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Friday, July 17, 2009

Soul Searching

With quashed rumors of a David LaChapelle cameo at the Gucci-sponsored Soul i-D book/exhibition launch at Christie's New York last night, we settled instead on a bit of artsy rumination. Specifically, the shot of his very naked, nature-loving boyfriend, whom, we're told in the caption, "could not be bought." In addition to LaChapelle, Juergen Teller, Paolo Roversi, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin also contributed to the 600-page tome.

Of course, the fabulous coffee table book—with anecdotes and personal essays culled from i-D's archives—wouldn't be complete without a few choice quotes, hence the inclusion of sage songstress Kylie Minogue, who likens friend, designer and stylist William Baker, to her "favourite handbag." And then there's Terry Richardson, lensman and occasional font of wisdom, who, when it comes to blow, advises "Just say no!" As for getting ahead in fashion, perhaps milliner Stephen Jones is the pithiest, saying it helps to be "eccentric, homosexual, ugly, thick, suburban and egomaniacal." And finally, never one to champion the less-than-attractive, Tom Ford recommends only hiring "people that you want to have dinner with." Dinner, Tom? Or dessert?

—Sarah Fones



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Monday, January 26, 2009

Hooked: Tom Ford Jeans

By Erik Rocca...

In the spirit of turning an economic frown upside down, Tom Ford is rolling out what might very well be the world's most expensive jeans, venturing into the ever-crowded denim market with two pre-washed, pre-shrunk Japanese selvedge men's styles. Exactly how much are they? $990. Per pair. And no, that's not in Zimbabwean dollars.

In a valiant attempt at understatement, the pants are discreetly marked with a straight line stitched across the back pocket and a small black tab reading either TF001 (the boot cut, modeled after Ford's personal style—chest hair optional) or TF002 (the straight leg). And for that touch of Texan taste, the front buttons are plated in 18-karat gold and the pockets are lined in silk. So that would be where the expensive part comes in.

Arriving in stores now. Available in indigo, black and white—for your inner disco baby.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Screen Saver, Part II

By Cesar Padilla...

For the second installment of my illuminating, hilarious and sometimes salacious Q&As with costumers (notice the vowels), I caught up with goth mama Arianne Phillips. And let me tell you it was no easy feat, considering she's constantly on the road styling for Madonna, Courtney Love or Lenny Kravitz (her former roommate). Plus she's one of the most sought-after costume designers in Hollywood, with film credits that include Girl, Interrupted, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Walk the Line, which garnered her an Academy Award nomination in 2005. But caught up with her I did, and I made sure to cover all the bases. We talked candidly about everything from drugs and male idolatry to dressing the Material Girl and (not) doing Guy...

You just finished a film last week. Can you tell me about it?
It was the new Tom Ford film. It's his directorial debut and it was awesome. He's a natural director and it was so great to work with someone who has such an amazing vernacular for costumes and clothing. The story is so great. I've been attached to it for a while, since he chose to go for independent funding. It's based on the Christopher Isherwood novel A Single Man. Set in 1962, it stars Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. I guess I'm becoming the mid-century girl.

What was your first film and how was the experience?
Bail Jumper, a small indie film in New York that was very patched together. I had absolutely no experience other than the music videos I had styled. I was learning on the fly. It was down and dirty and I wanted more!

What's your dream film?
It would be a moody spectacle starring Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet and Tilda Swinton, directed by Bob Fosse, Fellini or Kubrick, with cinematography by John Alcott, Sven Nykvist, Robbie Muller, Chris Doyle or Harris Savides. It would be a period piece on location in London, Paris or the south of France, with music by Bowie, Eno, Stephen Trask and Mozart.

What's your worst moment on set?
It was at the beginning of my film career. I was getting my trailer door kicked in by an angry actress who I neglected to get thermals for. The producer told me I should go home and not come back for a few days.

What's your worst diva moment?
Me? Diva? Never!

Do you sew?
Only in an emergency.

What's the first thing you ever sewed?
The holes in my rainbow toe socks circa 1976.

I know you're into black. Do you ever wear color?
No. Black, black, black! I'm a tired ol' goth!

What did you want to be growing up?
I wanted to be all my Halloween costumes—a witch, an actress and a princess.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?
In all seriousness, my mother. She is an awesome woman.

What was on your walls when you were 15?
There is a funny story about that because it was my 15th birthday exactly. I had very liberal hippie parents and I told my mom I wanted to do mushrooms. She said the only way I could take them was under her supervision, which is the same thing she did on my first date. I had to take them in the house and I had to get them myself because she wasn't going to score my drugs. So a few of my girlfriends came over for a sleepover and right as we were peaking my mom walked into the room and sat on the corner of my bed. There wasn't a inch of space on my walls that wasn't covered with a poster of a British rock star—Rod Stewart, The Bay City Rollers, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, etc. We were listening to rock music and she decided that this was the time for her to give me her feminist dissertation on rock gods and male idolatry. In particular, you may know this poster, Robert Plant in the tightest pair of hip huggers, with the biggest bulge imaginable. My mom was going on about these men I didn't know on my wall and we were just tripping our brains out.

Still into rock gods?
Well, just last night I had a moment. [Night Ranger's] Sister Christian came on the radio and, I don't know, I just had a moment and turned it up.

What's your biggest fashion faux pas, personally?
A deconstructed hippie grunge plaid baby-doll dress or a collaged/decoupaged pair of wooden platforms that I wore in high school.

What's your dream decade?
The future.

What's your guiltiest pleasure?
Anything salty followed by a sugar chaser. All of my memories are built around food. Food is my inspiration.

Best Courtney Love moment?
We're at an Oscar party and she and Jack Nicholson are smoking cigars in the dark. Too many more to mention.



Best Madonna moment?
My first meeting with her and Jean-Paul Gaultier in her apartment in New York, listening to the Ray of Light CD before it was released, planning and discussing the costumes for the Frozen video.

Worst Madonna moment?
Being chased by rabid paparazzi in Italy en route to the MTV Europe Music Awards. I thought we were going to die in that car.

What was working on Swept Away like?
It was one of the best times I ever had. We were on a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean. It was a very intimate crew. I got permission to leave a week early and then I was called back when they decided to add a musical number at the very end. We needed an outfit and I couldn't find one so I ended up at the Versace showroom in Milan. I remember it was truffle season. It was awesome. See, all my memories are tied to food.


Madonna in Swept Away

Tell me your favorite outfit of this Madge tour.
The sexy robot section, the crystal football shoulders and the Joan of Arc silver armor breastplate in the final section.

Any onstage accidents?
In 1989, Lenny Kravitz ripped a pair of vintage bell bottoms onstage and, to my shock and horror, he turned around and out popped the jewels!

Your favorite rock band right now?
Wilco, Goldfrapp, Vampire Weekend, The Ting Tings, Duffy.

Who taught you air guitar?
Jimmy page, of course!

What's your next project?
I'm flying to Rio to shoot the cover of W with Madonna and Steven Klein. It's our third W cover.

Last question, and please be honest with me. I really want to bone Guy Ritchie. Do I stand a chance?
No way.

That sucks. Thanks, Arianne. See you in L.A. in a few weeks for mango margaritas.


Sketch for Hedwig and the Angry Inch / still from Walk the Line / Arianne's Oscar nomination certificate

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Friday, December 12, 2008

In Memoriam

Elegance and whimsy may not go hand-in-hand, but French sculptor Francois-Xavier Lalanne, who died this week at the age of 81, bridged the gap—so much so that his work was collected by fashion and design luminaries including Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Reed Krakoff and Peter Marino.

Lalanne and his wife Claude worked together to make animal sculptures that often doubled as functional objects. With their surreal yet modern aesthetic, the Lalannes created, for example, a cast-iron baboon whose chest opened to reveal a stove, a coffee table composed of two gilded antelopes holding up a glass surface and a bronze hippopotamus that serves as a bar.

But the most famous works were a series of life-size fluffy sheep whose only purpose is to graze safely in the chicest of living rooms. As Krakoff once said: "When I first encountered one of their sheep, in a book of European interiors, I didn't know what to make of them. There was something whimsical about them that struck me as so charming, but at the same time, they had this weight of serious sculpture."

Born in 1927, Lalanne was a creative light that will shine on.

—Pia Catton





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