models.com presents an exclusive preview: i-D’s Role Model issue by Luigi Murenu & Daniele + Iango
The icons, the legends, the crème de la crème, the greatest of all time – the SUPERMODELS. Looking better than ever on brand new i-D covers conceptualized by Luigi Murenu and photographed by Daniele Duella and Iango Henzi – what more could you possible ask for? Linda, Stephanie, Gisele, Kristen, Karen, Amber, Guinevere, Isabeli and Natasha – ooh la la! Did we mention the epic hair looks from Luigi Murenu, the over the top fashions, the all out glamour of it all – it is almost too much, but we think you can handle it. Take a look at this exclusive preview of i-D’s Role Models issue – only in MDX.
With a special interview of Luigi Murenu, the legendary hairdresser on speed dial to the supermodels and the mastermind behind the luscious locks in i-D’s Role models shoot.
Photography Daniele Duella and Iango Henzi
Concept Luigi Murenu
Styling Patti Wilson
Hair Luigi Murenu for John Frieda
Make-up: Stephane Marais at l’atelier
Make-up (Karen, Isabeli, Natasha, Guinevere, Amber): Hannah Murray at Art+Commerce
Special thanks to Robin Jaffe, David Bonnouvrier, Ivan Bart, Louie Chaban, Didier Fernandez, John Gnerre, Anne Nelson.
Linda Evangelista @ DNA| Cover: Linda wears jacket Alexander Wang. Corset Kunza. Hair John Frieda® Frizz-Ease® Moisture Barrier Hair Spray. | Photo 1: Bodysuit Dior Haute Couture autumn/winter 09. Corset Kunza. Stockings Stockingirl. Shoes Sergio Rossi. | Photo 2: Jacket Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière. Corset Dior Haute Couture autumn/winter 09. | Photo 3: Dress Dior Haute Couture autumn/winter 05. Girdle skirt Dior Haute Couture autumn/winter 09. Gauntlets I.D Sarrieri.
Stephanie Seymour @ IMG | Cover: Stephanie wears dress Versace. Hair John Frieda® Luxurious Volume Blow-Dry Lotion. | Photo 1: Dress Emilio Pucci. Shoes Walter Steiger. | Photo 2: Corset Lovesick. | Photo 3: Corset Lovesick.
Karen Elson @ Elite New York | Cover: Karen wears Dress Lanvin. Hair John Frieda® Luxurious Volume Anytime Volume Refresher. | Photo 1: Dress Ralph Lauren. Slip Christian Dior. Corset Rosamosario. Gloves Gasper. | Photo 2: Dress Comme des Garçons. Shoes United Nude for Iris van Herpen. Hair John Frieda® Radiant Red Colour Magnifying Shampoo. | Photo 3: All clothing and boots Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci and veil Jennifer Bahr
Kristen McMenamy @ DNA | Cover: Kristen wears jacket and brooch Chanel. Fragrance Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. | Photo 1: Dress Alexander McQueen. Chest pieces Moutoncollet. | Photo 2: Cape Alexander McQueen. Dress Neil Barrett. Stocking belt Lascivious. Stockings Stockingirl. Hair John Frieda® Sleek Finish Hair Straighteners. | Photo 3: Coat, skirt, and hat John Galliano spring/summer 03. Stockings Stockingirl.
Guinevere @ Women | Cover: Guinevere wears blouse No.21. Corset vintage Aris. Hair John Frieda® Sheer Blonde® Highlight Activating Moisturising Shampoo. John Frieda® Sheer Blonde® Highlight Activating Conditioner. | Photo 1: Guinevere wears dress VPL. Body and collar Logan Neitzel. Corset Aris vintage. | Photo 2: Top Ter et Bantine. Arm bands VPL. Hair John Frieda® Sheer BlondeTM Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo and Conditioner. | Photo 3: Coat Jil Sander. Girdle lisa’s Vintage Lingerie. Stockings Stockingirl.
Isabeli Fontana @ Women | Cover + Photo 1: Isabeli wears chest piece Katarzyna Konieczka. Hair John Frieda® Precision Foam Deep Natural Brown. Photo 2: Dress Dior autumn/winter 05. Gloves LaCrasia. Hair John Frieda® Full RepairTM Full Body Shampoo. | Photo 3: Bodysuit Bordelle. Belt Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati. Stockings Stockingirl. Headpiece Dior Haute Couture. Hair John Frieda® Frizz-Ease® 3 Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray.
Natasha Poly @ Women | Cover: Natasha wears dress, scarf and gloves Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. Veil Jennifer Behr. | Photo 1: Coat Ralph Lauren. | Photo 2: Chest and arm brace Sullivan Walsh. Skirt Dior autumn/winter 2009. Knickers Calvin Klein. | Photo 3: Coat Sonia Rykiel. Corset Katarzyna Konieczka. Knickers Calvin Klein. Garter belt Lascivious. Stockings Stockingirl.
Amber Valletta @ DNA | Cover: Amber wears fragrance Florabotanica by Balenciaga. | Photo 1: Slip Jean Paul Gaultier. Robe New York Vintage. Knickers Maison Close. Stockings Stockingirl. Hair John Frieda® Frizz-Ease® Moisture Barrier Hairspray. | Photo 2: Dress Ralph Lauren. | Photo 3: Camisole and slip Francesco Scognamiglio. Kimono Jenny Packham. Garter belt Lascivious. Stockings Stockingirl. Hair John Frieda® Sheer Blonde® Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo and Conditioner.
Gisele Bundchen @ IMG | Photo 1: Gisele wears fragrance Chloé Eau de Parfum. Hair John Frieda® Loose Curls Ionic Styling Tong. | Photo 2: Dress Dior Haute Couture autumn/winter 08. Bra Josie. Knickers Maison Close. Body-piece Johanna O’Hagan. | Photo 3: Dress Versace autumn/winter 92.
Text Anders Christian Madsen for i-D
Luigi Murenu is the legendary hairdresser on speed dial to the supermodels; on first name terms with the hollywood stars and the mastermind behind the luscious locks in i-D’s Role models shoot.
As one of the most lauded hairstylists in the world, Luigi Murenu knows his models. With a career spanning over 20 years, he has seen them come and go. Those who’ve remained on top have become his trusted colleagues, muses and friends. Over a multi-instalment production, Luigi created hairstyles for nine of the world’s biggest models, each handpicked as the ultimate super-role-models by the legendary coiffeur, visionary photographers Daniele + Iango, and stylist Patti Wilson. “These women stand for the dreams of everyone,” Luigi tells i-D over the telephone from his New York studio. “They stand for freedom and a certain security. I have to say, in a very longtime I never experienced such enormous greatness as from these girls. From the moment they walked into the studio, they were like, ‘What can we do? We want to do something amazing!’ No one was jaded. Everyone who was there had to perform and give their best. They were like actresses,” he says, his voice loaded with great affection and an infectious, childlike awe.
“Kristen McMenamy said, ‘Let’s do another story!’ Amber Valletta felt emotional when she had to leave. Natasha Poly didn’t want to leave because she loved her character so much. Stephanie Seymour was supposed to work until 7 o’clock. She stayed until 10. I cannot put into words the energy I experienced with all these amazing models, photographers, stylists and make-up artists. Too many and different emotions,” he continues. Exploring the concept of elegance was the starting point of a story that began as a three-model trilogy, but soon turned into one of the biggest undertakings of Murenu’s career. “We had a lot of talks about the type of women we like, and why we like them – what we wanted to portray with them. We were thinking about how elegance comes with knowledge and maturity. Not necessarily with age, but with experience. These are very iconic women, each for their own reason.” The result was a call sheet of stars not dissimilar to the cast list for George Michael’s Freedom video, or the rap towards the end of Larry Tee’s Supermodels Inc. Pull a name out for Murenu, and he’ll hit you back like a machine gun of superlatives. Gisele Bündchen: “The epitome of an icon. She is what everybody wants to be like and look like today.” Karen Elson: “A dream. She has this British elegance, which is very evocative and cool at the same time. In the pictures she reminds me of a bird flying in the desert.” Guinevere van Seenus: “A canvas for photographers and make-up artists. She’s unique in the way she stands out from other women. Her body is rounder, soft and beautiful, and she has this sensitive feeling.” Isabeli Fontana: “One of the most beautiful women in the world. I mean, that’s for sure.” Natasha Poly: “She’s one of my dearest friends, and she is the personification of generosity and professionality. She knows exactly how to pose and what to give the photographer.” Kristen McMenamy: “She is haute couture elegance. She’s very strong and she really gets into the part. She’s explosive.” Rather refreshingly for a gentleman of his calibre, Murenu isn’t one to downplay his excitement over the stars in question. “Stephanie Seymour…” he says, taking a sharp intake of breath before pausing dramatically. “There’s no one like Stephanie. She walks into a room and she picks up the light. She’s been a muse to me for a very long time, so I thought it was great to bring in such an iconic figure.” When it came to shooting Amber Valetta, they asked her to perform and not to model. “We wanted a story where Amber was a woman captured inside her own world, but she really loved this man who is portrayed by Sean O’Pry, and she totally nailed it!” Luigi explains. “If you think of the epitome of elegance, there’s a lot of couture and stardom. We thought Linda Evangelista was a great character for us to get that interpretation. Linda, she is a perfectionist and she loves her work like nobody else and she is an electromagnetic cameleon! She also has a little bit of a sensual beauty and masculine attitude, which is very strong,” he continues with sheer Italiano fervour. Next to Seymour McMenamy and Valetta, Evangelista is the only model out of the nine whose career reaches further back into the fashion annals than Murenu’s own.
Raised in Sardinia in the 70s, his mother a nurse and his father the chief of transport on the island, Murenu wanted to become a dancer. But when his parents were unable to pay for dance courses, he sought out a new path. “I knew that to create an identity for myself I had to leave Sardinia. I wanted to become a hairdresser. I loved my parents, but I knew I had to go. It was very difficult for me, because I don’t think they understand the type of fashion that I do. They understand my life because they love me, but they don’t know what a catwalk is. They never went to a fashion show, not even in Milan,” Luigi says. “They come from another time. So I said to myself, ‘I’ll go to Paris,’ because that was where the fashion shows were,” he laughs. Murenu worked at some of the most famous salons in Paris before transitioning into fashion, which soon brought him to London and New York, and into the company of photographers such as Steven Klein, Richard Avedon, and Craig McDean, who shot the first i-D cover Murenu worked on. “I think there were two covers, one with Amber Valletta and one with Carolyn Murphy. I didn’t count but I think by now, I have more than 30 covers for i-D.” In the early 90s, Murenu’s editorial work caught the attention of Madonna, who booked him to do her hair for an appearance on Top of the Pops. “I did her hair in fifteen minutes and she loved that. She said, ‘I like this guy.’ We clicked. We come from the same background and we’ve both had to fight for our careers. We came from nothing.” The meeting was the beginning of a long-standing collaboration and friendship between the two, perhaps highlighted most famously by Murenu’s creation of Madonna’s so-called ‘Fallen Angel’ look for her Ray of Light video. “She’s a role model. I was talking to all the models, and all of them adore Madonna and have such huge respect for her. Certainly for me the most inspiring artist in music , I have to take off my hat,” Luigi says. “Maybe now, she’s also a role model for a new group of young people, who will look at her and say, ‘Look at this woman who came from nothing and became the most famous pop icon of the last 30 years.’ She’s the Queen of Pop. She’s fun and a hard worker. I love her. She’s one of my best friends, so I can only say beautiful things about her.” Having spent his life surrounded by the beauties of the world, you can forgive Murenu if beauty is a recurring component in his vocabulary. But it is an appreciation, which shouldn’t be mistaken for superficiality. Luigi revisits his cast list. “They’re not just models because they’re beautiful. They are the biggest workers ever. They work their asses off to stay at number one. And if you think about Amber, she’s not only a model, she’s a humanitarian, which I think is the biggest place to be a role model. She’s politically involved and outspoken,” he says. “Being a role model is also showing people that you’re capable of multitasking. Most of them are mothers. It’s no longer popular to have one job or one identity. Today there are no rules anymore. You can be a mother and the same time a designer and an actress. Photographers can be stylists and have a sense of art direction. There’s a role model for everyone to take from this shoot,” he says. Throughout his career, Murenu himself has made a point of working with young talent – such as Daniele + Iango – next to the old guard of fashion photographers, with whom he’s collaborated for decades. “I think I’m one of the very few people, who really helps to move things around to help young photographers have a say, and become a voice. I’m very proud of that. I work really hard to do that. That’s why I love to work for i-D. It’s such a democratic magazine. Terry and Tricia Jones give support to young people, and help them find their identity.” Ask Murenu about his role models in the industry, and you’d need another couple of pages to fit them in. “My official answer to your question is that people who inspire me the most are those who are able to give me something that I can keep and translate in the future,” he says. When posed with the question of who has been his biggest role model in life, Murenu comes to a halt. “Oh god – do you always ask such difficult questions? The biggest you ask me?” Luigi pauses, takes a deep breath. “My biggest role model is my mother.”