12 posts tagged "Selfridges"
Alannah Weston’s favorite book as a child was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler, the story of two children who decide to spend the night in the Metropolitan Museum. An advantage of being a scion of one of world’s great retail dynasties is that Weston got to re-create that childhood fantasy as a Christmas campaign, only now it’s a night in Selfridges, the legendary London department store where she is creative director. And she had as her co-conspirator the equally legendary Bruce Weber. “As a kid, I always wanted to run around a department store at night, fantasizing that I could buy anything I wanted,” he recalls. “Years later, as a teenager, I remember seeing a TV show with Barbra Streisand after-hours in Bergdorf’s and I thought, ‘Boy, is she lucky!’ “
Weston and Weber go back, at least to the mid-nineties. “We share a lot of things in life, especially dogs and art,” says the photographer. She calls his massive career overview Blood, Sweat and Tears her bible. They last worked together two years ago, on a shoe campaign for Selfridges. “Everything has to have a bit of a twist for me,” says Weston. “I’m not much of a fashion person. There always has to be a story.” Which makes Weber, the past master of the implied narrative, a dream collaborator for her. In that last campaign, a handsome fireman turned into a superhero in the ladies’ shoe department. In this new one, a ballerina meets a poet, a beautiful young Grace Jones lookalike is lovestruck by a boxer. He’s holding a puppy while she soothes his bruised eye. It’s a quintessential Weber moment, young outsiders meeting in a romantic fantasy…with dogs. There’s also a wizard, a Rasta Santa, five ponies, a handful of adorable kids, and Tim Easton, the face of Weber’s iconic campaigns for Ralph Lauren in the eighties. That mix of old, new, and slightly skewed is a Weber signature. “I still photograph people I met 30 years ago, so I do have a big repertory company—old friends, parents of models, my favorite dogs I meet walking around the neighborhood, people I’d love to dance with, others I’d like to play football with. As you can see, the people I’m drawn to in my work are limitless. I like it when a sitting is like making a vegetable soup from scratch.”
Weston’s sentiments exactly. “Knowing Bruce’s film work, knowing his documentary work, I wouldn’t be looking for the same thing his other clients would be looking for,” she explains. Which is why the meat of the campaign is the two short films Weber has made. A New-Fashioned Christmas captures the fairy-tale Nutcracker-meets-The Big Store spirit of the whole endeavor. Have Yourself a Count Basie Christmas (see it here, exclusively on Style.com) is more impressionistic, a little wilder. “I think New-Fashioned represents Alannah’s quieter self and Count Basie reflects her party self,” says Weber. Something that stands out in both films is how un-promotional they are. “I never think of selling something when I make films like these,” he agrees. “I think of what the experience is and what it means to the person we are collaborating with.” Adds Weston, with a wry laugh, “The only thing you can buy in the whole shoot is the T-shirt for Kids Company, the charity we’re promoting.”
That same unconventional spirit permeates the advertising campaign made up of stills lifted from the movies. Come Christmas, billboards all over London will be plastered with an image of Weber’s boxer, back to the camera in his yellow robe. Given the season, it’s kind of audacious, but Alannah Weston wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s been one of those experiences that changes you.”
“Not unless I have to.” That was Karl Lagerfeld’s answer when he was asked how often he comes to London. Nothing personal against the city, mind. He just prefers to travel when he has something clearly defined to do at his destination. And last night was as good a reason as any: the launch of his own Karl collections for men and women, exclusive to Selfridge’s. A platoon of Karl-clad androids formed an honor guard outside the store, while guests waited in a Karl-customized space on the rooftop. And waited. At one point, a helicopter hovered tantalizingly close. Suzy Menkes waved hopefully, to no avail. When he finally made it, Lagerfeld chose the specially customized elevator over a rope ladder.
Karlettes old and new clustered. Juno Temple admitted she’s been nursing an obsession for fine lingerie since she was 13. Bear that in mind when you see her in the astonishing—and NC-17-rated—Killer Joe. Bip Ling accessorized with the stand-up collar and fingerless leather gloves that are Lagerfeld signatures, but she was keen for the world to know that the apricot leather sheath she was shoe-horned into was also from the Karl collection. “He does color,” she chirped.
After just two days of sunshine, everyone had effortlessly switched to full-on summer mode. Easy for Selfridge’s Creative Director Alannah Weston, just back from celebrating her 40th in Puglia. And Daphne Guinness looked positively tanned after a sojourn in LA. Lagerfeld himself was on British soil for five hours before flying back to Paris, then on to Rome, then back to St Tropez for the summer. But I somehow doubt that a tan is on his crowded agenda.
Click below for an exclusive video interview with Lagerfeld.
Caroline Trentini (pictured) has been missing from the runway for a few seasons now, but her modeling days aren’t completely over. The Brazilian beauty stars in Paule Ka’s Fall ad campaign, shot by Venetia Scott at a mythical airport in Berlin. Trentini looks glamorous with a bouffantlike hairstyle and a crocodile handbag paired with a metallic skirt. She sure knows how totravel in style. [Paule Ka]
Karl Lagerfeld has a big night ahead of him. The designer will unveil his Olympic-themed collection at Selfridges tonight before the items will go on sale tomorrow. The range includes jackets, skinny jeans, and collars, which will be on display alongside Lagerfeld’s new luxury menswear line. Click the link to get a preview of the items and check back for a video from tonight’s event. [Vogue U.K.]
The American Idol judges are playing a serious game of musical chairs. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are officially “out” and Mariah Carey is officially “in.” The pop singer and mom of twins will join the show, leading a potential full replacement of judges. “I am so excited to be starting Idol,” Carey said in a recent interview. [Page Six]
Yoko Ono’s bringing her Imagine Peace anti-violence initiative to London just in time for the Olympic Games. For the 12-week-long London 2012 Festival (starting June 21), Ono translated her Imagine Peace message into 24 different languages, and it will appear on the London Live Sites screens, along with screens at Victoria Park, Hyde Park, and Art on the Underground/Canary Wharf, paired with John Lennon’s 1971 iconic “Imagine.” As part of the project, Art Production Fund (the presenter of Ono’s art installation project) will be selling Imagine Peace items under the artist-designed Works on Whatever (WOW) line at Selfridges. Here, Style.com has a first look at the limited-edition Imagine Peace towel ($95; there’s also a water bottle, $28) going on sale at the department store June 21 and online at Selfridges.com.
As creative director of her family’s business, Selfridges’ Alannah Weston has turned the massive department store on London’s Oxford Street into her private fiefdom of fun with a series of large-scale events that have brought together artists, filmmakers, musicians, and designers in the name of underscoring the store’s retail vision. Wednesday night saw one of the smartest, artiest events yet, to mark the opening of the Women’s Designer Galleries. Curator Emma Reeves commissioned a set of short films to interpret seven of the collections carried in the new space. The single criterion? A strong female character at the heart of each film. For Ann Demeulemeester, for instance, Michael Pitt filmed his fiancée, Jamie Bochert, as a wraithlike figure moving through the desert (top), like a contemporary version of Isabelle Eberhardt, the 19th-century French traveler who inspired the designer’s collection. For Comme des Garçons, Katerina Jebb filmed concert pianist Madeleine Malraux, the widow of cultural nabob André Malraux, still playing at the age of 90.
Ruth Hogben made a typically brilliant piece of film for Gareth Pugh (above), a hectic slice of Cabaret-style decadence. She also created a sepulchral German-expressionist short for Rick Owens: harsh angles, shadowy reveals, eldritch textures, and an opera soundtrack. Her grasp of atmospheric moviemaking is so acute it came as a surprise to hear Hogben admit that all she wants to do is take still pictures. I swear everybody’s going to be reading real books again in a few years.
Speaking of atmosphere, set designer Simon Costin has made Mars out of molehills, and here he turned the derelict Selfridges’ hotel into an outlying branch of the Overlook, with curtained-off spaces intended to obliquely echo the building’s former use. There were “rooms” with oversize sofas, long dining tables, cracked vanity tables, and huge beds, with the movies projected on the ceiling above them. That was how we got to see an edit of the film Christopher Doyle had made, but not used, as the backdrop for Dries Van Noten’s show for Fall 2005. (Technical issues pulled it at the last minute.) Doyle was the man whose camerawork made In the Mood for Love into the swoonsville date movie of the millennium. A perfect match for Dries’s own romantic leanings. It was kinda nice watching it lying down, too.
Funny, only one of the films—the McQueen one—really featured recognizable clothes. The others were all projections, figurative and literal, like Delfine Balfort’s erotic equine dance for A.F. Vandevorst. You can see them all on Selfridges’ Web site, but you’ve got till March 26 to experience them in person. More fun that way.