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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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McMenamy x M·A·C

The Cosmetics Muse and Her Filmmaker Husband Test Their Cinematic Knowledge

Made up in Technicolor hues of acid pink, green and orange, supermodel Kristen McMenamy rides an emotional rollercoaster in this short for M·A·C’s new Reel Sexy makeup collection directed by husband Miles Aldridge. To bring to life Aldridge’s off-kilter imagery, M·A·C’s Senior Vice President and Group Creative Director James Gager cast McMenamy as the histrionic heroine for the meta-movie performance. “There is nothing that isn’t dramatic about Kristen, from her statuesque body and long gray hair, to the way she carries herself,” he says. “It was an amazing experience to watch her because she was literally watching nothing on the screen. She gave all this great emotion and was so much into it that she actually cried.” For the vivid palette, Gager took his cues from the larger-than-life world of Hollywood’s leading ladies who regularly use M·A·C makeup, whether on film sets, front covers or the red carpet. While McMenamy is made up in M·A·C’s trademark bold fashion, the products can be worn as sheer washes of pastel color too, says Gager: “It brings a sophistication to the look, and is perfect for springtime.” Here, McMenamy and Aldridge test their knowledge of each other’s cinematic leanings.

What would be the movie title to Miles/Kristen’s life?
 La Dolce Vita. He has watched the film a million times and it captures the essence of how Miles sees life: meaningful and meaningless at the same time and full of both love and emptiness, as well as beautiful women and continuous drama.
Miles: The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Queen, because of her renaissance.

And which movie star would you cast to play Miles/Kristen in the story of their life?
 Jim Carey would play him brilliantly, although Miles looks a bit like Tim Robbins, so if Carey is too expensive, I’d cast Robbins. Malcolm McDowell would be my third choice.
Miles: It would have to be somebody from the 1940s because Kristen’s skin has that pale quality to it that Hollywood actresses had from that era. Joan Crawford would be prefect.

What is Miles/Kristen’s favorite place to watch movies?
 His all time favorite cinema is the Everyman in Hampstead, London. He likes the posh artsy cinemas, where they give you olives and martinis. That is the difference between us—I love the cheap Cineplex theatres where you can smell the popcorn, get the pick ‘n’ mix and the big Diet Coke.
Miles: Probably the Everyman cinema in Hampstead. We’ve been going there since we first met. We have so much history there. We’ve been there when she was pregnant with kids, then with the kids… you know, taking them to see films like Hellboy

Is Miles/Kristen more likely to laugh out loud or cry silently during a movie?
 I don’t think I’ve ever seen Miles cry watching a film. Laugh? Yes. He laughs the most when he watches a good funny film. He likes a sick moment… he likes the sick, funny moments
Miles: She’s very emotional, so I think a bit of both. But I’d expect a tear to roll down her cheek if it was a heavy romantic or emotional scene.

What’s on Miles/Kristen’s snack menu at the movies?
He’s a beer and nuts kind of guy.
Miles: She’s a salty popcorn eater. The pink popcorn she eats in the M·A·C film was actually sprayed with paint and Kristen wasn’t meant to eat it. But nobody wanted to cut the action—she was so in character at that point—so we just let her eat.

If Miles/Kristen could adapt any novel into a screenplay, what would it be? 
He likes Martin Amis, so perhaps Experience [Amis’s autobiography]. As for me, I think they’ve got to do the Mötley Crüe biography The Dirt—it’s genius. It’s rock ‘n’ roll, drugs, sex and drama. When I read that book I was laughing and crying, it’s so touching, you wouldn’t believe it.
Miles: Maybe Tess of the d'Urbervilles, like a Thomas Hardy, rural sort of story… she likes those kinds of women.

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Corto Moltedo's Pool Party

A Splashy Film Celebrates the Italian Accessories Brand's New Milan Boutique

Wearing violet Speedos to set off a deep bronze tan, Italian playboy Carlo Mancuso cuts a memorable figure in today’s NOWNESS premiere. But the film's true stars are the spring 2011 designs from Corto Moltedo: crystal studded and neon patent clutches emblazoned with the brand's signature cassette motif. Designer Gabriele Corto Moltedo, whose parents founded Bottega Veneta, commissioned Paris-based director Dustin Lynn to mark the opening of his Milan boutique in the city's high-end Via Montenapoleone fashion district (his other shop is in the Palais Royal) and his e-commerce store. Shot at the lush Padua abode of the designer’s mother, the short sees Moltedo and Mancuso fall under the spell of model Alicia Rountree and her glinting accessories. "We wanted the [design] signature to come across filmically, always tracing a line of sexual metaphor, but without taking ourselves too seriously," says Lynn, adding that Mancuso was perfect: "Hugh Hefner, John Waters, and Marcello Mastroianni from Divorce, Italian Style all rolled into one." Moltedo’s self-proclaimed “pop-luxe chic” aesthetic is a world away from the classic woven leather pieces associated with his parents’ classic brand, but the label prides itself on the same commitment to craftsmanship. 

Facehunter will be at the store’s starry opening in Milan tonight; check back tomorrow for photos of the glamorous attendees.

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