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July 22 2014

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5 posts tagged "The Face"

Naomi Campbell on Career, Children, and That Ring of Fire

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Naomi Campbell

“You know what? I’m blessed: I’ve been working with people who I’ve been working with since I was 16. Why would they want me still?” exhaled Naomi Campbell at SiriusXM’s midtown center yesterday afternoon. She was talking with her longtime friend and mentor Diane von Furstenberg, who was quick to reply, “One of the reasons they want you is precisely that you are the woman that you were.” There’s no denying that at the age of 43, after twenty-seven years in the business, Campbell is (and always has been) exactly what she represents herself to be—no apologies, no facades. Her reality-TV project, The Face, returns to Oxygen tonight (the reason for the radio time), and in the midst of all the press and ongoing paparazzi chaos, she continues to serve as an advocate through her work with Diversity Coalition, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and others. Of course, Campbell still hits select runways and pages—experiences she draws upon as she coaches the young models of The Face. Of her most recent FW14 appearance at Philipp Plein’s flame-engulfed, cowboy-themed show, Campbell told Style.com, “I saw backstage how the safety people were there, so I understood they had it all worked out—but to feel that heat…I’ve done a few [risky things for fashion], like being on a crane. [But this time], I was more worried about the audience: Are they going to get up and run?”

The conversation with Von Furstenberg touched on everything from Campbell’s early ambitions (“I wanted to be a dancer and travel the world. I wanted it to be spontaneous—I was 6.”) to the state of diversity in the industry (“Are we making progress? We’re definitely making progress on the ad campaigns. On the shows, especially in England, it could be a lot better. We do not want it to be a trend. We want it to be consistent.”). She discussed what’s left to be done: more advocacy, Saturday Night Live, and a child (“With or without a man! I’m gonna damn well try,” exclaimed Campbell.). And she related what keeps her going: “I do pray. And I am nervous, because I don’t ever want to feel like, I am the best. I can do it with my eyes closed,” she said. “I think my nervousness and my fear are what keep pushing me to strive to be better as a person in what I do—that’s why I still enjoy what I do.”

After the show, Campbell revealed a few Fall ’14 thoughts to Style.com. “I loved the new Alaïa presentation. Miu Miu was great,” she said. “And I loved Dolce & Gabbana—the fantasy of Little Red Riding Hood. I loved it! I think everybody’s going back to doing their fantasies. I love fantasies. It’s nice to dream.”

Photo: Courtesy of Sirius XM 

Kim Of The Jungle

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Before Kim Jones was a fashion designer, he had an eye on zoology. “I was going to be a zoologist, and then I thought, It’s too much work. I opened The Face magazine and thought, Who are these cool people?”

So began a career in fashion that wended its way through a namesake label, Umbro, and Dunhill before landing Jones as menswear style and studio director at Louis Vuitton. Which may be the perfect place for an armchair zoologist. Travel is in Vuitton’s bones—the maison began as a trunk-maker in the nineteenth century—and remains central to the brand’s image of itself. To celebrate the spirit of luxury travel, last night the house brought Jones together with one of his musical idols, the disco producer Giorgio Moroder, the producer and photographer Daniela Federici, and Condé Nast Traveler‘s Mark Connolly for a conversation about travel and luxury at its Soho store.

Luxury may have taken a shred too much of the spotlight—”If there is not a five-star hotel, I just don’t go,” Moroder admitted, and first-class airfare and top-quality accommodations were mentioned often—but Jones’ passion for the globe’s farthest reaches was the real point of interest. He lived, as it turns out, in Africa from age 3 to 14, going back for summers and continuing to travel there twice a year. But that’s only a sliver of his globe-trotting. After the panel wrapped up, Jones confessed he was jet-lagged from a just-finished trip to New Zealand to see rare parrots. The animal kingdom and travel go hand in hand for him: His Fall men’s collection was inspired in part by the snow leopards he saw in Bhutan, and he said his bucket-list trip would be India in December to see the tigers—tricky, since menswear shows in January.

As for Moroder, who scored Jones’ Fall ’12 show, he is less interested in exotica than the human animal. He shared a gem about his time working with the force of nature that was Donna Summer. Their first hit together was “Love to Love You, Baby.” “I played the song to some publishers, and they were happy, but they thought she should moan,” he recalled. They went back to the studio; “I said, ‘Let’s hear it,’ but she couldn’t open her mouth.” He dismissed everyone but Summer, and lo and behold, a moan was born. She moaned for about ten minutes straight, as he remembered it. To say they got it would be an understatement: extended cuts of the single now run to sixteen-plus minutes long.

Plus: Jones recently shared his other obsession—the over-the-top club regalia designed by Leigh Bowery and London’s eighties designers—with Style.com/Print. Here, his collection of Bowery, Rachel Auburn, Andre Walker, and more, styled by Jones himself.

Photo:Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

R.I.P., Corinne Day

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The English fashion photographer Corinne Day passed away this weekend, following a long fight with brain cancer. Day’s stripped-down, de-glossed aesthetic was a breath of fresh air when she rose to prominence in the early nineties, coming on the heels of the ultra-stylized shoots of the 1980′s. Today, she’s most famous for one such pared-down editorial that ran in Britain’s The Face in July of 1990—one that launched the career of her friend, a then-unknown 16-year-old named Kate Moss. (She later shot Moss for her first Vogue cover, in 1993, and for the National Portrait Gallery, as well.) Day was 45.

Photo: Corinne Day/The Face

Behind-The-Scenesters: Lee Swillingham

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Designers design. Photographers photograph. Models model. That much—in broad strokes, at least—is clear. But what about the artists, technicians, and industry insiders, often unpublicized and underappreciated, who help to get clothes and accessories made and shown? Call them Behind-the-Scenesters: people who shape our experience of fashion but never take a bow on the catwalk or strike a pose for the camera. Without them—from pattern-makers to production designers—the show wouldn’t go on. And in a new series, Style.com sits down with a few of these pros to find out, basically, what they do.

If God is in the details, as the saying goes, then art directors are the gods of fashion. The job is hard to summarize—LOVE magazine creative director Lee Swillingham (pictured), for example, has a hand in everything from conceptualizing multi-page fashion spreads to setting the type in the credits. For him, as for his hero Alexey Brodovitch, the legendary former art director of Harper’s Bazaar, success comes of making a series of micro decisions add up to one iconic image. Even before LOVE came along, Swillingham and partner-in-design Stuart Spalding had already entered the art director pantheon—they were the founding creative directors of POP, and their firm Suburbia has created campaigns for the likes of Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Alexander McQueen. Here, Swillingham talks to Style.com about the gestalt of logos and layouts.

So, Lee: In one sentence, what do you do?
Really, what I do is I make things look beautiful. That’s my mission, as I see it. The way that relates to reality is, I’m a graphic designer, a typographer, and an art director of photography.

Elaborate, please—what does it mean to be an art director of photography?
It depends on what you’re doing and who you’re working with. Here’s a good example: Prior to POP, I was the art director at The Face. And we did this issue with four different covers, each one with another nineties supermodel; I literally planned out, on the computer, the different shapes of each cover, because we needed them to look coordinated, and yet totally distinct. Or, another good example from The Face is the portrait of Kurt Cobain; it’s very famous. Nirvana had gotten a lot of press in the U.K. at that point, primarily music magazines like NME, and we were trying to figure out how to make a picture of Kurt feel new. We asked David Sims to shoot it—he was a massive Nirvana fan—and it was around the time that Kurt was wearing dresses. We were tossing around ideas, and the whole dress thing gave David the idea of dress up. And that’s how we wound up with Kurt Cobain on a white background, in a Tigger costume. There’s not one element in the photo I could point to and say, that’s mine, right there, but I was involved in every decision and the development of every idea that went into the image.

How did you get into art directing?
Well, I always knew I wanted to do it, from when I was a kid. Then, when I was still in school at [Central] Saint Martins, I began assisting at Arena magazine. Back then, they only did six issues a year, so I could work on a whole issue at a time and only miss a few classes now and then. There was one issue I was working on, when the art director and the editor had a huge fight, and the art director walked out, and I wound up designing that issue of Arena all by myself, essentially. When I graduated, I took a job at The Face. In a similar way, life just sorted itself out in such a way that, within a year, I was made the art director of the magazine. Which is insane, a year out of school. Continue Reading “Behind-The-Scenesters: Lee Swillingham” »

that’s just grand

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Katie Grand, the ultimate stylist’s stylist (the Evening Standard once said of her, “what Katie does—and Katie says—is as influential as it gets”) is leaving her post as editor in chief of Pop to start a new venture with Condé Nast U.K. Slated to launch next March, it will be Grand’s third start-up title, after Dazed & Confused and Another Magazine. Prior to working on those books, she was the fashion director at The Face. She’s also consulted for Prada, Miu Miu, and Louis Vuitton. Though few details have emerged as of yet, we can report that the as-yet-unnamed mag will be biannual, oversize, and—naturally—”edgy and experimental.”