and things like that. It was exactly the references that I was looking for, but in my head I was like, Yeah, right. We’re never getting Bey to put that on. And Beyoncé’s so incredible, she was like, “Let’s do it.” I don’t think anyone’s seen her like that. She was into it.

Do you have a sense of why Beyoncé tapped Jourdan, Joan, and Chanel for this project?
They came to me with these three women in mind. It just felt very of-the-moment, very iconic. You know, they’re all supermodels, they stand on their own, they’re such powerful women. And when brought together, it created a whole dynamic. We definitely weren’t trying to put together a “girl group.” But the chemistry on set was amazing. People just came in really excited about the project, and I tried to keep things loose and fun. I wanted you to see something you maybe weren’t supposed to see.

The “Freedom” video worked because the girls were supermodelséthe first generation of so-called supers, in fact. Do you see these women as the new generation?
Absolutely. I think that in addition to being extremely beautiful, they have their own characters, and their own personalities that they brought to the table. They were anything but casted models.

Did you have any favorite moments on set?
When Joan Smalls licked Beyoncé’s boob. I’m probably not going to forget that anytime soon. To be honest, I didn’t even see it happen. I was in between monitors. I saw it in playback. My director of photography came up to me and was like, “Oh, my God, did you see that?” It was totally spontaneous. [Smalls] just went in. It was fun. We had a good time.

Spicing Up The Closing Ceremony, And More Of Today’s Top Stories

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The upcoming Olympic games are getting a shot of girl power. Victoria Beckham has confirmed that the Spice Girls (pictured) will be reuniting for the Closing Ceremony, along with a lineup of talents that includes Take That, Sir Paul McCartney, George Michael, and Sir Elton John. According to British publications, the girl group will perform two songs. [Vogue U.K.]

Carine Roitfeld has revealed the first full fashion image from her forthcoming CR Fashion Book. The photo offers a sneak peek at one of the spreads featuring model Juliet Ingleby, shot by Sebastian Faena and styled by Roitfeld herself. CR Fashion Book will hit newsstands on September 13 during New York fashion week. [WWD]

Hedi Slimane was quick to announce his desire to change Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris and now the first images of the house’s rebranding have surfaced, courtesy of Katie Grand. The LOVE editor took to Instagram with a photo of the new “Saint Laurent” typography, which has been flaunted on constructed boards near the brand’s yet-to-open Mercer Street store. [Telegraph]

The newly elected mayor of Paris’ 4th arrondissement, Christophe Girard (who is also the head of fashion strategy of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), has revealed plans for a new venue for young fashion designers. Starting next January, fresh talent will be able to use the district’s town hall for fashion shows, including couture and men’s, which are scheduled to run from January 16 to January 24. [WWD]

Photo: S. Granitz / WireImage

The Supermodel Games, And More Of Today’s Top Stories

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The 2012 Olympic Games are gearing up to be quite the fashionable affair. More reports have surfaced that the likes of supermodels Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Lily Cole, Stella Tennant, and Georgia May Jagger are expected to strut their stuff at the closing ceremony in clothes by Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood. The Englishwomen are doing it for love of country rather than financial reward—they’ll receive only 1 pound sterling each for their participation. [Telegraph]

In other supermodel news, Miranda Kerr divulged some of her secrets to Vogue U.K. The Victoria’s Secret stunner says she wanted to be a gymnast when she was younger, but that she was too tall and that modeling was never part of her life plan. Kerr also addressed the rumors of her talent for singing. “I love singing for my own benefit,” she said. “But will there be an album one day? Who knows? It’s not on my schedule right now.” [Vogue U.K.]

Congratulations are in order for Carolina Herrera. The designer will be the recipient of the Superstar Award at Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars gala this coming fall. Herrera joins the ranks of fellow designers Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta, and Nicolas Ghesquière. The annual event will take place on October 25 with a Dreamcatchers theme. [WWD]

How many different variations of a Louis Vuitton handbag can you make? 80,000, apparently. The French house is launching a new service starting July 30, where customers can create their own bespoke handbags at the Haute Maroquinerie, a private salon in Vuitton’s Bond Street store. [Vogue U.K.]

Last week, George Michael tweeted the news that Kate Moss would be the star of his new music video and now you can get a sneak peek at the supermodel’s performance. Unlike the barely-there bikini getup that she wore for the White Stripes, Moss dons a modest, oversized shaggy coat. Catch the full video tomorrow. [Telegraph]

Photo: David Fisher / Rex USA

Erjona Ala: Leader Of The Brooklyn Skater Boys, And More of Today’s Top Stories

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“I wanted to take the lifestyle in [Lords of] Dogtown but add a twist to it,” says filmmaker Bon Duke of his new short movie (above). The result? Norwegian stunner Erjona Ala clad in Prabal Gurung, sauntering through the underpasses of Williamsburg, leading a pack of skateboarders. [Nowness]

In celebration of the Biennale des Antiquaires, Christie’s auction house is showcasing the works of two designers of fashion’s past—Hubert de Givenchy and the late Helene Rochas. Pieces from Rochas’ collection will be up for sale at the September art festival, including a Balthus painting, portraits of the designer by Andy Warhol, and more. [WWD]

Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of haute joaillerie, Lorenz Bäumer, has designed three new collections in celebration of the brand’s first fine jewelry boutique, set to open July 3. The collections, which were inspired by three iconic locations in Paris, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Élysées, and the Tuileries, will be available at the boutique upon its opening. [T]

Speaking of fine jewelry, Jennifer Aniston was spotted wearing a new diamond ring upon her return home from a European getaway with her beau Justin Theroux. Although the diamond was worn on her right ring finger, rumors are flying that the former Friends star is headed to the altar. [Page Six]

Last seen on the catwalk over a decade ago, male model John Pearson made his return to the runway at the Prada menswear show on Sunday. You may remember Pearson from George Michael’s Freedom video, where he starred as the only guy. [Vogue U.K.]

 

 

Everything’s Bigger In Texas, Even The Deconstructed Disco Ball

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Decades‘ Cameron Silver knows a thing or two about wealthy women in fabulous dresses. The vintage couturier was in the thick of them last night at the tenth anniversary bash of Dallas’ designer mecca Forty Five Ten. He reports from the front lines, below.

The traditional tenth anniversary gift is tin or aluminum. For the tenth anniversary of their Dallas store Forty Five Ten, Brian Bolke and Shelly Musselman (pictured) kept to the glittery spirit, if not the letter, of the law. Bolke and Musselman hosted the gala in a gold lamé tux jacket from Dsquared², and a mirrored Margiela gown, respectively. Musselman said what we were all thinking: “In our heart of hearts, don’t we all really want to be a deconstructed disco ball at the end of day?” Well, maybe what some of us were thinking. She paused and added oracularly: “It sees everything.” As for Bolke, he let his Moschino tee do the talking: “Shop.”

But shop they did, of high-end European labels and exclusive tenth anniversary items by attendees Doo-Ri Chung, Narciso Rodriguez, and Koi Suwannagate. (Carry a designer for a decade or so and you’re bound to rack up a few favors.) DJ Lucy Wrubel’s silver Moschino mini, embossed with the phrase “Fashion Must Go On,” certainly inspired the hundreds of loyal clients to drop their Centurion cards, at least when they weren’t juggling flutes of Dom Pérignon or pork hors d’oeuvres three ways (taco, tempura, and slider—this may be fashion, but it’s still Texas).

At 10 p.m., Raven Kauffman (in vintage Mila Schön), Suzanne Wilson (in DVF), and I headed to Kenny Goss and George Michael’s Highland Park home for more Champagne and a viewing of their amazing British art collection, including works by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and an amazing Angus Fairhurst gorilla displayed by the pool. The party continued, and close to midnight, the last guest arrived: the pizza boy. The famished crowd went wild. McQueen-clad Houston social Becca Cason Thrash confessed, “It’s Domino’s, and it’s divine!”

Photo: Daniel Driensky