July 31 2014

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104 posts tagged "Madonna"

Madonna Was Alphabet City’s Cinderella


Richard Corman Madonna

“These are pictures that I’ve had sitting around in my archives for thirty years—I’ve never really felt like they were relevant until now,” explained New York-based photographer Richard Corman. He’s talking about the series of shoots he did with Madonna back in 1983, when he was “just a guy who was running around with Keith Haring and Basquiat” and the original Material Girl was “kind of a deity downtown, on her own block.”

Tonight at Milk Studios, Corman will unveil Madonna NYC83—an exhibition consisting of images he took of a young Madonna in her Alphabet City flat (“The neighborhood was absolutely a ghetto back then”), glamming it up for the camera as a modern-day Cinderella in “this incredible vintage dress she probably bought for four dollars,” or posing on her roof in ripped-up denim and a boom box in hand.

“Ironically, I met her through my mother, of all places,” recalled Corman. “She had been casting The Last Temptation of Christ with Martin Scorsese, and she called me and said, ‘Look. This woman walked in and she is an absolute original.’ I called Madonna twenty minutes later.”

Richard Corman Madonna

What transpired were five or six shoots, all in a brief period of time, that capture the moment just before Madonna hit it big. “I think she was beginning to develop an image,” said Corman. “But she had that thing that iconic people in front of the camera have: It isn’t necessarily about beauty; it’s just a charisma.”

So why does he feel these images are so resonant now? “Because everybody that I see walking down the street reminds me of the ’80s—whether I’m walking into Opening Ceremony or VFiles or Urban Outfitters,” exclaimed Corman. “These are the sweaters, this is the denim. I mean, the way she did her hair with the dark hair and the blond streaks—people are going in to have this done. Those cat-eyes and that red mouth. And her absolute beauty and jewelry. Everything about her style,” he explained. “But it’s her attitude that feels now. She was always fearless and provocative. There were no boundaries with her, and she had this wonderfully ruthless ambition to make it in the boldest way. And the other thing that makes [the photos] relevant is that she’s more than relevant today. She’s as hot now as she’s ever been.”

Madonna NYC83 will run through December 15 at Milk Gallery.

Richard Corman Madonna

Photos: Richard Corman

Andrew Richardson: Downtown and Dirty



Sex and streetwear aren’t the most obvious bedfellows, but editor, stylist, and all-around provocateur Andrew Richardson has united them in his new store, Richardson. “I don’t know if there is a logical connection between sex and streetwear, but I always thought that streetwear was sexy and cool,” he mused between puffs on a cigarette. “There’s always an attitude, and I think that’s sexy—sexy confidence.” That may be so, but his shop, which opens this Friday at 325 Broome Street in New York, sells swag that’s arguably more perverse than confidence-boosting hoodies.

Best known for his cerebral, self-titled sex magazine, also called Richardson, Andrew is well versed in the streetwear subculture—he’s even done a bevy of projects with cult label (or, as some would argue, lifestyle) Supreme. In his store, Andrew presents his liberated take on sex and bondage via clever T-shirts, bomber jackets, swim trunks, caps, and towels—many of which were created in collaboration with such artists as Christopher Wool, Bjarne Melgaard, and Aaron Bondaroff. Some highlights include a melting snowman shirt by Nate Lowman; a tee printed with a car that reads “Blow Jobs”; totes scribed with the store’s ethos, “Work hard, play nice, communicate”; and a sweatsuit by artist Mark Gonzales. Embellished with images of lady parts and a cowboy flaunting his impressive member, the latter is guaranteed to inspire stares.

Olympia le Tan

The shop goes beyond threads, though. For instance, good pal Olympia Le-Tan designed a signature patch for Richardson’s club car jacket—more intriguing, though, is her capsule of erotic minaudières (think bags embroidered with busty femmes and titles like Fanny Hill, Cutter Girl, Carnal Cargo, or Sweet and 20.) Above the clutches’ case hang drawings by Japanese artist Hauro Namaikawa that depict couples in compromising, albeit comical, positions. And, across the room, shelves are lined with an A-to-Z collection of erotic tomes, which was curated by Idea Books, London. Richardson is, of course, on sale, too. “There are going to be guys who are my age who are going to come in and spend $1,800 on an original drawing, and I think we’ll have 25-year-old skaters who want to wear fucked-up T-shirts to scare their parents,” said Andrew of his clientele. “There’ll be a range.”

When the editor—whose résumé, it should be noted, includes working on Madonna’s Sex book, as well as shoots with heavyweights like Terry Richardson, Steven Meisel, and Ellen von Unwerth—was asked about the thinking behind his sex-themed products, he told us, “I was always into that idea of idolizing women through sexual provocation…and I’m trying to find that fine line between palatability and provocation. If you’re too provocative, you end the debate.” Ultimately, his patrons will be the ones to decide whether he’s found that balance; however, no matter how explicit or ridiculous Richardson’s offerings may be, everything is done with a wink, a smile, and a streetwise attitude. And somehow, that makes it seem all the sexier.


Photos: Michael Aghy

Jean Paul Gaultier: “My Purpose Is Not To Shock”


Jean Paul Gaultier by Andy WarholThough perhaps an enfant no more, Jean Paul Gaultier’s long-standing reputation as one of fashion’s enfants terribles hardly jives with the concept of a traditional museum retrospective. In fact, Gaultier himself finds it hard to imagine his designs in such a setting. “I am from the generation where, when I saw an exhibition of someone’s work, they were dead!” he told us. “I think I am still alive, and I never in my dreams thought that a museum could be interested in the work I’m doing.”

However, judging by the buzz around The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, both museums and the masses are keen on a comprehensive showcase of the designer’s work. And, having bowed in 2011 at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, this traveling exhibition is, of course, anything but ordinary. Set to make its East Coast debut at the Brooklyn Museum this Friday, the Thierry-Maxime Loriot-curated show offers a look at Gaultier’s career through the lens of his fixations, from punk rock to corsetry to his many muses. Animated faces (including the visage of Gaultier himself, which is paired with his signature Breton shirt) are projected on many of the show’s mannequins. Elsewhere, S&M-inspired gear is shown in stacked booths reminiscent of a red light district. Ahead of the New York opening, caught up with the master himself to talk reality television, haute couture, and his career as an accidental provocateur.

When you were initially approached about having an exhibition, did you ever feel any reluctance?
At the beginning, yes. I refused. For me, it was truly for dead people. But after meeting the team at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, I thought, “Ah! Maybe we can do something that is not dead.” It’s nice because it’s a new adventure and it’s not one fixed, chronological exhibition. I did not want it by color or year. I prefer to group the clothes by the things that I’m obsessed with, or the things that are important to me, with different periods mixed together.

Your Spring ’14 runway show took inspiration from both Dancing With the Stars and Grease. Has your relationship with pop culture changed over the years?
I have always been impressed by rock culture, rock shows, people like Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and the New York Dolls—all that influenced me. I look a lot at TV, even trashy programs, reality TV sometimes, and love the contests like Dancing With the Stars. I think I am a little American that way! It’s super interesting, psychologically, and I love performance. Continue Reading “Jean Paul Gaultier: “My Purpose Is Not To Shock”” »

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, But It Can Be Downloaded



Madonna is aiming to start yet another revolution with her latest film, secretprojectrevolution. Co-directed by the pop legend and Steven Klein, the movie will serve as the launch of Madge’s Art For Freedom initiative, which aims to promote freedom of speech and expression. Created in collaboration with Vice Media and BitTorrent, the seventeen-minute short will be available for download on September 24 from, and because we know you were wondering, yes—M’s wardrobe for the cinematic uprising furthers her longstanding embrace of fishnets as pants.

Photo: Courtesy of VICE

The Material Girl Makes Bank



Raking in $125 million from her MDNA tour, clothing line, fragrance, and more, Madonna tops Forbes’ 2013 list of highest-paid celebrities, beating out Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and (second spot) Steven Spielberg. Perhaps this explains Madge’s undoubtedly pricey mega-watt bite bling. A sound investment? Unlikely. But if we learned anything from the stars this week, it’s that diamonds are a grill’s best friend.