We're proud to announce our Issue N°4 cover star Helena Christensen as photographed by multi Cannes Lion award winner, Ale Burset, who happens to also be our Photo Director!
This gorgeously epic edition also features Liv Freundlich, daughter of Julianne Moore as photographed by Helena Christensen, Sophie Elgort, Zac Posen, Maye Musk, Danny Christensen, Andrew Geller, Joseph LaPiana, Carolina Palmgren, Thomas Northcut, Sascha Phlaeging, Christopher Ardell, Alexander Thompson, Alexey Glebko, Ian Cole and more!...
PHOTOGRAPHER- SERGIO KURHAJEC
FASHION EDITOR- WENDY MCNETT www.wendymcnett.com @wendymcnett
MAKEUP -BERNADINE BIBIANO USING MAC COSMETICS
HAIR- BERNADINO BIBIANO USING ORIBE
MODEL- ERIN SHEA- IMG @erinshea_
Look 1 - Jumpsuit- Kurt Lyle- www.kurtlyle.com
White boots- Marc Fisher- wan skirt with suspenders -Mr. Larkin- www.mrlarkin.net
Blue blouse -Mr. Larkin- www.mrlarkin.net
Yellow clutch bag -Senreve- www.senreve.com
Look 2 - ww.marcfisherfootwear.com
Sunglasses -Gucci- www.gucci.com
Look 3 - Trench coat -Astier- www.astierland.com
Blue skirt with suspenders -Mr. Larkin- www.mrlarkin.net
White boots- Marc Fisher- www.marcfisherfootwear.com
White blouse -Georgine- www.georgine.com
Look 4 - Plaid blouse -Victoria Hayes- www.victoriahayesnyc.com
Plaid skirt -Victoria Hayes- www.victoriahayesnyc.com
White boots -Marc Fisher- www.marcfisherfootwear.com
Plaid clutch bag -Victoria Hayes- www.victoriahayesnyc.com
Look 5 - Green pumps -Marc Fisher- www.marcfisherfootwear.com
White collared blouse - Queenie Cao- www.queeniecao.com
Look 6 - Brown skirt -Calvin Luo- www.calvinluo.us
Brown vest -Calvin Luo- www.calvinluo.us
Brown and orange sweater -Tibi- www.tibi.com
Blue small bag -VereVerto- www.vereverto.com
Blue checked dress -Mr. Larkin- www.mrlarkin.net
Look 7 - Grey and yellow sequined coat- Georgine- www.georgine.com
Pants- Georgine- www.georgine.com
Look 8 - Rose gold maxi dress -Astier- www.astierland.com
Blue link earrings- Lariucci - www.lariucci.com
Shearling coat -Mr. Larkin - www.mrlarkin.net
White boots -Marc Fisher - www.marcfisherfootwear.com
Look 9 - Rose gold maxi dress -Astier- www.astierland.com
Blue link earrings- Lariucci - www.lariucci.com
Shearling coat -Mr. Larkin - www.mrlarkin.net
White boots -Marc Fisher - www.marcfisherfootwear.com
Photographer Helen McArdle at Kayte Ellis
Stylist Sophie Kenningham at Frank Agency
Hair by Alex Price at Frank Agency
Make up by Jessica Hunte using Laura Mercier
Models Maddy at Premier and Marthe Woertman at The Hive
Look 1 Dress by Keepsake, Look 2 dungarees by ASOS, Look 3 rose by VV Rouleaux, Look 4 White lace body by Glamorous sunglasses by Linda Farrow, Look 5 Top by Forever New www.forevernew.com.au, Look 6 top by Iris and Ink
Photography by Anna Tea Instagram @dancetea #annatea
Styling by Danai Nyandoroh Instagram @danainyandoroh
Lea Besson Instagram @lea.rose10, Cat Yen Instagram @4.44percent Ramses Ticas Instagram @titoticas, Guillaume Marguet Instagram @guillaumemargt, Magali Greif Instagram @mucksolvano, Alyna Love Instagram @alyhalovemustdi
Tzuji Tracksuit, Hunkemoller Sports Top, Benu Berlin Jacket, Front Zip Corsage and Trousers, Tzuji Reversible Tiger Print Hooded Jacket, WE ARE STILL BB Sweatshirt, Liebeskind Jacket, WE ARE STILL BB Sweatshirt, Liebeskind Jacket, Tzuji Patterned Tracksuit, Oil By Olive Velour Sweatpants, We Are Still BB LegSweatshirt, Vintage Jacket
Photography: Craig Fordham
Stylist: Sophie Kenningham
Model: Laura @ ELITE
Make up: Julie Read
Hair: Fabio Nogueira
yellow brocade dress
Dress by Leslie De Freitas
Glasses by Linda Farrow
Earrings by Susan Caplan
Shoes by Paul and Joe
CLOTHES CREDITS :
White suit by Boo Pala, cream top by Mango, Gold necklace by Susan Caplan, Glasses by Linda Farrow, Shoes by Ash
Jumpsuit by Poustovit, Bag by Tara Jarman, Hat by Lock and Co Hatters, Scarf by Rixo,Earrings by Susan Caplan
Green blouse and trousers, Blouse by WtR, Trousers by Tara Jarmon Shoes by Paul and Joe, Glasses by Linda Farrow, Earrings by Susan Caplan
Red suit by Brogger, Red shirt by This is Veda, Gold necklace by Susan Caplan, Shoes by Ash
Blue sequined dress by Mimi Tran Bridal Raincoat by Zara Sunglasses by Cutler and Gross
Silk blouse by Scotch and Soda, Metallic trousers by Mascob, Earrings by Susan Caplan,
pink metallic suit by Leslie De Freitas, T-shirt by Etre Cecile, necklace by Susan Caplan, Boots by Camilla Elphick,bag by Tara Jarmon
Fashion Director: Jules Wood
Model: Amanda Smith @photogenics
Makeup: Stephanie G-M using Rituel De Fille
Hair: Steve David @statemanagement
Clothing Credit KAIMIN
Photography, Jena Cumbo www.jenacumbo.com
Styling, Renee Huffman
Hair, Anike Rabiu
Makeup, Jessica Plummer
Model, Dayton Pangborn with RED Model Management, booker Jason Sobe
Backdrop, Schmidli Backdrops
Grab the nearest fire extinguisher cos Jen Awad is about to set your wig alight.
This half Egyptian, half Peruvian powerhouse delivers the kneecap melting soul and sass of Sharon Jones combined with an in-your-face swagger reminiscent of Tina Turner. Self-taught on vocals, piano, guitar and bass, Jen also pens the lyrics to all of her material.
Jen's ability to deliver cherubic, velvety vocals that effortlessly transition into the radical rumble of a runaway 18 wheeler doing 90 mph on an open highway is a feat in itself to witness live. Backed by an eight member band with a horn section, Jen Awad packs a combination punch that will leave your core ringing in the most delectable manner imaginable.
Recently Jen Awad has been selected to play the Broke L.A. Festival, being 1 of 50 acts chosen out of 700 contenders. She has consistently filled her local L.A. venues to maximum capacity and is steadily gaining ground as a widely respected act in the L.A. music scene.
When Jen is not writing and performing her music, she is designing for her self-titled label Jen Awad, as well as the urban men's line also out of Los Angeles called "900". It is not a rare sight to behold her 8 piece band donning metallic bomber jackets Jen designed from the "900" label. A few other clients who wear Jen Awad's fashions are: Kali Uchis, Bebe Rexha, Keyshia Cole, Madame Ghandi, Ivy LevIn, Daya, India Love, Christina Milian, Ashanti, Chanel West Coast, and Crystal Westbrooks.
Keep your eyes peeled for Jen Awad's latest rendition of "Shackle Up" and "Night" as well as her latest release "Love is Dead", all of which are pure fire peppered with an extra dose of gasoline. Jen Awad is swiftly on her way to going global as a multi-talented and iconic Los Angeles artist
Please check her out she is amazing !!!!
Anette Miwa Dimmen has often wondered why the best quality fabrics and materials are rarely used in the most popular retail products for women. She realised that the link between innovation, design and branding that connects a smart product with modern women in a real way is often missing. Women like herself need more than functionality and a good price to get excited about a product or a brand. They want products that are designed to fit in with their current lifestyle - in addition to practicality, and will actively choose brands with values corresponding with their own.
Having spent seven years overseeing design, branding processes, product development and manufacturing of products in several categories for an international agency in Norway, Anette noted that many of the traditional products that we use every day could desperately need an upgrade to better suit and connect with the lifestyle of moderne, style conscious women.
The idea for the AW:AN lounge & sleepwear collection came after Anette was introduced to the amazing qualities of technical fibers while developing a line of active wear for a client. She started to imagine how perfect these textiles would be for the nightdresses she dreamed of wearing, but couldn't find anywhere.
When Anette got pregnant her desire for super comfortable sleep and loungewear that would also meet her style requirements became even stronger.
As women we go through so many different stages in our lives when being comfortable is a number one priority, but why should comfortable mean boring or unflattering? We still want to look our best, especially if it does´t take much effort to do so!
“This is when I decided that I wanted to make lounge and sleepwear, starting with beautiful nightdresses, for myself and every other modern woman out there wanting a better option than what is available in this category today.”
Photographer - Lars Botten
Stylist - Holly Suan Gray
Model - Eliza Franks
Hair & make up - Jessica Cheetham
Makeup - Jessi Butterfield
Producer - Mira Bajagic
Feminist has become a dirty word. So often people feel uncomfortable openly identifying as a feminist because of the misguided notion that the term means that women should have power over men or that it is a euphemism for “man-hater.” Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights If you believe in that, congratulations you’re a feminist! Both men and women can be feminists. Now more than ever it is important for closeted feminists to come out into the open. Because women, you do not have equal rights as men. Or to be more accurate, you do not have a legal basis for equal rights under the Constitution. And it’s not your fault for believing you do, as most of the United States population is living in inconceivable ignorance of this fact, falsely assuming that equality between the sexes is defined in the Constitution.
When our founding fathers wrote the Constitution more than 200 years ago, women didn’t have an independent personal identity separate from their husbands, or if they were single their fathers. They never assumed women – even the few privileged ones that were literate - would read it. Women hadn’t yet gained the right to vote or hold property outside of marriage; it protected only the rich white man. To achieve equality for all citizens, The Equal Rights Amendment needs to become a part of our Constitution. Originally written by Alice Paul in 1923 shortly after women won the right to vote it took almost four decades for it to pass both the House and the Senate in 1972 however, it received only 35 of necessary 38 state ratifications by the 1982 deadline.
Since then a few staunch supporters have attempted to make headway in getting the bill reintroduced to Congress, most notably being Patricia Arquette, who took the opportunity to address this issue when picking up numerous accolades for her performance in the film Boyhood, yet it failed to gain much traction. “People are unaware of it. It doesn’t affect them in their daily lives especially if you’re in the upper classes.” stresses Elizabeth Jagger, model and daughter of Mick. “It makes people feel very uncomfortable owning up to the fact that their country doesn’t have equality between men and women. Until people own up to that, their much happier being denial.”
Grabbing headlines in January for spraying ERA Now on the Capitol Building, female performing artist Natalie White is intent on promoting an issue that has received little mainstream media attention. “You have to do something that gets attention for your cause or nobody would be talking it. You know, 96% of Americans don’t know about this. The best way to do it, is read it in the newspaper. These days you have to do something really outstanding and radical to get noticed by the newspapers. Unfortunately, that’s the only way people are going to get this message.” White incorporated the theme of equality for women into her show, Natalie White for Equal Rights. As anyone who caught her 2013 exhibit Who Shot Natalie White knows, White is far from shy about disrobing, especially for a cause she has made her life’s mission and will not be body-shamed out of it from her detractors. “If me getting naked gets people to talk about the Equal Rights Amendment, so be it. Because before that nobody I knew, knew about the Equal Rights Amendment. If I can use my body and what it means against the people that are telling me I shouldn’t be able to use it for the cause of women’s rights, then I’m going to do it. It’s about using the enemies’ voice against them.”
Thousands marched in solidarity at Women’s March in Washington DC, including Jagger and White. However, Jagger was disappointed in the narrative the media took of the event. “The majority of the press from the women’s march wasn’t focusing on the importance of women’s rights, it was focusing on how much everyone really didn’t like Trump. Donning a beige custom created catsuit for the occasion with the phrases, “Equal Rights Amendment” and “Ratify” emblazoned in red paint, there’s no mistaking Jagger’s intention for attending the event. “We want our first view to be positivity not negativity and we’re inviting everyone to be in on this. Its equality, we’re not anti-anything. It would be nice if the general media supported us, but currently they have not been printing the full story. They haven’t been looking at what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Although The Equal Pay Act of 1963 abolished wage inequality between the sexes, many women - especially minorities have a hard time receiving equal pay without the Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution. White is justifiably invigorated by this, “If a white man found out they were getting paid 54 cents to the dollar of someone else, they just wouldn’t go to work. Women are sacrificing for their families, themselves and the companies they work for by taking so much less pay. Its time women to stand up for themselves and say that I’m not going to take anything less.” What’s more alarming is that the United States ranked 45 on the 2016 World Economics Forums’ Global Gender Gap Report, below many European countries that have equal rights. Jagger points to the fact that many European countries take a much more progressive stance. “In large European countries, they have wonderful maternity and paternity paid leave for work, as far as I know. So, men and women there are enjoying a lot more equality than men and women in America.”
Both Jagger and White are cautiously optimistic that they can get the amendment ratified within the next few years – even under the Trump administration. White points to the fact that ERA was once on the Republican’s party platform. “It was supported by Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Since then the Republican Party has ran away from the ERA.” Stresses Jagger, “I would like to think that it’s a bipartisan issue and that it wouldn’t matter but we’ll have to see if that’s even a conversation for them. Because laying the groundwork of equality, would mean they’d have to accept that women are equal.”
Getting the amendment passed is a start to ending inequality and misogynistic attitudes, that White reminds is prevalent in the art industry. “Female artists make up only 3% of all the artists represented in major museums all over the world and 51% of all art students are women. So why aren’t 51% of all our artists represented in galleries women? It’s because of the misogynistic society that’s been set up. A bunch of white men go buy the artwork. A bunch of white men are the artists. And that needs to stop.” When you look at the film industry, the numbers don’t improve. Women make up only 5% of all directors. Kathryn Bigelow is still the only woman to win a Best Director Oscar in the 80-year history of the Academy Awards. Last month’s Cannes Film Festival came and went with Jane Campion still being the only woman in festival’s 70-year history to win its highest honor, the Palme d’Or. While it should be applauded that independent filmmaker, Patty Jenkins was given the reigns to direct Wonder Woman and that it became a critical and box office success, it still took 76 years since the character first appeared in the DC comics for a standalone film to be made featuring the character.
By keeping the conversation constantly ongoing, even in the face of negative pushback, so it does not fade into the rearview mirror for another thirty-five years and galvanizing others to speak up is the only way pressure Congress to take the necessary steps to pass the amendment. With Nevada’s ratification of the ERA this March - despite being past the expired deadline - Jagger is confident the act will eventually pass into law. “I think that its reasonable for us to pass this hopefully within the next couple of years. I would hope that if we were to speed up our revolution we could just pass it and not stay in the past. Although a lot of our politicians want to stay in the past these days, I don’t think that’s going to happen.” Despite her recent brush with the law, White has not been dissuaded from taking further risky actions in an effort to mobilize more people to join the cause. “I’m having a really great time doing civil disobedience and I’m definitely not done yet.” In today’s political climate it’s important to carry on the work done by feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Crystal Lee Sutton, and all the other women who protested at rallies burned their bras in the street and blew up mailboxes for causes they believed in, but never received acknowledgement for their contributions. Equality is universal issue that transcends social, political and economic barriers. Help make the term “feminist” archaic centuries from now. Let there not be a need for someone to identify as a feminist. If you believe in equality for all citizens, you are human and if not, you are an asshole.
Photographer: Cathrine Wessel
Stylist: Renee Huffman
Model: Nicole Pollard @ The Lions NY
Hair: Linh Nguyen
Makeup: Lindsey Williams
Digital Tech: Anastasia Page
Assistant: Eric Bouthiller
Photographer: Gina Manning
Fashion Editor: Renee Huffman
Model: Sarah Wilson @ The Industry Model Management
Hair: Jillian Lynch
Makeup: Debra Macki
Gaffer: Mike Pesci
DIT: Katie Minton
PA: Haley McHatton
Photographer - Sophie Elgort
Stylist - Sofia Karvela
Model - Sophie Jurewicz
Hair - Anthony Joseph Hernandez
Makeup - Jessi Butterfield
Stylist Assistant - Paulina Castro Ogando
Clothe Credits - : Maison Ullens, Jatual Paris, Daniel Gregory, IR, Creatures of comfort, Zana Bayne
Written by Renee Huffman, Photos by Hugo Arturi
1. At what point in your life did you first identify as a feminist and when did you become aware that a culture existed that devalued and debased women?
I didn’t really learn about feminism until I went to college. My mother was always a feminist but I don’t remember the word being used all that much. I associated it with burning bras and the seventies. At Vassar, I learned about feminism and it explained so much about the self-consciousness I felt about my body. That in fact, when I was objectified and hooted at just walking down the street, I wasn’t crazy for feeling creeped out. There was nothing wrong with me. We live in a patriarchy, which for too long was the status quo. But now women are waking up, speaking up and insisting on equality and respect which starts with intersectionality.
2. How was your column, The J-Spot ,born?
I was an actress living in Hollywood and the sexist culture was shocking. I went from taking feminist classes at Vassar to wearing push up bra to auditions. It was like some hyped up sexual wild wild west. I was propositioned for sex multiple times. And then even when I landed roles, they were all about objectification. I was once cast ( for what I thought was my quirky humor) but was told on set “just act like a ditzy blonde.” It was very depressing so I wrote short stories about it. I wrote about men who abused their power and even how, at times, I played into the stereotypes prescribed to me. A writer friend of mine read one of my stories and gave me a column in New York Natives called Starf*cked. Six months later, the former editor in chief of the Observer responded to my writing, asked me to pitch him my ideas and then offered me the sex column at the Observer. It was formerly Candace Bushnell’s column Sex and the City so I had big shoes to fill. But I couldn’t look at it that way or I would have freaked out ,so I made it my own and called it The J-Spot, for you know, Jasmine.
3. You wrote anonymously about your past experience with Harvey, four years ago in your column the J-Spot. You recently named as your assaulter. Four years ago, what happened that made you feel ready to open up about what you experienced and did seeing all of these other highly esteemed women come forward with their owns about Harvey, make you feel comfortable to name him?
Four years ago, I wrote about Harvey but didn’t name him. He had so much power back then and would have come after me and I didn’t have the resources to fight back. But I knew I had to tell my story and I also believed there were so many men like him. I saw him as an archetype, a powerful man dangling his golden carrot. But it was an illusion. Even top actresses who worked with him were harassed. When I first published his story, so many people reached out and said, “That's Harvey Weinstein.” His behavior was common knowledge. It’s sad, it took so long to condemn his rampant behavior. When brave actresses started naming him in October, I found the courage to name him.
4. Universal just optioned The J-Spot for series. What excites you the most about this new venture and what role will you play with the series going forward? I’m excited to see my struggles, relationships, hopes and dreams come to life on the screen. If the show gets picked up, I’ll be co-executive producer, a consultant and maybe more!
5. At this year’s Golden Globes women wore black in solidarity to support Time’s Up and Me Too, except for three who received much criticism on social media. Do you think men are harder on women or women are harder on other women when it comes to criticism and passing moral judgements?
I think we should all judge less and love more. Women can certainly be as judgmental as men, but I think women are realizing when we come together, nothing can stop us. We’re a force.
6. Is it surprising to you the backlash the Me Too and Time’s Up movements have received, specifically in France, which is a very liberal country, where more than 100 actresses and writers (most notably Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve) signed a letter published in the French newspaper Le Monde, claiming sexual freedom is under attack due to the ongoing sexual harassment allegations and is resulting in a witch hunt against men? [Link].
I think that it’s interesting many of these women (Bardot and Deneuve) were great beauties and known for their sex appeal. It’s as though they’re worried the “me too” movement will make their careers and experiences invalid or wrong. But that’s a real shame because many women have had moments where they’ve relied on their sex appeal, but that doesn’t negate the fact that women want more than that—Women want respect.
7. Do you think the movements in the long term will have a positive effect on Hollywood or will it make male producers/screenwriters/directors, in an effort to avoid looking at their own behavior, write less leading roles for women and hire fewer women. Their logic being, “Oh she’s a woman and they may talk.”
I think the movement will have a positive effect. There may be moments of backlash but overall, I believe we are moving forwards by leaps and bounds.
8. Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment history goes back more than 30 years, with more than 80 women coming forward. Why do you think it’s taken so long for women to feel comfort to speak out? Does having President in office, who has been accused of sexual harassment and with all the role backs on women’s health care finally made women say enough?
Absolutely. I think so many people have felt helpless about Trump’s sexist antics, that they are reeling for change and action. Women were calling out Weinstein years ago but their voices fell on silent ears. Yet, every voice built up so that when the time was right, it was like an avalanche.
9. Being a writer yourself, do you have a speech prepared if you ever run into President Trump?
Since he only seems to listen to accolades and everything else is fake news, I can’t imagine he would want to hear what I have to say. He’s an example of a man who functions from a place of ego, the quintessential patriarch. In my mind, he stands for nearly everything that is wrong with the world. And yet, I would thank him. Because of his polarizing, hate-mongering, he’s stirred the pot, and as a culture, we are now facing head on-a cancer that was once mostly dormant but certainly present. People are rising up now, speaking their truths and while I wish it didn’t come about this way, I hope it’s only a temporary step backwards so we can take many steps forwards. It’s a painful process, but I’m optimistic. I am hopeful that the future is not just female but feminine, so men and women alike, benefit from a more integrated, empathetic society.
10. You’re such an energetic, optimistic person. What keeps you going when times are hard and when you face disappointments?
I allow myself to feel my feelings even if they’re uncomfortable and then look at the bigger picture. I try to meditate daily which helps and I love Arianna Huffington’s quote “failure is not the opposite of success; Its part of success.” Not always easy words to live by, but I do my best to see the silver lining in situations.
Clothes Credits: 1 Tee: Prabal Gurung, Skirt: Gucci, 2 Dress: Balmain, Necklace: Barbara Godfrey Cass, 3 Dress: Alexander McQueen 4 Jacket: Burberry, Top: Alexander McQueen, Pants: Cushnie et Ochs 5 Jacket: Gucci, Shirt: Gucci, Pants: Gucci 6 Dress: Calvin Klein, Necklace: Tuleste
Photographer: Matthew Tischler
Fashion Stylist: Emily Bess
Hair and Makeup: Susan Haddon
Photographer Assistant: Timothy Zwicky
Retoucher: Wesley Stringer
Model: Sujin Lee of VNY
Bustier - BCBG Max Azria
Shirt - Jose Duran
Pants - Suncoo
Bodysuit - Leg Avenue
Shoes – WANT Les Essentiels
Rings - The Modern Tales
by Renee Huffman
1. Tell me about your latest series, Industrial Melanism, which, you say, explores duality, light & darkness? It’s a lot more upbeat than your previous work. What attracted you to this idea?
Industrial Melanism refers to an event in Europe a couple of hundred years ago. When Europe started burning coal and the cities turned black, a very common white pepper moth – the white variation – disappeared. A darker moth took over. For a very long time people, because of the Darwinian theory, thought the white pepper moth morphed into a black one. Later I learned that what had happened to the white moths is they were simply eaten by the birds; they didn’t change from white to black and rare black ones survived.
This concept stayed in the back of my mind for two decades, and then came out in an unexpected way. One day I decided I was really tired of being a depressed fuck. I always painted everything dark. II always imagined a candle in a cave, that’s where a lot of power and angst comes from. You can generate a lot of energy and passion from this, but you’re always in a dark place. I decided I’m going to paint something I would never ever do: a butterfly. I would never paint a butterfly, ironically. So I decided to do one, just to be completely different and imagine myself light and happy, but I couldn’t draw a regular butterfly. I figured out a way to do one in metal, silver, at least that’s got some character. I applied the silver on the original drawing right into the charcoal like pigment, then I when I went outside to spray the fix on the charcoal everything turned black. I thought I had destroyed the whole piece. Then I came back inside, I looked at it and the butterfly turned back to white. And I realized that, depending on angle of light, it turns from black to white. My mind went back twenty years to the story about Industrial Melanism and the idea of the white moths turning black.When I was creating the first butterfly,I started using metals, elements, to keep myself grounded. When I create them initially they all look like silver or platinum. You can't really tell the difference. Within weeks you start to see color change due to the different oxidation rates of the different metals That's how I create this singularity or vortex or 3D effect. I paint the metals into oil paint with an oil binder and then I cut the metal into the oil paint with a razor so it’s a scarred surface. That's how it all came together and why the series is called, Industrial Melanism.
2. What made you decide to do this story now as opposed to when you first heard it 20 years ago?
When someone does something subconsciously everyone in the room sees it. It's so obvious that the one person who doesn't know is the person who is doing it. I never consciously thought about it in 20 years. I didn’t make the connection. At first, I didn't connect doing the first butterfly/moth with this story. It's not something I would do normally. It's just not my typical subject matter. But in that moment of wanting to to reinvent myself, I chose that subject and, ironically, it was exactly the thing I was subconsciously obsessing over. The moth was a perfect metaphor for my work. I couldn't make that up. And depending on your point-of-view, you'll see everything change drastically. It really becomes a moving three-dimensional painting. Because movement and the change of light and the change of angle is critical, it's like night and day. It's the same painting, but it's a perfect metaphor for Industrial Melanism. Once I saw the connection, it was the catalyst for doing this body of work.
3. Are you tempted towards returning to darker subject matters for future work?
The English painter, William Turner, whose paintings are very light and fade into the horizon, puts all the power into the center which is dark. This is high major-key. It's very hard to master that and be powerful, and I always thought this is a kind of brilliant metaphor too. It's really hard to be deep and serious and focused and stay light, personality-wise. It's easy to be powerful if you're always dark or angry, so it's hard to be powerful if you're not. For me that's the same struggle in paint, to be powerful and not angry. That first butterfly my first attempt at power, but not anger. So do I want to go back to being angry? No. It’s too easy to be the angry and dark. I can find strength in chiaroscuro.
4. Was there ever an idea you envisioned that didn't transition as well on canvas as you thought it would or turned out better than you anticipated?
Well, I suppose there are a lot of great accidents. The most important thing, in at least personal development, is recognizing the innovation in an accident. You can do a hundred paintings and three of them might come out really great and the other ninety-seven, kind of mediocre or even miserable. Mastery of your own person is being able to see what made the three accidents great and be being able to continue to grow from that point instead of repeating another ninety-seven. Seeing the mistakes and what you can do with the mistakes. My best innovations are my weaknesses that I overcame, usually by making mistakes. That's what happened with the moth and the butterfly. That's exactly what happened. I thought I would start out just doing a really mediocre butterfly.
5. Was there ever a time in your creative life that you were so drawn into the darkness that it inhibited you from creating anything new?
I think you know the old story, the idea that to be a professional writer you have to force yourself to write six hours a day, even if you can't write because there's something in that, that makes you at least move forward. There have been many times when I just didn't have the energy. I didn't have the focus, didn't have the will to paint. In retrospect, I would say that forcing myself to go to the easel to work is always positive, even if I do nothing. It's just telling yourself you still are in control of your will, even if it's mediocre, even if you end up throwing it out. It's just going to that place and being professional and controlling your own time. I think by driving yourself, you own more of your fate. If I have some control over that, really good things come out on the canvas. If you’re destroyed by circumstance and disappointments, like you’ll never produce. I don't really think art, creativity, is about challenging anything else but yourself. It's like if you are in control of yourself, you can do anything. If not you can't do anything.
6. As a creative individual do you believe you perceive the world differently than others do? As an individual I perceive the world differently. Today—or maybe it's in every generation— it's very much “us versus them,” good versus evil, my ideology versus your ideology. There's so much of that in society and culture, but I don't think people are really that different at all. They choose sides and they want demonize the other side or dismiss the other side, as opposed to realizing that differences are actually necessary. That’s a much more constructive way of looking at the world. So that's how I find myself or see myself as different from most people that I encounter. I don't have very rigid views. What’s bad and what's good are just two sides of the same coin and they're both necessary. You can have a disk that's black and white or you can have a sphere that's integrated and three dimensional, balanced and whole. It depends on how you look at it.
On my father's side of the family, Ashkenazis, there's a tremendous number of neurological diseases. A very high percentage of them, more than half, were hospitalized with various illnesses. Probably statistically not very good for me, right? You know? I have a grandmother that had paranoid schizophrenia. I have a brother with Down Syndrome. My father had dementia and neurological deterioration that killed him. It was around me my whole life, everywhere I looked. Some of them were just brilliant thinkers, successful, and had a tremendous sense of humor. I am obsessed with this idea of very complex people, with dark self destructive sides and very brilliant ones too. What you understand about yourself, I think, you kind of understand about the world.
7. Would you say because you have family members that struggled with neurological issues that turned you on to exploring the idea light versus dark?
Yeah. I think people dedicate their lives to solving different problems which affected their own lives, right? It's personal. So what affected my life was seeing brilliant people have tremendous problems functioning in the simplest ways, and it doesn't make sense, especially when you're a kid growing up with that. I try to make sense of all of it – the darkness and the light. So everything I paint or do is always taking the same elements and trying to make sense of it all. That's really what bothers me sometimes when I see people arguing viciously. Instead of having to opposing sides that separate like walls, you might have a sphere that rotates. You know, like a world that perpetually functions. Nothing is static, even ideas. It continues to move and change all the time. That’s why I'm very comfortable with not knowing things. I think it’s weak to pretend to have an answer for everything and it's very naive. It's like saying you know what God is. I know it's an idea; I know what religion is. I don't know what God is. I'm comfortable saying that. I'm comfortable with not knowing how we started, not knowing how we finish. But I love pursuing the answer, even if there isn’t one.
8. You painted your first bleeding American flag in 1989. It's more contemporary than your other works. Throughout your career, you've continued to paint different versions of the flag. Why have you kept doing it for all these years? And what can people take away from these works of patriotic symbolism in these troubled times?
The flag always seems to work in every time period because there’s always struggle expressed by many or everyone, a personal struggle. I've never known a time where someone looks at the anguish and beauty of my flag and doesn't relate to it. It says something about human beings. You could always tap into that serious part. The first flag I did, as with all the flags I've done, I did in a very specific way that probably most people don't realize. I created it in the way that classical portraiture was done in the Renaissance, it’s a specific technique, using what’s called verdaccio underpainting; it gives the painting a low absorption gray green ground, the gray green to appears to be farther away, as distant objects in nature seem to be as the atmosphere grays them over distance. All my flags are painted in this portrait technique. In a way this almost personifies the flag. When you look at that red in the painting you don't see any gray green at first, what you see is a more intense red, and the viewer really feels it, as if the surface is alive. They don't know why, but they're subconsciously seeing flesh, or the way flesh.
9. Would you say you're a perfectionist when it comes to your artwork?
I’m a classicist originally. Perfectionists like to control chaos if they can. The most beautiful art to me is something that has a very chaotic element but looks spontaneous, as if you didn't control it, which is kind of true. The work I love the most in the world is work that's very classical in one aspect and very contemporary in another. Very controlled and very poetically abstract. It's not one or the other; it's both. It's the same thing I was saying about this fear of the dark and the light. Chaos and structure, you need them both; one needs the other. The one thing that I'm always trying to do is balance the extremes of polarity. I don't think you can separate. This is my issue in my life to solve and my vocabulary and my language.
10. Your previous series, Hindsite and Akimbo really focused on the human form but in most of those you don't really see the faces They're either looking to the side or their hands are covering their faces, or their eyes are closing.
Those were really about intensity, focus and obsession; they’re not defined. Their entire character and what they're thinking and feeling can be expressed through the simplest gesture, which reveals every muscle and every neuron in their bodies. I play with the idea that people have a visual language in their body. I think that when someone walks into a room, you can tell more about them by the way they stand, the way they hold themselves, the way they posture and move. Every detail in their body, their facial expressions, the shape of their spine, all these things reflect what's going on in the brain. It's just a question of reading it. So for me I read people mostly by their visual language rather than by what they say.I’ve done a lot of paintings of hands in a particular gesture. They're not absolute truths, but they're kind of like truthful expressions of a persona.
11. What would you say is your most personal piece of artwork?
My father's portrait is the piece I wouldn't give up. But also the last one is always my favorite, which is kind of typical. When I do something really good, I sit and enjoy it. They're like parts of me. It sounds crazy, but I do. I used to have paintings I'd put up under a spotlight and I would sit and look at them every day for like an hour or two. I would actually miss them if they were gone. For me it's not about turning out a whole bunch of paintings and selling them and I'm happy and they're gone. It's like every single thing I do is super personal to me.
12 Did you ever feel disheartened when you had to give up a painting to a collector to sell after spending months working on it?
I haven't because I never parted with one yet that I didn't think was not going to be taken care of. I never had a painting go somewhere where I thought somebody was going to treat like a piece of furniture or get tired of it one day. I’ve always treated my work like it was valuable. I never just gave it away. I never just sold it for nothing. When I make the paintings, I’m thinking about the stability of the canvas, the longevity. I'm nuts, like a scientist, when it comes to doing everything right. That's why I don't produce a tremendous amount of work because I just don't knock things off. I build them like they’re going to be around for a thousand years.
13. What's the one thing you hope people take away from this current exhibition?
Finding a way to make the darkness have a redeeming purpose. That's the most important thing to me. Can you take from chaos and things that are not perfect and find a way to make them have place in creativity? And feel as though it's part of a necessity in the world. I suppose it sounds a little cliche, but I hope everyone can find genius in a misfit, and know diversity is a necessity in this world.
Photographer Thomas Northcut
Stylist Renne Huffman
Make-up/Hair Jamie Hanson
Model Lidia Comini @ Industry Model Management
1 dress: Elle Saab, Coat: Erdem
2 dress: Christopher Kane, Shoes: Gucci
3 Dress: Gucci
4 Corset: Alexander McQueen, Pants: Gucci
5 Coat: Ann Demeuleester, Sweater: Delpozo
Shirt: McQ by Alexander McQueen, Pants: Gucci
6 Jacket: Altuzarra, Top: Anna Sui, Pants: Givenchy
7 Jacket: Gucci, Shirt: Anna Sui, Skirt: Ellery
8 Leather Top: Isabel Marant, Shirt: Isabel Marant, Skirt: Gucci
9 Dress: Erdem, Shoes: Gucci
10 Coat: Giambattista Valli, Dress: Preen
11 Shirt: Giambattista Valli, Skirt: Gucci
Photographer Sarah Winborn at S Management
Art Director Fleur Harding
Stylist Sophie Kenningham at Frank Agency
assisted by Kate Sinclair
Hair and make up by Freya Danson-Hatcher at S Management using RMS beauty and Maria Nila haircare
look 1 brown coat furry sleeves
Coat by Joshua Millard,
knitted dress by Mesdemoiselles,
Cardigan by I Love Mr Mittens
earrings by Maria Black
look 2 Dress by Kalita
grey cashmere polo neck by Genevieve Sweeney
Boots by Stine Goya
earrings by Maria Black
Look 3 . close up big cream scarf
scarf by I Love Mr Mittens
jacket by Longchamp
earrings by Maria Black
Look 4. jumper with holes in
leggings by Mesdemoiselles
jumper by Raquel Allegra
Look 5. in long grass with yellow satin slip
Blouse and jumper by Millie
slip dress by For Love and Lemons
boots by Ash
Look 6. pink tassled poncho
poncho by Ashley Isham
star earrings by Tara & Toy
Look 7 pink dress
Dress by Andrew G
jumper by Mesdemoiselles
boots by Stine Goya
earrings by Maria Black
Look 8 yellow coat
coat by Longchamp
dress by Sea New York
grey cashmere polo neck by Genevieve sweeney
earrings by Maria Black
Look 9. grey snood
snood by Doruntina Azemi
dress by Mesdemoiselles
earrings by Maria Black
Director Rebecca Miller
DOP Stephen J Nelson
Editor and Colorist Mary Perrino
Model Freja Nygren @ Elite
Stylist David Hawkins
Make up Marco Antonio using Mac
Hair Joe Pickering
Music by Buscabulla
Fashion Dans La Vie, Askley Isham, Andrew Majtenyi, special thanks to Pop PR
Passports & Fashion for @reservedmagazine
Directed By: @rileyrobbinsfilm
Fashion director : @juleswstylist_
Credits -Filming Ben Cope and Rowan Daly. Ben Cope Editor, Music By Ben Cope
Millie Brown live performance at the ROW DTLA in Los Angeles.
b. 1986 in Bath, United Kingdom.
Currently living and working in Los Angeles.
British performance artist Millie Brown began her career at the age of seventeen. Brown is a founding member of London’s !WOWOW! collective, which has produced such luminary talents as fashion designer Gareth Pugh and artist Matthew Stone. Hailed as one of the new YBAs (Young British Artists), Brown is a performance artist who explores the synergy and separation of mind, body, and spirit.
Most recognized for performance as a non-traditional method of painting, Brown uses her body as a tool to create artifacts that are remnants of her process. Reminiscent of abstract expressionist studies, Brown produces aesthetically whimsical paintings with a deep underlining rawness of human emotion. Viewing the body as a vessel for spiritual practice, Brown pushes her physical and mental boundaries to reach a state of enlightenment from which creative expression and healing derives.
She has collaborated with innovative talents such as Nick Knight, Ruth Hogben, and Lady Gaga. Notably, her performance film for Gaga’s Monsterball Tour was exhibited at the SHOWstudio gallery and showcased worldwide throughout the tour. Brown was included Emmy award winning documentary, Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden”.
Photo: Wade Parkins
Photographer: Ben Duggan @duggangram
Fashion Director: Jules Wood
Model:Anastasia Murray with @photogencis
Video: Riley Robbins @rileyrobbinsfilm
Hair: Preston Wada @prestonwada with Opus Beauty @opusbeauty
using Kevin Murphy @love_kevin_murphy
Makeup: Lilly Keys @lilly_keys with Exclusive Artists @xclusiveartists
using Mac Pro cosmetics @maccosmetics
Assistant:Geoffrey Glenister @geoffrey_austin
Fashion Assistant Nikita Desai
1-2 Etro (Dress)Vitor Zerbinato (Boots)
3-4 Teatum Jones (skirt)Frankie (sweater)Teatum Jones (jacket)
5-6 Vintage Sonia Rykiel (Jacket) Julia Clancey (Jumpsuit)Vitor Zerbinato (Boots) Valentina Kova (Necklace)
7-8 Vintage Dior (dress) Gucci (Gucci)
9-10Teatum Jones (skirt)Teatum Jones( Shirt)Clear coat On Aura Tout Vu
11-12 Herringbone (Shirt) Herringbone(Corset) Herringbone (Shorts) Teatum Jones(Jacket)
13 Teatum Jones(Dress ) Vitor Zerbinato (Boots)
BLUE JEAN BABY
PHOTOGRAPER: ANDREW ZAEH @ANDREWZAEH
CREATIVE DIRECTION / STYLIST: JENNILEE @JENNILEESTYLIST
MODEL: HAZEL CREW @HAZELCREW @NEXTMODELS
MAKE UP: JENNA NELSON @thisJENNA
HAIR: DANnI katz @DANnIDOESIT
ALL AMERICAN FASHION CREDITS:
~ CALVIN KLEIN ~ CONVERSE ~ VINTAGE GAP ~ CUSTOM & VINTAGE LEVIS ~ CUSTOM & VINTAGE AMERICAN APPAREL ~
ALL JEWELRY : FORMINA @_FORMINA_
Photographer: Fletcher Lawrence & Walis Larraga
Stylist: Helen Anstis
Model: Martine Fox - Q Model Management
Hair: Joseph Torres
Make-up: Fatimot Mu
Studio: Fast Ashleys
Fashion: All clothing is vintage provided by The Break (website: https://shopthebreak.com
Fletcher Lawrence & Walis Larraga
Married and living in Brooklyn with their dog Paco. Mexican-Kiwi-Americans.
Photographer // Gabriel de la Morena
Stylist // Eva Barrallo
Makeup // Pedro Cedeño with Chanel and Ghd
Stylist Assistant // Carolina Taviro
Photo Assistant // Juan José Martinez
Post production // Diego Speroni
Model // Jacolijn via Blow Models
Photographer : Onin Lorente
Model : Charlene Almarvez of Ford Models New York
All Clothes : Lesley Mobo
Models -ALLIE CRANDELL @photogenics
PHOTOGRAPHER - GITTE MELDGAARD
Stylist Jules Wood
Makeup: Melissa Murdick at Opus Beauty
Hair: Preston Wada at Opus Beauty
Nails: Camille Black at Opus Beauty
Clothes and accessories
Dora Abodi, On Aura Tout Vu, kaimin, Aliona, Ada Zanditon, Natalia Fedner
Photography: Yukimi Moromisato
Art Direction and Styling: Luis Carlos Leiva + Alexandra Pancorvo
Models: Laura Flükiger + Luciana Duharte + Ana Escalera
Make up: Brayan Pastor
Hair: Grace Brophy
1. Left: Blouse by FOR LOVE AND LEMONS
Pants by CALVIN KLEIN
Middle: Dress by HERMANO
Right: Bralette by TERCIOPELO AZUL
Blouse by ALICE McCALL, skirt VINTAGE PIECE
2.Left: Faux fur coat by GERARDO CUYA, skirtVINTAGE PIEACE
Right: Bralette by TERCIOPELO AZUL, Blouse by ALICE McCALL
Skirt VINTAGE PIECE
3. Left: Blouse by GERARDO CUYA, Right: Blouse by GERARDO CUYA
4. Bralette by TERCIOPELO AZUL, Blouse by FOR LOVE AND LEMONS
5. Blazer by FOR LOVE AND LEMONS, Skirt by ALICE McCALL
6. Dress by ALICE McCALL
7.Dress by ALICE McCALL
8.Dress by HERMANO
9. Left: Blouse by PAOLA GAMERO, Right: One piece jumper by PAOLA GAMERO
Credits - Brutally Beautiful
Photography Helene Sandberg
AnneliesTan managementHair Gow Tanaka @gow_tanaka
Make-Up Afton Radojicic @Stella Creative
Fashion Assistant Natasha Watson
Model Claudie at the Squad Management
1. Vionnet dress, Sophia Webster heels
2. Maison Mihara Yasohiro knit dress Pinko trousers, MARNI jacket
3. Malene Birger lamy by Malene Birger dress Moncler
mules La Mania blouse
4. COS jumpsuit, Jonathan Simkhai denim jacket Valentino mules
5. Moncler skirt, Moncler jacket, Moncler rolltop sweater
6. Theory trousers Theory halter neck top DKNY shrug, Kartell sandals
7. ISA ARFEN bolero Just Cavalli dress &OtherStories
Interviewed by Renee Huffman
Photo Credit Thomas Northcut
What was it like growing up on the Southside of Chicago?
I grew up in Hyde Park which is indeed on the southside of Chicago. It's a very special neighborhood in and of itself. It's the neighborhood where the University of Chicago is located.
Just around that surrounding that you get a lot of diversity a lot of professionalism, entrepreneurism and highly skilled individuals. It was really amazing to be in that kind of environment that breeds education and a desire for higher learning. And on top of that creativity, since the University is located on the south side of Chicago, you kind of get that academia mixed with a little bit of creativity and artistry so it was amazing.
Take me through the early days of your business, when you started it out of your campus apartment at the University of Southern California?
Well those days were very long and very hard. I went to school during the day. I did my homework in the evening and I worked on my business plan every night. There was no social life. It was a grind for me but I knew it was what I wanted to do. Even though I was working 18 hours of the day, I was happy and feeling fulfilled. I was feeling like I was getting ready to start a new chapter, a meaningful chapter. I loved it, I don't miss it though.
When did you know you wanted to design footwear?
I knew I wanted to design Footwear after I randomly started sketching shoes and realized that I had ideas. Sketching shoes helped me to get through a heartbreak. It was a surprise for me and my parents were just as surprised, because I never expressed any interest in doing anything artistic. My parents and myself all thought I was going to grow up and be a businesswoman, like in finance on Wall Street that sort of thing. That's what I was actually in school studying as well, so it was a pleasant surprise.
Being such a young designer, who supported you the most when you were starting out?
My parents. My family, my grandma my brothers, and they continue to do so. What I found being a young, ambitious female designer is that you don't really get much support outside of your family and really close friends. It's a very lonely life, but my parents are amazing they're the best role models I could have. My parents are entrepreneurs as well so they understood what I was going through at every stage and they kind of catered to my needs. I couldn't have had a better support network.
What were some of the hurdles you faced when starting your business?
Everything was a hurdle. Everything at face value looked like a problem. That's why you have to spend so much time reading, researching and studying case studies of how other people did what you were trying to do. How other people overcame their early stages of entrepreneurship. I never had a job before. I had internships, like little petty jobs. I never had a real job in a real business culture, so I had to learn everything from how to budget, to how to manage people and how to talk to people in an effective way. Being so young and this stemming from just a passion.
Photography : Rebecca Naen
Stylist : Sophie Kenningham
Model : Karin Kimel @STORM
Makeup : Layla Mehmedagi
Hair : Aaron Carlo
Photographer: Matthew Tischler
Model: Margaux Brazhnyx @MC2
Art Director: Liz Green
Stylist: Lauren Bailey
Hair & Makeup: Jamie Hanson
Digital Tech: Timothy Zwicky Assistant: Alan Bartlett
photographer: Alexey Glebko
art director: Whitney Mercurio
fashion editor: Jules Wood
hair and makeup: Jamie Hansen
model: Ewa Wladymiruk @ Elite
special thanks to Joseph LaPiana!
ZAHER by Renne Huffman
Saida, Lebanon and Canfield, Ohio seem worlds apart but share more in common than you could imagine. Both are small towns, places where everyone knows everyone and where borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor isn’t a quaint throw-back to another era but something that happens with regularity. Saida typifies the heart of everyday Arab life in much the same way Canfield is the prototypical Mid-Western community. Another thing that these two seemingly disparate places have in common is singer and songwriter Zaher Saleh. While Saleh rose to fame in the Middle East, he and his music are equal parts Arab and American.
Born and raised in Lebanon to Palestinian refugees, Saleh began to spend his summers as a teen with relatives in Ohio, eventually attending high school and college there. “I remember how I couldn’t wait for summer to come! I wanted to get back to Ohio to see my friends there and do exotic things like go to Target!” Saleh recalls with a laugh. “But seriously, I am so grateful to have grown up in both Lebanon and Ohio. I think it has given me a unique perspective. Mostly, it gave me the gift at a young age of realizing that we are all essentially the same. Yes, I am an Arab. I am Palestinian. I am Lebanese. I am American. I am all of these things. But mostly I am human. We all have that in common.”Saleh’s ascent into pop stardom began in Ohio. While attending Youngstown State University on a whim he sent an audition tape for the Arab language version of hugely popular pop music talent contest “Star Academy”. Saleh recalls, “I recorded the audition and sent it off. I actually forgot about it. I was shocked when I got the call.” He packed his bags and was off to Beirut. He was instantly a fan favorite. He didn’t win the competition, but placed in the top five. Unlike many reality TV contestants, Saleh went on to even greater success releasing both English and Arab language hits in the Middle East and singing to crowds of thousands of adoring fans throughout the region.
But true to his multicultural roots Saleh is now poised to bring his talents to the American stage. He is currently at work on his first album for US and international release, and his sweet and soulful voice has caught the attention and respect of music industry legends. His collaborators on his freshman offering reads like a who’s who of music royalty. Grammy Award winning producer David Kahne, who has worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Stevie Nicks, Regina Specktor and Lana del Rey is collaborating with Saleh and producer Patrick Cannell on the first track from his new album “Habibi”. “Zaher is a major talent, both as a signer and a songwriter. I think he will be the first-ever crossover star. There are touches of Arabic to his music but it has an appeal that goes beyond boarders or cultures.”
“I don’t believe in boarders. This world is for everyone.” Says Saleh. While he does not consider himself political,
he does hope that his work can break down boundaries and heal old wounds. He recalls “When I was young my grandmother used to tell me stories about growing up in Syria. Her neighbor and best friend was Jewish. When she grew up Arabs and Jews lived together in the same communities. They were friends and neighbors. I remember her crying as she said “What has happened. Why are we killing each other? We are cousins.” It broke my heart. I hope one day we can get back to that, to living together in peace as part of the same family, the human family. Nothing would make me happier if my music could contribute to that in some small way. But I am also happy if it make
Call to Action! Please submit your public comment today urging the Army Corps to complete a full ‘Environmental Impact Statement’ for the DAPL. Deadline Feb 20th! See our latest film on Milk.xyz where you can also find the 'submit comment' link. Thanks @milk for raising awareness with us! Sign against other fossil fuel developments at movetorenewables.com #NODAPL #MoveToRenewables #StandingRock #ImWithEarth #WaterIsLife #ActOnClimate #ClimateChange #RenewableEnergy #Milk #MilkStudios
Camilla Vivian Mayer, Todd Muchow, Erin Wahed, Renee Peters, Philip Attar, Eglantina Zingg, Zach Pricer, Cecily Haubner, Henry Hargreaves, Joren Rivers, Ashley Owens, Roberi Parra, Tiffany Patton, Dane Brown, Alex Lopez, Noah Myers, Shannon MacArdhail, Hugo Arturi, Jessica Jones, Milk, Milk.xyz
photographer; Hugo Arturi //
creative director: Whitney Mercurio //
fashion director: Jules Wood //
model: Alexina Graham //
hair & makeup: Jamie Hansen //
location: Private home of Jim & Julianne Stirling, Fairfield, CT
photographer: Sophie Elgort
art director: Whitney Mercurio
fashion director: Jules Wood
hair & makeup: Jamie Hansen
model: Rhiannon McConnell @ Wilhelmina NYC
Photography by Jeff Tse
Hair by Joshua Barrett for Bumble and Bumble @Creative Management Mc2
Makeup by Patrick Eichler for Makeup Forever
Model Anna Eberg @Wilhelmina Models
photographer: Conor Doherty
art director: Whitney Mercurio
fashion editor: Jules Wood
hair/makeup: Jamie Hanson
fashion assistant: Fantasia James
Photographer // Diane Vasil
Art Director // Vicki March
Fashion Editor // Jules Wood
Hair and Makeup // Jen Navarro
Model // Lary Muller c/o @Supreme Models
Digital Tech // Michael Prezioso
Fashion Assistant // Renee Huffman
PHOTOGRAPHER // Hugo Arturi
ART DIRECTOR // Whitney Mercurio
MODEL // Jada Joyce
STYLIST // David Gomez-Villamediana
MAKEUP // Laura Stiassni
HAIR // Owen Gould
PHOTO ASST //Spencer Wohlrab
photographer: Helena Christensen //
creative director: Whitney Mercurio //
fashion director: Jules Wood //
models: Brooke Shields. Brett Myers, USMC //
hair: Jamie Hanson //
makeup: Cheyenne Timperio //
photo assistants: Hector Perez, Donna Viering //
stylist assistant: Aiesha Hammond //
location: Teterboro Airport, Gamma Aviation //
Special thank you to Bob Pittman for his jet, the USMC and Fareed Ramjohn for accomodating us!
Photographer // Rebecca Naen
Stylist // Sophie Kenningham
Hair // Shukeel Murtaza
Make Up // Layla Mehmedagi using RMS Beauty
Model // Jasmine Lia @ Nevs
Photographer, Stylist & Hair stylist all represented by Frank Agency
PHOTOGRAPHER // ALEXANDER THOMPSON
FASHION EDITOR // JULES WOOD
MEN'S GROOMER // JAMIE HANSEN
MODEL // RILEY COLE @ MSA MODELS
photographer Spencer Ostrander //
creative director Whitney Mercurio //
fashion director Jules Wood //
model Rose Mcgowan //
hair & makeup Jamie Hanson //
photo assistant Alex Ryerson //
special thanks to Derek Andersen
Photographer: Matthew Tischler
Model: Katerina Vitova
Hair & Makeup: Jamie Hanson
Stylist: Lauren Bailey
Photo Assistant: Alan Bartlett
Clothes: Landeros New York - Andre Michel
photographer Richie Gleason //
Stylist Todd Kaelin //
model Bree Smith //
hair & makeup Cindy Andrews //
food stylist Frankie Chacon
Special thanks to OneKreate for making this shoot possible!
photographer: Hugo Arturi //
fashion editor: Jules Wood //
photographer: Heather McGrath //
model: Anna Boulais //
stylist: Joji Goto //
photography: Mick Rock //
creative director: Whitney Mercurio //
fashion editor: Jules Wood //
grooming by Damien Monzillo //
photography by Robert Bomgardner
My partner Jules and I showed up at 8:00 on a Thursday night. I had let Chef Bun Lai, infamous owner of Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, CT know we were coming and that we wanted to talk about a story for our magazine (the one you’re reading). The host said he wasn’t going to be able to make it - but there were plans in store for us… Every conceivable sake beverage proceeded to make its way to our tiny table, followed by a seemingly endless flow of what appeared to be everything on the menu including Pumpkin Miso-infused with locally foraged, invasive Codium, followed by Bun’s signature Tokyo Phro of crispy organic potatoes with homegrown roasted wax worms drizzled with a creamy tomato remoulade which our other partner, Mitja in Europe still has dreams about, then a Water Piglet sushi roll of applewoodsmoked Connecticut mackerel, goat cheese, and cranberries. This was all accompanied by that fuzzy feeling you get when “you know the owner” who we hadn’t even met yet, but were about to later that evening and who would sit with us until we walked out at nearly 2am.
Bun is a James Beard Nominated chef possessing all the social prowess, coolness, intellect and charm with a mega-passion for being ecologically responsible one might aspire to. His mother first opened Miya’s (named after his sister) in 1982 and he has since taken over the joint. He’s undoubtedly the coolest guy in the room as he walks through Miya’s, sitting down and introducing himself to couples and groups of Yale students, covertly having all sorts of interesting edible creations that are truly beautiful works of art delivered to their tables… and ours. This is part of the beauty of Miya’s Sushi. It’s an experience talking with Bun, listening to his sentiments and how he does things, but not in a contrived or pretentious way - because he means it.
Miya’s Sushi is a place where ecological responsibility rules alongside culinary innovation in a way that transcends the original culture from which it was spawned. While the restaurant (namely sushi) industry has had devastating effects on the environment and on our oceans, Bun’s response was to initiate a sushi evolution. He created and ever-evolving menu that embraces the idea of mindful eating, restoration and healing by utilizing locally invasive plants like Japanese knot weed and sea-finds like invasive Asian shore crab and wild seaweeds which can have devastating effects on the environment and indigenous life. He also includes protein-rich edible insects, and wild and responsibly-caught seafood which does not have a negative impact on the world’s oceans or the world itself for that matter.
Bun Lai’s incredibly innovative and ridiculously tasty cuisine is calculated and designed to prevent and counteract damage done to our ecosystem and protect the biodiversity of our planet. His, is an incredible concept with a passionate cult following (of which I am one) which has changed the entire concept of traditional sushi as we know it.
Well done Bun!
Being at the edge of an ocean is unlike anything else - it is a shared human experience that transcends culture and time. The rhythm of the tides, repetition of the waves, smell of the salt and the sound of the water; it all resonates deeply within us. In these images I worked to capture the primal allure of the ocean. The breaking of a wave is seminal. It creates the sounds, smell and rhythm that we are drawn to. It even crates the sand we walk toward the ocean on. Waves have been breaking for countless millennia, yet no two break the same way.”
Connor Doherty, photographer
model: Helena Christensen //
photographer: Wally Shaykhoun //
creative director: Whitney Mercurio //
fashion editor: Jules Wood //
interviewed by Victoria Galves //
Before there was reality TV as we know it, before the Kardashian’s, the Osbourne’s and the heinous Housewives from Hell Syndicate there was the Loud Family. It was 1971 and they had no idea what they were getting into because they were about to become the first family of Reality TV and create the genre that would begin the love/hate feeding frenzy of everyday American’s becoming celebrities. They made it up as they went along. It was not scripted. It was not bread and circus. It was the beginning of American’s living their lives as voyeuristic spectators in lieu of a real life. We became fascinated by The American Family.
On or off camera The Loud Family was known to be open, friendly and entertaining they simply allowed the cameras into their home and became famous for being themselves. Over the course of the documentary/television show we watched as Pat lived her life out loud in front of America. As Human nature would have it the family only became really interesting not for their spirited camaraderie and closeness but for the painful camera break-up of their marriage and its effect on the their children and the coming out of their eldest son, the notoriously cool Lance Loud. This took the family down many roads less taken. They became the darling’s of the media and the bullseye for criticism and judgement. In was the early 1970’s and Andy Warhol’s invitation took Pat and Lance on a walk on the wild side through a journey through the Factory. Naturally, they stayed at the legendary Chelsea hotel where they filmed with Warhol Superstar’s. Lance became a reluctant hero for the Gay movement. He was always honest but hated titles of any kind. Pat always Proud Mary disliked the histrionics surrounding Lance’s “bravery” she simply said, it was just Lance being Lance. Period.
Lance was my closest friend from the moment we met in 1977 until the day he died. When you were friends with any of the Louds you are friends with them entire family, especially Pat. Pat and Lance were joined at the heart and hip.
Victoria- I have noticed through the years how much you and Lance had in common. For example, I was always heartened by the range of characters that you would both effortlessly saunter through from English aristocrats, Hollywood royalty to outrageous misfits like Warhol superstars and obnoxious world class Punks all at the same dinner table. You not only held court but cooked the entire delicious homemade meal (at Lance’s hound dog howling request!)fueled with the specially prepared Loud trademark cocktails, killer Tom and Jerry’s (guaranteed to bring out the best and more frequently the worst in their dinner guests, who cared? It was all in good fun.)
Pat- (laughing) Always a good thing!
Victoria- Pat, You always knew the proper protocol yet also had street credibility, what do you owe this talent for socializing and accommodating the wide range of character’s always vying for your attention and wanting to be a part of your life?
Pat- I didn’t know I could do all that! My parents were very, very social people and maybe I picked up some of that from them. Lance just had a natural grace about him. As for me, I am not afraid of people. I have never been intimidated by them. I think I was always very curious about people and when you are curious about people I think they appreciate your interest. You ask questions about them and you listen and it’s easy after that. My kids were definitely products of their time and this allowed me to become interested in a variety of topics that I would have not otherwise been exposed to. I was interested in my kids and what they were interested in so it was natural for me to be able to speak on several subjects.
Victoria- Spending so much time around Lance I was always witness to his infamous charm. I saw many people try to compete with him, to outwit him, to outsmart him, to catch him not being Lance. I realized time and time again that his charm was not about impressing people with said wit or dazzle them with bravado, although he certainly did that! Lance’s particular brand of charm was his ability to make you feel good about who you are and people gravitated to that. He already knew who he was! Lance always went straight for the cool in people and focused on that. In that way he got the most out of life and the best out of people. Ok, Lance was no saint and maybe he did use smoke and mirrors at times but in my eyes that only made him a magician with a twist of snake oil thrown in. You both shared such a hearty lack of snobbery. I do think if you and Lance were ever intolerant of anything it was pretentious, pompous bores!
Pat- Oh no, that would never do! Lance and I had that in common.
Victoria- Another thing you and Lance had in common as I saw it was a love for family and truly romantic ideals. I know you both detested cheap sentiments and gushy sentimentalities. I am talking about the kind of ideals that made you a great mother and friend. It was Lance’s dying wish for you and Bill after all these years to get back together and share the rest of your life. He had the responsible where with all to be a good son and family member and he never missed a beat to muscle in and make that request. I believe he Know in his heart that it would be a good thing for you both and for the entire family for that matter. He had the ability to see what really mattered in life.
Pat- When Bill and I split up we went our own ways. I, as you know went to New York and had a fabulous life and Bill got married to a lovely woman. They divorced eventually. When Lance was in hospice he became concerned with my well-being after he was gone and also his father was in Houston and I think he wasn’t sure that Bill was happy there and he wanted the family to be united. He loved Bill and he loved me and he wanted to make sure that we would be ok. With him gone (This is hard to talk about) he wanted us to go on helping one another and with Bill and I together this would be possible. There was a friend of mine from New York, Edith La Shawn and she told me one that during her lifetime she had many marriages within the one marriage to the same man. I kind of feel like that about Bill and I. So Bill and I did get back together again. I was quite leery at first. However, it has worked out very well we are happy and we respect and love one another. We have been through a lot and remain a very strong family. The only reason we got divorced was due to his lack of monogamy and you know we are old now. That doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing you have to remember is not to talk about it. Do not bring it up and you do not live in the past, you live in the present.
Victoria- To live in the present by virtue of your mutual love and respect. It doesn’t get more romantic or relevant than that. That is my idea of true love because it is real.
Now enough of high ideals and meaningful conversation, let’s talk about what really matters in life-style and fashion.
Pat, you were always known for your identifiable Pat Loud look. You made your own personal statement without resorting to a lot of the silly confections many women still felt compelled to make. You were always in fashion, feminine and attractivewithout looking trendy. Do you think the Pat Loud look was well represented In the recent HBO movie CINEMA VERITE?
Pat- No, I don’t but I love Diane Lane and I think she did a great job in the film and I think she is a marvelous person.
For instance I did not wear a lot of patterned clothes. I like the monochromatic look. I was never a Fashonista. I was a person who kind of knew what looked good on me and what didn’t. I liked to feel comfortable in my clothes, Also, I had a limited budget for myself so it had to last, be comfortable and I had to be able to put it on and forget about it. I didn’t want to be bothered with all that.
Victoria- Your fab look never looked like you were on a budget. Pat, you are being humble, I can honestly say that many people on a budget will opt for a gold lame bow to ja things up. I think you cut a very clean silhouette, like early Prada meets Halston. Also, accessorized with big sunglasses, pulled back hair, cool medallions and impeccable grooming completed the Pat Loud look.
Pat-Another thing was that I never tried to dress younger than I am. In England they have a saying, “That is mutton dressed up as lamb.” You always want to avoid that look.
Victoria- Painful scathing indictment! You escaped the horror and every fabulous queen can attest to that! I am sure today if the American Family had just recently made its appearance, there would be Pat loud sunglasses, Home shopping networks would have the Pat Loud medallions and you would see in Target and Wal-Mart versions of the Pat Loud monochromatic pantsuit. Today you can “brand” yourself. I hate the loathsome concept. Worse than that, it is glorified. Today’s successful women turns herself into a commodity and market’s herself as if it were a virtue. I hate hearing, “I know she is not really talented but she is a great business person.” What do you think of that?
Pat- I am in such a different place. I am off on a by way off the mainstream. But what I can see at my age is all those so called reality shows, The Real Housewives of Orange County, The Housewives of New York on and on, The Kardashians, Duck Dynasty! I look at those people (none of them I have watched but all of them I have seen bits and pieces of) and I think to myself, ”What are these women and what has happened to the heroes, where are the Gloria Steinem’s of today? Women are just as capable as men or more. I mean we are first, individuals; you just don’t mass people together and judge them. Women have been set up since the get go with Eve when she took the fruit from the tree of good and evil. We were set up to be perceived as evil or to be a seductress. These are the myths that the world has grown up with. Since the beginning of time women have been blamed for destroying men’s virtue.
Victoria- Yeah what about their own accountability for their own choices? The poor helpless men victimized by the women sirens luring men off course to crash into the rocks. What about their own free will and strength? If we are so powerful to cause all that and to be blamed for their downfall why don’t we get the credit for being powerful! Why are we held accountable for their lack of virtue and ability to resist the objects of their own fantasies and desires?
Victoria-. What do you think of the rise in plastic surgery in men as well as women? Are men finally having to deal with the issues that women have had to deal with all along like no longer feeling relevant, competent and or even attractive after a certain age? Do you see this as a sexist issue or do you think the whole world has just been consumed with the fear of aging?
Pat- Yes, to begin with I think it is particularly true in the United States. I don’t know how it got that way but aging is a very bad thing here, it is a real no-no. There is no respect for age, I can understand how an actor might need to do that for his work but not for mere vanity’s sake. You earn the wrinkles for a life doing whatever it is you did. You just have to own it. You know, it is sad that people can’t feel like they can enjoy every stage of their life. It is too bad that they have to feel diminished by it. They should feel more comfortable in their skin and take some comfort in being wiser. That is what you should feel. We are very hard on ourselves. I also feel that electronics have really changed the world and the way people inter-act with one another. Facebook and tweeting, you can’t even go to the supermarket without hearing a cacophony of people talking loudly about themselves on the phones while they are shopping. There’s very little self-reflection in that.
Victoria- Maybe that’s the point.
Well, it has certainly changed the petri-dish effect of New York. The interactive creative quality that comes with being exposed to millions of people’s lives through their actions and not their profiles. Everyone says how much New York has changed and let’s face it, New York is always changing. I mean it does not look like it did in the 70’s, for example. However, this time it is different, it is a fundamental change uncharacteristic to what it means to be a New Yorker. Everyone is down on New York, how do you feel?
Pat- People with millions and millions of dollars are flooding into that poor little island and they have taken away the diversity. There was such a great diversity when we were there in the art world, there was the punk rock, great book stores- all of that is gone now. There are no real differences in class, artists can’t afford to live there anymore, basically most of the people, except for the older ones are nouvelle riche and they have got tons of money to throw around. It is such a shame what has happened to New York.
Victoria- What is the most annoying misconception about you and what do you think fanned that flame?
Pat-I think it was that the family was destroyed by American Family. In the end our family photo would come up and they would have this lilting little tune and then they would have it crackle like a mirror shattered. They set the stage for people to think of us as a broken family. What I must say, to this very day, if America had families as close and tightly knit as my family is, it would be a better place. This family is very close and fond of one another and spends a great deal of time together.
Victoria- Yes, I always felt so lucky to share so much time with your family. You were always so welcoming and accommodating to so many of us orphans of the storm. You adopted many wayward children and always made so many of us feel great taking us into
the coveted inner circle.
Pat- I was always flattered to be surrounded by you all and felt very fortunate that all of you wanted to be around me.
Victoria- Actually the whole country wanted to spend time with the Loud’s.
Pat Loud has officially became part of American Pop Culture. Yale University has recently acquired her archives and the rest is History and Her Story.
photographer: Helena Christensen //
illustrations: Mitja Bokun //
creative director: Whitney Mercurio
fashion director: Jules Wood //
models Nora Vai @ Muse NYC
Svetlana Mukhina @ Silent Models
Gabriella Lopez @ IMG //
hair Jamie Hanson @Wilhelmina //
makeup Cheyenne Timperio @Artmix Creative //
fashion assistant Karolina Borchert //
photo assistant Hector Perez //
location Basilica Hudson
Special Thanks to Basilica Hudson - Melissa Auf der Maur
photographer: Michael Somoroff //
art direction/layout: Whitney Mercurio //
photographer: Jaka Vinsek //
“Once you become a stranger in the world, slowly it becomes like something sweet in that you don’t belong to anyone. Slowly, you feel like a character from the Steppenwolf—Hermann Hesse. Loneliness, but at the same time you feel power.”
interviewed by Mitja Bokun // photography by Aljosa Rebolj
I can tell you interesting stories about a man (me), who first leaves his homeland, the country of his birth, Croatia, and then flees to Serbia, where I was in the time of the war. Because of the war I left home, leaving behind my entire life, theater, film, and all because of political disagreements and my desire not to participate in this scourge. I came to Slovenia with the intention to act in the Slovenian language, but with no success. My wife told me that if I felt the need to work in a foreign language then we must go to London. And so we did. When I first arrived in London I was very fortunate. I was there for just a few days to visit my friend Anthony Andrews who invited me to be his guest together with my family. My intention was to find Vanessa Redgrave and make “Wake Up World” to help Sarajevo Milče Mančevski, the director, who had been looking for me all over Yugoslavia, since he did not have my contact information. Finally, he found the number of the house in which I lived in Slovenia and my mother-in-law gave him Anthony’s address. Milče organized a meeting with a young filmmaker from New York, who gave me the script to read and told me that it would soon be filmed in Macedonia. I read the script that night and then I read it again. I really liked it. This was the scenario for the film “Before the Rain”. The next day, when we met again, I let the young filmmaker know that I thought the script was wonderful and he told me that he had written this role specifically to me. Needless to say I was quite surprised. “What do you mean, you haven’t ever met me before,” I replied. He said that he was a big fan of the movies of Živojina Pavlović. I had appeared in five of “Žika’s” films playing the main roles, so I was in some way Žika’s actor. So, I agreed, and later I filmed “Before the Rain” with Pavlović.
I’ve been in London since that time and I was, infact, fortunate to work in the with theater Vanessa Redgrave as was my wife Alenka, who is a theater director. Ironically, although I was one of the most recognizable actors in Yugoslavia, I was unknown in London and without money, without anything. Even after “Before the Rain”, I still was broke because the movie not yet been released, which usually takes a year. I remember that I went to auditions for some minor roles, some for only a few words in the entire production. I remember one audition when a young director said, “I adore you. I saw you in “Manifesto“ (a film by Dusan Makavejev, which was filmed in Bled, and starred the actors Eric Stolz and Alfred Molina) I watched that movie and I love you as a film actor.” I looked at him and I was thinking, “Well good, now I’ve got this role”, but then he said to me, “Okay, can you read these few lines from the script?” I looked at him and said, “I can not.” He asked me why. I simply got up and left. I couldn’t do it, for this small role, to say these few words. I had had enough of these auditions. And then there was an audition for a role, which I did not want, but I went anyway. The director, Phillip Noyce, was looking for actors in London for the movie “The Saint” (which would star Val Kilmer and Elisabeth Shoel) and I got the small role of a Russian general. At one point Royce looks at me and says, “You know what, here take this script. Can you come back in two days and be prepared to play Tretiak? He is one of the main roles, an antagonistic, Russian billionaire”. I worked feverishly to prepare and conducted the audition. Then he told me Paramount (Pictures) wanted Anthony Hopkins or Maximilian Shell. “But I want you,” he said. About 10 days later he contacted me and said, “Paramount liked your Russian” and so I got the role and my career begin in earnest.
It has always been difficult in that no matter in how many roles I get and no matter the caliber of the directors I work with, including such icons as Stanley Kubrick, and regardless of the great critical responses and awards I receive, I have never
become a mainstream American actor. I’ve always been considered a foreigner. I know that I am a foreigner, in part because of my accent, and I will always speak with an accent. It’s just that you are a foreigner and that there is nothing to be changed. Although America is quite tolerant and open, nevertheless it is still quite a chauvinistic attitude. In the meantime, I lived in London and traveled to America, when I was filming movies. Once, when I arrived in America in 2001, I came as a Slovenian citizen with a Slovenian passport and therefore I did not need an entering visa. However, I could not get a work permit, actually I could get it, but to gain a work permit takes at least 16 days. I had an immediate casting for a big TV series “Las Vegas”. I got the role in the series. My agent popped opened champagne —problems solved! I accept the role, but attorneys found that I do not have a chance to get a work permit faster than the 16 days and therefore would not be able to start filming the series because of that, so I lost one of the biggest roles of my career.
When I went to London in 1993 I was 45 years old. Now I live in Rijeka and constantly travel. I came back home because of my children and I got a sense that they were losing touch with their heritage. Both were born in London and I saw that over time they were losing their ability to speak and understand Croatian. I very much want them to be connected to the their roots. We have been back here for 4 years and we will stay in Rijeka at least until the autumn, and then we’ll see — maybe we will move again! I’m happy that I’m home. I am addicted to the Adriatic Sea. Nature — this to me it is something very important in life. Now, my girls are speaking better Croatian, which is also important. My older daughter has just finished college and the other is studying in Vienna at the English College and the third is finishing high school. When the youngest one graduates, my wife and I are considering leaving once again. We may go to Slovenia or to Belgrade where my father, who is now 101 years old, is living. In that way I can see him more often.
photographer: Jaka Vinsek //
Romaine Brau, Paris 2013 //
I was born in Berlin, but my family moved to China when I was about eight or nine months old. My first 10 years were spent in Shanghai where my father had a quite successful retail business. Looking back, the experience of growing up in such an exotic location was amazing. The culture was just incredible. In the evenings my father sketched a little bit…and I sketched alongside him. My mother bought me some crayons. I remember that one of the walls in our home was a beautiful light each color and I was eager to put my mark on it. At first my mother told me not to draw on the wall until my father said it was okay. When, to my great surprise, he okayed it, my mother smiled and said, ‘it’s okay, sweetie, go ahead”. So, from the beginning they were both very encouraging of my freedom of expression.
While living in Shanghai we took a vacation to Tibet for the summer. We stayed at a beautiful British hotel that my parents had heard about and were eager to visit. Very near the hotel was a Buddhist monastery and every time I passed by they were sitting quietly in meditation. I had no idea what meditation was and one day I asked my mother just why the monks were sitting so still. She did her best to explain it to me and finally the light went on and I understood.
I was out of art school a short time when a friend of mine introduced me to someone from the Van Heusen Company. The guy asked if he could take some of my designs and put them on shirts. I couldn’t conceive of that because I’m a painter who works on canvas and the idea of putting my art on a piece of clothing was foreign to me. But, I agreed and we did it, and before long a licensing agent came to see me. Within a year I had the 72 licensing deals. And they made $2.6 billion dollars! As for me, I made about $200 million from the retail sales.
Many years later in Paris, I met an Indian yogi named Swami Satchidananda, and I brought him to America. I was blown away by his wisdom and his charm and how well he articulated inner peace. I had never heard those words before—inner peace—and the experience of quiet and meditation just felt nice to me. In time I opened 52 yoga centers in his name all around the country. I was maybe 20 years old at the time and I invited friends up and friends brought friends, people like The Rascals and Carole King…a whole bunch of people came. I had a gigantic living room and I set up a chair for the swami and about 60 folding chairs for the guests. He gave many, many lectures and the room always filled up. I eventually rented a place for him to live on West End Avenue. It also had a very big living room. He gave classes and I hired someone to watch the doors and check people in and within three or four weeks it was standing room only, so we found a bigger place on 78th Street.
I bought that for him, because I was making a lot of money with the licensing deals I had at the time. After that I bought an even bigger building on 13th Street. The swami lived there and gave classes. Over the years I opened a total of 52 centers for the swami. For me, this was my greatest accomplishment; more so than my art career and my success as an artist with works in museums around the world. It brought spirituality to me and it was unbelievable. To know that inner peace…how to
tune out all the craziness. Sadly, he died a few years ago. He was 91 years old. Yoga became as big a career as my art. And that was the biggest thing in my life: To bring yoga into America and bring America into yoga. A few years later I got a call from George Harrison, who was an acquaintance of mine at the time and he told me that they (the Beatles) had also met a swami and his name was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
I knew the Beach Boys and the Beatles very well. John Lennon and I were best friends. We used to hang out a lot. I knew Yoko as well. But I knew them separately at first. I knew Yoko before John knew her. Later, I would visit them every second or third day at the Dakota and many times the three of us would go across the street to Central Park and we would walk and talk together.
I hung with Jimmy Hendrix for two years before he got well known. I met him in a café that Albert Grossman owned north of Woodstock. Grossman was a business guy who became Bob Dylan’s and Carole King’s manager. He offered music in his café. One day, I’m sitting in the café drawing and a guy sitting next to me leans over and says ‘Hey man, this is really cool, are you an artist?” We start talking and I ask him what he does. He says, ‘I sing and play guitar’. I got to know him pretty well. He was the first black kid I had ever met…tall...and we walked around and he took me to his place, which was in Woodstock. He picked up his guitar and started to play and I was blown away. Jimmy Hendrix, can you imagine? Jimmy Hendrix. And he sang for me. Two years before he put out his first album. I met Carole King in the same way—and the Rolling Stones.
P.S. 6 is located between 81st and 82nd Streets on the east side of Madison Avenue directly across from the Frank E. Campbell funeral home, mortuary to New York’s blue money crowd. I may have started at the school in fifth grade, or maybe it was sixth, I don’t know. I can’t remember years at a time of my early childhood.
The school sits square, brick, and bunker like, cupping a central yard, which I do remember as the exact spot Artie Cano knocked the wind out of me with one punch to the stomach after I said something he didn’t like. This, right in front of the willowy Michelle Jones, who from that moment on saw through me like I was a soap bubble.
Some days after school let out, I’d hustle to get invited to someone’s house close by so I could burn up some daylight before I had to head back to the tiny studio apartment I lived in with my nanny, Betsy. These little sojourns were made all the more fun if the friend’s Mom was home!
By that age, out of necessity, I had honed my people pleasing skills to a fine point and rare was the Mom I couldn’t beguile with some cute jokes or flattering banter. I was usually perceived as being charming and mature beyond my tender years.
Every once in a while, I’d hit the tri-fecta. This would comprise an invitation to a pretty girl’s house with a good Mom who would leave us alone for a while so I could try for a kiss or a feel, and then, on my way out the door, give me a big mushy hug and tell me what a nice boy I was. Rare, but when all the components lined up, the ultimate.
This afternoon had been spent at the beautiful Robin White’s house just up the block from school. No mom, in fact, a rather vigilant housekeeper on duty. But there were cookies, a little kissy face, a slapped away hand, then home. On the short walk, I mentally ticked off a wish list for the evening. Betsy would be in a good mood, dinner would actually happen, maybe there’d be a visit from my mother with a gift or a book, then a little reading, then bed.
But when I opened the front door into a dark, still room, I knew the evening wasn’t going to play out as hoped for. Right away that old familiar dread welled up in my stomach and I could feel my heart beating. No lights on in the afternoon almost always meant that Betsy was drunk and that meant the next few hours would require careful attention on my part to avoid calamity.
There was still a little light coming in from the street windows. Just enough to silhouette Betsy’s figure on the bed. I needed a little time to figure out what to do, so I quietly padded by her, pulled the dividing curtain closed behind me and sat down on the edge of my bed to think.
There were options. I could do absolutely nothing, stay quiet behind the curtain and read until I was tired enough to go to sleep. Most likely, Betsy would wake up some hours later, look in on me and just go back to bed. That was the simplest plan, but it would mean I wouldn’t get any supper. A second scenario was to try and wake her up gently. This entailed some risk because there were critical variables involved. The main problem was that I didn’t know how much she had drunk or how long she had been asleep. If she’d drunk a lot and had only been asleep for an hour or two, waking her up could be all kinds of dangerous. The third option was to try to heat up a can of something for myself without waking her up at all. I had tried this once and she arose almost immediately with unpleasant results.
I decided to take my chances on a gentle nudge to test the waters. I stood over her. In the dim light I could see her smudged lipstick and a flaccid exposed breast. This disturbing image, along with her intensely fetid smell nearly made me gag. I turned my head for a clear breath, turned back then gave her arm a firm push as I said, “Betsy.”
Again, a harder push this time, “Betsy.”
I leaned close over her ear. “Betsy, wake up, it’s me!”
Without any forewarning, her left arm swung up in an arc and caught me between my shoulder and neck startling me upright and reeling backwards.
That was when the phone rang.
Though still in shock from Betsy’s sudden wallop, my first thought was to pick up the phone as fast as I could so she wouldn’t come to.
“Hello?” I whispered quickly.
“Jimmy, It’s your mother.”
Trying now to control my breath. “Oh, hi.”
“Come over here when you finish your dinner, OK?”
“OK,” I wheezed.
“Are you all right?” she asked, using the interrogatory tone she used when she was suspicious, or beginning to be.
“Put Betsy on.”
“She’s in the bathroom.” I lied, “She said she had a tummy ache, so she’s in the bathroom.”
Oh oh, that didn’t sound right. But it got by her.
“All right, I’ll see you in a few.” She was onto another thought and hung up.
Betsy was still down as I hustled past her to the door. I said loudly, ”I’m going to Mom’s!” A groan from her as the door closed, a few quick steps and I was out and walking briskly towards 5th Avenue. My shoulder smarted a bit, but not badly. I had escaped relatively unscathed. This could have gone another way.
On the short walk, I tucked in my shirt and smoothed my hair in the window reflection of a parked car. Ready for presentation now, I buzzed the intercom at their building.
“Who is it?” inquired my mother in her extra special high-pitched singsong voice designed to sound capricious and whimsical.
“James who?” teasingly.
Come on, I thought.
“It’s James, your son,” I said, I didn’t want to play.
“I don’t know anyone named James.”
There might be some drinking going on here. She usually didn’t play more than one round of this game.
My next gambit was silence. She wouldn’t know what to do with that.
Wait a beat, then...“I’m here,” in a bored monotone.
The buzzer buzzed.
The elevator was tiny and slow. It opened directly in front of their door. A red lacquer half moon table against the wall presented silk roses in a sterling bowl underneath a big mirror in an ornate gold-leaf frame. A quick check of my hair and shirt, followed by the slightly harrowing thought that my pants had no hint of a crease, and I rapped the brass knocker twice, careful not to rap too loudly.
A moment and the door opened.
She wore a white terry robe with navy piping. Her makeup had been applied. Signature bright red lipstick on that famous mouth, matte porcelain skin, foot long eyelashes and hair smoothed back. At once casual and absolutely perfect. She was, after all, a professional.
“What’s with that shirt?” she said, turning away and walking toward the back of the apartment. Here we go, I thought. I let her take a few steps ahead so I wouldn’t have to respond, then followed her down the hall to their bedroom where she disappeared into her dressing room.
I was trying to figure out where to sit when the bathroom door opened and my stepfather emerged and strode past me and uttered, ”James.” in a somber baritone. “Hi,” I said, while mentally casting about for a spot in which to stay out of his way. He was a handsome man in a slim, close-cropped Perry Como sort of way. But his currency was his athletic build. Six feet tall with a thirty-inch waist, taut and wiry from near daily tennis, a can of Metrical for lunch and a sparrow-sized dinner, he had the perfect body for clothes. And he was well aware of it.
“What’s new James?” he asked the mirror while micro-coaxing a pewter colored, Meledandri silk tie into a perfectly sculpted Windsor knot centered between the collar points of a cream south sea island cotton shirt made just for him by Sulka.
“Yes sir.” Crap. I couldn’t ever get the “sir” thing.
The TV was on in the corner of the room. Davy Crockett with Fess Parker. No sound. I could turn my attention in that direction and maybe he would leave me alone. But a problem arose immediately. On the show, Indians were attacking. There were close-ups of howling war-painted savages, and tomahawks and carnage on horseback. For some reason, and out of nowhere, this scared the shit out of me. I didn’t know what was happening. I’d seen westerns before, but now I was almost in tears. I turned away from the TV and tried to breathe.
My stepfather, now dressed and looking far more fashionable than any Esquire magazine cover, called out to my mother, “Beau, are we ready? The car will be here in a minute.” He shot the cuffs of his shirt while looking critically at his three quarter reflection in the mirror. His bespoke suit, custom-stitched by a semi-retired Savile Row tailor using the absolute finest Super 120 worsted wool from Holland & Sherry in Scotland, purveyors to the Crown, was so perfectly cut that although it followed his form to the millimeter, it appeared as though the only place it actually touched his body was the top of his shoulders. Of course, the navy blue color of the fabric, so often misinterpreted, was spot on. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to presume that the Duke of Windsor wore a garment cut from the very same bolt of cloth.
My mother stepped out of her dressing room, all five foot ten of her, in a slinky, multi-colored Emilio Pucci dress that had the same effect as a cherry bomb going off in the room. She didn’t look to him – at least this time – for approval. She knew she had it right. A quick dip into her jewelry case to accessorize and she was set.
I was still trying to avoid looking at the Indians on TV when my stepfather said. “All right, were off, let’s go James.”
The charged closeness of the three of us in that tiny elevator was, for me, and I imagine for them, almost unbearable. I scrambled out on the first floor and held the door open. As they passed me by, I misspoke tragically saying, “You look dignant.”
“That’s not a word,” he said, walking by me. But I knew it. Embarrassing.
A gleaming black Rolls-Royce Ghost idled quietly in front. Their chauffeur, Rosie, band box sharp in uniform, held the door.
“Good night James, be good,” said my mother as she ducked her head into the Connolly leather and Wilton wool interior of the limousine. He said nothing.
I said nothing.
I stood there as the car motored away, listening to the deep muffled thrum of its powerful engine and watching the twin jewels of its taillights as it rounded the corner and turned down 5th Avenue.
Then I walked back up the block hoping Betsy was still asleep.
photographer Andrea Massari
@ L&A Artist/L Group Productions //
fashion director Jules Wood //
model Mischa Barton //
hair & makeup Claudia Andreatta @ L&A Artist/L Group Productions //
PLEASURES OF ABSTRACTION
‘Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam’
The smallest hair casts a shadow
— Francis Bacon
Perhaps more than most, I am familiar with the concrete pleasures of physical space. Making a building involves immersing oneself in the sensuous but also legible conditions of proportion, geometry, mass, surface and light. At the beginning of a project, when the design is still a series of ideas, this immersive experience necessarily happens in the head, but it has concrete, tactile qualities nonetheless: I would never describe the imagined reality of architecture as abstract.
The pleasures of abstraction are different. Things can become interesting when the nature of what you are looking at is uncertain.
What is the subject? What is the perspective? Without a readable context and a means to work out scale, the collateral information necessary for even the loosest interpretation is lacking. Is this something small and close or vast and distant? Are these marks made by man or by nature?
We are used to decoding being the natural consequence of seeing, but in these circumstances, understanding in a literal sense stops being the point. The instinct to characterise falls away. The simple act of looking becomes a form of meditation. In the absence of any conventional resting point for the gaze, the sensitised eye is free to register the smallest details and variations of tone, texture, shadow and pattern.
One might assume that this condition of unknow ability keeps the viewer on the surface of things, but the reality is that it opens up the possibility of going deeper. One realises how much there is to see in an apparently calm visual field, at the same time as one appreciates that simplicity and richness are not inevitably contradictory states.
— John Pawson
photographer: Conor Doherty
creative director: Whitney Mercurio
stylist: Liz Teich
hair: Stacey Kuehn
makeup: Mariolga Pantazopolous
model: Charo c/o Ford
photographed by Helena Christensen //
PHOTOGRAPHER // ALEXEY GLEBKO
Model // Irina Esterlis
Wardrobe provided by // TheNewWorldOrderNYC.com
Image 1: dress Yohji yamamoto; coat Romeo Gigli; boots OAK
Image 2: dress Yohji yamamoto; coat Romeo Gigli; skirt Comme des Garcons; boots OAK
Image 3: coat Romeo Gigli
Image 4: dress Yohji yamamoto; coat Romeo Gigli; boots OAK
Image 5: dress Yohji Yamamoto
photographer - thomas feehly
creative director - whitney mercurio
styling - jennifer malatesta
hair / makeup - dawn collins
model - olivia frischer / vny model management
wardrobe - giles deacon & vintage
special thanks to swarovski, missy papageorge and colton amster at redline restorations
THE NEW YORK FILM WORLD’S DAPPER GENTLEMEN
by Susan M. Kirschbaum // photography Helena Christensen
Reserved asks Andrew Saffir — founder of Cinema Society — who would play him and Daniel Benedict, his life partner, in the movie version of their lives. “Robert Downey Jr. for me and Alexander Skarsgard for Daniel. “RDJ is one of my all time favorite actors, whip smart and brilliant. So major wishful thinking on my part.” Says the curly haired bespectacled Saffir. Regarding Skarsgard: “So many people mistake Daniel for him; they think he’s Swedish, it seems like the perfect casting!”
For Saffir — a born and bred Upper East Sider — choosing his own thespian doppelgangers, is a daunting consideration. He pulls off (he estimates) seventy premieres a year, juggling appearances by myriad actors and directors in the Big Apple, a place still keener on cults of personalities then Hollywood studio schmaltz. His answer reflects the perfect hybrid of both, which might also be said of his relationship with Benedict, an executive specializing in luxury hotel branding.
Saffir, who had studied both acting and film in college — and who reaches the big 50 in October — met Benedict, 43, when they both worked at Ralph Lauren almost two decades ago. Benedict quips. “He had this female assistant who would follow him around with a clip board. She was very protective of him.” But not so much that the two didn’t set up a date. “When I came to New York in my twenties, I wanted a relationship with a solid person.”
Benedict says. “Andrew’s a very secure person.” Since Benedict found what he’d been seeking in their (then) budding relationship, he never ended up moving to LA, a consideration at that time. So, to reprise, given the film business still starts in LA before trickling to the East Coast, the question pops up again: New York or LA?
Ironically, Benedict, a Massachusetts native, hates the cold season here. Still, it’s not enough to switch coasts. “I’d get bored in LA I don’t think there’s enough for us to do. As for spending the winter there, come April, I’d be ready to roll.” “The longest we last in LA is three weeks.” Saffir says. “I miss New York too much. I’m Woody Allen. I love St. Ambroeus, any outdoor cafe. Shakespeare in the Park. Theatre. I don’t do premieres in LA What I do wouldn’t work there. LA really is a one industry town.”
Cinema Society marks its tenth anniversary this Fall with relatively intimate screenings and parties, curated by Saffir to reflect the diversity of NYC. They include not just actors and directors but musicians, socialites, artists, and executives from various genres. It all started with the movie Proof, when Saffir recalled Dior liked its star, Gwyneth Paltrow. So, he approached the label to sponsor an event in the Richard Meier building on Charles Street in the West Village. He assembled some
comfy couches and invited Beyonce, Jay Z, Iman, David Bowie, and Vogue editors Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles.
Other brand matches have included Sarah Jessica Parker and Oscar de La Renta for the film the Family Stone; and more recently Audi cars for the movie Ant-Man starting Paul Rudd; and Yves St. Laurent for Paper Towns, starring Cara Delavingne, YSL spokes-model.
Saffir still ‘fans out’ about some of his favorite directors, Spielberg, Scorsese, and the quintessential neurotic Manhattanite, Allen. Like Allen in his narrator roles, Saffir plays `en scene’ psychologist when planning premieres. When he first worked with Allen for the film Whatever Works, starring Larry David, he wanted to do a party at the Standard’s ‘Boom Boom Room’ — where the towering 18th floor to ceiling windows overlook the Hudson River and the West Side Highway. But, he was told. “You won’t get Woody there. He’s afraid of heights!” So instead he opted for a screening downtown and ferries to take guests to the River Cafe in Brooklyn.
Saffir sighs audibly when recalling that magical night, which he shared with Benedict, who attends all the premieres. “The New Yorker in me loves sitting there, the view...”
photographer Caroline Knopf
@ Sarah Laird, carolineknopf.com //
fashion director Jules Wood //
art director Steve Whittier //
model Carly Moore @ The Society Model Management //
hair Jerome Cultrera using Oribe Hair Care
@ See Management //
makeup Regina Harris, reginaharrismakeup.com //
digital tech Stowe Richards //
1st photo assistant John Fitzgerald //
location Moonstone Beach, Rhode Island //
Special Thanks to Tim Bontecou and to all the team!
“Drawing across a surface is a mysterious adventure, full of complex possibility and poetry. While the works represented on these pages date from the 1970’s to the present and incorporate diverse processes and mediums, they all share my life’s preoccupation with the power of the drawn line. Marks are made with pencil, brush, charcoal or strips of cloth. Through a network of drawn lines I construct a hypothetical and quixotic architecture that is both mystical and imaginary as well as intwined in the material tactile surface of the actual work.
Line delineates space. I ask the viewer to shift between layers of spacial information being presented, to embrace the nuanced conundrums that are suggested through line, space and the fields they inhabit. It is in this realm of experiencing shifts of reality that I beckon a new experience of sight and perception, and simultaneously share a lyrical presentation of my own being.”
photographer Vikram Pathak //
fashion director Jules Wood //
art director Vicki March //
model Jayne @ IMG Agent //
hair & makeup Jamie Hanson @ Wilhelmina Artists NY //
Special thanks to Missy Papageorge!
LESLIE RODGER X VICTORIA GRANT
Leslie Williamson Rodger
Photography and Fashion Direction
Hats by Victoria Grant
Isabel Aranguren Messuti
Hair Stylist Jessie Verroca
Make up Artist Heather Raeh
Shot in Los Angeles, California 2016
Thanks to The Residency Experience
by Michael Donnelly //
Syd Barrett //
Kate Moss //
photographed by Mick Rock
photographer: Filippo DelVita
art director: Whitney Mercurio
fashion editor: Jules Wood
photographer: Stuart McConaghy and
Cal Lane personal archive //
by Whitney Mercurio //
Sometimes things strike a visceral chord in me. It’s my own personal litmus test of whether or not I really like something. I feel it with people, art, things I read, objects, conversations, music, scents, nature, concepts, moments in time, you name it. If I’m lucky it’s a combination of a few of these things at once.
I met Cal Lane when she invited me to her studio / home in Putnam Valley, New York last May. I was so excited to meet this woman and artist as I had fallen in love with her work. “Found” industrial objects made of steel that were once utilitarian... shovels, car doors, oil drums and I-beams... she transforms into visually delicate filigree and lace with an industrial-grade plasma cutter. This is a complete and beautiful paradox. In a world where it is generaly expected of women to be delicate and to work with and create equally as delicate objects, it makes me happy to see Cal working against these gender stereotypes using high powered electrical arcs and inert gas to create plasma which bites through steel like a hot knife through butter and in complete contrast to the process, creating these seemingly delicate but strong pieces of art.
Cal Lane is as brilliant and welcoming as she is talented. It was a pleasure.
Extremes, though contrary,
have the like effects. Extreme heat kills,
and so extreme cold: extreme love
breeds satiety, and so extreme hatred;
and too violent rigor tempts chastity,
as does too much license.
photographer: Stephanie Dinkel //
I create artifacts from a world where humans have long since disappeared and new forms of life have gained foothold upon the discarded architecture of our present civilization. Materials for these works begin as present day discards, leftovers, and forgotten flotsam. I gather at salvage yards, roadside waste piles, garages and other crevices where today’s material culture quietly collects. In this discordant utopia only traces of the human race remain, and the detritus merges into new life forms. Transistor tubes create a bustling hive within an ancient bureau.
A turntable is brought back to life nestled into a woven nest. The humble umbrella, the modest stapler, the iconic vinyl record, and the crushed carcass of a Chevy Impala are engraved into rusting fossils that lovingly display the crumpled inventiveness of human ingenuity. As a whole, my sculptures and flat work generate glimpses of a future where the boundary between man-made and nature-made has dissolved into a family of hybrid organisms and abandoned relics.
Michiel Sanders arrived in New York in 1985 after spending two years in Paris working as a hair and makeup artist. While pursuing his career in fashion and collaborating with the great Richard Avedon, Scavullo and Mary-Ellen Mark, Michiel discovered his passion for painting and drawing. He is a Ramapo Scholarship recipient and also a graduate of the prestigious New York Studio School. While still currently working as a hair and make-up artist, Michiel lives and paints in his studio in Williamsburg. He works with various mediums and as a true colorist, his ultimate quest is to make his colors sing...
“Why do I paint? I paint because in many ways words are so limited to me, and while my paintings reflect my daily life experiences, thoughts and observations, the content of my paintings are open to the interpretations of each individual’s looking at them with his/her own eyes and emotions”.
“Color is a key element in my personal quest; colors are playfully fluid in coming together in harmony. They evoke a memory, a feeling, like a great music composition or poetry can do”.
Mr. Brainwash for Burger King //
special thanks to Dara Schopp
photography Michael Somoroff //
by Whitney Mercurio //
Magazines want to know where things are going and those things are always unpredictable. Magazines anticipate. They are always about what is current to the degree that they can foresee where the culture is at the particular moment they appeal to their readership. But the truth is you can never tell where anything is going because life is contradictory and destructive and you can never tell the consequence of any single act because things are so contradictory. As the Buddha said, ’bad yields good, good yields bad’. I’m a very poor forecaster, and I have no interest in forecasting or where things are going. It is hard enough to understand where you are and the idea of knowing where you’ll be is absurd. And who would have guessed the consequence of technology might, in fact, drive more people back to drawing or into returning to using their hand. Also, I think the cause and effect, the relationship between things, is so contradictory and unpredictable that every time I read something that is supposed to be a forecast of the consequence of any single act I laugh, because if you live long enough you realize how absurd those forecasts are. I stopped doing that. But what is of interest is the fact there are effects of technology that cannot be anticipated. What I have discovered since I have started taking advantage of technology, which I have done over the last few years, is that I have gotten very intrigued by the use of technology. But the way I use a computer is totally dependent on my understanding of print making. The fact that I started out as a print maker and used photography and etching and the world of prints as my fundamental training, makes the computer merely an extension of that universe. If somebody didn’t start in that world they would have a totally different view of what a computer is. Everything is shaped by my previous experience, so that my present experience is an application of what I had learned previously. There is no universal meaning to technology except in its application and subjective use by an individual. I started doing prints that were based on pattern making that came out of my interests in work that I did in the Rubin Museum and then I used those patterns to make rugs that were made in Tibet in an old fashioned way based on work that I had done on the computer. Those kinds of inter-relationships are not predictable and are not linear. They are just incomprehensible and they are intuitive and they don’t make sense. I am interested in work that doesn’t make sense, that isn’t rational, that isn’t logical, because you know that work comes out of the irrational. It’s not predictable and one of the things about forecasting or anticipating consequences is that it is rational and the interesting work that you do doesn’t come out of rationality or objective conditions. It comes out of intuition, metaphor, contradiction and the irrational.”
photography Jaka Vinsek //
I WAS INSPIRED BY THE BIRTH
OF MY DAUGHTER.
I used watercolors, which is a delicate medium, a basic shape, and sub-tle use of color to show fragility. I wanted to show a complete body, while at the time, showing the individual parts that create it.
My process was initiated by my own daily organizing and setting values to life tasks, events, situations and other “emotional data.” I then trans-late these values into different colors and sizes of circles. The arrange-ment of these individual shapes, which build a unified piece, represent the process of balancing elements in my life.
Animation: Catherine by Kevin Weir //
photographer: Hugo Arturi //
fashion editor: Jules Wood //
Photographer // Kevin Trinh
Hair // Dakota Hunter
Stylist // Levi Sawyer
photography by ALE BURSET
Model: Melina Gesto for Pink Models Management
Styling: Angie Ugarte
Makeup: Mechi Peralta
Hair: Marco Bustamante for Supernova
Retouch: Diego Speroni
Silk wide legged pant, Silk blouse, Neoprene jacket with belt, Platted chiffon collar all by NOUS ETUDIONS
Long sleeved crop top - VANDA
Oversized black satin dress - NOUS ETUDIONS
White studded leather collar - MARGOT
Wrist band – SINESTESIA
Bicolor patent leather shoes - CHWALA
Pleated chiffon crop top - NOUS ETUDIONS
Mermaid skirt with metal ring detail - CHER
White pleated chiffon dress with neoprene details - NOUS ETUDIONS
White boo tie with silver heel - CHWALA
photographer - stephanie dinkel //
hair - dennis devoy //
make up - mariko arai //
photographer’s assistant - anna ritsch //
model - solomiya zgoda / ford models ny //
written by richard dupont //
introduction and edit by quynh dang //
photography by Anton Perich and Andy Warhol //
illustration Mitja Bokun //
Former Factory Boys and identical twins, Richard and Robert DuPont, were just a pair of 17 year-old Connecticut prepsters when they found themselves at the center of the drug, booze, and sex-induced intoxica-tion that was Andy Warhol’s New York City in 1977.
More than 35 years later, one-half of the DuPont twins and Reserved Magazine’s West Coast Editor, Richard DuPont, shares some of his most treasured memories with us. To our delight, his experiences were indeed laced with all the glamour, seduction, and power that one would expect of the era. In taking a closer look, however, we discovered vulnerability, heartbreak, and fragility of spirit at the core.
When unraveled, Richard’s stories of friendships, fashion, and fetes all reveal one common thread—the pursuit of love and magic. Today, Rich-ard has a new tale, a memoir that celebrates this quest, entitled I Found Somebody to Love Me.
These are the stories he reserved for us, shared via text message conver-sations.
ON HIS EARLY DAYS:
My twin brother, Robert and I, like my dear friend Whitney Mercurio, grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut. We were adopted and our parents divorced when we were very young. After the divorce, Mother was al-ways looking for the next husband, and we were constantly moving from home to home. There were maybe 20 homes until Robert and I left at 17. We basically took care of ourselves and never had parents at home. I knew I was gay when I was 15 when I went to my first gay bar, The Brook Café in Westport. I met a Yale graduate student there named Bill. After one night with him, he began to blackmail and threaten me, saying he would tell my parents, the whole town of Fairfield, and everyone in my school that I was gay. It lasted for several months.
I was scared to death of being “found out”. I couldn’t sleep. My grades were horrible along with my attendance, so I started drinking and do-ing drugs. I had to get a job to support my cocaine and heroin habit, so I started working for Martha Stewart, who had just started a catering company.
Robert and I both worked for Martha. We also worked at her gourmet shop in Westport called The Market Basket. There I met Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who were on the board of The Westport Country Playhouse. They got me a telemarketing job there; I was raising money for the playhouse’s renovation. I was also an usher; I worked all the time. I just wanted to run away from my life in Connecticut, move to NYC, and become an actor.
Anyway, back to Bill (the Yalie); I just wanted all of his tormenting to end. It did, one weekend in P’town, in the summer of ‘76. We were at The Crown & Anchor and I was crying at the bar when Bill went to the bath-room. A gentleman beside me asked with a thick Southern accent, what was the matter. I told him what Bill was doing to me, and boy, oh boy, was he angry! He said to me, “you won’t have to worry about Bill again. Go home, do your best in school and get a good education.” I never saw Bill again, but I did see that fine Southern gentleman again. It was Tennessee Williams, who became a dear friend.
Back in Fairfield, I took Tennessee Williams’ advice, and started to do better in school. I took an interest in art and photography (David LaChappelle was in my photography class.). At this time, I also discov-ered Alcoholics Anonymous and started going to meetings. They say, “You’re only as sick as your secrets,” so I shared my homosexuality there, and I made some friends.
I discovered my love for theatre and dance. With the money I was mak-ing with Martha Stewart, I started taking dance lessons, and going to New York to see every Broadway show I could—this was sure better than buying drugs. But I eventually lost that drive when my disease caught up with me and I was drinking and drugging every night at Studio 54. It was after working a party in NYC with Martha that we went to Studio. Two waiters working the party asked us to go with them. It had been open for, maybe, a week.
ON HIS FIRST LOVE:
At seventeen I took my first trip to Paris with my first true love, Rudolph Nureyev. I met Rudolph in ‘77 after an evening of dancing at Studio 54 at Doris Duke’s apartment. We danced for hours together in Doris’ Disco Den. And had fantastic sex there for hours. The next day we were flying to Paris together where I stayed with him for five months.
Life was so grand in Paris with Rudolph. He introduced me to caviar and dressed me in fur coats and Saint Laurent. His Paris apartment was like a Czar’s dream palace. The apartment occupied an 18th-century building overlooking the Louvre. He adored objects—paintings, fabrics and carpets. We went shopping almost every day. He would take me to his dear friend Yves Saint Laurent’s salon and dressed me in the most marvelous suits: lots of velvets.
I knew it wasn’t going to last with Rudolph. I had the best five months with him and the greatest memories. We had a great friendship. He taught me to enjoy life and really appreciate the arts.
There were always guys around more handsome than me, though, with better bodies. Most were dancers. I feel, now, that my jealousy ruined the relationship.
The relationship ended after a trip to Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge’s home in Marrakech. We were there for three nights, or so. Ru-dolph invited two other guys to join us that I didn’t know about. It was ‘The End.’ I remember crying into the arms of Loulou de la Falaise who was there, in Marrakech. She said to me, “You’re young, my love. One day you will find the true love of your life and it will be magical.”
I used to joke that Rudolph broke up with me because of my long dis-tance phone calls to Andy and Truman (Capote) in New York. Andy and Truman always gave me great advice, especially when it came to relationships. Rudolph would say, “You talk for hours and have these marathon calls. What do you talk about for this long?”
I was not thinking about continuing my education at all. I was still work-ing for Martha, who was constantly saying, “Where will you be going to school? Where are you applying?” I did not tell her about Robert and my new life in NyC. But I did confide in Dorian Leigh, who worked with Martha. Dorian was the original ‘Fire and Ice’ girl for Revlon. She was Suzy Parker’s sister; (Richard) Avedon’s favorite model. They say Audrey Hepburn’s character in Funny Face was based on Dorian; and apparent-ly, so was Holly Golightly.
Dorian Leigh became my best girlfriend and closest confidant. She taught me about fashion; she worked with the best designers. We talked about fashion photography and she showed me all of her Avedon and Dahl-Wolfe photographs. We also chatted about men, “Take ‘em and leave ‘em,” she said, “there will be lots, my darling.” I told her about all the fabulous people I was meeting, like Egon von Furstenberg who gave me a job producing his and Nikki Haskell’s cable TV show, The Nikki Haskell show. Dorian said, “Sweetie Pie, you will, like me, meet lots of fabulous and interesting people in your life. I certainly have. They all are your friends. But you know, Sugar, at the end you can only count on one hand who your ‘true friends’ are. Take that from me.” I learned this. She said, “You don’t need college. You’re getting the best education you can get from me and all the people you are meeting.”
ON ANDY WARHOL:
Andy worked hard; he painted every day, Saturdays and Sundays, too. It was all about work for him. He was always working on getting ads for Interview, or trying to get portrait commissions. He was so generous with his time with me. He taught me how to be a good listener. He would say, “If you’re not having fun with the work you’re doing, then don’t do it.” Maybe that’s why I’ve had so many careers.
When I met Andy, l felt really drawn to him. He said, “you’re so hand-some. You should be in Interview.” I used to walk sometimes from his home on 66th Street to 860 Broadway. We’d be carrying copies of In-terview and these kids, who were my age, would want his autograph. He’d say, “Get Richard’s, too, he’s famous.” He always made you feel so special. If the kids were cute, Andy would say, “Come on up for lunch at The Factory. We’ll put you on the cover.” I don’t remember any of these kids getting in, though. You had to be buzzed in by Brigid (Berlin), who was Andy’s closest friend and confidant. When I lived with Brigid a few years ago, I used to call her Mrs. Warhol.
Andy liked youth. And I think he would still be with the kids if he were with us today. He appreciated anybody who was creative and young, and helped them.
Andy would say to me, “Hard work will never kill anyone. Idle time will.” He had a great work ethic.
I think the biggest misconception about Andy is that he was shy. He was incredibly talkative and hilarious. I would laugh so hard around him, or when I was on the phone with him. I’d cry; he was so very funny.
We’d chat about what went on at Studio 54 after he went home, and what went on at Halston’s house later. He wanted to know everything about what was going on. Andy was very curious.
ON FREDDIE MERCURY:
Andy was a great matchmaker. He fixed Freddie Mercury and me up. I met Freddie at Trader Vic’s one evening. I was there with Salvador Dali and Gala. Freddie came up to me and asked me for a cigarette. We smoked our cigarettes and I told him I had to go to a dinner at Regine’s; that a friend had invited me to. I asked if he would like to join me. We walked over to Regine’s to join Andy, Diana Vreeland, Fred Hughes and Catherine Guinness.
Andy said to me, “You don’t know who your friend is, do you? That’s Freddie Mercury from Queen,” he said. “you must make him your boy-friend. He’s famous.” I didn’t know Queen. I knew Barbara Streisand and Diana Ross and my favorite, The Carpenters. Also any Broadway show album. Andy was saying to Freddie, “Richard is so fabulous and fun to have around, He will keep you laughing all of the time, and really is so charming.” I turned beet red. Freddie was laughing, as was the rest of the table. Freddie looked at me and said, “Do you want to keep me laughing for a while, and come back to my hotel?” I did, and that was the beginning of a relationship that lasted over a year.
I was young and impressionable. I remember being at Halston’s house one evening, and Bianca Jagger was there. She was staying there when she and Mick split up. I remember saying to her how in love I was with Freddie and that I hardly saw much of him because he was working all of the time. I remember Halston saying, “you’re a rock star wife, get used to lots of lonely nights in bed. And, sweetie pie, he must be seeing other people don’t you think?” Bianca was sympathetic, I remember.
I was now becoming more insecure about our relationship. Freddie would fly to New york and stay with me at the St. Regis hotel. My brother and I were living there as guests of our friends, Salvador Dali and Gala. I would fly to London and stay at The Dorchester. I couldn’t stay with him because of his cats. I’m so allergic.
When we were dating, Freddie wanted to see where I grew up. So, we drove to my home on Spruce Street in Southport, CT, the pretty, upper-class little section of the already upperclass town of Fairfield. We stayed for two nights. Freddie said to me, “I want to dress like my Prepster,” so I took him shopping at the Fairfield Department Store, where he bought several Lacoste shirts. We had a great time in Connecticut. We even danced at the legendary Brook Café in Westport, where someone said, “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Freddie Mercury?” Freddie said, “All the time.” Freddie wanted to have fun with this guy, so he sang a few lines from a Queen song. The silly guy then said, “you wish you could sing like Freddie Mercury, he is the greatest there is.” This guy didn’t believe it was Freddie Mercury sitting there at the Brook Café in Westport. We had a great time there. We laughed so much.
Back in those days, in the Disco Era, the men I was falling in love with all wanted ‘open relationships.’ I remember the evening Freddie said to me, at Mr. Chow in London, that he wanted to see other guys and that he already was. I got so upset. “Why can’t we have a Doris Day/Rock Hud-son relationship?” I asked (Omg, was I pathetic.) He responded, “I heard Rock Hudson is gay. you should go out with him and also other people.” I got into my drama queen mode and threw a drink in Freddie’s face. He and I started arguing and my dear friend the late Tina Chow came rush-ing over to our table. “Will you two stop it? Behave yourselves. You two are like George and Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf’,” the divine Tina Chow said. We began calling ourselves George and Martha after that. But it became so unhealthy that we ended it.
I was talking to a friend the other day about Andy. He asked me if I think Andy would be on Facebook, or the computer. Andy would say, “Isn’t this so great? It’s so Joe Modern.” But I think he’d have people around who were able to use the computer, and do Facebook for him.
When I was living with Brigid Berlin, in NYC a few years ago, she didn’t understand texting. She would get annoyed with me when I was texting. I don’t think Andy would be texting on a cell phone. Like Brigid, he would pick up the phone. Texting would be too modern. He loved chat-ting on the phone.
Brigid and I were producers on the film Factory Girl. We spent a lot of time with the film’s stars Guy Pearce and Sienna Miller. I remember being out to dinner with Brigid, Guy, and Sienna. Sienna had a few phones and was texting. Brigid was amazed at how she could be texting on several phones and Sienna offered to teach Brigid how to text. Brigid wasn’t interested. “It’s too modern. I prefer to go out on the phone,” she said. Like Andy, Brigid likes talking on the phone.
Dali did a wonderful, large drawing of Robert and me. It’s gone now. When I found out I was positive in ‘94, my addiction really got the worse of me. I was drinking heavily and doing every drug available: heroin, co-caine, crystal . My life was unmanageable. I was really sick and weighed 155 pounds. I had the lowest element of people in my life then living in my apartment. Streemetht urchins. One of the guys went running down Sunset Blvd. with it under his arm. This jerk knew what he had under his arm and sold it for a quick fix of drugs. Anyway, it’s just a thing.
A possession. I remember having lunch with two good friends in L.A. at Spago, Truman Capote and Lester Persky. It was just before Truman passed away. Truman said, “Possessions are obligations. What’s import-ant is wonderful friends and great loves.” I have to agree with my friend Truman.
Robert and I were living in Beverly Hills and we decided to find our natural mother who had put us up for adoption. We ended up moving east to Connecticut, where she lives, to get to know her. It didn’t work out too well. After giving birth to us, she became a nun for several years. She’s no longer a nun, but couldn’t accept that Robert and I were gay, so Cornelia and C.Z. Guest (who we met through Truman) said, “Get out of that unhealthy situation, and come and live with us for a while.”
As Dorian Leigh said, you only have a handful of people you can call true friends. I hold my friendship with C.Z. and Cornelia close to my heart.
ON SAYING GOODBYE:
A memory I will always cherish is one from 1989. I moved to LA that year and decided one day to drive the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francis-co. I checked into the Mark Hopkins Hotel there. I hadn’t seen Halston for several years. I was in the elevator going up to my room, the elevator stops, the doors open, and there is Halston in front of me.
He was living at the Mark Hopkins and was sick, It was a year before he died. He smiled, and in Halston manner said, “Darling twin, Richard or Robert.”
He said, “Honey, want to go for a ride with me?” Of course I said yes, after giving him a hug and big kiss.
We drove around San Francisco in a black Rolls Royce for about an hour or so, just driving and reminiscing of the great times at 54, his home, and friends that were gone. He told his driver to put in the Studio 54 tape. Halston said Stevie (Rubell) gave it to him years before and he still played it. The two of us sang along to some of the songs. I remember singing to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.” I guess you could say that was my last dance with my friend Halston.
“I’m getting back on my floatie. Two hot guys in the pool, and I
want to meet them. At this moment, I’d be up for a three-way.”
Jitrois x NN by NGHI
When classic French chic stretch leather meets New York urban armour
Photography & Art Direction: NeO Tony LEE
Hair & Makeup Artist: Agata Helena
Photo Assistant: Richie Bell
Fashion: Jitrois @jitroismadisonave
Jewelry & Accessories: NN @nnbynghi
Featuring: Alexandra B. & Anastassiya Hendeles
Photographer: Diane Vasil
Art Director: Vicki March
Stylist: Jules Wood
Hair and Make Up: Blair Petty
Model: Isabell Andreeva@Supreme Models
Assistant/Digital Tech: Tim Zwicky
1/ white linen shirt by Valentina Kova / trousers by Dominic Louis
2/ jumpsuit by Alon Livne / shoes by Celine
3/ white dress by Valentina Kova / shoes by Celine
4/5 dress by Sau / shirt by Dominic Louis
6/ top by Dominic Louis Skirt by Dominic Louis
photography Jaka Vinsek //
interview Whitney Mercurio //
IN JUNE, 2013, I RENTED A PHOTO STUDIO ON 26TH STREET IN NEW YORK FOR A FASHION EDITORIAL SHOOT . IT WAS OWNED AND RUN BY A MAN WHO, MONTHS LATER , I DISCOVERED TO BE CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER PETER STRONGWATER , WHO HAD SHOT THOSE ICONIC INTERVIEW MAGAZINE COVERS IN THE 80’S. ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL POP-ICON PHOTOGRAPHERS OF ALL-TIME.
Reserved: How were you able to catch the shiny ‘Crystal Ball of Pop,’ that is, Interview Magazine, or did it catch you? How did it happen?
Peter: It was years ago. I had a connection to Fred Hughes who was Andy’s manager at that time. I just mentioned casu-ally, “Gee, I like Interview. It would be fun to work for them.” I was a good friend of Linda Hutton.
He said, “Go do a picture,” they like society names and stuff. Linda Hutton came from a pretty substantial family. He said, “Go take a picture of Linda Hutton.” I took a picture and they said okay, we love it. Then they called me up about a week later and said, “How would you like to do a cover?”
I was speechless. I said that’s great, yeah, fabulous. I remem-ber, they said, “Well, we’re going to send you Isabella Ross-ellini.” That was my first cover in ‘80, ‘82, somewhere around there. I became very friendly with the managing editor, Rob-ert Hayes. It was very nice. I mean, I knew Andy, and at The Factory, most of the time when I was working, I would just come up, it was all very informal. Marc Balet was the creative director. Of course you never got paid. That was a minor problem. They wanted 16x20’s. Each shooting cost me like a thousand or fifteen hundred dollars, but it was great fun, and I got to shoot everyone.
I became pretty good friends with Bridget Berlin up there, who lives around the corner from me here, and it just worked.
I mean, for I don’t know, three, four years, I must have done sixteen covers, or something like that.
Reserved: Wow! Visually, who were your favorites--your fa-vorite subjects?
Peter: Who was my favorite?
Peter: I think Mick Jagger was great. I loved doing Mick. He was incredible. He just came here, and there was no entou-rage at that point. He just arrived. There weren’t a million PR people. He just rang the doorbell, said, “Hi, I’m Mick.” You know, literally. It was that cool!
He was really great. We had a really good time, and the pic-tures were amazing. I really liked him. Diana Ross was very interesting. She came with a huge entourage of people. That was fun. Then sometimes we would prepare a lunch outside on the terrace, and Andy would come over sometimes. He would do the Polaroids of them, and then get them suckered into do a portrait. That was one of the purposes of the inter-view. It was a marketing tool because he would say, “Well, I’ll get you on the cover of Interview. Oh, by the way, you can do a triptych, it’s really reasonable,” it’s only $30,000 a print at that time or something.
Just about everyone that I ever photographed, John McEn-roe or Diane von Furstenberg, they wound up eventually buying prints from Andy. Andy would come with his little camera and take photographs of them while I was shooting, or while they were getting dressed.
He never said much, but he would hang around for lunch and stuff. Sometimes we’d also have lunch down at The Fac-tory. That was another way to sucker them in. He would have sponsors—try to get a liquor company or a camera company to buy some pages.
The magazine—it was pretty primitive then as to what it is now. I mean, when it was being run by Peter Brant’s wife, the paper quality was not there. I mean, it had graduated a great deal from being a movie review magazine, which was how it started. Andy was too cheap to buy tickets to go to the film festival but he wanted to go, so he said, “I’ll start a film review magazine.”
Reserved: I love it. Wasn’t it Fran Lebowitz, one of the re-viewers?
Peter: yeah, that’s how Interview started: it was a film review magazine, so he could get into film festivals for free. I re-member seeing him walking up and down Madison Avenue, handing out copies of the magazine at different stores as a way to advertise.
Reserved: Paul Morrissey involved, wasn’t he?
Peter: Yes, he was. I mean, most of the people that were in the ‘painting’ department— art department— really didn’t have much to do with the way Interview was run. When I say a shoestring, it was really basically Mark and Robert, maybe two or three interns.
We had André Leon Talley who was the fashion writing con-sultant. We had all of these kinds of people that would come and go. Basically, the magazine was put out maybe by three people.
Richard Bernstein did the covers. Everyone thinks Andy did the covers. Andy did not do the covers. I would present a picture, and Richard Bernstein would paint over them, and it looked like they could be done by Andy, but it was real-ly all done by Richard. I don’t think he ever really got the credit he deserved for doing this, because everyone just as-sumed that it was Andy. It looked like something that Andy would do.
Reserved: Did you just hand over the photograph, and he would …
Peter: I would just hand over the black and white print and that was the last I’d see of it! The next time I would see it would be one the newsstand and it would be in color. I was shooting everything—we did no color at that time—I was shooting everything in black and white. We never did it in color, because that probably would’ve blown the budget to pieces!
Peter: Richard painted them all. I don’t even think Andy re-ally gave much advice. I think he let Richard do whatever he wanted to do. Mark would come to the shooting, and he did a really did a great job. I mean, he was a great art director at that, you know, photo magazine because they really let you do what you wanted to do.
I mean, once in a while we would come up with a theme or an idea or something like that. When we did Mick, Mark got the idea to hang records from the ceiling, and that became the background. We would use a striped wallpaper or some-thing like that.
Again, we were somewhat limited in what we could do be-cause we had no money almost.
Reserved: Did you find that liberating or constraining? Was it frustrating?
Peter: No, I felt it fun, because most of the stuff was done on white. Once in a while we would do some kind of set, but it was very, very, basic. It was unfortunate. We did one picture of Diana Ross on the street, where she was in a Jeep being driven.
Other than that, I really can’t remember that we ever did anything outside of the … no, no, excuse me ...We did a real-ly a great, great story of Phoebe Cates out in Southampton. The only reason we could do that is I was very good friends with Marty Raynes who had a large estate out there.
I asked Marty if we could use his house to do these pictures of Phoebe Cates, who was then very hot. She had just come off, what was her first...
Reserved: Fast Times at Ridgemont High?
Peter: yes! He said yeah “as long as I can meet her.” I said, “Don’t worry about it.” At the very worst, we’ll put a Polaroid under your pillow. He did like that!
Reserved: That’s great.
Peter: Yeah, that was a location shoot. I think John McEn-roe—we shot him in his in his apartment, because he was too lazy to get out of his studio.
I could kill myself, because I had stacks, you know, you start dealing with the only payment you could get is you could get as many copies of the magazine as you wanted. There’s a store now on 57th Street and Park Avenue that sells these vintage covers for over $100 a piece.
Reserved: Yeah. You’re being auctioned now, I see.
Peter: They are being auctioned now, at the Phillips du Pury in London and also here in New York. Of course it never got past official approvals. It was kind of complicated.
I also worked on a project for the USIA during that period, where I photographed a lot of… it was called Monuments, and it was basically a collection of photographs of people who have fundamentally changed your life. Whether good, or bad, or something.
It was everything from Oppenheimer, who made the hydro-gen bomb, to Hugh Hefner who revolutionized magazine publishing, to Mohammed Ali. It was just a weird collection of people. The man who designed the interstate highway system, people who really made major contributions to your life, but you really weren’t aware of what they did. Who did it? How did this highway system, you know, how did it come to pass?
Or Dr. Johnson from Masters and Johnson. It was an inter-esting collection of people. That was scheduled to tour the communist states. Of course they never got past the cycle; it was kind of complicated but I got to do the photographs.
Reserved: Did they ever see the light of day?
Peter: They’re in the Smithsonian Museum in Washing-ton, D.C. They did get to see the light of day. They didn’t go on tour. They were all gifted over to the Smithsonian.
Reserved: That’s fantastic. You have a wide breadth of ex-perience in your career.
Peter: It is. I mean, Interview opened up a lot of doors.
Reserved: What do you do now to nurture your creative spirit? Do you shoot still?
Peter: No, I actually got to want to live a life, and eat, and do things like that. I have a production company, and what we do is we organize difficult shoots for large com-panies, basically. Such as, one of our clients is the Ford Motor Company; Zip Cars; large pharmaceutical compa-nies; Budweiser, Anheuser Busch, Pepsi.
Reserved: So you’re full service production?
Peter: Yea, what we do is we organize these shoots, and we cast them. We have location scouting, we organize every-thing: we produce a book and just guide them through the shoot. Then, of course, we have a rental studio next door …
Having the knowledge of photography, it’s great. A lot of photographers trust me because I’ve been through. It’s not like I’m coming from an office experience. I have a pretty deep background in photography.
So that keeps us pretty busy. Also, managing the collec-tion of prints that I have from Interview. There’s an ex-hibit now that’s going to be done in Colette in Paris. I just got an email from them about it. They’re going to add more pictures up. Again, it’s a labor of love more than a labor of cash, by the time I get them framed and by the time I ship them and stuff like that. But it’s nice to know that people like them: they’re iconic and they really stand out.
Just managing that takes some time. Between all of the things, I’m relatively busy.
Reserved: Is there any one or anything that inspired you creatively?
Peter: Creatively? I don’t like to complain about what’s going on now.
Reserved: Oh, I do!
Peter: I just think, I don’t want to sound ancient but dig-ital has taken the soul, I think, out of photography. It has become almost a mechanical wall before, I was inspired by so many great photographers that I would see. I mean, Bill Solano was a great friend of mine, also Hans Fuhrer, all of these photographers. There was motion, they were great… you looked at Vogue, or even you looked at the New York Times, and they were great fucking pictures.
You look at the stuff today and it all looks like Glamour. Some kind of version of Glamour. There are specialized publications that try to do a nice job that are really bark-ing after advertising and willing to take new photogra-phers: new choices and stuff like that. The mainstream publications that everyone sees, they’re for the most part uninspiring. I mean, Conde Nast has cut their budgets back. There’s no longer a month trip to Tokyo. I remember working for Seventeen when we used to fly on a plane that was Walter Annenberg’s plane to fly to the locations. We used to call his pilot Mr. Lucky. That stuff isn’t done today. Today, it has unfortunately become more of a business than anything… even in the successful ‘art photographers,’ there’s just sighs, huge, gigantic sighs. We’ll sell it for a couple of hundred thou-sand dollars. It just changed a lot. Like everything else new, it’s be-come unfortunately money driven, where before people did it because they loved it.
Reserved: Yeah, and it’s had such a different aesthetic. My father shot for Playboy in the 70’s.
Peter: It was, it was inspiring, because they really, really, loved everything about it. At Playboy was Marilyn Gowansky, it was a great publication at that time, I used to work with her and also Joe Brooks at Penthouse. At that time Penthouse put out a “high class” women’s mag-azine called VIVA with none other than Anna Wintour as its fashion editor, today every time I see her around she tries not to remember that we worked together it is really very funny, it is a strange back story and I am not sure if many people know it.
Every time I see her she pretends—I see her weird-ly in certain situations. Obviously she knows me, I mean I worked with her, and it’s like she can’t really process the point that she worked with Elliott Erwitt. VIVA was a beautiful publication. It had a great art director, Roland Johnson, and it was really way ahead of its time.
Reserved: Photography has really changed. Thanks to computers, photos are too perfect… extremely over-re-touched.
Peter: Yeah, and Photoshopped to death. We worked with several photographers that will remain nameless, and the pictures don’t even look like a picture. Then a client stands over the monitor during a shoot.
One of the beautiful things about film is that you never really knew exactly what you were going to get, so there was always the surprise at the end. Sometimes disaster, but a lot of times, great. I’m a pretty good friend of Elliott Erwitt, and, you know, the unexpected result of photo-graphs at that point was so much better.
Today, they see it and it’s done—and if they don’t like it they’re redoing. You do it again until it looks exact. They beat the life out of it until there’s nothing left, and then that becomes the picture.
It’s unfortunate, because it has changed the direction and if they don’t like it they can Photoshop it, do whatever they feel like with it. They look almost cartoonish.
Reserved: Shots done with film, compared to the digital shots of today, what a difference! There’s something to really be said for the element of surprise, when you don’t know what you’re going to get and you can’t see what the photographer is seeing.
Peter: It really is true. I mean, you look at some of the old books of any of the photographers in the beginning, and they’re just very, very, different.
Reserved: Do you think that the shots were more thought out? you had to, when you were shooting with film, right?
Peter: yeah, because A. you didn’t have the flexibility of shooting these shots… It would’ve cost a fortune. You had maybe, at Interview, you were to get it in ten rolls. If you didn’t get it in ten rolls…you really had to get it pret-ty instantly. Generally, what I would do is I’d try to get as much information about the subject as I could before I shot. Especially the government shots, because there you’re on their time.
What they would do is they would clear out the office and set everything up. You’ve got ten minutes, and that was the deal. You’re interviewing you have a very good idea of what you wanted to do, and how the person would react to certain things. Because there wasn’t time, you didn’t have unlimited film to waste.
It was much more focused and much more direct, basi-cally.
Reserved: How do you feel about magazine covers now? How do you feel about what kind of thought is put into them, or the creativity?
Peter: For fashion they’ve changed. They got rid of the models, and they just put Kim Kardashian on the cover or something like that. I guess they sell more, because, really, I look at a fashion magazine as a better produced People.
Reserved: Do you think the pendulum will swing back, in your view?
Peter: That’s a difficult question. Everything eventual-ly changes, but you don’t really hear that much about, there are some ‘supermodels’ out there today, but they’re not like the Christy Turlingtons, they’re not like even the Giseles …
Peter: I couldn’t name any models. They’re younger, too. A lot of them are from the Slavic countries, Eastern Europe. They’re fifteen to sixteen, they’re giants. They hardly speak any English, and they really don’t have any personalities where before, you had the great Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs, Lisa Taylor, Patti Hansen, Iman, Janice Dickinson, etc. Great personalities those models had. Today they’re almost bred for the times, because they can just dress them up in whatever they want, take a kind of stand in… I mean, you look at the cover of Vogue, look at the cover of Bazaar, look at the cover of W: except for a different face, they’re basically the same concept.
They’ve picked some movie star, and they just put her on the cover. Because I guess people are celebrity-oriented today. They love gossip and they love celebrities, and any-thing in that category.
It sells more. They’d rather read more about some celeb-rity than some model that no one knows anything about. Then you know all these kids now who want to be de-signers. The designer is the new rock and roll star. These designers. I mean, when you think, years and years ago. I mean Fashion Week; no one knew about Fashion Week. Reserved: It was for the buyers.
Peter: Right. Buyers would come into the show room on Seventh Avenue, 1411 or one of those buildings, and they’d look at the line. That was that. There wasn’t any big extravaganza. Then you look at it today with the Mer-cedes-Benz things and the tents and the parties and the events. The fashion doesn’t even matter.
Reserved: That’s for the celebs in the front row, right?
Peter: Fashion in these fashion shows is totally obsolete, because they never produce the stuff. It’s now, like every-thing else. It’s become a huge media event; a media cir-cus. That’s what they say when the circus comes to town.
Reserved: Yeah, it’s arrived.
Peter: And it gets bigger and bigger, not smaller and smaller. The tents, the ones in Lincoln Center, they’re bigger. Then there are all the outside ones, like Marc Ja-cobs is always across the street with the armory. I go—I have a few friends still in the industry—I go see and stuff like that. Yeah, it’s a very, very different.
Reserved: Yeah, there doesn’t seem to be as much soul. It’s all very surface and abstract and commercial. People are so worried about the money. They don’t want to take a risk.
Peter: All the clothing they put out there on these shows is just for show, just to be photographed to be in the mag-azines. I know, it’s a fact, that half the stuff never hits production or it’s too expensive. They can’t really knock it off. Besides, no one really gets dressed anymore.
Who wears Versace? You really see all the wildness and stuff. I mean, it’s like a mystery. How many people are buying Valentino ball gowns? Most of them are given away to actresses for publicity.
Reserved: In the old days, when we would go out, people made an effort when they went out, because you were to be seen.
Peter: Right, yeah. But as I said you’ve got people today—even at formal events—they wear a suit. It’s less and less dressy which is fine with me, but I mean for the high end of fashion… there are how many people? I think in couture, if there are 100 buyers worldwide, that’s count-ing China, Russia, all those areas, buying couture at $30-$40,000 a pop or whatever it would cost, I think that’s about it. I wouldn’t say it’s more than one hundred. Ev-erything else is mass marketing.
Reserved: You have really shown us some amazing per-spective today!
Peter: Thank you so much. I hope you’ve got what you need.
Reserved: I think we’re set. Thank you so much Peter!
photography Michael Donnelly //
By Monique Erickson // Photo by Yi-Chun Wu. Emily Stone, left, and Cori Kresge of the Stephen Petronio Company in the Trisha Brown work “Glacial Decoy” at the Joyce Theater.
This week at the Joyce Theater, Stephen Petronio Company presents the second season of Bloodlines, which celebrates the pioneers of modern dance. The 2016 roster features Trisha Brown’s Glacial Decoy (1979), Stephen Petronio’s MiddleSexGorge (1990), and the premiere of Petronio’s new work Big Daddy (Deluxe), now through March 13th. This year commemorates the company’s 22nd season at the Joyce Theater, and 32 years in dance.
With the very first movement of the Stephen Petronio Company’s riveting performance of Trisha Brown’s Glacial Decoy, I am immediately transported to an ethereal otherworld, anotherworld, some last feminine hideaway, perhaps, of a bygone America. Set to silence, a rotation of black and white images by Robert Rauschenberg, and wearing only his nearly nude pleated shifts, two sensual and sure-footed nymphs take to the stage not with Mr. Petronio’s usual force and friction, but with a delicacy of movement and a quietude that seem to transcend space.
As the dancers move, we see behind them the faded backdrop of America: a husky, an old house, a garden hose; dilapidated furniture, a doorway, a dance. This is the poetry of images and movement. A third dancer appears from the wings, a fourth seemingly from midair. Behind them the clock from a funeral home lies on its side; there is a motorcycle, an oil-slick swan, 3 trucks and a ladder. Are we there yet? Have we arrived? Glacial Decoy is as ephemeral as dance itself. Will we be remembered, after? The dance seems to ask. With Bloodlines, Stephen Petronio tells us how.
BIG DADDY (DELUXE)
After a brief intermission best used to re-center oneself on this physical plane, the curtain rises for Big Daddy (Deluxe). As Mr. Petronio takes center stage, flanked by 2 male dancers, we realize two things very quickly: he’s miked, and we are embarking on a soul-searching, grief-stricken elegy-memoir-dance-poem. It’s private, it’s personal, and it hurts. At times his voice is shaky. He stumbles slightly in the difficult patches. Mr. Petronio’s command of the audience is so powerful that sometimes I forget to watch the dancers, but I get the feeling that’s the point. Mr. Petronio is asking us to participate in his grief. It is close and uncomfortable. The piece ends with Mr. Petronio sitting on the edge of the stage, inches from the front row. He is low lit and somber and alone. Here he is not polished or perfect or sanitized. He is painfully real.
In the late 80s and early 90s, as the AIDS epidemic ripped through the gay community, and lawmakers and politicians attempted to turn a blind eye, activist artists turned to their respective crafts to compel New York City to pay attention. First performed in 1990, MiddleSexGorge is Stephen Petronio’s anthem, not only to the AIDS crisis, but also to the body in peril, out of control, under the hands of others, impacted by touch. Today, the work is as resonant as ever: fluid, genderqueer, in touch, alive. It is set to the electro-punk music of Wire. The women wear black leotards; the men, corsets. Gino Grenek and Joshua Tuason sport wild floor-length bloomers festooned with orange rosettes. The company comes together electrically, in signature Petronio break-neck style. The sex is palpable but so is the sadness. As the piece closes Mr. Grenek is borne aloft, as though poised for flight, or dead.
IN CONVERSATION WITH STEPHEN PETRONIO
MONIQUE: So first, talk to me about Glacial Decoy (by Trisha Brown).
STEPHEN: When I joined Trisha Brown’s Company as the first male dancer in 1979, she had just finished Glacial Decoy. It was her last all women’s work, and her first piece for the proscenium stage. So I watched it, as the odd person in the room, like, a million times. When we went on tour I would sit in the wings because I loved it so much, and I would just watch it and watch it and watch it. I began to help rehearse it and lay it down in the space. It totally impressed me as a young wannabe creator: the formality, the slippery-ness, the feline, feminist, elusive power of it left a very deep impression on my still forming mind.
MONIQUE: I guess we should talk a little bit about how to preserve dance, and keep dance relevant? Isn’t that’s what Bloodlines is all about?
STEPHEN: There are many ways to approach preservation (there are written codes, and video codes) but Bloodlines is a way of honoring the people who opened the door for me, as a creator. It was Merce Cunningham, and Trisha [Brown], and the people who came from the Judson Movement that really broke all the rules of Modern Dance, and said that you could make it anything that you want. They said that dance doesn’t have to be some dramatic narrative, that it could be an abstract form, that it could be a mixture of forms, or that it could be pedestrian movement as well as virtuosic movement. I come from that tradition. I started dance as an adult with no training so they really opened the door for me. Part of the thing about bloodlines is that I’m only working with choreographers who directly preceded me, with whom I had contact and were learning the dances from - either from the original creator or from people who were in those original creations. It’s really mouth to mouth, hand to hand, body to body transmission.
For Trisha Brown, I was in the room when Glacial Decoy was finished, and it was set by people who were there when it was made, and who danced it for many years, and so it’s a tradition, like storytelling. This is the physical form of storytelling: I really believe that it has to go from someone’s body in the original, to our bodies. The urgency, for me, in bringing Bloodlines out into the world now is that I want to do it while the creators, or those who had that first hand experience with the creators, are still very much alive and breathing. That’s why it’s Bloodlines.
MONIQUE: How do you propose to keep dance at the forefront of the conversation about the performing arts, when it could be viewed as more marginal. How do you keep dance relevant?
STEPHEN: What’s interesting is that, in the dance world especially, there are so many people who have read about works like Glacial Decoy, or Merce Cunningham’s Rainforest (Stephen Petronio Company premiered Rainforest last year for the debut season of Bloodlines), but hadn’t seen it, because they missed it. Bloodlines is a great opportunity to introduce the next generation of audiences to these seminal works that really changed the course of history. For me, it’s a very emotional service to provide, and I hope it has an impact on new audiences, and I think it will.
MONIQUE: Within the Bloodlines concept, is it important to present the work as it was originally, or do you put your own stamp on it, or is it somewhere in the middle?
STEPHEN: From every creator’s company that I work with, I have to take their lead. With the Cunningham work Rainforest, they had a very specific version in mind, but of course we can’t do it like the Cunningham Company because we are not the Cunningham Company. We can do it like the Petronio Company.
Part of the reason that I want it by my company is that I’m an original, modern voice. The ballet companies are the most likely to acquire these works because they have the structure and the money to afford them, but I really believe that as the son of these creators, I feel like only I can give [the work] what a modern choreographer can give. I don’t want just the ballet companies to have [the Bloodlines works]. I want the modern world to have these works too.
With Trisha Brown, I saw Trisha and loved Trisha so much in that period, that I feel like I’m getting as close to her spirit as I can. She was an amazing choreographer and she definitely influenced me. This is my version of what she did to me.
I want people to support Bloodlines because it is an opportunity to see these works, but, basically, I love these works. They’re masterpieces. I am going to take as good care of them as I can.
MONIQUE: For Big Daddy (Deluxe), tell me about the decision to merge your memoir with dance, and to perform the memoir in that way.
STEPHEN: I wrote a memoir a couple years ago. My father was dying when I wrote it. I wanted to wait until he passed away to publish it because there are certain things I just didn’t want him to read. When I finished it, I realized that because I was grieving his death, that particular moment was really present in my body. I’ve always resisted working with language, but he was so in my body and on my mind and in my heart when I finished the memoir that I thought ‘What if I tried to physicalize this?’ Originally, I made it a solo, where I was talking and dancing, as only a son could do with the imagery of my father. I felt like it was a great way to meditate on him. I sprained my ankle last year and I asked some of the guys [in the company] to come in and do some of the earlier stories when he was younger. I really began to like the whole idea, so I decided to expand it to the whole company. I removed my body as a dancing body, more just as the voice. I think there is a big danger in writing with dance, because everybody wants to make a story out of everything, anyway. Sometimes it undercuts the subconscious potency of the movement, but since I wrote the language and the language was visceral, I felt compelled to really try.
MONIQUE: Especially at the end when you’re just sitting on the stage reading, it’s so raw, so real, so personal, and so private. It’s true that while watching Big Daddy (Deluxe) from the audience there is the quandary: do we look at you? Do we look at the stage? Does the dance become secondary to your presence and your words?
STEPHEN: Look, I’m not a professional reader but I am an honest reader. I thought it was a pretty big risk and I knew I might get crucified but for me, vulnerable and earnest is the new orange.
MONIQUE: We participate in your grief with you.
STEPHEN: I question whether it was a valid thing to do on the stage but I feel like I’m 60 years old and too fucking bad. I’m going to do exactly what I want. It feels like dangerous territory, and that’s what I have been doing for 30 years. There’s no way I was going to shy away from it. It’s taken me over 30 years as a choreographer to get to that place and I’m really happy that I did.
MONIQUE: Tell me about Middlesex Gorge.
STEPHEN: I made MiddleSexGorge when I was in ACTUP, the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power, in the middle of the AIDS crisis when the mayor and the health officials were ignoring the fact that there was an epidemic going on. I joined ACTUP and we used our bodies to intercede in public places, to try to get the city to pay attention to us. We did a lot of civil disobedience. I began to realize that getting carried into police vans, and getting arrested during demonstrations was the most potent thing I was doing with my body. I felt like, if I can’t make a dance that somehow touches on that, I should just give up. I began to make MiddleSexGorge. I focused on how people handled each other, and how people gave up control to each other’s touch, how people controlled each other with touch. I wanted it to be a really violent and aggressive. It was the 80s. The lack of subtlety, and I don’t mean lack of skill, but the lack of subtlety was like banging a drum for me. I tried to put that into the dance. 25 years later, it’s relevant. Oppression never goes out of style.
What resonated with me was that it did seem very relevant right now, because of our modern concept of gender and sexual fluidity. Maybe we are all queer. I thought it was very powerful. When the Republican candidates are talking about retracting marriage rights, I think that MiddleSexGorge is relevant again. It’s about the female empowerment as well. Queer or not, every woman knows what it’s like to feel invisible and discounted. For women to be empowered in that way is really important. It’s not just for the queer boys; it’s for the women as well, straight women, and gay women and everyone in between.
Stephen Petronio’s memoir, Confessions of a Motion Addict is available to purchase here from Amazon.com.
interview by Mark Sanders
Rebecca Reid is a London-born actress and performer. Perhaps most recognizable from her recurring role as Nadia on the hit FOX comedy "New Girl" she is currently starring in the Comedy Central sitcom I Live With Models.
Rebecca performs stand up all over Los Angeles and can often be seen at the Hollywood Improv and the Comedy Store, sometimes in the guise of her character Audrey Mouse who also appears regularly on social media.
A fashion model since her teens, she has appeared in the pages of Italian Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, I-D magazines, and worked with photographers such as Phil Poyter and Terry Richardson.
Hollywood has become your adopted home. Can you describe a little how you got here and what is it that you love about life in the city of Angels?
I was originally based in New York and then LA started calling...
If you truly want to be isolated then LA is the place to be, it's generally the consensus about the city, but I think I have found the alternative. I live on a beautiful street with friends living in houses opposite and I CAN walk to the grocery store...if I want to. I'm a part of the Franklin Village community and I just think it's the best place. You wouldn't catch me being a Beverly Hills resident, not for all the tea in China! And I love that I can go for hikes in Griffith Park right next to where I live with the knowledge that there are mountain lions somewhere up in those hills. That I can drive to stunning places like the Grand Canyon, or Big Sur without having to get on planes, which are full of germs. I'm a big fan of road trips!
In addition to your recurring role as Nadia in New Girl you are also a successful model and stand up comedienne. What, would you say, exemplifies your very special brand of humour and how does it reflect the way you look at the world around you?
I don't think of myself as a stand up. Rather as a performer. There's sometimes things I want to do, rather than say, I get a feeling of what I want to do and follow that. Sometimes I just want to be in the audience doing aura readings, or singing whilst someone plays the piano, or shredding on my electric ukulele. I don't really want to talk about dating, or sex, or politics… other people can do that and some of them do it really well.
Your stand up routine has a certain existentialist edge to it which I find very appealing. It's as if Jean-Paul Sartre has teamed up with Steve Martin to create something entirely off the wall and unique. Where do you get your ideas for your material from? Did an oligarch ex-boyfriend really buy you a ukulele and have you ever eaten a hundred sandwiches?
When I was a kid I would eat cheese ploughman sandwiches, for those of you who don't know, that's a cheese and pickle sandwich. I'd eat so many of them, maybe that number could have been very close to 100, I just couldn't say for sure. Sometimes the sandwich was toasted cheese. Once my Mom was bringing me this toasted grilled cheese sandwich to my room, it was an open grilled cheese set up. She dropped it on the stairs on the way up, but decided she would give it to me anyway. When she gave it to me I noticed all these little hairs stuck on the grilled cheese. It was undeniably now a hairy carpeted sandwich. I said Mom did you drop this on the carpet?! She hesitated, whether to tell me the truth or not, and then said yes. So I haven't eaten a whole sandwich, since the age of 13. I will bite a tiny corner off. That experience gave me a weird cheese sandwich disorder.
Oh yes, and I was given the uke by an X, maybe he felt guilty because of an infidelity, maybe he really felt the need to give me a uke, either way the experience set me free!
Name one visual artist whose work you love and why?
Wolfe Von Lenkenwicz. My favorite piece is of Snow White sitting on a stool in the kitchen with a cat drinking milk from a saucer, under her suspender clad legs. I own one of his drawings. One day I aspire to have all the walls of my house filled with art!
Name one film which has been an inspiration to you and why?
The film by Martin Scorsese called After Hours with Griffin Dunne and Rosanna Arquette. The story telling really appeals to me, the sound track, the script and the acting. There's a real spaciousness to the film. It's like a real time fairy tale in which the central character Paul gets is trapped in, and you just don't know what will happen to him next. I never tire of watching it!
Actor // Rebecca Reid
Photographer // Marc & Paula Kayne photography
Fashion Editor // Jules Wood
Make-up/Hair // Homa Safar
image 1 & 2: Vintage dress // stylist's own
image 3: One Love Fringe Moto Jacket in Mocha by designer AS by DF
Prudence Maxi Dress w/Cactus Print in Black/Gold by St. Roche
image 4: Ann Dress in black by St. Roche
image 5: Nico tank dress in Black/White by NOM*d
Dita Buckle Skirt in White by Manokhi
PHOTOGRAPHER: ALE BURSET
MODEL/TALENT: LUCHO JACOB
STYLING: ANGIE UGARTE
HAIR & MAKEUP: CAMI SOSA
RETOUCHING: DIEGO SPERONI
PHOTOGRAPHER ALE BURSET
FASHION EDITOR JULES WOOD
Fashion credit - Miguelina Gambaccini
The rest stylist own
RM Your career has taken you from modeling to films and now, to something which you consider your true calling. Singing! Can you tell us a bit about your journey and how you got here? You have a beautiful voice!
KN Thank you so much! I grew up singing in church, at weddings and just about every school function I could. Choir, the national anthem at games, talent shows and so on. I remember when I was about 9 or 10 my parents bought me a karaoke machine. This changed my life. I would Dj my own radio show and play cassette tapes of various artists while singing along. My parents still have cassette tape recordings of me belting away to Whitney, Tiffany and Mariah. Years later, after being discovered with my brothers and sisters at a summer concert, I moved to NYC to model but for me it was an opportunity to find my way into the music business. It's always been about music for me - no matter where my life has taken me. And believe me, it's been a fight and taken a whole lot of sacrifice to follow my heart. Shortly after moving to NYC, I landed my first gig after auditioning for a girl band called The Skinny. I started to write my own songs and truly fell in love with music. This became my life. I was incredibly lucky to have modeling as a financial cushion at the time. Had it not been for the opportunity in the fashion industry, I wouldn't be where I am today.
RM I had read that you struggled with eating disorders as unfortunately, so many young girls and women do. How does this influence your music and does it enable you to make a certain connection with your audience?
KN I always try and share the deepest sometimes darkest parts of my heart. Whether it be about addiction or self esteem or abuse or perhaps love, I want to be as transparent as I can. I feel like people are more likely to connect the more vulnerable I allow myself to be. I did struggle with an eating disorder for many years. It was crippling. Music is a way for me to not only express myself but more importantly for you to feel something. At least that is my hope. This has always been my prayer when I sit down to write. If just one person feels something, then I know I've done what I'm called to do.
RM What is your message for those who connect with your music on a personal level?
KN My hope is that you feel as though I'm telling a part of your story. I don't write for me. I mean I do, but what gives me the most joy is when someone comes up to me after a show and says that they felt like I was singing directly to them. I want to take you on a journey with me - but a journey not always filled with rainbows and butterflies. Let's face it, life is not like always like this. We go through the motions, the ups and downs. Heartbreak. Joy and pain. Love and loss. It's through the struggle when we grow the most. I want to grow with my audience. I want them to know, they aren't alone. My brother has cancer. He is 35 years old. He has a wife and 3 beautiful children. He is not supposed to be with us very long. That's what the doctors say. So I wrote a song. About him, for him. It's about healing. Whether or not he is with us forever - this song helped me. I know it helped him too. That's what I want to capture with my audience with every song I write.
RM We’d love to hear about your up-coming collaboration with Lenny Kravitz!
KN Years ago, after covering a Roberta Flack tune, The First Time Ever I saw Your Face, the recording happened to fall into the lap of Lenny. There began our 14 year journey to where we are today. After we first met, we recorded 2 songs together at his Edison studios in NYC. Shortly after we started working together, I landed a lead role in a feature film as Lola in Transporter 2. I moved to LA and Lenny went on tour. We lost touch. During the years I was acting, I always tried to stay true to my heart which was to sing but it was very difficult trying to juggle it all. It wasn't until a few years ago that Lenny and I reconnected and we decided to pick up where we left off. I felt we had tapped into something special all those years ago and he felt it too. Next spring we are releasing albums back to back. His that he's worked on for 25 years - Negrophilia
Mine that we started 14 years ago - Love, Loss & Recovery. I am so excited to share it with the world. It's time!
RM What else is next for you? We’d love to hear!
KN I am currently in the studio working on new music. I am super excited about it! It's funny, the new music I am writing has a completely different tone. It's a lot lighter. Assuming it's where I'm at in my life - I'm extremely grateful. I recently moved back to NYC and got married. Pretty sure that has a lot to do with it. :) Next year my album comes out and if all goes as planned, will be on tour with Lenny. So much to look forward to!
photography by david sawyer //
Adam Green is renowned around the globe as one of music’s most unique and prolific songwriting talents - his songs have been performed by artists as diverse as The Libertines, Carla Bruni, Kelly Willis, and Will Oldham. A New York native, Green was only 17-years-old when he recorded and released his first album. As part of the downtown antifolk scene at the end of the nineties, he made up one-half of The Moldy Peaches, who enjoyed belated mainstream success via the Grammy-winning, #1 Billboard Chart ranking soundtrack of the 2007 Academy Award-winning movie Juno. As a solo artist, Green has recorded nine albums, many of which have become cult hits. His 2005 record Gemstones went Gold in Europe.
In 2015 Adam began a collaboration with Mich Dulce making a line of hats inspired by his artwork and the ALADDIN movie. The designs incorporate elements from his HOUSEFACE symbolic alphabet, a group of reduced cubist pictographs gleaned from the facial features of the popular cartoon characters Garfield, Big Bird, and Elmo. In January of 2016, he will exhibit the art from Adam Green's ALADDIN at the Fondation Beyeler Museum in Basel, Switzerland.
INTERVIEWED BY JULES WOOD CO-OWNER of RESERVED
ADAM, HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO GO INTO MUSIC?
I don’t know. I was maybe nine years old when I started playing. My first instrument was a tuba. It takes a lot of air and my mum used to find me on the floor of my room passed out because I blew into [it] so hard. It just seemed like the most fun instrument that you could pick, and it had to have a little stand because I was too little to hold it. Then I switched to guitar. I think it appealed to me to play guitar because I heard that you can write songs on it. Also the opposite of when you learn the tuba, you have to learn how to read music, and then the guitar just came like a total break from that. I didn’t even think of it that way. I just learned it by ear and I just enjoyed it, so I don’t really know.
I probably didn’t really realize I was going to go into doing music in that way until I was in high school or something. My high school band was The Moldy Peaches. I got pretty far with my high school band, but it was...I really knew no other way. I wasn’t in a series of different bands. Basically, The Moldy Peaches was released by Rough Trade, which are home recordings. It was a lot of recordings from a span of seven years from when I was, maybe 12 to 19. It’s a really large span of recordings that me and Kimya did from all in my parents house.
WHEN DID ROUGH TRADE SIGN YOU?
Around then, when I was 19. They basically released the equivalent of our greatest hits. I think that they were going to call it that. I remember getting a copy of the test pressing and it was called Greatest Hits. I don’t know why that happened. I guess it’s kind of funny because I remember when we went to England for the first time, we had done some interviews with i-D and The Face, and some different stuff. I hadn’t even heard of these magazines because I’m from New York, so they came to my parents house and they took pictures of me and Kimya brushing our teeth in the bathroom and going to Central Park. When we finally got to England, we were walking around and people were like, “Oh my God. It’s The Moldy Peaches.” We had never ever had a fan before!
Rough Trade basically signed us and they whisked us off to England, and then we had a little following. Before then we only had played concerts for friends. Yeah, that’s very cool. Number two. I do know this already, but I’m just going to ask because I’m going to put it on recording. Where were you born?
WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM TO MAKE A FILM?
I had this idea to make a real life cartoon. I had asked a bunch of people if they would be in it if I did it...Basically, it was like I wanted a psychedelic version of Aladdin, as an animated cartoon. You know what I mean? That was difficult to resist offers from people, and so we filmed it in a warehouse in Brooklyn two summers ago, and it became a community project where a bunch of people were stuck in a sweaty warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
There was a show when I was growing up that was on Nickelodeon, where kids would be in a video game. I think they would do it with a green screen. I don’t know how they did it, but these kids would go into a video game, and I remember thinking that was really interesting. I guess ever since I got a cellphone I started feeling like I was part of a video game. For this movie I wanted to build a video game, sort of Second Life Universe for the movie to take place in it. That’s it. The movie takes place in it... inside of this video game.
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE CAST FOR THE FILM? IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY’RE ALL FRIENDS, AREN’T THEY?
The cast? Well, you know, at some point, I had certain ideas for who should play the characters. Most of the cast is people that I know already or people who volunteered to do it. Let me think, with Jack Dishel, I was in the Moldy Peaches with him and he plays the sultan and Uncle Gary, two of the main characters. I worked with him on “The Wrong Ferrari” as well...my last movie. I definitely wanted to work with Jack, he’s a comedic genius. I have to work with him on everything.
Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black)...I showed her “The Wrong Ferrari” when I was done and she said she would do my next movie. I’ve know Natasha for a long time because I was her neighbor in Gramercy Park. Natasha is a world class actress that was just nominated for an Emmy. I really had to ask her to do it. I asked her five years ago to play my mom in a psychedelic version of Aladdin and she kept her word. She did it even though her career was going insane at the time she was getting nom- inated for the Emmy. She was having to go away to L.A. for the awards and stuff. She made this little time happen where she could be the mom. She’s great as the mom. She’s this crazy, pilled-out Valium mom. She plays it like a crazy sitcom mom. She’s one of the best actresses of her generation probably. She’s amazing. She didn’t love the hair, but she was really cool about it. It looked great but I think it was difficult to act with it. Anyway, she was very gracious about it.
Well, you know, like Bip Ling for example, she’s from England. I wanted someone to play the princess and I had this idea that the princess could be like a Kardashian. I was thinking Bip Ling was the obvious choice. Bip Ling is sort of like an Andy Warhol superstar of the internet. I just thought that she could add a subversive kind of edge. On one hand, she’s living this crazy decadent life, getting photographed all the time and partying. Her Instagram is just so surreal and insane, you know? It’s so subversive, I thought it would be an interesting combination.
Let me see. It’s also Alia Shawkat, who plays Emily, Aladdin’s twin sister. Alia is almost like a silent film actress in a certain way. Almost like a reincarnation of Giulietta Masina from the Fellini films. She’s also a multidisciplinary artist. She is a painter and a musician as well. She really had that access were we were coming from. There’s Macaulay Culkin, and Toby Goodshank, who’s a props master on the movie, and he was in the Moldy Peaches with me. We have an art collective called 3MB, which stands for Three Men and a Baby. Doing an interview with Macaualy Culkin is sort of an extension of just what we do our ventures and stuff.
Francesco Clemente, yeah, I didn’t know him. I just thought he would be a great genie. I just thought he looked like a genie and I learned how to draw pictures of Frances- co, looking at his painting and drawing. He’s an influence on me but I didn’t know him. Actually, it was Alia Shawkat and him. They sent me to the studio and I convinced him to be the genie.
Har Mar is the funniest character. He plays a British rugby guy who’s sort of loosely-based on a Libertines hang around. Some kind of character you might meet in the Libertines’ dressing room. That voice that Har Mar does is something he’s been doing for years. I remember driving around late at night and he would just do that character. I just really wanted that character to be in the movie.
OKAY, NEXT QUESTION. THE TOUR, NEXT YOU’RE IN NOTTINGHAM. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MIDLAND [UK]?
It’s crazy. I don’t know. I want some tour schedule, you know? My wife’s British, you know? That’s the beginning. I’m getting more access to my British cultural heritage. I pride myself on been to all the English towns, and I don’t want to lose all the credibility. You get into some of the deeper towns like Leicester and Norwich. I want to be an England expert. I like to look at art a lot in different towns, so it should be fun.
SHERWOOD FOREST KEPT POPPING UP.
Yeah, exactly. Well, you know, I dressed as Robin Hood in the Moldy Peaches, so that’s always been a special place for me. I remember when we first went to Nottingham. I was really starstruck by the site.
We’re playing Midlands. That’ll be fun. I painted a backdrop and I’m going to dress as Aladdin for the tour. It’s going to be an Aladdin-themed tour.
For more info on ALADDIN tour dates
click here: http://www.bandsintown.com/AdamGreen
fortyseven communications for Adam Green’s Aladdin