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45 posts tagged "YSL"

Behind BeyoncĂ©’s “Yonce”: Supermodels, Sex, and Supreme

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Beyonce
Beyonce, Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, and Chanel Iman

From the time she launched her new, self-titled album at 12:01 a.m.—without any warning, press, leaks, or buildup buzz—today has been the Day of Beyoncé. The new Beyoncé features fourteen tracks and a full seventeen videos. One in particular has caught the attention of the Bey Hive: “‘Yonce,” which stars not only Bey, but also three of the fashion world’s top models—Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, and Chanel Iman—in an homage of sorts to George Michael’s famous supermodel-filled “Freedom ’90″ video. Director, video artist, and co-head of creative at Supreme, Ricky Saiz, shot the video over two days in Brooklyn. “When I started to propose ideas and put together a visual narrative, Beyoncé responded really well,” he said. “She was open to me pushing a bit, and to trying new things, and I didn’t want it to be overproduced. I didn’t want a performance video, which is like jazz hands. This was more like an upskirt.”

“Upskirt” does set the racy tone. Saiz was inspired by Daido Moriyama’s erotic photographs as well as the iconic George Michael Video—and styled by Karen Langley, the cast dons an array of revealing outfits, including a black Anthony Vaccarello dress (for Dunn) and a bondage-inspired molded bodysuit from Tom Ford’s tenure at YSL (for Beyoncé).

Here, Saiz talks to Style.com about the singer’s most smoldering video to date, what it was like working with the one of the world’s biggest stars and a trio of supermodels, and that time on set when Smalls decided to lick Beyoncé’s breast.

How did you come to work with Beyoncé on this in the first place?
It was very all of a sudden, actually. I have a working relationship with Todd Tourso, her creative director. We worked together on the 2011 Lady Gaga for Supreme campaign that we put together. He called me out of the blue and said they wanted me to do a video for them. Four days later, we did it. It was very fast, all of a sudden, and fun. I think Beyoncé is an incredible artist—she has ability, reach, and doesn’t compromise. She’s always kind of done her own thing. But the project that they approached me with was very much in my lane, and my aesthetic. If they had me do a big, drawn-out, cinematic production kind of video, I probably wouldn’t have done as good of a job.

What was the brief that Beyoncé and her team gave you? What were they asking for?
They came with a pretty broad concept. They had the models in line, and wanted something pretty simple. The brief was in the direction of George Michael’s “Freedom” video. And I kind of took it from there. I felt like doing something really simple, handheld, lo-fi. It felt like an interesting way of doing it. It could come off so bland if filmed the other way. And again, I wanted to explore her transgressive imagery. Things that were sexual and erotic, but not cliché. I didn’t want to see Beyoncé with her tongue out, you know?

How is this display of sexuality different from what Miley Cyrus does in “Wrecking Ball”?
Beyoncé is so sexy without having to do anything. I felt like she didn’t need to be wet, or need to twerk. It was more about a mature sense of eroticism, like what Madonna expressed in “Human Nature” in the nineties. A lot of the inspiration came from still photography. Like Daido Moriyama’s really tight close-ups of fishnets—things that felt abstract but still resonate.

What was Beyoncé’s reaction to your creative process? Was she very hands-on?
She’s incredible. She was very hands-on, and everything was a collaborative effort. I think once she saw my aesthetic and references in the styling and art direction, she had full trust in my ideas for the video. I’ve never worked with anyone that gave so much, and was so willing to try new things. For example, the styling; Karen Langley brought this Tom Ford [for YSL] molded-breast bodysuit with the pierced nipple, fishnets, and things like that. It was exactly the references that I was looking for, but in my head I was like, Yeah, right. We’re never getting Bey to put that on. And Beyoncé’s so incredible, she was like, “Let’s do it.” I don’t think anyone’s seen her like that. She was into it.

Do you have a sense of why Beyoncé tapped Jourdan, Joan, and Chanel for this project?
They came to me with these three women in mind. It just felt very of-the-moment, very iconic. You know, they’re all supermodels, they stand on their own, they’re such powerful women. And when brought together, it created a whole dynamic. We definitely weren’t trying to put together a “girl group.” But the chemistry on set was amazing. People just came in really excited about the project, and I tried to keep things loose and fun. I wanted you to see something you maybe weren’t supposed to see.

The “Freedom” video worked because the girls were supermodelséthe first generation of so-called supers, in fact. Do you see these women as the new generation?
Absolutely. I think that in addition to being extremely beautiful, they have their own characters, and their own personalities that they brought to the table. They were anything but casted models.

Did you have any favorite moments on set?
When Joan Smalls licked Beyoncé’s boob. I’m probably not going to forget that anytime soon. To be honest, I didn’t even see it happen. I was in between monitors. I saw it in playback. My director of photography came up to me and was like, “Oh, my God, did you see that?” It was totally spontaneous. [Smalls] just went in. It was fun. We had a good time.

Tilda Swinton: Fashion’s Muse for Eternity

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Tilda Swinton

Olivier Saillard—author, poet, star fashion curator—tends to prefer a contemplative moment over a grand event. He is also fond of saying that, had he ever studied fashion design, he would have done “just one dress” and then retired his tape measure.

Last night in Paris, he offered both. Eternity Dress, a fifty-one-minute performance starring Tilda Swinton, sponsored by Chloé, and staged at the École des Beaux-Arts this week as part of the city’s fall festival, has been sold out for months. In it, Saillard and Swinton explore the art of dressmaking, starting with lines and measurements (waist: 28 inches, and so forth) working up through flat patterns and the beginnings of a dress, which Swinton took a moment to sew on herself. As the dress took form, Swinton recited a litany of collar styles in French and released a world of emotion in the turn of a sleeve, finally draping herself in rich-hued chiffon and velvet unfurled from bolts lined up on the floor.

Ultimately, The Dress—a black sheath with long sleeves and an open back—was a stand-in for a century of fashion history, from Paul Poiret to Comme des Garçons. One of the show’s high points, as well as its biggest laugh, showed Swinton striking a series of emblematic poses for houses from Poiret to Yohji Yamamoto, by way of Chanel, Dior, Mugler, YSL, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Among a roomful of designers including Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Bouchra Jarrar, Martine Sitbon, and Clare Waight Keller, Haider Ackermann was first on his feet for the ovation. “It’s absolutely a piece of my life,” said Waight Keller. “They’ve taken everyday materials like tape and chalk and elevated them to an art form about designing a dress from scratch. It’s about craft, measuring, and a considered approach. It’s poetry.”

Tilda Swinton

“One of the things about Tilda is that she can do anything,” noted Saillard after the performance. “She’s not a ‘fashion girl,’ so she can be a sculpture, an actress, a woman, a man, she can be 18 or 75 years old. It was like we were in a bubble, and the experience gave us lots of new ideas. Fashion has to be surprising.”

At the small cocktail party held afterward at Lapérouse, Swinton added, “Olivier is a playmate. We work and play together and come up with crackers ideas for some other time—it’s wonderful to be able to play off of someone like that.” Asked whether she realizes that she would be any designer’s dream to work with, Swinton let loose a small bombshell: “Maybe it’s because I know nothing about fashion!”

Photos: Vincent Lappartient

Joie de Vivre, in 216 Pages

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“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only,” Coco Chanel once said. “Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” This is the concept Bérénice Vila Baudry is going for with her new book, French Style. Out this April, the 216 page tome examines its subject from all angles. “I love fashion,” Baudry, a professor at Columbia University, told Style.com. “But fashion is the obvious thing to talk about when you think of French style. I didn’t want the book to be just about that.”

French Style is a full-blown menagerie filled with a combination of 165 obscure, albeit entertaining, tidbits (did you know French inventor Roland Moreno patented the Smart Card—that is, the chip at the end of your credit card—in 1974?), culinary delights, cultural milestones, cinematic legends, scientists, historical characters, artists, fashion innovators (obviously; she couldn’t just leave them out altogether), and beyond. “The whole book is a big disorder,” laughed Baudry, noting that each event, person, or fact is listed randomly. “But I think every entry is linked.” Case in point? Romantic poet Victor Hugo has his page right before the French kiss. More ironic couplings include Versailles and flea markets, the Tour de France and cheese, and the magazine Paris Match and philosopher Voltaire. “We French people are a bit of a paradox,” explains Baudry. “We are always between tradition and modernity, the past and the present. There’s always a contrast,” she said. Continue Reading “Joie de Vivre, in 216 Pages” »

On Our Radar: Barneys’ Vintage Boutique

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‘Tis the season for post-holiday discounts. But while you’re shopping the sales in Midtown, or returning that sweater from Aunt Sally that didn’t quite tickle your fancy, we suggest taking a peek at Barneys’ new vintage boutique. Launched in November, the well-kept secret stocks hard-to-find items like vintage Birkin, Kelly, and Chanel bags and eighties and ninties gold jewelry from YSL (a giant Egyptian-style gold necklace was our pick), Chanel (like kitschy gold bag-shaped earrings, belts, and bracelets) and Givenchy (a pair of gold disk clip-ons was particularly appealing). Tucked away in a quiet corner on the Madison Avenue flagship’s main floor, Barneys’ treasure-trove of vintage wares is basically a nineties Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele shoot come to life (left). And there’s a healthy price range, too, starting around $250 for earrings and skyrocketing above $20k for a gently (or in some cases, never) used Hermès bag.

Barneys’ Vintage Boutique is located in their New York flagship at 660 Madison Avenue, NYC. (212) 826-8900

Photo: Courtesy of The Fashion Spot

Stefano Pilati Lands At Zegna

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Stefano Pilati’s is indeed headed to one of Milan’s fashion giants—just not the one that had been rumored. Ermenegildo Zegna announced this morning that the former YSL designer, who exited the house after his Fall ’12 collections, has been appointed head of design at menswear stalwart Ermenegildo Zegna (where he’ll also work on the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection). He’ll also be charged with growing Zegna’s womenswear label, Agnona, where he will serve as creative director as well. The appointments are effective as of the first of the new year.