29 posts tagged "Inez & Vinoodh"
Simone Rocha may not have taken home the LVMH Prize, but the 27-year-old designer is in greater demand than ever. This month she’s poised (like Christopher Kane before her) to launch a collaboration with J Brand, and in Love‘s latest issue, she sits down with Comme des Garçons International president (and husband to designer Rei Kawakubo) Adrian Joffe. Joffe has been a staunch supporter since Rocha debuted her first collection with Fashion East back in 2010, and he also happens to have known the designer since she was a child. In the Q&A, moderated by Love editor Jack Sunnucks, Rocha and Joffe talk cultural identity, her “abysmal” academic performance, and the six dearly departed Joffe-Kawakubo cats. Also of note? The possibility that a Simone Rocha scent may just be hitting Dover Street Market shelves in the future.
An exclusive excerpt as well as a Patrick Demarchelier-lensed, Katie Grand-styled portrait of Rocha (sporting her own design) debuts below. To read the full interview, pick up Love Issue 12, as covered by Christy Turlington (shot by Inez & Vinoodh, and pictured above), Adriana Lima, Kendall Jenner, and Amy Adams. It hits newsstands July 28.
When Love joins Simone Rocha and Adrian Joffe, the pair are debating the very important topic of pets: Adrian has just revealed that he and his wife, Rei Kawakubo, used to have six cats at home in Japan.
Adrian Joffe: We liked cats, but there’s none left—they’re all gone. So nothing at the moment. But with traveling and everything it’s sad to leave animals alone, isn’t it?
Simone Rocha: That’s exactly what happened to me. We ended up moving around so much. They really need company.
AJ: Being half Chinese, half Irish—does that influence your work, do you think? Do you feel Chinese or Irish? Or does it not matter?
SR: I think it does matter. They’re so different. But one thing that is very important in both Irish culture and Chinese culture is family. So both my mum and dad have really big families and really important relationships with all their family. I love being Irish and not looking Irish, and I love going to Hong Kong and knowing that my granny lives there and my aunts and uncles, and I can go out and they’ll all speak Cantonese and play mah-jongg.
AJ: I’m guessing, though, that you don’t like to be referred to as Simone Rocha, the half-Chinese, half-Irish designer. That limits you, doesn’t it?
SR: I’d rather just be a designer. But I am very proud. I don’t mind being called an Irish designer, because a lot of people call me a British designer. I can feel the whole Ireland kicking off when that happens!
AJ: Do you remember your first memory of liking fashion? Was there one thing that set your love of fashion in motion?
SR: It actually just felt totally natural being around fashion, being around clothes. I absolutely love the smell of plastic bags—you know, when everything’s being hung up and shipped out.
I decided to do fine art originally, because I thought fashion would be a cliché. But after a year in college I’d done sculpture, ceramics, print—and then the very last discipline was fashion. And then I was like, Oh no, this is it—this is how I can translate my creativity.
I was actually a terrible student. I was abysmal in my B.A. None of my teachers thought I cared. And I didn’t. But I was still producing work, and there was obviously something in it!
AJ: You were having fun, I hope!
SR: That was the problem! I was having far too much fun—far too interested in socializing. But then I got in on the M.A., and around two weeks into it… Well, I’d never cared so much about something in my whole life.
AJ: So now you’ve done three shops with Dover Street. Can we do your perfume, too?
SR: That would be fabulous! I’d love that. I already know what it will smell like. Something real, but something really special.
Remember that time I told you famed photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, who have in the last year launched a delectable perfume and a jewelry line, were venturing into clothing design? Well, it’s finally happened. After chatting over dinner with Frame Denim founder Erik Torstensson, the husband-and-wife team resolved to collaborate with the cult denim brand on what are essentially their dream jeans. “We’ve done men’s and women’s—the Inez and the Vinoodh—and we worked with Frame’s team to incorporate our favorite elements of jeans we own ourselves,” offered Van Lamsweerde from her New York studio. “The Inez is my idea of the perfect, classic jean. It’s slightly higher in the back of the waist and lower in the front because I love low-waisted jeans, but every time I’m shooting, I sit down on a box to get a different angle, and they fall so low. Everyone’s behind you and you’re completely exposed!” They’re skinny, but not too skinny (plenty of room at the knee), and they boast a boyish cut. “It’s flattering on a lot of body shapes, though,” insisted Van Lamsweerde. “We’ve tried it on everyone from Freja Beha Ericksen to Lara Stone, and it works.” Matadin, meanwhile, focused on achieving the ideal length for his style, as well as a flawless fit in the back. “It’s the same for girls and guys,” said Van Lamsweerde. “The butt has to be amazing.”
The jeans, which will be available at Barneys New York and on Net-a-Porter in the coming weeks and will be priced between $218 and $238, debut exclusively here in a self-portrait of the designers-cum-photographers. And according to Van Lamsweerde, the taking of said photo was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of their career. “Shooting your own product is kind of frightening,” she admitted. “When we shot our jewelry, it was so much about the people in the portrait, but this was really focused on showing the jeans and the fit…it was definitely one of the scariest days.” The photo is angled specifically so you can see the subtle logo for the collaboration, which is set to continue for seasons to come. “Vinoodh came up with the branding—the belt loops on the back of the jeans are an I and a V.” Freja and Paul Ritchie from band Parlor Mob also star in the campaign.
Perhaps you’re wondering, Why jeans? The answer is simple: Whether they’re shooting at Pier 59 or partying in Paris, Inez & Vinoodh live in them. “I work in jeans every day. They’re really all I wear,” Van Lamsweerde told me. And I can attest to that fact—every time I’ve visited the couple in their downtown studio, both pairs of their enviably long legs are wrapped in denim.
So, we’ve got Inez & Vinoodh perfume, jewelry, and now denim. Can we expect a full-blown clothing line in the future? “I’m not sure. We’re more interested in basic wardrobe items. I can’t imagine us joining the insane fashion schedule,” said Van Lamsweerde. “But if we could work on a collaboration like this again, we’d be excited to do sheets and towels and pottery! You know, in the nineties when we started, you weren’t taken seriously if you ventured into another area of design. But now it seems like anything is possible. There’s a never-ending stream of ideas in our heads.” And no doubt, a never-ending line of creative comrades with whom to collaborate. “It would be incredible if in a few years, there was this ‘IV’ wardrobe that has grown out of different collaborations,” she added. “And a great T-shirt, or the ideal leather jacket wouldn’t be bad to come up with.” Onto the next one? Keep your eyes peeled.
Anthony Vaccarello doesn’t fear the nipple. Or any other body part, for that matter. The 31-year-old Italian-Belgian designer has earned a bold reputation for his vampy, va-va-voom aesthetic and daring—sometimes shocking—cutouts. His career has been on the rise following his 2011 ANDAM win, but everyone really started paying attention to the hot young talent after his friend Anja Rubik walked the 2012 Met Gala red carpet in a dangerously high-slit white gown that showcased her lanky gams and right hip. Surely that mega moment helped catch the eye of Donatella Versace, who’s tapped Vaccarello for what may very well be the most perfect Versus collaboration yet. And as if the Versace team-up, which will debut in New York later this year, weren’t enough, Vaccarello has today released his debut Inez & Vinoodh-lensed advertising campaign. Starring Rubik, the sharp ads debut exclusively here. Last week, Vaccarello rang us from Paris to discuss the Fall ’14 campaign, Versus Versace, and why Instagram’s nipple-phobia is utterly absurd.
Congratulations on your first campaign! Can you tell me about the concept behind the imagery?
The concept came from the Fall collection, which was inspired by Tony Viramontes. We wanted a raw image and to do something very dynamic that looked like a sketch. It was a dream for me that Inez & Vinoodh shot it. I never thought I would be able to work with them. I was talking to Anja [Rubik], and she said, “Why don’t you ask Inez & Vinoodh?” She pushed me to try, and they said yes. For me, they are the best because they understand simplicity. The campaign is very sharp but very soft at the same time. We chose red text because I wanted it to look like a gallery poster. And because we had red in the collection.
Why was now the right time to do your first campaign? It’s a big step.
I wanted to control the image of what I’m doing. There were a lot of editorials and stuff like that, but I thought it was important for me to put out the image in my mind that corresponds with the collection—the right image for the collection.
Anja has been somewhat of a poster girl for your brand since its early days. How did you two meet?
We met five years ago through a friend. We started talking straightaway, and she’s really supported me from the beginning. I’m always amazed by the things she does for me. For instance, she introduced me to Inez.
Earlier, you spoke about controlling your image, and arguably the most memorable Anthony Vaccarello image is from the 2012 Met Gala, when Anja wore your hip-baring white gown. What has that moment done for your career?
You know, when I was creating that dress on the mannequin, I didn’t expect all the buzz. But when Anja wore it with her legs and her attitude, it was completely different from what I expected. For me, it was just a simple white dress with a simple slit. It was virginal in a way, and I made it so Anja would feel comfortable. But after that moment, people became aware of what I was doing.
There’s a very fine line between sexy and vulgar. How do you make sure not to cross it?
I think it is a thin line. But a lot of it has to do with the person wearing the clothes. As a designer, you need to know the customer’s limits as far as what they can wear. Even if they love something, it might not be right for their body. Some things can look very chic on one girl and very trashy on another. So really, it’s all about the attitude that a woman gives the dress.
Do you think it’s possible to show too much? Rihanna was basically naked at the CFDAs, and Anja got kicked off Instagram for posting Style.com’s homepage image of her wearing your sheer Fall 2014 top without a bra.
That whole thing with Instagram is ridiculous. On Instagram, you see so many trashy things that are not censored. But if you can see a nipple it’s not allowed? I don’t think that sends a good message about femininity. And especially when you have boobs like Anja, you cannot hide them! I think celebrities like Rihanna or Miley Cyrus are just having fun. And I think that’s fine. Hiding the body and [the recent trend] of putting a woman’s body into all these boxy clothes cancels out the sexuality of women. That’s not a good thing. I like that Rihanna and Miley just do what they want.
You’re half-Belgian, half-Italian, and were born in Brussels. Historically, Belgian designers are quite restrained. So I’m curious, where does all this sexiness come from?
Maybe it comes from my Italian side. I’m never very controlled with my cuts. I think because of my Italian side, I’m more sensual and focus on the body and femininity.
You’ve recently dressed Anja, of course, as well as Gisele Bündchen and a handful of other stars for the red carpet. Is there anyone else you’d like to see in your gowns?
Not really. For me to dress a celebrity, I have to know her. I really need to have a contact, and to know how she feels about clothes. So far, I’ve dressed girls that I really want to work with. I’ve been lucky.
Do you think starlets need to take more risks on the red carpet? If so, who?
Yeah, I think that celebrities are afraid of doing something new and risky. I get very bored seeing them in that cliché prom look or those princess dresses. Maybe it’s a fantasy for women to be princesses. But I think [stars] need to be more risky. I probably shouldn’t say who, but there are a lot. And it’s not necessarily American celebrities. We have actresses in France who should take more risks. Bad taste is everywhere!
Versace recently tapped you to be its next Versus collaborator. How did Versace approach you?
I met Donatella last year. She wanted to meet me because she thought we had similar sensibilities when it comes to femininity. Straightaway, we started to talk like we’ve known each other forever. For me, meeting her was like meeting Madonna in the nineties. She is so cool, so gentle, and so open-minded.
You and Donatella definitely have parallel aesthetics. Is Versace a brand you’ve admired throughout your career?
Versace has inspired me since I was a kid. For me, the ultimate designers have always been Azzedine Alaïa, Helmut Lang, and Gianni Versace. I used to watch Gianni Versace on television. I was always obsessed with the house, its history, all the major photographers and models they worked with. So this collaboration is a dream come true. I know it’s cliché to say that, but I’m so happy with them. And I hope that people will like what I do. There are a lot of expectations, and I’m nervous that people won’t understand it. But it’s good to be stressed like this.
Can you give us any hints about what we can expect from the Versus collection?
It’s a secret! I can only tell you that it’s based on what was iconic for me when I was a kid.
Since Spring ’13, Jason Wu has enlisted Inez & Vinoodh to lens his recurring installments of Supermodel Supper Club (a phrase, he told me, he somewhat ingeniously came up with while at the dentist yesterday morning). His campaigns have featured mega models posing at iconic New York eateries—Stephanie Seymour was snapped at La Grenouille, Christy Turlington at Mr. Chow, and last season Wu took Karen Elson to enduring hot spot Indochine. Swanky, no? But the designer’s Fall ’14 ads, starring show-opener Adriana Lima at the storied Four Seasons, might just take the proverbial cake. “Fall is all about a power woman, and I chose the Four Seasons because all the powerest of power lunches happen there,” offered Wu over the phone. “I felt it was really glamorous.” The campaign debuts exclusively here.
Wu recalled that his first experience at the uptown haunt was one such lunch about seven years ago. “It was when I first got into the industry, and I was meeting an editor. When I walked in there, everyone looked so important! I felt like a little kid. But I’ve been going there ever since.”
So why was Lima Wu’s Fall ’14 supe of choice? “She’s sexy, and there’s this feline-esque prowess that felt appropriate for the clothes. And she’s got those eyes! She’s like our own Bianca Jagger,” he said. “Adriana is a new take on the supermodel—she’s from a different era. At the end of the day, these ads are about the women and the sexiness, and I continue to choose women who inspire me.”
Naturally, I wondered if Wu would be making his signature campaign cameo this season—and don’t fret, he is. “Inez always insists,” he laughed. He apparently played a bit of dress-up on set, too, admitting that he tried on a few of hairstylist Shay Ashual’s wigs. “Maybe I’ll be the model for the next Supermodel Supper Club,” he joked. “In all seriousness, could you imagine me sending that to you? The nerve!” Full disclosure, Mr. Wu, I would absolutely love it.
Though he worked with the same megawatt team of photography duo Inez & Vinoodh and stylist Joe McKenna, Jason Wu had an easier time shooting his first Fall ’14 Hugo Boss campaign than he did lensing his This Is Boss film for the brand back in January—probably because this time around, there was no blizzard to deal with. Debuting exclusively here, Wu’s inaugural ads for the German house star Edie Campbell (who emerged as Wu’s muse when Wu presented his first Boss collection back in February) and Scott Eastwood. Yes, the ruggedly handsome son of Clint. “It was very important that the first campaign was character-driven,” Wu told Style.com. “Edie Campbell not only stands for the new vision of Boss womenswear, but she is the definition of that confident, sexy, and individual person that I would like the collection to reflect.” As for the menswear snaps, he offered, “The idea of Boss menswear is keeping up tradition. Scott is all about channeling old Hollywood. I love how much he looks like his father, who is absolutely legendary, and he has this classic sensibility that feels completely modern at the same time.”
The photographs are stern and simple—no fancy backdrops or locations this time around—but they’re jam-packed with emotion. That duality is integral to Wu’s Boss aesthetic. “The pictures are so strong that they didn’t need any special layout. They’re just fully focused on the [model], the clothes, and the attitude. It’s about personality within a very rigorous sensibility. And it’s important to have both.”