April 19 2014

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7 posts tagged "Guy Bourdin"

Fashion’s Figures: Then And Now


What determines the feminine ideal? Mannequin—Le corps de la mode (“Model: The Body of Fashion”), the latest of Paris’ Musée Galliera’s off-site exhibitions, aims to find an answer. The show, which runs from February 16 through May 19, examines why trends like wasp waists, swan necks, or 5′ 11″ frames (à la Karlie Kloss) have driven women’s aesthetic aspirations since the first models replaced store mannequins in late-nineteenth-century Paris.

Curator Sylvie Lécallier sifted through fashion magazine illustrations, photographs, and videos to chart the jump from one fashionable body type to the next: the twenties knock-kneed flappers, the sixties childlike Courrèges girls “sans hips, waists, or breasts,” the eighties power women who were captured in Helmut Newton’s “Big Nudes,” and beyond. The show includes photos of the earliest It girls, like a series of Nelly Martyl, a star of Paris’ Opéra Comique in the 1910s. She was one of the first stars to be featured as a model in the era’s top fashion magazines. Also on display are iconic images like Corinne Day’s 1990 shot of a topless Kate Moss, Juergen Teller’s 1996 photo of a nude Kristen McMenamy (she has “Versace” painted on her chest inside a red heart), dark surreal works by Guy Bourdin, and more. Continue Reading “Fashion’s Figures: Then And Now” »

Fashion’s Bodies, Real And Fake, Get Their Night At The Museum


In French, mannequin is used to describe flesh-and-blood models; in English, it means the artificial dummies used to display clothes. Rarely do the two mannequins exist side by side—except in Kim Cattrall eighties hits—but they will in an upcoming exhibition at the Les Docks space of Paris’ Musée Galliera, Mannequin—Le corps de la mode (“Model: The Body of Fashion”). The exhibition traces the development of the model throughout time, much as the Costume Institute’s 2009 show, “The Model as Muse,” did, and includes both physical mannequins (in the English sense) and photographs by Horst P. Horst, Juergen Teller, Corinne Day, and Nick Knight—and some line-straddlers, like the photo by Guy Bourdin above. She’s alive!

Photo: Guy Bourdin / WWD

In Good Co


The City of Angels may conjure up images of sunshine, palm trees, and bare midriffs, but this season, L.A.-based label Co put a decidedly noirish spin on West Coast cool. Co designers Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern showed their latest collection privately in Paris this season, and the city provided a fitting backdrop for the brand’s elegant new clothes. Black reigned, and was turned out in numerous textural variations, ranging from black velvet sweats to a tailored coat in astrakhan to a weighty silk tee trimmed in feathers. Elsewhere, Guy Bourdin tones of turquoise, brown, and burnished gold gave the palette a sensuous pop. Some of the best looks were the simplest—an angular strapless silk-satin gown that reached, gingerly, to the instep; a top with an armorlike pleated sleeve; a long gilet in trimmed and long-hair beaver. Three seasons in, Co is proving to be an increasingly sophisticated affair, and with the brand’s first two collections flying out of stores, a force to be reckoned with.

Photo: Courtesy of Co

Flower Power


There’s been an explosion of florals and flower prints on the runways, and you can trust that if a trend is in the offing, Nick Knight will not be far behind. Case in point: The latest exhibition at SHOWStudio’s Mayfair gallery, Florist, which opens tomorrow. The Web site-cum-gallery project is celebrating its 10th birthday this year, and Knight decided a few bouquets would be a fitting anniversary gift. “Of course there is no better birthday gift than flowers,” he told “When you think about it, so many fashion photographers were quite taken by flowers—Irving Penn, Robert Mapplethorpe and Baron Adolph de Meyer all trained their lenses on blossoms as a bit of a hobby. I’m not going to say that it is cleansing or anything, but….”

Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto, Lady Amanda Harlech, Guy Bourdin, and Sølve Sundsbø (whose work is pictured) are a few of the celebrants to craft a floral gift—in any shape—to contribute. (Those shapes have taken the form of photos, dresses, head pieces and one-off objets d’art.) During the week, designers like Mary Katrantzou and Stephen Jones will also create pieces live, to be broadcast in real time from the Bruton Street studios. Knight has also snared the likes of John Galliano, Gareth Pugh, Hussein Chalayan, and Kate Moss to create their own interpretation of flowers, all to come during the winter-long exhibit.

No doubt a decade in the business is a thing worth celebrating—we’ve just finished doing the same ourselves, in fact. And Knight’s highlight of the past ten years? “Definitely, the SHOWstudio’s work in fashion films, which is still rather uncharted territory,” he said. “It’s an amazing knowing that every day there is something to create, something waiting to be invented. It’s a feeling that makes me want to jump out of bed every morning.”

Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Courtesy of SHOWStudio

Talking Bourdin and Film With Shelly Verthime


Legendary Paris department store Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is currently playing host to Guy Bourdin, Ses Films, an installation of 15 clips from films Bourdin shot from the 1960′s through the 1980′s. According to Shelly Verthime, who curated the show with Bourdin’s son Samuel, the films operate as both a time capsule and a window onto Bourdin’s creative process. “Making these films, I believe, was part of his obsessive search for the perfect image,” Verthime explains. “You see him experimenting with different angles, different lighting. What we see in those famous photos is the end result of this process, involving so many tiny adjustments.”

Verthime worked with Le Bon Marché to make sure that visitors to Ses Films felt that they were entering Bourdin’s world. The exhibition, which runs through October 29, is housed in a discrete area within the store. Visitors pass through a series of immersive spaces, catching glimpses of video on mirrors, or finding their own shadows reflected on the screen. That experience will surely whet fans’ appetite for the upcoming documentary on Bourdin that Verthime is working with the photographer’s estate to produce. The release date on that film is undecided, but in the meantime, Verthime tells about entering the mind of fashion’s surrealist master.

One of the things you always hear about Guy Bourdin is that his work is “cinematic.” Even when he was shooting an ad campaign, like Charles Jourdan, his photos seemed like stills from a strange movie. There is an implied narrative that you can’t quite figure out. It’s interesting to discover that Bourdin actually shot film as well, but, interestingly, he didn’t seem to use that medium for telling a story.

No, not at all. He wasn’t a “filmmaker,” per se. There’s no artistic ambition. What he liked to do was use the film as a kind of visual notebook. We have two kinds of video in the show: footage he shot on the set, and footage he shot on his journeys, in Martinique, going from London to Brighton, and so on. On the set, you see him taking stills, adjusting the backdrops, working with the models. It’s very intimate. The traveling footage is closer in spirit to what he would do with Polaroids. You see croppings of landscapes, people shot from the legs down. All these angles and compositions he used later.

Continue Reading “Talking Bourdin and Film With Shelly Verthime” »