6 posts tagged "M/M Paris"
“This is it. This is me. And I want you to come on my journey”: Jonathan Anderson on His Honest Debut Loewe Campaign-------
Despite what designers may tell you, there are few things in 2014 that are truly new. Everyone is inspired by something, whether it’s iconic photographs from decades past, seminal runway shows, an artist’s work, the list goes on. Jonathan Anderson, who showed his first collection for LVMH-owned heritage house Loewe in Paris this morning, is no different. But in his debut campaign for the house, which was unveiled yesterday, he actually did something quite fresh: He not only acknowledged his references, he highlighted them. The campaign, which was shot by Steven Meisel with art direction by M&M Paris (who also created Loewe’s revamped logo), is based on a 1997 Meisel editorial, which itself was based on an Alex Katz image. So alongside the new ads, Anderson has incorporated the old snaps. “Instead of hiding the inspiration, we just showed it,” offered Anderson, while snacking on some prawns in Paris Wednesday night. This honesty permeates his Spring ’15 menswear collection, too, which you can click through here. Ahead of his presentation, Anderson spoke with Style.com about the new ads, striving for timelessness, and why he never wants to feel like he’s “made it.”
This is the first big-budget campaign of your career. How did it go?
I keep pinching myself to believe that it’s all happening. It’s been nearly nine months in the making. When I was first thinking of Loewe, I had this 1997 Steven Meisel Vogue Italia editorial in mind, which was based on an Alex Katz picture. It was a group of kids on the beach, and I pitched it to the group. We were trying to work out how to tackle the house’s historical credentials. We got M&M on board to do the logo, and then it was, Well, how do we make imagery for this brand and show it as a cultural reference to fashion, a cultural reference to non-fashion? So we came up with the idea to reuse the 1997 Meisel images, and then we did new imagery with Meisel. We superimposed both, and used the idea of the fashion reference. There was no point in asking Meisel to re-create the image. It was more exciting to show his work now as art.
It feels very meta—this idea of Meisel referencing himself referencing Alex Katz. How does that tie in to your approach to this first collection?
I want Loewe to become a cultural brand. For me, the challenge was how do I take a [heritage] brand and make it modern for right now? We see these images in fashion repeated and copied and repeated and copied, and I thought it was better to just show them. They exist and they’re sharp and modern. I want Loewe to be an honest brand, and I want it to be open to new forms of fashion, new forms of imagery, and new forms of information. So by taking the still life of the bag and shooting it against a white backdrop, it is the bag. We’re not hiding anything—that’s it.
You included some pieces from the Loewe archive in the campaign. As an experimental designer, how did you go about working with Loewe’s archive to create your Spring ’15 imagery?
Well, I had to think, Do I reject the archive or do I embrace the archive? When I looked at the products from past decades, or when I looked at all the logos from years gone by, I loved what these things referred to culturally—what was happening at the time in photography, art, sports, music. All that was reflected in the logos. And when I looked at products, they did the same. In 1846, when trunks were necessary, Loewe had trunks. And then when it came to the seventies and the birth of airlines, you see the bags developed. Loewe has always been reactionary, and I wanted to show a work in progress, because this brand is a work in progress for me. So the campaign images are basically saying, “This is it. This is me. And I want you to come on my journey.”
What do you hope these images convey about the collection you’re sending down the runway?
That clothing exists in the world, in many forms and many decades. And ultimately in the end, you never really own it. It becomes part of the zeitgeist. I want people to see this as an edit—a very personal edit of a man’s wardrobe. This is my first major serious job, and it’s a big undertaking, and I want people to see that this is what it is, and we’re going to take it in many different angles, but fundamentally, it will be culturally aware.
The campaign shots you sent over are very accessories-driven, but there’s one striking image of a model wearing a look from the menswear collection, posing against a Saran-wrapped backdrop. Can you tell me about this photograph?
The concept is the idea of the nothingness. It’s the purity of the silhouette and the character within. I wanted to convey the idea that you were unpacking something, and that’s what it was. I love that this image looks like a work in progress. Ultimately, it’s a jersey suit, and in my mind the Loewe man is on the beach, in a jersey suit and espadrilles. He’s on the beach and being cool, even if it’s been boiling hot all day. I like the lightness, the airiness. I love how the flesh looks with the jersey. It has this naive effect. And it’s not anything more than that. I didn’t want to rush into the brand. I want to nurture it.
Did you feel that you had to go a more commercial route for these images than you would with ads for your own label?
I never thought about it as, “We have to be commercial.” I think that’s always a trap. I was just thinking, Does this feel right? The product has to make sense for me and for the consumer. I think this is consumer-led advertising because it’s coming right now—the product will be in the store in the next couple of weeks, so I want to know what the customer is thinking. I need to know what the buyer is thinking. That’s the nerve-racking part, but it’s also the most exciting part.
I remember interviewing you when you did your first campaign for J.W. Anderson. It was beautiful, but very DIY. Now you’re working with some of the biggest people in the business. Do you feel this campaign is a “made it” moment?
I don’t know if it’s a “made it” [moment]. I think, as a designer, you never really feel like you’ve “made it.” And if you do, it’s kind of worrying. I’m just so grateful that Steven and M&M wanted to work with me, and I think this campaign is a milestone for Loewe. It encompasses what this brand has fundamentally been about for many years. But we live in the day of social media, where images are devoured and devoured. People who were not involved in the fashion world would not know if Meisel’s image was shot today or twenty years ago. That’s what’s so interesting about Meisel. His work has got that element of timelessness, and that’s something I want in my products—for them to feel timeless.
How are you feeling leading up to the big debut?
It’s a lot of work. We’ve got our new building. We have the advertising campaign. We have the menswear collection, we have the bag collection, everything. And then it goes into stores in a couple weeks. There are a lot of balls in the air, but I have an amazing team of people who have been incredible. I’m very lucky that someone has basically said, “We trust you to do it.” I want to enjoy it. I’m looking forward to seeing that beach scene on a kiosk. I’m looking forward to seeing it in a magazine. I’m looking forward to seeing clothing on people. Loewe has become my brand, but it is Loewe. I’m here as a guest, but we’re rebuilding, and we’re rebuilding a house that has incredible craft and technology and details that I’ve never seen before in my entire life. Every day, I get up a 6 a.m. because I’m excited. And I think that’s what it should be about.
Yesterday at MoMa PS1′s Sunday Sessions panel, Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak—the grown-up enfants terribles behind the graphic-design partnership M/M Paris—discussed M to M of M/M (Paris), their first retrospective book. Glenn O’Brien—an M/M collaborator—moderated the conversation. “So who’s Mert and who’s Marcus?” was his opening inquiry. (A “fashion joke,” as the writer put it.) The pair laughed it off good-naturedly.
“We were approached ten years ago,” Amzalag told Style.com. “The physical work on the book took three years, but then there were two of going through the archives, and five of finding the right route.” The decade of due diligence paid off. M to M marks the pair’s twentieth anniversary in business, and it’s a fitting testament to their erudite style. The 528-page monograph is chock-full of Amzalag and Augustyniak’s greatest hits—from hand-drawn overlays on Balenciaga and Stella McCartney campaigns of yesteryear, to their groundbreaking catalog work for Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, to iProduct apps for Björk. The tome proudly reflects M/M’s keystone role in the forever-hybridizing fields of design, fashion, art, and music. And though they didn’t design it themselves (“We inverted the process—someone came to us with the solution—that was a beautiful moment,” said Augustyniak), the book’s juggled alphabetizing and pagination—it starts on page 311, at the letter M, naturally—pays homage to the pair’s distinct, irreverent intellect.
In a new series, Style.com sits down with the best in the field of contemporary fashion photography to talk about both the process and the product. First up: the husband-and-wife Dutch shooters Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.
At exactly 34 characters long, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin easily have the longest photo credit in the business. Admittedly, the count includes A-N-D, but that little linking word is crucial. Van Lamsweerde and Matadin are partners in every sense—creatively, romantically, as parents of their 9-year-old son Charles Star Matadin, and seemingly everything in between. The Dutch natives have been together for 26 years, and to sit with the two of them for an interview is to witness genuine sentence-finishing synergy.
There’s yet more neat duality in their work, which straddles art and fashion, gives you high glamour with a touch of the surreal or grotesque, ranges from classical black-and-white portraiture to near camp, and inevitably includes some degree of gender-bending. It also extends to their hefty new monograph, called Pretty Much Everything ($700, www.taschen.com), which comes out this month and encompasses their work for magazines like Paris Vogue and V, campaigns for houses like Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, and their art projects. In the two volumes, van Lamsweerde and Matadin scrapped chronology, and instead painstakingly went through the 666 photographs to create very specific pairings, each with their own visual logic. “It takes time away so it becomes one body of work,” explains Matadin. “You see a picture from 1985 next to one from 2011, and they’re still holding up.” Van Lamsweerde and Matadin talked to Style.com about their unique relationship, the wonders of Lady Gaga, and why you shouldn’t peer into the inner workings of a fashion shoot.
You have this book now but you had the retrospective exhibit last year in Amsterdam. Had you always planned to do that at 25 years?
Vinoodh Matadin: This actually started nine years ago when Inez was pregnant. Karl Lagerfeld said, “Oh, you’re pregnant. You should do a book.”
Inez van Lamsweerde: He said, “Oh, you have to have a project while you’re pregnant.” Which is very cute.
And very Karl.
IVL: Yeah, it was sweet. So we started working on it and kept shooting and kept adding pictures and the book grew and grew. When it was done, it was kind of 25 years of us together. And by now, it’s again a year later so it’s 26 years of work together. But the show was based on the book.
VM: Basically we started the book putting everything in order.
IVL: Chronological order.
VM: But then we thought, it’s too soon. We’re not there yet. So we decided to redo the book.
IVL: The exciting thing for us was the editing and putting it together. Once we decided no chronological, which for us was not interesting, it became really about the combination of the pictures.
The pairings have a nice rhythm.
IVL: It’s really about how all those images that we’ve made in the past 26 years live inside our heads, especially this idea of art, fashion, and portraiture being all the same, from the same source. It really depends on the context or the venue in which you see the image.
VM: It also became one body of work because it takes time away. You see a picture from 1985 next to a picture of 2011 and they’re still holding up. You don’t know when this picture is from. It could be yesterday or 26 years ago. Continue Reading “The Image Makers: Inez And Vinoodh” »
The Man About Town is about to be Man About Galaxy. The new edition of Philip Utz’s menswear biannual Man About Town is The Space Issue, dedicated to the high life in all of its iterations—from the burgeoning space tourism market to French pastry master Pierre Hermé’s recipe for space cake. (Include cannabis at your discretion.)
For the new issue, Utz and creative directors Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag of M/M (Paris) pitted the homemade against the futuristic, starting with the hand-crafted font M/M (Paris) worked up for use throughout the issue, one that was hand-formed in salt dough, then photographed. “The space theme was chosen because I wanted to break with the retro aesthetic that Man About Town had been championing prior to the Hedi Slimane issue, but also because I felt that it would take the writers, photographers, and stylists out of their comfort zone to produce something less self-referential and more thought-provoking than what most other men’s books have to offer,” Utz says. “It was certainly very rewarding to see everything come together, with such unlikely bedfellows as astrobiologists and stylists, computer programmers and fashion photographers.” The full list of contributors includes fashion world heavies such as Alasdair McLellan, Joe McKenna, Olivier Rizzo, David Sims, and Willy Vanderperre, but also Google vice president Vint Cerf, astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, and Virgin Galactic head of astronaut relations Dave Clark. (“Our approach to Man About Town was very free-spirited,” Augustyniak and Amzalag say of the roster. “We wanted to have fun and placed calls for everyone to join the party.”)
The issue hit stands this past Friday. It comes with a packet of six postcards featuring art from the pages of the magazine, like the David Sims shot, styled by McKenna, at left. “Postcards from the edge,” Utz calls them. Space: Wish you were here!
Rapper/producer/style savant/Tory Burch menswear test case Kanye West made fashion headlines (again) when he reached out to M/M Paris’ Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag to create a limited range of scarves based on the George Condo paintings that he commissioned for his latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. (Condo’s image of an angel in flagrante made the cover—where, that is, it wasn’t censored.) News on the scarves has been circulating, but the scarves themselves have yet to go on sale. That changes Monday, when they go hit MMParis.com and Colette, in editions of 100. The five designs include a take on the album’s cover (“Phoenix,” below); a crowned, perhaps Kanye-esque head stuck with a sword (“Power,” bottom); two screaming faces (“Face” and “Priest”); and our favorite, “Ballerina” (above). The French-made, silk twill scarves all feature Condo’s paintings, with hand-lettered borders by M/M Paris. €250 and one’s yours. Continue Reading “Kanye West X George Condo X M/M Paris Hits The Web” »