8 posts tagged "Leith Clark"
Stylist Leith Clark is one of the busiest women in the business—and with the launch of her new fashion magazine, Violet, she just got a whole lot busier. Clark’s credentials are impressive. She’s the founder of Lula Magazine; the style director at large for Harper’s Bazaar U.K.; Keira Knightley’s red-carpet stylist; and a brand consultant for the likes of Honor, Orla Kiely, and Michael van der Ham. Tomorrow, with the launch of the new biannual publication, she’ll add EIC to her résumé. Violet is a labor of love she started alongside her friend Luella Bartley, the new design director for Marc by Marc Jacobs.
“I started talking and brainstorming with Luella,” says Clark, “and slowly, it felt like time for me to do this.” Despite the digital-crazed, online world that fashion is moving toward, Clark argues print still has its place. “Print is not dead for me, no way. Magazines just need to be special and booklike—and Violet is
booklike. I would never read a book on a screen.”
With her heavy involvement in the business, Clark is constantly surrounded by talent, and it seems she’s managed to lasso some of the best for the new venture. Bartlett has been deputized, while other masthead notables include Amanda de Cadenet, Stephanie LaCava, Clémence Poésy, Zoe Kazan, and Valentine Fillol-Cordier. Brit Marling covers the first issue, shot and interviewed by de Cadenet, but Clark is leaving a bit of mystery as to the feel of the whole thing. “It’s difficult for me to explain Violet in a few short sentences,” she says. “Especially when I want everyone who reads it to decide what it is to them. That’s better than me telling them how to feel.”
So where does the name Violet come from? “I called it Violet for a lot of reasons,” Clark says. “Namely because it’s a strong word, my favorite scent, my favorite Hole song, my goddaughter’s name, and also the name of my mysterious great-aunt who I only met once—she wore a kimono and pink lipstick and had naturally shiny silver hair. I was very little and she made quite an impression on me.” Let’s see what kind of impression Violet can make on the rest of us.
“She was at the top of our list, but it was an ‘in your dreams’ kind of thing,” recalled Nic Briand, one half of the design duo, along with partner Susien Chong, behind Australian label Lover. He’s talking about Karen Elson, the star of the decade-old brand’s first-ever campaign, which, debuting exclusively here, features the fiery-haired English beauty in Lover’s romantic coated-lace and silk Fall ’13 collection. “Karen has always been one of our all-time fantasy muses. She’s up there with people like Charlotte Rampling and Jane Birkin,” said Briand. “We met her briefly, at a friend’s wedding, and in and of itself that encounter would have been enough. When she said she was a fan of the clothes and that she wanted to do the campaign, we were blown away.”
The images, lensed by Lina Scheynius and styled by Leith Clark, show Elson lounging in soft, natural light. It’s an organic compilation that feels just stripped-down and confidently fragile enough for Chong and Briand’s delicate designs. Baby blue, slightly ruffling minidresses with sheer lace detailing have an almost Victorian feeling, while high-neck lace cocktail dresses were inspired by musicians such as Courtney Love and Patti Smith. “There’s this vulnerability about them, but their stage presence is so in-your-face. We love that duality to come through in the clothes,” said Briand. Continue Reading “Karen Elson’s Got a New Lover” »
Wren designer Melissa Coker first worked with power stylist and Lula editor in chief Leith Clark on several short fashion films for the label, starring the likes of Tavi Gevinson and Gia Coppola. At the time, they were designer and stylist. But then, the ideas started to bubble up. “We were on set and I was looking at the clothes, saying, ‘What if you did it like this?’ or ‘Maybe this should be like that,’” Clark recalled. “Eventually she was like, ‘Why don’t you just design a collection?’”
Sometimes it is that easy. Clark took the reins, looked into her own closet for inspiration, and proposed easy pieces that she’d want to wear herself. She created prints from the work of three of her favorite illustrators (Mercedes Helnwein, Fanny Bostrom, and Jenny Mörtsell) on T-shirts, and asked Coker to whip up a rusty knit hat similar to one that a little girl is wearing in a painting hanging in her parents’ bathroom. Other pieces include schoolgirlish floral frocks with peter pan collars and nipped-in jackets with retro appeal.
To keep the more-the-merrier theme going, Clark asked her close friend and client Kirsten Dunst to pose for the look book, which was shot by Dunst’s boyfriend Garrett Hedlund in Los Angeles. “Normally I style her so it was fun to flip roles and design the clothes and see how Kristen would wear them herself. It was a multi-faceted experience,” said Clark. She sent off the clothes and left Dunst and Hedlund to style and shoot themselves; the fruits of that labor debut here on Style.com. “There are some things that weren’t realized from the collection that are still lingering,” Clark hinted, “so stay tuned for a sequel.”
For more information, visit www.wrenstudio.com.
Honor’s Giovanna Randall cited the relationship between the natural world and the synthetic one as the inspiration behind her Spring ’13 collection. Both realms are well represented in the brand’s Spring film—an eerie short set on the roof of New York’s Empire Hotel. Directed by Ry Russo-Young, styled by Leith Clark, and starring model Codie Young, the film watches its heroine and an ethereal little girl named Olympia (who happens to be the daughter of Honor’s store designers, Jesse James and Gus Anagnopoulos) as their surroundings transform from a barren rooftop into a lush urban garden. “When I was designing Spring ’13, I kept thinking about the transition from bones and concrete to life, fertility, and vegetation—the balance between fragility and strength,” said Randall, who added that working on the project was “kind of magical.” Watch Honor’s feminine spring wares bloom in the new film, which debuts exclusively on Style.com (above).
“I was a choir kid for a long time; it’s a nice thing to know how to do,” Tavi Gevinson revealed to Style.com of her vocal talents, while on the Los Angeles set of Wren’s Fall ’12 video shoot. Directed by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Maximilla Lukacs, the film (featuring Wren’s footwear collaboration with Minnetonka) quickly became a reflection of Tavi’s own style evolution. “We went into the project with this new wave sixties vibe,” explained Wren designer Melissa Coker of the film’s retro aesthetic, styled and creative-directed by Lula editor Leith Clark. “And since Tavi has been going that way naturally with her own style, she immediately came to mind.” Enter Tavi singing Dory Previn’s 1970 classic “Beware of Young Girls,” a pitch-perfect homage to an era that equally informs Coker’s Fall collection in print and silhouette. “The song’s about a young girl and it’s being performed by a young girl, but it has the weight and sophistication of an older soul,” says Coker.
The transformation came naturally. “My style used to be a lot about colors and prints on their own, outside of any cultural context, just looking at the colors and images and composing it all like a painting,” she said. And now, nearing her sweet 16, her choices convey more purpose. “Now, I’m more interested in the context of it, and for some reason the sixties style really appeals to me—the hairstyles and the makeup and the prints. I get excited to wear these clothes and have this hair and embody that world a little bit more.” And while Coker channels that winsome element that so keenly characterizes the Wren girl, Tavi is plum for the part. “I like trying to create some sort of character with every outfit that I put on.” Before the film screens at a private party in New York tonight, Style.com has the exclusive first look at the full film, below.