4 posts tagged "The Face"
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.
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.
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” »