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June 3, 2014

Beyond the Skin

Jonas Åkerlund Takes Model Shaun Ross on a Hyperkinetic Trip Through LA in the Final #DefineBeauty Film

“Hollywood is so good at only seeing what’s on the outside, and using that first impression instead of going deeper,” says Jonas Åkerlund of the location of the final film in the #DefineBeauty series, in which he follows American model and actor Shaun Ross around the back streets and freeways of Los Angeles. “I think Shaun has spent all his life with those reactions. Look again and you see that this guy is really beautiful.” The Swedish filmmaker is known for music videos that span over 25 years—from Madonna to Beyonce, Iggy Pop to U2—and feature films including the darkly comic 2002 release, Spun. His gothic style is apparent in today’s portrait of the famed albino model, who recently starred in Lana Del Rey’s 30 minute film, Tropico. “When Shaun showed up on Hollywood Boulevard, Darth Vader and Mickey Mouse were affronted,” the filmmaker says of filming Ross, who was styled by his wife B. Åkerlund. “Like, ‘What the fuck is this guy doing here?’” Elements of Beyond the Skin were shot by Ross himself with a camera provided by the director, whose cat was given a supporting role. “She’s also albino so I thought they might have a connection,” says Åkerlund. “They actually did. She wouldn't stop sitting on his head.”

Look one: Top & skirt by Yuima Nakazato.
Look two: Head piece by Maiko Takeda, cape & pants by Yuima Nakazato, shoes by Nereku.
Look three: Leather jacket by Bohemian Society, metal mesh top & bracelets by Michael Schmidt Studios, boots by Gasoline Glamour.
Look four: Jacket by, Hyein Seo, top & shorts by Yuima Nakazato, shoes by Nereku.

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Spotlight

Bob Recine: Alchemy of Beauty

The Celebrated Hairstylist Reflects on the Aspirations Guiding His Artistry

Visionary hairstylist and artist Bob Recine sits down with filmmaker Alison Chernick in his New York studio to reflect on his friendship with Andy Warhol, the eternal quest for beauty, and collaborating with Lady Gaga on a room made entirely out of hair for one of Barneys window displays last Christmas. Growing up as part of New York’s rebellious 1970s punk scene, Recine took an early interest in urban art and music, building a vast portfolio and playing in multiple bands before translating his creative pursuits into hairdressing. Known today for his exquisite styling and sculptural coiffures, Recine has made bold statements on runways and in campaigns for the likes of Chloé, Kenzo and Jil Sander. “He is on a quest to find that transient moment of beauty,” says Chernick, likening Recine to the groundbreaking El Bulli chef Ferran Adrià. “His work transforms the medium from which it was born.” From Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino to Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, Recine has collaborated with every major photographer, and his 'dos have graced covers of most leading fashion publications, including Wi-DVHarper’s Bazaar, and every global edition of Vogue. This month, the highlights of the industry legend’s lengthy career in hairstyling, art and sculpture—including a human figure made from 60lbs of hairpins—are gathered in Freedman/Damiani's new book, Bob Recine: Alchemy of Beauty.

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Spotlight

Bruce Weber: Wet and Wild

The Fashion Photographer Conjures a Robust Island Paradise for Giorgio Armani

Athletic model Simon Nessman rises from the wild surf in Bruce Weber’s short for Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Giò Essenza. Revisiting his classic Acqua di Giò fragrance from 1996, Armani sought to produce a new, more intense remix of the original scent inspired by the Mediterranean island that has since become his home, Pantelleria. The largest of Sicily’s satellites, the “Black Pearl of the Mediterranean” bathes in the scorching heat of nearby Africa carried by the sirocco winds across its plains of dark basalt rock and simple white-domed dwellings, or “dammusi.” Over the years, writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Truman Capote and Aldous Huxley have been lured by the island’s rare sense of solitude and its untrammeled landscape. Synonymous with the chiseled male beauties in his iconic images for the likes of Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Pirelli, Weber drew inspiration from the island’s serenity for his black and white film. “The idea was to capture, in my own way, that Mediterranean feel,” explains the photographer. “The connection to water, the sea, and bodily freedom on a beach.”

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