48 posts tagged "Mario Testino"
In past interviews, Mario Testino has alluded that his childhood in Peru was that of a misfit. He was the fashion-crazed oddball in a traditional Catholic family, and by his early twenties, he had left his native Lima for London. So it would seem a touch ironic that Testino returned to Peru to shoot what are arguably some of the most fantastical fashions of his career. Alta Moda, on view at Manhattan’s Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, is the culmination of five years’ work photographing traditional costumes worn by the people of the mountain city of Cusco. All twenty-seven images on view are a window into a lush world rarely seen—particularly by Testino’s usual audiences. The opulent outfits were shot against a traditional painted backdrop from the archives of Martin Chambi, Peru’s seminal indigenous photographer. Below, Testino talks to Style.com about the couture-caliber costumes, his fascination with tradition, and the show’s notable departure from his usual oeuvre.
The name of the show is Alta Moda. What similarities did you see between these costumes and traditional haute couture?
I am known more for shooting a dress like a couture dress, so I thought the game of words was interesting: on one side it’s called Alta Moda because [the costumes com from] the highest region of Peru and “alta” means “high.” The other reason was because these dresses have been made with the same care and the same attention with which a couture dress is made, and it’s lasted for hundreds of years. They repeat the same tradition of embroidery, of the stitching, of the weaving, and couture is like that. There’s a parallel to it, so I thought it made a lot of sense to use that name.
In terms of a jumping-off point with the costumes you were shooting, was it more of an aesthetic connection initially, or a cultural connection?
I think it is a mixture of cultural and aesthetic. This is something I have always been interested in. When you look at my career, in a funny way, I’ve always been doing things related to tradition. I do the royal families, I go to Seville for the holy week and the fair of Seville, when all Sevillians go out into the streets dressed in flamenco dresses, on their horses. I’ve done the same thing with the Catholic church. I did a little exhibition called Disciples, and I went to Rome and photographed all the bishops and the cardinals dressed in their costumes. So the whole resurgence of costumes is something that has always fascinated me, and I’m always being drawn back to it. I guess it’s a mixture between culture and beauty, and aesthetics.
As someone who doesn’t do many exhibitions, what made you want to show these images?
I opened a cultural institute in Peru called MATE, and I have to come up with exhibitions for them constantly. That’s what originally made me do this exhibition, because I thought it would be interesting for Peruvians to see something they have that maybe they don’t look at normally. It’s like everything: when you have it down your doorstep, you don’t look at it, and maybe you take it for granted. I went to do a job for British Vogue in this region, Cusco, which is the highest in Peru. The thing that brought me to discover this archive of treasures was that I asked for some costumes for some of my fashion pictures for the magazine, and when I saw the whole collection, I thought, “I have to document this.”
You used archival backdrops from the collection of Martin Chambi. What was your intention in doing that? Was it an homage?
I was very influenced when I saw an exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in London of Martin Chambi in the early eighties, because being Peruvian, I didn’t know about this work, and when I discovered it, I was quite surprised, really, that somebody had documented so well a region that we were all a bit ignorant about. When I arrived in England, I taught myself everything about Europe by looking at photographers like Cecil Beaton, or August Sander, who documented their society, their country, their history, and when I saw this exhibition of Martin Chambi, his portraits were particularly amazing in front of these backdrops. But the thing that caught my attention the most was going to Peru and finding these costumes, it reminded me that I had seen once a picture of Irving Penn’s, from when he had gone to Peru and photographed children against these backdrops. I thought it was an interesting way to bring all the photos together, and to really concentrate on the clothes. Continue Reading “Mario Testino Goes Back To His Roots” »
Mario Testino has photographed everyone from Joan Smalls and Gisele Bündchen to Jay Z and Jennifer Lawrence—plus, he’s lensed countless covers and editorials, for everyone (and we mean everyone) from V Magazine to Vanity Fair. The legendary Peruvian photographer was not, however, on Instagram—until now, that is. We well know that if there’s any place to leak behind-the-scenes footage, it’s on the Internet. And with his esteemed roster of collaborators, who knows what filtered finds Testino’s account might bring. Needless to say, he deserves a “Follow.”
If Carine Roitfeld has proven anything in her three decades in the fashion game, it’s that she’s a master of reinvention—of both herself and others. All one needs to do is look at her latest CR Fashion Book cover—which features reality-TV-star-turned-quasi-fashion-world fascination Kim Kardashian showing off a gilded grill—to see that. The editor, stylist, and consultant, who left her decade-long post as editor in chief of Paris Vogue in 2011 only to launch her abovementioned biannual publication to much fanfare in New York a year later, is the subject of Fabien Constant’s new documentary, Mademoiselle C. The film, which debuted in New York last night, chronicles the making of the inaugural issue of Roitfeld’s magazine and offers an intimate look into the life of the editor. “I was very surprised when I saw the film for the first time,” Roitfeld told us, donning a youthful Céline crop top and Miu Miu denim skirt. “I didn’t imagine it would be so personal. You see everything—my family, my kids, my husband, my apartment, my [dance] lessons, and this was very difficult.” We have to say, though, it was refreshing to see the editor—who’s famed for working with everyone from Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford to Bruce Weber and Mario Testino—behave so candidly in front of the camera. Style.com caught up with Roitfeld prior to the film’s premiere to talk life after Vogue, Nicolas Ghesquière, the future of fashion, and what it means to be sexy.
Before I turned on my recorder, you were talking about how much you admire Coco Chanel. Why is that?
She came back to work at almost 70 years old, and she came back as a success, and America was the first country to welcome her. France didn’t. They always say, you’re never a king or a queen in your own country.
Is that why you came to New York to launch CR Fashion Book? Do you feel like the Americans made you a “queen”?
I think America was very nice with me, because the day I finished Paris Vogue, I immediately got a phone call from America. Once you’re in New York, you jump. Paris is mostly retired people—I love it, and it’s a beautiful city, but it’s quite slow. In New York, you can do anything—you can shoot on Sundays, you can shoot at night, you can get a pink dog, everything you want is possible. It’s like Jay-Z’s song about the Big Apple—you never stop.
Do you miss being the editor in chief of Paris Vogue?
No. I still like the title. I think it’s a magical title, and there was a Vogue before me, there will be a Vogue after me. I have no regrets. Ten years is quite long. Otherwise, you stay forever, and you settle into office life, and I don’t like office life. It’s difficult to do things on your own, but I think it’s very exciting, and everyone says, oh, you look younger than before, and it’s just because I’m learning more.
Do you think that Emmanuelle Alt is taking Paris Vogue in the right direction?
I will not look at it. It’s her thing. It’s totally different. I don’t want to compare and I don’t want to judge. I’m over this now, you know? I do my own thing, and it takes me enough time, enough energy, I’m not here to criticize. I don’t care. I have so many projects—I’ve become a cover girl and a grandma at the same time. I have so many exciting things in my life. I don’t need to look back.
Before you launched CR Fashion Book, there were rumors that you weren’t on the best of terms with Nicolas Ghesquière. What’s your relationship like with him now?
This is the bullshit of politics in fashion. I’ve never had a problem with Nicolas. I just sent him a text and said, “I miss you!” I’ve known him since the very beginning. I think he’s the most talented person in fashion. He’s very, very smart. I’m sure he’s coming back, and I hope it’s very soon, because we miss him. And I think he’s going to surprise everyone. There are not so many big talents today, and he’s one of them.
Inevitably, Mademoiselle C is going to be compared to The September Issue, and you to Anna Wintour. How do you feel about being compared to her?
I was compared to Anna for many years. But I worked with her. I was working for her, and I think she’s a very tough woman, but she’s very honest. She’s a hard worker, and she and Grace [Coddington] have a lot of passion. And you feel passion in Mademoiselle C, too. Totally different, though. Vogue is the biggest magazine in the world; they have a lot of money. For our first issue, we had four people doing the magazine, but we have the same passion. Continue Reading “Carine Roitfeld Opens the Book” »
If its recent campaigns are any indication, Burberry is seldom short on star power. Cara Delevingne, Emma Watson, and Romeo Beckham have all posed for the label, and today it can add Sienna Miller and fiancé Tom Sturridge to its list of famous faces. Lensed by Mario Testino, the house’s Fall ’13 ads depict the pair cuddling and kissing in Burberry’s new wares. A behind-the-scenes image of Miss Miller debuts above, and below we bring you a campaign snap of the cuddly couple. Continue Reading “Burberry’s Starry Smooch” »