Elizabeth Sulcer

April 14th, 2014

ElizabethSulcerMDX

Elizabeth Sulcer

With her encyclopedic knowledge of fashion and well-trained eye, rising star stylist Elizabeth Sulcer (Lalaland Artists) has had a hand in the creation of inspiring images within the pages of high-profile glossies like Vogue Italia, Numero, Vogue Japan and Vogue China. In her previous role as fashion director of BlackBook, Sulcer reshaped the way in which celebrities were presented editorially, capturing Hollywood’s finest in an avant-garde manner that showcased their versatility as performers as well as their style.

Known for her bold take on luxury and preference for a sensual vision of femininity that isn’t afraid to be decadent, Sulcer has cemented her position as one to watch. Her rise from assistant at Alexander McQueen to in-demand stylist is a quintessential fashion industry tale of hard work, undeniable talent and a little bit of luck. With her roster of top tier clients, upbeat energy and infectious enthusiasm for the creative process, Sulcer is an ideal representative of fashion’s next generation of influencers.

A Models.com interview by Janelle Okwodu
Photographer: David Roemer for Models.com
Talent & Stylist: Elizabeth Sulcer
Makeup: Frankie Boyd
Hair: Keith Carpenter
All Clothing: Balmain

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Vogue Italia – Nov 2013 / Photographer: Ellen von Unwerth / Models: Stella Maxwell, Kate King, Luma Grothe, and Carola Remer

Were you always interested in fashion?

ES: I think I was always into fashion. I laugh about it now, but I used to get in trouble for dressing up my little brother and sister. I would put them in these wild outfits and borrow stuff from my grandma and mom – all their designer stuff. You know, big gold Versace belts. I would do the whole thing, even take pictures of them and polaroids late at night. I feel like it started really young. I didn’t know back then, of course, what a stylist was. That is something that just emerged, I think, in the last twenty years. But there was something inside of me, I was an artist. I wanted to create from a young age and I loved to play with the idea of a character. Back then it was just playful and childlike.

When did it start to become more of a career for you?

ES: It was super organic, I originally studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown and I was trying to be a designer. I started very young, I was a junior in college and I went over to London to intern with Alexander McQueen. That’s sort of, I guess, the beginning of my life in fashion. Working with Lee, it was a small team at that time, was a very exciting intense environment. He was a genius, he really pushed you to bring out that creative fearlessness. Even though I was an intern, I was assisting Alex Mullerr, who was one of their head designers under Sarah, and I became very close with them. I was basically their assistant – I was with them all the time.

It was intense at McQueen, we actually made many of the show pieces. That experience was amazing but it was also learning experience – I knew that I didn’t want to pattern cut and I didn’t want to physically sew the pieces. When we would work on the shows and work with the other stylists, or when we would do fittings, that’s when I really felt I was most inspired. I loved that, and I loved working with the girls. I loved the idea of taking pieces and putting them together and creating. I thought that was remarkable. You know, Lee always said, “you should be a stylist,” and I didn’t really listen I just thought, ‘oh no – I’m going to be a designer.’

…there was something inside of me, I was an artist. I wanted to create from a young age and I loved to play with the idea of a character.

Must have been intense balancing school with such a phenomenal opportunity.

ES: I was going back and forth to finish college. We had big critiques and we would design shows for our final semesters. It was intense I was flying back doing shows and working at the same time trying to graduate. But it was exciting.. such an exciting opportunity that I’m so grateful for. I was going to go back and work with them but I ended up getting a call from a friend, who was working for Art Partner at the time, and Beat Bollinger was looking for an assistant. He was just coming over from Paris and they were working on the first issue of The Great Performers for New York Times Magazine with Inez & Vinoodh. I ended up working on that project with him and it was really such an exciting project because that was the first one that they did with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron. I mean there were so many great stars. It was a really memorable, incredible portfolio.

Was that the one where Bill had the flowers in his beard?

ES: Yes the flowers in his beard! Inez is a genius, honestly, both of them, but she’s just so spontaneous and she had a lot of incredible ideas. She works very closely with the talent. I felt like some of those ideas just happened organically. Tim Robbins had brought a little portrait of himself as a child just to show her and she was like, wow we need to put that in the shot. So, that was sort of how it began. I assisted Beat and we did a bunch of great jobs. We did some stuff for V magazine, a Viktor and Rolf campaign, some stuff for Terry, Japanese Vogue. He was working a lot with Inez at the time and still living in Paris, so I wasn’t working with him full time. He had another assistant as well.

Then I got offered a position, really honestly, after assisting for probably only 4 or 5 months. I was really lucky to be an assistant at Blackbook Magazine. I did that for about 5 or 6 months and then I was lucky enough to become the fashion director there very quickly.

I was really lucky to be an assistant at Blackbook Magazine. I did that for about 5 or 6 months and then I was lucky enough to become the fashion director there very quickly.

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Vogue Italia Feb 2012 / Photographer: Greg Kadel / Model: Constance Jablonski

With Blackbook you really reshaped the way celebrities were presented – what was that time period like?

ES: It was an interesting time, I was super young and it was a lot of responsibility. It was very exciting, we had an amazing editor in chief. During my time at Blackbook I had two editors in chiefs – both of whom were absolutely wonderful and so intelligent. I don’t want to say we were “the beginning of the celebrity” because we, by all means, did not invent that, it’s been in existence forever. But we definitely harnessed it in a new, kind of, avant garde way. I felt like Blackbook was all about art and collaboration and creativity. Using the celebrities covered in that kind of capacity was new. I’ve never been interested in celebrities in a “Hollywood” way. I like the idea of doing something with them. You know, they’re real people. Obviously they have an image but they’re incredibly interesting and talented people – and that’s why they’re famous, we hope! So to get to know them a little bit and to collaborate with them was really remarkable and that’s what we tried to do a lot at Blackbook. We did that with artists, with celebrities and I worked with some of the greats.

You really have worked with the greats; were there any moments that really stood out for you?

ES: I loved Cate Blanchett. She embodies, to me, one of the ultimate great stars. She is an icon so to speak. She came in and at the time we shot her she was working on that Bob Dylan film (I’m Not There) and she just was so.. I don’t know exactly the word to describe it, but she was so engaged in playing the part of Bob… really method acting. She really wanted to look like Bob in the pictures and have the curly hair and she didn’t care about looking beautiful or normal, like the younger celebrities request. She was really about portraying her character and I was so moved by that. I loved it. I thought it was amazing. She had a power and a vision and she was excited about the shoot. We worked with so many great stars, she is one of many.

We did Amy Adams and that was an incredible shoot as well. Now that I look back we shot such incredible stars. We shot Naomi Watts, we did tons of really great stuff with her. Hilary Swank, the list kind of goes on. That was a really formative part of my career, it was a super small team, not everyone knew the magazine. I came from a very high fashion world and I wanted to bring that elegance and decadence and beauty and luxury from the market and into the magazine. As the fashion director, that was my job and I worked very hard to try to do that. At the same time while doing that, working on all of the ideas and working on the covers. I was also doing all of the beauty, the mens, the women’s, the accessories… it was really, sort of, 6 jobs in one. But I definitely learned a lot and learned how to lead a team and inspire people on my team to create amazing work and to work on a magazine together.

When I finally left, I always knew I wanted to do really high fashion and I felt that in my soul. I knew I wanted to work with Vogue and Numero and luckily that’s pretty much what happened.

I always knew I wanted to do really high fashion and I felt that in my soul. I knew I wanted to work with Vogue and Numero and luckily that’s pretty much what happened.

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Vogue Japan April 2014 / Photographer: Ellen von Unwerth / Model: Chiharu Okunugi

Your hard work paid off! I love how you approached those goals in such a positive way.

ES: What you just said is how I embrace my entire life. I think life is a series of chance meetings, you never know who you’re going to meet. You never know their story. Everybody to me is so interesting and exciting. There’s so many opportunities that maybe seem like nothing at the time, but I think it’s about keeping your eyes open and being positive and excited and believing in your work. You have to believe in your talent or no one else will. You have to believe in yourself. Being honest and being a good person, being grounded, these are qualities that you can attribute to people who become successful. Hard work.

I always felt like I had to see my future in order to be my future. If you envision who you are and what you want and live that honestly every day you will become that, in a sense.

So true. People often have these preconceived notions of what it is to be a stylist – how do you deal with the misconceptions?

ES: At the end of the day everyone has an opinion and I think it’s constantly changing. We’re always, at least from my perspective, I feel like I’m always evolving. I’m constantly growing. I’’m constantly changing. Everyone has ideas about what a stylist is and I think it’s definitely rapidly changing in the industry right now. I think the stylist is a very powerful and important role. A lot of stylists today have become real creative directors on set and visionaries. There are so many people that I admire and look up to.

I see the role of a stylist is a lot like an art director. They create the look, they work very closely with the hair and makeup teams and the photographers and editors at the magazine cultivating trends or different iconic moments in time and we translate them into a story depending on the season and what the magazine needs or the brands that you’re working with. These are all really big tasks. I was just speaking on a general term but even stylists working with these huge mega brands today, they are really giving their ideas. They’re really helping with the full design process. They’re so involved and ingrained from the beginning and it’s only now, I think, in the last few years that stylists are getting the recognition and the power that they really deserve for all of the hard work that they do.

I think the stylist is a very powerful and important role. A lot of stylists today have become real creative directors on set and visionaries.

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Numéro Oct 2012 / Photographer: Greg Kadel / Model: Karlie Kloss

It’s definitely changed a lot – what would you say is the biggest shift you’ve seen?

ES: I think my career has changed quite a lot, but also based on my interests and what I want at the time. I have a very strong style and aesthetic and I’ve always had that. That woman, she’s really glamorous and decadent and powerful, but I love the idea of creating a character. That has always been my rock in styling. Within that, there are a lot of things that have changed. You’re working with different teams, but it’s all a big family. I mean, I think I always get more responsibility as the years go on but I can’t complain about that. I love what I do so much and I’m happy to take the reins and be a leader when asked to. To have that opportunity is exciting and empowering. It’s something I’m very grateful to have.

I love the freedom that I have and the creative, artistic, challenges that I have. I never feel burdened. Credits don’t burden me, hard work does not burden me. I love hard work. I love to travel, I love the girls so much that I work with… and the boys! I mean, they’ve all become really good friends. The photographers, makeup artists, etc I feel like we’re a really big family. I feel so lucky. I’m very blessed. Everybody is amazing and it’s an honor to work in this business. I feel very blessed to have everyone’s support and loyalty and love. It’s a good thing.

Any sources of inspiration you look to when you’re crafting this character?

ES: The way that I work is sort of like a method actor, especially with women. I feel that I have to research and become that character in order to create it. It’s almost like how a director works on a film, you have to really find out who that character is and create a narrative. That’s going to bring so much more. The looks for me are important and they help tell the story, but the story starts with the character first.

I feel like I’ve always been really inspired by Helmut Newton. I love his work. I love Chris von Wangenheim as well. All of which I have prints hanging in my house because it’s my biggest inspiration. I think “she” is very powerful, she’s very strong, you know.. she’s very beautiful and not necessarily a traditional beauty. She’s powerful and interesting and strong and diverse. Depending on the concept that we’re working with, I feel that regardless of the clothes she’s wearing that will come across. So that’s sort of, “my woman.” She’s definitely decadent, she’s elegant, she’s unexpected.

I’ve just been reading recently Diana Vreeland’s book and memos and it’s just incredible. She had such a strong vision and clarity for the magazine – obviously like Anna Wintour does as well as many other editors – but it’s just really inspiring to read those notes and to see how she directed and created decades in an era of fashion. I get inspired by other powerful women and I love seeing what their take on it is, as well.

I love hard work. I love to travel, I love the girls so much that I work with… and the boys! I mean, they’ve all become really good friends. The photographers, makeup artists, etc I feel like we’re a really big family. I feel so lucky. I’m very blessed.

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Vs. Magazine SS2013 / Photographer: Ellen von Unwerth / Models: Irina Shayk and Anne Vyalitsyna

Sounds like you’re going for a very take charge, strong woman.

ES: I like the idea of strength and courage in my work. There can be more of a quietness to it too. Like I said, it depends on the brand and it depends on the job. A lot of people also love that kind of cool, and it’s not about the man it’s still about the woman, kind of downtown rock & roll, a little bit Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, French Vogue girl and I feel that I’ve been more and more asked to work in that direction or to work with brands helping them kind of find that woman. She’s young and very cool and effortless. So I have that in my work as well. Something to become a part of this “woman.” I mean, she changes based on the brand. Also where I am, kind of in my headspace or based on what stories I’ve done recently and how I evolve as an artist and change.

Why I loved doing this models.com project is because I was so inspired by the idea of something that was iconic and that lived on – because I’m inspired by all of “the greats.” Penn and Avedon and those portraits are, they’re so simple and they’re so timeless. That’s something that I not only admire but aspire to have in my work.

It’s great when you see something and you think even 40 years ago and you say “this is beautiful” and nobody can argue with it. Can you get a feel for that when you first see the images?

ES: When you look at a shoot that you’ve done you know all of the secrets behind how you created it so you can’t always look at it the same. I often feel that I need time away from my work to be able to come back later and actually appreciate it. Sometimes you’re too close to the work.

Sometimes when you create something it takes a lot out of you and I give a lot so I find that you might need a minute to go back and rebuild or to focus on a different aspect. Maybe you’re working on something really really creative and wild and then there’s another part – so it’s nice to be able to go back or take a little time just to let the project breathe and appreciate later what it was. Understand what you were trying to say with that.

What about some of the new constraints placed on stylists – some brands only want their clothes styled together, does that ever put a damper on things?

ES: To be perfectly honest, I never really feel constrained. I’ve been very very lucky. Every brand or magazine that I’ve worked with has supported me. If my biggest constraint is that I have to use a certain brand but I can pick whatever the look is, I mean that’s minor. I understand at the end of the day this is a business. I never feel constrained, I think I just try to see all of the positives and opportunities that I have within the project I’m working on.

I think sometimes guidelines are good. If you’re working with a brand and they want a certain look for a cover or this or that – there’s still some freedom within that. Within creating the look and working with the concept and the hair and makeup. If there really isn’t freedom, I probably won’t take that project on! You have to pick your battles, but I never feel restrained. I feel that I’m always seeing the positives and the opportunities within. It’s how you see things in life.

I like the idea of strength and courage in my work.

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Vogue Italia Nov 2011 / Photographer: Greg Kadel / Model: Constance Jablonski

Fashion is always changing – what are some things that you’ve noticed in terms of trends or movements that you’re really into?

ES: I think the biggest thing that I’ve seen recently is Hedi Slimane reinventing YSL and in a way, I would use revolutionize very lightly, but he’s come into a brand that is iconic, with an extremely powerful heritage. One of the most amazing brands. What Saint Laurent did in the 80’s and the 70’s… unbelievable. For me, I am so inspired by the 70’s and the 80’s I just think it’s two incredible time periods and eras. I think he’s come in and really taken a brand that’s quite difficult to just step in and design for. He’s really given it a modern, effortless, cool, kind of young take. I think it’s genius, I love it. It’s really inspiring, I feel that it’s very much “my girl.” The sequin pieces are great. I think a lot of people are really inspired by what’s happening. In a way it’s kind of like Dior Homme for women but it’s genius and it’s really great direction for the brand.

Another designer that I absolutely love and admire is Tom Ford. The powerful woman, I love that kind of makeup – the chiseled look and using color and just the fabulous nails and the whole kind of psyche of that woman and the glamour. The sequins and the fur and the decadence; it’s very 70’s and over-the-top. I think what he’s done with the beauty brand is absolutely genius. He broke off from Gucci and has his own brand he designed and then he also took a break and did a film. He’s a genius!

Absolutely, Tom Ford has really succeeded in creating a powerful aesthetic in every aspect of his brand – who else do you gravitate towards?

ES: There are so many talented designers, obviously I love Alber, I love Lanvin, I think it’s incredible. It’s always been, to me, the epitome of luxury and the jewelry at Lanvin I think is just stunning. It’s always been stunning and it’s always been statement. You know, I really love what Olivier at Balmain is doing. Talk about a young talent! He’s incredibly talented and his vision. When he did that, kind of, baroque collection… all of the pearls and it looked like old tapestries. It had a royal quality to it and that’s something that I’m really attracted to. It felt like it really had a heritage and that he really researched. It has obviously an 80’s vibe but I think the silhouettes are powerful. It’s an incredible brand as well, the heritage and the shape. I think the ad campaign with Rihanna is very cool and modern. I definitely think those are things that people are really paying attention to.

I think there’s a lot of change right now, a lot of opportunities – especially for young people. Fashion has always been a young business, but as much as it’s a young business it’s an old business too. There are a lot of really powerful, talented people that have been around for a very long time and have the most incredible bodies of work and careers that are just mindblowing.

Do you think that the younger generation has a lot to live up to?

ES: Definitely! We have a lot to live up to!

For someone relatively new it has to be daunting to work alongside legends – daunting, yet inspiring.

ES: Like I said, it’s the way you look at it. I’ve never, my entire life, compared myself to anyone. I think you just have to be you and you have to be inspired by others but also you have to find your inspiration from within. When you know that you can be your best personal you, that’s all that really matters. You’re not trying to have someone else’s career you’re kind of finding the best career that you can have and what’s right for you. It will evolve naturally through working hard and honing your talents. You use these people as mentors and learn from them, from their mistakes and also from their triumphs.

…you just have to be you and you have to be inspired by others but also you have to find your inspiration from within.

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Vogue Italia Nov 2010 / Photographer: Greg Kadel / Model: Eniko Mihalik

There is so much to learn and so many of these people are still evolving.

ES: Karl Lagerfeld is a great example of someone who is a complete genius and he is constantly inspired by young people and their ideas. I think in a way that keeps him very young and fresh. That’s how he got into photography in the first place. He was inspired and I think from a man who has so many talents he figured “why not” and he does a great job!

You wonder where Karl finds the time…

ES: I think Karl probably works harder than anyone alive and he definitely states that in multiple interviews. It’s obviously hard to measure how hard somebody works versus somebody else, but there’s a passion, there’s a desire, there’s talent. I think that kind of trifecta is the recipe for success.

What are some things that you’re working on that are coming up?

ES: There are a few things I’m really excited about. I just did a very big trip to Tokyo, which is really exciting. We shot about a 16 page story for Italian Vogue. . [We shot it] with the actress, Kiko Mizuhara, sort of a day-in-the-life portrait of a woman but every image was really a different character, a different look, a different hair and makeup, so it didn’t run like a traditional fashion story, which I really loved. Obviously it was super challenging on location to change everything that much and to find this woman within so many different “personalities.” So, that was an exciting project.

Also, while I was there we shot Armani – which was really really exciting. Then we did a 16 page fashion story for Japanese Vogue, which for me was a really big milestone. I really admire Anna Della Russo – she is absolutely incredible. She is an inspiration, she is one of the hardest working women in this industry. Very inspiring, very creative, and she loves to have fun! Her, kind of, decadent and creative style – very over-the-top. I can relate to that, I mean, that’s very much my woman as well on many occasions, depending on the story of course. This was my first big story working with her and that was a real honor and I felt very lucky to have the opportunity to do that.

…there’s a passion, there’s a desire, there’s talent. I think that kind of trifecta is the recipe for success.

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Vogue Italia Feb 2014 / Photographer: Ellen von Unwerth / Models: Frida Gustavsson, Wylie Hays

What would you say are some other milestones for you, or products that you’re especially proud of?

ES: Hard to answer… Only recently, when we were starting to go through my book, because of building my new website – I looked at some of my old work. I have so many little tidbits of things that are important to me… and so many people! I mean, Greg Kadel was a huge supporter of me and his team in the beginning of my career, and still is to this day. I absolutely adore him, he is one of the loveliest and most talented people and he’s really a friend as well. We created some really beautiful and amazing things together. One of which we did this, I think to this day it was one of my favorite images. We did a story with Karmen Pedaru, a 60’s inspired, kind of Jean Shrimpton a la David Bailey, in studio type of shoot. She was wearing this full sequined bodysuit embellished and she had this beautiful Philip Treacy flower, one-of-a-kind headpiece on. It really looked like a sculpture. She was sitting on the floor, it was so graphic and so beautiful. I remember saying to Greg, “This is one of my favorite images I’ve ever done with you.” And I meant it, of course. That was a real beauty.

There are so many people I’ve worked with that I love so much and have done such great stuff it’s hard to single anyone out because everybody’s so talented and different. I had a lot of fun working with Ellen von Unwerth on Guerlain with Natalia. She’s incredible such a beauty and so inspiring, Ellen is so fun she’s amazing.

As for milestones in my career, I mean, I did my first Italian Vogue with Greg, so that was definitely a milestone for me because it was sort of the holy grail of fashion. I really did that, pretty much a month or two after I left Blackbook… maybe even a few more months. That was definitely a milestone for me and I’m lucky enough to still be working with them and doing even bigger stories and creating strong work for them that’s memorable. So that was probably “the” milestone, I always really wanted to work with Vogue. Then my first big story for Numero was obviously exciting and great, too.

Is there anything that you haven’t done yet, that you really are looking forward to?

ES: There are tons of things that I haven’t done yet! There are tons of people that I haven’t worked with yet that I would love to work with. I think I’m only as good as my next project. There are so many great high fashion brands that I haven’t worked with. Incredible photographers, I’m working with new people every day that are super inspiring. It’s kind of like; you work with new people, but you never forget the old people and you always work with those people as well.

Regarding new projects, I’m open to everything. I’m definitely going in a very luxury, high fashion, direction with my career and I would like to continue that with consulting with all of the brands and photographers that I work with. I’m also interested in doing collaborations with artists and some stuff for galleries and things that keep me on my toes, keep it interesting. Even working with a great director – film is so big now – I’d love to do more amazing films and videos. That’s exciting, too.

I’m definitely going in a very luxury, high fashion, direction with my career and I would like to continue that with consulting with all of the brands and photographers that I work with.

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Numéro Oct 2011 // Photographer: Greg Kadel / Model Karmen Pedaru

I can absolutely see your woman in a film, that would be definitely exciting.

ES: I would definitely love to do that. I mean, it has to be the right project. I think it could even be something strange where I work on a project for a film and maybe I act or play a part in the film as well. Doing something totally different, I’m open to as well. I think the beauty behind being a stylist, at least from my perspective, is that you don’t have to necessarily fall into the confines of what people think you are and how you have to be and how you have to live your life. I think you have to create that for yourself and you have to find out what that is and means to you and that’s, I guess, how I love my life. There’s so much I haven’t done and there’s so much I want to do.

I love your outlook on life, it is very inspiring. You have these things you want to do and you do it, and you’re open to new experiences!

ES: I hope that that’s, maybe, one of my better qualities. I think that being open in life is really the secret to success. It’s hard to be open all of the time and I have to remind myself constantly, for various reasons… maybe you’re stressed or you’re afraid to be hurt. I think the basis of all of these things is based on love and fear, and they’re two things that are really strong in our society and the more that you have love and friendship and you bring all of those things in your life – good things and good people – and you’re surrounded by that energy, the more you’ll be able to be fearless and open. Just ready for new opportunities and I think it is okay in life to not always get what you want but it’s also okay to want things. I think maybe society sometimes doesn’t allow people – they don’t want to, of course you want to be humble, but they don’t allow people to embrace their successes or what they want. I think that isn’t always good… I don’t think you have to go over-the-top either, you want to be humble… but I think people should really be proud of what they’ve accomplished was well. Especially because they’ve earned it.

It’s important to have your dreams and have your goals.

ES: Fashion, the way that I see it, is about dreams. It’s about making people dream, it’s about creating a world and a fantasy that on many levels may or may not be real. But it’s a dream and I’m inspiring readers or clients or all different people – wherever it is – that’s my job: to inspire them, to excite them, show them something they haven’t seen… if I can. That’s my goal of course. Maybe they’ll see something a little different or they’ll see something they like. Make them feel good about themselves or excited or, you know, all of the above. I think everyday, what can I do for someone else – not just for myself. I think with that mentality, when you give then you shall receive in life. That’s sort of the power and the beauty of our universe.

Fashion, the way that I see it, is about dreams. It’s about making people dream…

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Halston F/W 2011 / Photographer: David Roemer / Models: Caroline Winberg and Sessilee Lopez

You might look at a picture and you might not be able to afford the whole look but it gives you ideas.

ES: And it’s not even necessarily about that. At the end of the day, yes there are women out there who go and buy the full look. But regardless, she can see that on the website, she can see it in advertising, she can see it in the stores. I mean, fashion is everywhere and on many levels it creates who we are. It’s our identity. We show that and express ourselves through that. Same with a great culture that is obviously easy to see that is in Japan they really express themselves through their style. But it’s here as well, and Europe, all over the world. It’s a fundamental in society. I think knowing that is such a powerful tool. Fashion has so many liaisons into the art world and into Hollywood. The possibilities are endless. That’s what I was saying about different projects that inspire me and I feel like I could work in film and do different projects in Hollywood – which are maybe not necessarily conventional but it’s interesting and I think that’s what keeps life exciting – taking risks and taking a chance.

Things have changed so much, there is no clear set path.

ES: There’s absolutely no correct way to do things and there’s no path – I mean of course there are fundamentals of respect and hierarchy. At the end of the day, I think that those are more about morals and values than anything.

Once you recognize that the freedom actually exists and you act upon it, then you really begin to see it more. I mean, you create your own destiny and you also create a lot of the confines of your own mind and limitations based on a lot of different factors. How you want to live and how you want to see things and your whole state of being. It’s super important.

It is an outlet and I see so many young kids that are so into fashion and they get so excited and inspired. If I could take one little moment and write them on Instagram or something small, it means so much to them. Of course, you know, you can’t do that all of the time but just a little gesture every once in a while is nice. People everywhere like to be validated and acknowledged. We’re all on the same level, we’re all here together, so I think if I can do anything to help others I’m happy to. Inspire them, excite them. Show them a cool denim jacket that they want to wear, it can be something small it doesn’t have to be at the largest level.

I think it’s a lifestyle, it’s a mindset, and what an honor it is to work in fashion. I never really planned it this way, for me, it really just happened. I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I feel that – it’s definitely, it sort of feels right and not like I’m wanting or needing anything else.

Fashion is everywhere and on many levels it creates who we are. It’s our identity.

ES_Numero2013

Numéro March 2013 / Photographer: Gregory Harris (Management Artists) / Model: Missy Rayder

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Presenting: 25 Magazine – Issue 2

January 30th, 2013

Presenting: 25 Magazine – Issue 2

Following up on the launch of its premier issue, Anja Rubik‘s 25 Magazine is out with its second issue and stays true to its commitment to celebrating female beauty & sexuality and exceptional women. Who else better to introduce it than Ms. Rubik herself in her editor’s letter included below.

“I want to start by saying that working on 25 every day has changed my life. Of course taking on the role of Editor and meeting the rotating cast of contributors to the journal were new for me, and I was ready for that challenge and will be forever. What I was not ready for was the reaction to the last issue’s use of erotica. The unexpected backlash made me realize that our generation is more conservative than that of our parents. Basically, celebrating a woman’s body as having a sexuality instead of merely being sexual is viewed as wrong. The media operates on a paradox—it’s no secret—where selling the notion of unobtainable beauty is allowed, while portraits of women just being women are simultaneously shunned. However, I still want to continue pushing the boundaries of what a female fashion magazine can be.
“A woman is present” is the title of our second issue and it’s dedicated to women who have made a remarkable impact on our world today, breaking the glass ceiling in the fields of design, fashion, and art. Some have created their own successful brands from the ground up, and others are the head designers of major fashion houses. One such example is Marina Abramović. Throughout her career, she has walked The Great Wall, sat in museums for seven hundred and fifty hours, and scored manifestos. MoMA’s 2010 retrospective of her career has solidified her as one of the most remarkable artists of our time. Inside this issue, through letting us into her archives, she shares with us how erotica and how sexual energy lives within her work. Also in this issue is the iconic Michèle Lamy, best known as the muse to Rick Owens. Lamy agreed to give us a rare glimpse into the brand, including the elusive “Owen’s family,” the people who work with her in the fashion house. The crew are so much more than cogs in a wheel—they eat together, travel together, and are so close that it seems as if they even live together. It was an experience we won’t forget.
For me, starting this magazine has helped me channel the kind of sexual energy I find every woman to possess, and I’m thankful, because it’s opened my eyes to more experiences and the difference we can all make. The women celebrated in these pages have started an important conversation about variations of erotica, and have proven that sexual energy is the source of creation. Without it, where would we be? It’s not an easy question to answer, because the answer continues to be written. I hope we can be a part of it. Enjoy this issue.”

Anja Rubik

25 Magazine Teaser video by Santiago & Mauricio Sierra (Cadence New York)
Featuring Toni Garrn


Photographer: Camilla Akrans (Paris: Management + Artists, New York: Management + Artists), Stylist: Robert Rydberg, Talent: Frida Gustavsson, Make-Up: Ignacio Alonso, Hair: Ali Pirzadeh

Photographer: Lachlan Bailey (New York: Management + Artists, Paris: Management + Artists), Stylist: Sara Moonves, Talet: Isabeli Fontana, Make-Up: Benjamin Puckey, Hair: Dennis Lanni, Manicurist: Elisa Ferri

Photographer: Paola Kudacki, Stylist: Michel Philouze, Talent: Aline Weber, Greg at Request, Nicola at Request, Antonio at Fusion, Winston Layne, Make-Up: Sil Bruinsma, Hair: Shay Ashual, Prop Stylist: Manny Norena, Manicurist: Yuko

Photographer: Paola Kudacki, Stylist: Anna Schiffel, Talent: Laetitia Crahay, Make-Up: Serge Hodonou, Hair: Tomohiro

Michele Lamy photographed by Ward Ivan Rafik

Photographer: Alice Rosati, Stylist: Roberta Venturini, Talent: Susan Storck, Make-Up: Luciano Chiarello, Hair: Valentino Perini, Prop Stylist: Serena Groppo

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Patrick and Victor Demarchelier’s What’s Contemporary

October 5th, 2012

What’s Contemporary by Patrick and Victor Demarchelier

Timeless is a word we all use, and one we often bear in mind with focused intention when creating images today. Despite the ubiquity of the concept of timelessness, to successfully achieve such magic is a feat very few can accomplish, much less accomplish time after time. The name Demarchelier hangs like an iconic banner of such imagery over the pages of countless magazines and endless advertising campaigns today and through decades past. As contemporary is frequently defined as ‘A person or thing living or existing at the same time as another,’ we thought it would be an incredible concept to invite the Demarcheliers of two different generations to present together their idea of contemporary as it exists in our time. Rather than interpret the same subject from contrasting generational points of view, Patrick and Victor found it more interesting to come together and create images that, for them, represent a timeless and classic aesthetic that has always been, and will forever be, contemporary. Selecting six of the most stunning models of our time as their subject matter, they have successfully created the most epic moment ever created for an online platform, proving that the quality of content is in no way dependent on the platform through which it is experienced.
Epic, timeless and classic, ContemporaryIS Patrick & Victor Demarchelier.

Credits:

Photography Patrick Demarchelier
Photography Victor Demarchelier (Paris/New York: Management + Artists)
Stylist William Graper
Editor Christopher Michael / What’s Contemporary
Introduction and Q&A by Christopher Michael
Hair Teddy Charles @ Art & Commerce
Makeup Fulvia Farolfi @ Bryan Bantry
Stylist assistants: Mollie Maguire, Mel Eligon

Models:

Sigrid Agren @ Ford
Toni Garrn @ Women
Frida Gustavsson @IMG
Constance Jablonski @ Marilyn
Jac Jagaciak @ IMG
Liu Wen @ Marilyn

Q&A with Patrick and Victor Demarchelier

In response to the question of What’s Contemporary, you and Patrick chose to create these images together rather than run your separate perspectives of the same subject in a parallel contrast. How did you come to the decision to do it this way?

PD: We love to work together.

VD: I thought it would be fun to work together on this. We are both contemporary, and I wanted to show that, with the generation gap, we could still create images that appealed to both of us.

You were both very specific about the casting on this. What was it about these girls in particular that you held to be so contemporary and accurate as a response for this subject?

PD: I like them all. These are interesting girls we work with regularly.

VD: We wanted to shoot the sexiest and most beautiful girls around.

So many people feel the pressure to create new ideas with each and every passing year, yet you guys chose to create images of a timeless nature. Why?

PD: We don’t feel the pressure. We like to work in an instinctive way.

VD: I find most ideas for shoots terribly repetitive and vain. A beautiful girl shot in a beautiful light never gets old. Fashion is always changing, but I don’t think that our idea of beauty is changing as quickly. Fashion is always changing, but beauty is timeless.

How important is the role of the fashion in your pictures?

PD: We work in fashion, so, of course, the fashion is important, but the team you work with and everyone around you is equally important.

VD: Fashion is essential to our work. You cannot make a pretty picture with ugly fashion, but it’s the people who wear these clothes that make them especially interesting.

This is not the first project you have worked on together. Do you often get requested to work on projects together?

VD: Sometimes, but we prefer to work together on our own terms.

This timeless Demarchelier aesthetic is one that stands not only the test of time, but also equally challenges the common imagery of today the same way it has in years past. What do you think makes a photograph timeless?

PD: Style comes naturally. When I work, I don’t think about my style, just about the pictures I am taking.

VD: You cannot create a style. Your style, what you like, is who you are. I think the best quality a work of art can have is timelessness. I think there is an ease to our style — a natural, organic process that defines us.

Not to over-intellectualize or demystify these incredible images, but what lead to the choice of nudity for this series?

VD: We wanted the focus to be on our idea of beauty. Keeping the girls as natural as possible — minimal hair, makeup and styling was important to the process.

PD: I wanted to let the girls express themselves and not have the clothes take over.

Discussing the subject of contemporary, both as it is in culture, but more specifically to fashion, it seems that many are deferring back to wanting to create content of a timeless nature, in an effort to avoid the commonly used current aesthetic that will no doubt be recognizably of this time in years to come, and much more ‘throw away.’ In theory, this is great. However, not everyone is able to create this kind of image. From the point of view of photographers, what do you think about the direction and nature of fashion imagery most commonly created today?

PD: There is no “style” today. Everyone has a different style.

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Posted in Cover story, Exclusives, Magazine Previews | 38 Comments »

Rodarte SS 2012 Casting Call

October 8th, 2011

Ever wonder what your favorite girls are thinking? Catch up with the models of Rodarte’s S/S 2012 casting as they answer the tough questions: coffee vs. tea, Beatles vs. Stones, football vs. soccer. This lighthearted film by Jennifer Venditti, captures some of modeling’s biggest stars giving candid and witty answers to cheeky queries.

CAST (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
Frida Gustavsson / IMG
Mirte Maas / Women
Beegee Margenyte / Supreme
Samantha Gradoville / IMG
Codie Young / DNA
Fei Fei Sun / Women
Kristina Romanova / Women
Karlie Kloss / Next
Julia Frauche / Next
Monika Sawicka / Marilyn
Patricia van der Vliet / Marilyn
Kinga Rajzak / IMG
Vika Falileeva / DNA
Eniko Mihalik / Marilyn
Jourdan Dunn / Women
Nimue Smit / Next
Melissa Johannsen /Wilhemina
Karo Mrozkova / Marilyn
Liu Wen / Marilyn
Valerija Sestic / Women
Madisyn Ritland / Silent
Marleen Gaasbeek / IMG
Caroline Trentini / Women
Mila Krasnoiarova / S
Corinna Ingenleuf/ Ford
Saara Sihvonen / Silent
Lindsey Wixson / Marilyn
Josephine Skriver / Marilyn

Rodarte
Spring/Summer 2012 Casting Call

Follow Rodarte on Facebook

Rodarte by Laura and Kate Mulleavy
Director: Jennifer Venditti
Casting: JV8 Inc.
Editor: Kiki Allgeier
Camera: Salome Oggenfuss
Sound Mixing & Finishing: Shellac

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Posted in Cover story, Fashion, Fashion Week, Videos | 52 Comments »

Viktor & Rolf Sneak Peek S/S 2012

October 2nd, 2011

An exclusive models.com sneak peek straight from the Viktor & Rolf studio, at the Spring/Summer 2012 collection fittings.

See the complete Viktor & Rolf Spring/Summer 2012 coverage here

Viktor & Rolf
Spring/Summer 2012

Photos & Animation: Stephan Moskovic
Executive Producer: Andrew Weir for ACW

With a very very special thanks to:
Karlie Kloss
Frida Gustavsson
Viktor & Rolf

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Marc Jacobs S/S 2012

September 16th, 2011

As the last show on NY fashion week calendar, Marc Jacobs was given the arduous task of ending things with a bang. No easy feat, given the jaded editors filling the seats of the Armory, but Jacobs managed to move his audience by showing one of his best collections to date. Staged with theatricality worthy of a Broadway Fosse revival, the collection was a thoughtful melange of influences past, present and future. Everything from cashmere sweatshirts, Stephen Jones crafted lamé du-rags and silicone dresses appeared on Jacobs’ runway. In the hands of a lesser designer these quirky touches might seem haphazard, but Marc managed to create a cohesive look. Somewhere between futuristic flapper and urbane fashionista lies the Jacobs girl: this season there are no literal references, and as such each piece took on a life of its own. Clothing with personality is what Marc Jacobs is all about and spring’s offerings are filled with the charm, grace and wit we’ve come to expect from America’s current fashion king.
Marc Jacobs
Spring/Summer 2012

Photos: Stephan Moskovic + Janelle Okwodu
Text: Janelle Okwodu

Casting: Michelle Lee
Stylist: Venetia Scott
Makeup: Francois Nars
Hair: Guido Palau
Production: KCD

Models:

1. Magda Laguinge
2. Fei Fei Sun
3. Alana Zimmer
4. Elsa Sylvan
5. Sojourner Morrell
6. Ginta Lapina
7. Codie Young
8. Svea Kloosterhof
9. Lindsey Wixson
10. Luisa Bianchin
11. Sara Blomqvist
12. Daphne Groeneveld
13. Jourdan Dunn
14 Daga Ziober
15. Siri Tollerod
16. Kinga Rajzak
17. Olga Sherer
18. Kerrie Johnson
19. Vasilisa Pavlova
20. Julia Nobis
21. Suzie Bird
22. Anabela Belikova
23. Ondria Hardin
24. Sofia Fisher
25. Vika Falileeva
26. Krystal Glynn
27. Emily Baker
28. Ruby Aldridge
29. Katrina Hoernig
30. Daiane Conterato
31. Xiao Wen Ju
32. Bruna Tenorio
33. Anais Pouliot
34. Nimue Smit
35. Josephine Skriver
36. Zuzanna Bijoch
37. Frida Gustavsson
38. Chantal Stafford-Abbot
39. Antonia Wesseloh
40. Jamie Bochert
41. Dempsey Stewart
42. Daria Strokous
43. Crystal Noreiga
44. Ruby Jean Wilson
45. Lida Fox
46. Kelly Mittendorf

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Marc by Marc Jacobs S/S 2012

September 13th, 2011

Little Marc is looking very grown up this season. Though the kilted designer never fails to infuse his diffusion line with preppy touches, spring saw Jacobs in a minimalist mood. Save the segment featuring obligatory plaids and prints, the collection focused on strong colors and sharp cuts. Youthful doesn’t have to mean ostentatious and Jacobs’ finest moments were those that involved subtlety; a hint of orange peaking out from a slate macintosh, a ruffle accentuating the waist; simple touches crafted with a deft hand. The addition of these elements (and that killer price point) is what keeps Jacobs at the top of the heap.

Marc by Marc Jacobs
Spring/Summer 2012

Photos: Stephan Moskovic
Text: Janelle Okwodu

Casting Director: Michelle Lee
Hair: Guido Palau
Makeup: Dick Page
Production: KCD

1. Karolina Waz
2. Erik Andersson (not pictured)
3. Nimue Smit
4. Gertrud Hegelund
5. Victor Nylander
6. Kate King
7. Baptiste Radufe (not pictured)
8. Mirte Maas
9. Fei Fei Sun (not pictured)
10. Bette Franke (not pictured)
11. Klaus Vaivars
12. Jac Jagaciak (not pictured)
13. Karlie Kloss
14. Julia Nobis (not pictured)
15. Lais Ribeiro
16. Henry Pedro Wright
17. Maud Welzen (not pictured)
18. Hind Sahli
19. David Hlinka
20. Lindsey Wixson
21. Valerija Sestic
22. Hailey Clauson
23. Bruce Machado
24. Anais Pouliot (not pictured)
25. Jackson Rado (not pictured)
26. Nyasha Matonhodze
27. Marike Le Roux (not pictured)
28. Andrey Smidl
29. Juju Ivanyuk (not pictured)
30. Tian Yi
31. Sara Blomqvist
32. Jourdan Dunn
33. Abiah Hostvedt
34. Shena Moulton
35. Daphne Groeneveld
36. Jessica Clarke (not pictured)
37. Milo Spijkers
38. Constance Jablonski
39. Ruby Aldridge
40. Frida Gustavsson (not pictured)
41. Johnny George (not pictured)
42. Colinne Michaelis
43. Josephine Skriver
44. Daria Strokous
45. Anthon Wellsjo (not pictured)
46. Julia Frauche (not pictured)
47. Kate Kosushkina (not pictured)
48. Yannick Abrath
49. Zuzanna Bijoch

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Posted in Collections, Cover story, Fashion, Fashion Week, Menswear, Womenswear | 5 Comments »

Valentino Fall/Winter 2011

March 18th, 2011

The Valentino brand has always understood femininity, but under the direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, that means something very different than it did when the legendary Garavani was at the helm. Chiuri and Piccioli favor a light and almost demure look that skews girly with touches of lace and sheer detailing, but never looks immature. This season featured the gauzy dresses the duo have become known for, but expanded the airy look to include structured separates for day, floral printed gowns and a lineup of on trend python accessories. No matter the look, an ethereal feel ran through the entire showing; even the thick fur worn by Patricia Van Der Vliet and the laser cut leather skirt on Daphne Groeneveld seemed to float. When designers can take materials that dense and imbue them with lightness it shows not only talent, but the power of a compelling design signature.
Valentino
Fall/Winter 2011

Photos: Stephan Moskovic
Text: Janelle Okwodu

Hair: Guido Palau
Makeup: Pat McGrath

models in order of appearance above:
Freja Beha Erichsen
Ruby Aldridge
Jac Jagaciak
Sigrid Agren

Caroline Brasch Nielsen

Freja Beha Erichsen


Aline Zanella
Tatiana Cotliar
Debora Muller
Nimue Smit

Hanne Gaby Odiele
Daga Ziober
Emily Baker
Daphne Groeneveld
Kasia Struss
Josephine Skriver
Maud Welzen


Marique Schimmel
Mirte Maas
Julia Saner
Freja Beha Erichsen

Jourdan Dunn


Tatiana Cotliar in fur
Arizona Muse
Jac Jagaciak

Daphne Groeneveld
Daga Ziober
Maud Welzen

Lydia Carron
Aline Zanella
Sigrid Agren
Nimue Smit
Sara Blomqvist
Caroline Brasch Nielsen

Ruby Aldridge

Julia Saner

Frida Gustavsson
Freja Beha Erichsen
Finale

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Y-3 Fall/Winter 2011

February 18th, 2011

Y-3 has always taken sportswear to that next level, removing it from its gym trappings and classing it up with a touch of Yamamoto finesse. We’ve come to expect a certain lighthearted take on minimal cool from the label, but this season boasts a maturity and seriousness. Ideas about travel were expressed via rugged jackets and layered styling, while flowing skirts and camouflage colors tapped into two of the season’s emerging trends. Outerwear reigned supreme, with covetable pieces for men and women showing up in every other look – we’ll take two of red and black tartan coats worn by Ajak.
Y-3
Fall/Winter 2011

Photos: Stephan Moskovic + Betty Sze
Text: Janelle Okwodu

Makeup: Pat McGrath
Hair: Eugene Souleiman
Casting director: Andrew Weir for ACW

Y-3
Fall/Winter 2011

Runway photos: Stephan Moskovic
Backstage photos: Betty Sze

Makeup: Pat McGrath
Hair: Eugene Souleiman
Casting director: Andrew Weir for ACW

models:
Daiane Conterato
Liu Wen – Male Model –
Aline Weber
Kori Richardson
Karmen Pedaru
Ajak Deng
Jac Jagaciak
Mark Cox
Charlie Westerberg
Frida Gustavsson
Auguste T
Liu Wen
Mirte Maas
Tao Okamoto
Melissa Tammerijn
Alla Kostromichova
Suvi Koponen
Daria Strokous
Irina Kulikova
Mathias Lauridsen
Fei Fei Sun

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Alexander Wang Fall/Winter 2011

February 15th, 2011

There can only be one king of New York, but who owns the crown? For several years now that rarefied honor has belonged to none other than Marc Jacobs, but with his last few collections Alexander Wang appears to be giving Marc a run for his money. Wang’s streetwise, downtown look is instantly recognizable – so much so that when he went in a different direction last season, the fashion crowd didn’t quite know what to do with itself. For fall Alex is back to black and cruising through familiar territory with the ease and confidence of a designer with a CFDA award under his belt. Keeping with the very East Coast theme of grunge meets glam, fur and satin were added to Wang’s usual repertoire of leather and jersey. Models strutted down the runway in heels embellished with mink and sunglasses tipped with fox; a decidedly luxurious touch for a label associated with ease and accessibility. Wang’s girl has grown up and is ready for splendor; with his Soho boutique launch only days away, the sudden foray into opulence seems perfectly timed.
Alexander Wang
Fall/Winter 2011

Photos: Betty Sze
Text: Janelle Okwodu

Stylist: Karl Templer
Casting director: Anita Bitton for The Establishment
Makeup: Diane Kendal
Hair: Guido Palau








Alexander Wang
Fall/Winter 2011

models:
Caroline Brasch Nielsen
Karolina Kurkova
Caroline de Maigret
Kate King
Suvi Koponen
Ruby Aldridge
Ming Xi
Jac Jagaciak & Frida Gustavsson
Daphne Groeneveld
Caroline Trentini
Jacquelyn JablonskiEliza Cummings
Joan Smalls
Lily Donaldson
Kasia Struss
Alla Kostromichova
Natasa Vojnovic
Joan Smalls
Fei Fei Sun
Aymeline Valade
Suvi Koponen
Iselin Steiro
Natasha Poly
Britt Maren
Marique Schimmel
Liu Wen
Karmen Pedaru
Mirte Maas
Aline Weber
Fei Fei & Jourdan

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Altuzarra Fall/Winter 2011

February 13th, 2011

After last season’s exercise in minimalist severity, Joseph Altuzarra lightens up for fall. Eschewing monochromatic color palates and structured separates in favor of flowing silhouettes and chunky parkas, Altuzarra hit all the right notes with his latest collection. Inspired by innate style and the sort of girls who roll out of bed looking pristine (Kate Moss was an inspiration) each look aims for effortlessness. While comparisons to the work of Marc Jacobs during his grunge phase are sure to abound, this isn’t a rehash. The sophistication of the color palette, combined with the sexiness of the sheer blouses and body conscious dresses makes for an adult twist on grunge’s youthful standards. Throw in luxurious materials like tweed, fur and satin, expertly layered by stylist Melanie Huynh and you have the makings of a zeitgeist moment; 2011, this is your look.

Joseph Altuzarra
Fall/Winter 2011

Photos: Stephan Moskovic
Text: Janelle Okwodu

Stylist: Melanie Huynh
Casting director: Kannon Rajah
Makeup: Tom Pecheux
Hair: Paul Hanlon

Joseph Altuzarra
Fall/Winter 2011

models:
Karmen Pedaru
Hailey Clauson
Karolina Kurkova
Arizona Muse
Toni Garrn
Samantha Gradoville
Juju Ivanyuk
Frida Gustavsson
Karlie Kloss
Melissa Tammerijn
Hanne Gaby Odiele
Fei Fei Sun
Edita Vilkeviciute
Jac Jagaciak
Kori Richardson
Ashley Smith
Daria Strokous
Britt Maren
Constance Jablonski
Sigrid Agren
Aymeline Valade
Kasia Struss
Caroline Brasch Nielsen

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Posted in Cover story, Fashion, Fashion Week | 5 Comments »