2 posts tagged "Miles Aldridge"
As the self-proclaimed “first weird-looking model,” Kristen McMenamy has broken just about every rule there is during her thirty years (and counting) in fashion, which exactly is why we chose to profile her in the new issue of Style.com/Print. Throughout her career, the irreverent icon became renowned for her androgynous appeal, eccentric personality, madwoman-on-a-mission runway walk, and willingness to sacrifice life and limb in pursuit of the elusive perfect picture.
McMenamy was a fixture in the glossies during her nineties heyday (back then, her cropped hair, shaved eyebrows, unconventional features, and sinewy frame made her an ideal poster girl for the grunge movement); she has shot with the likes of Steven Meisel, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Juergen Teller, and Nick Knight, who took the pared-down portraits of her that run in Style.com/Print. Along the way, she has cultivated a support system of designers. “If fashion is her family, then Donatella Versace is her big sister,” writes Jo-Ann Furniss in her profile. That makes Karl Lagerfeld McMenamy’s proverbial father. Lagerfeld did, after all, walk her down the aisle at her ’99 wedding to photographer Miles Aldridge, in addition to casting her in a multitude of campaigns and runway shows.
See them all in our slideshow roundup of McMenamy’s career highlights >
Something’s always a little off in Miles Aldridge’s world. The London-based fashion photographer has made his career on images that are almost diabolically surreal—a woman with a perfect lipstick pout, crumpled against a countertop, stabbing a birthday cake; a lady clad just-so in yellow, pushing an empty swing; a disembodied mouth biting into a forkful of spaghetti. The neon-hued weirdness of Aldridge’s shots makes them leap off pages of magazines and into the same psychological territory as early Almodóvar films: All his women are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. (An exception to the rule, perhaps: Aldridge’s wife, model Kristen McMenamy.) Symptoms of Aldridge-mania include: titillation, studious blankness, frenzy. Now, Aldridge-mania is coming stateside. On Thursday, Aldridge opened the first U.S. show of his work at the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea. Today, he publishes Miles Aldridge: Pictures for Photographs (Editions 7L/Steidl), a compilation of his photographs for magazines such as Vogue Italia and Numéro. This week, Aldridge takes over the Fifth Avenue windows at Henri Bendel, re-creating a few of his images with mannequins. Aldridge will be on hand at Bendel’s to open the display and sign books; here, he talks to Style.com about good luck, lots of cats, and puckers.
You studied illustration at Central Saint Martins. How did you wind up a fashion photographer?
To a certain extent, I just got lucky. In London, around ’95, I was dating this girl who was really beautiful, but not beautiful in a particularly model-y way, at least as that was understood at the time. Basically, she was too short. But then Kate Moss came along, and my girlfriend decided she could be a model after all, so she asked me to take some photos of her, which I did. When she showed her book to British Vogue, they asked to see me. Her career never really got off the ground, but that’s how mine started. It was a good time—between Kate and the whole grunge thing, if you were English and could hold a camera, people in New York would meet with you. And my sister, who was a model, let me know that in her experience all photographers were idiots, so therefore I was qualified.