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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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Eniko's Diamond Dip

The Model Stars in KT Auleta and Lancôme Makeup Guru Aaron de Mey's Bejeweled Pool Glide

One great thing about the relatively new creative outlet of fashion film is that it allows photographers to bring some of their most cherished images to life. KT Auleta, the director of today’s dazzling poolside spectacular, had one such image resting for years in her portfolio. “It’s a picture of a girl wearing a visor, sitting in a pool,” says the photographer-turned-filmmaker, whose work has appeared in i-D, Vogue Russia and Self-Service.  “She’s smiling, you can really see her skin, and she looks filled with such spirit. I always wanted to do something more with that photograph.” To work this potent visual into the glittery splashy short film you see before you, set at a swimming pool on the Gold Coast, Long Island (retreat of choice for millionaires and movie stars), Auleta teamed up with celebrated makeup artist and Lancôme Creative Director Aaron de Mey, who is famous for his no-holds-barred love of high-impact color and sparkly, glossy finishes. The film’s star, Hungarian model Enikő Mihalik, is one of De Mey’s favorites—he waxes lyrical about her “elegant toughness,” “Siamese cat eyes” and “latex-like skin.”  Her jewelry comes courtesy of the Italian jeweler Bulgari. Beneath the film’s luxe, seductive shimmer lies a more subtle narrative, indicated by Auleta’s inclusion of the Anne Carson quote as the film closes. “There’s this idea of transformation through cleansing in the water,” says Auleta, “like the myth of a burning phoenix, ascending and changing.”

Aaron de Mey explains how to get Enikő's look in the film:

The black, liquid-lined feline eye was achieved using Lancôme Artliner Precision Point Eyeliner in Black. I drew the shape upward and outward to make Enikő's eyes look dynamic and slightly punk. Two sets of false lashes were applied to the top lash line and coated with Lancôme Hypnose Waterproof Custom Volume Mascara in Black to define and enhance the eye shape created with the eyeliner. For the lips I applied Swarovski crystals individually to a light layer of Shu Uemura eyelash glue. I used Lancôme Teint Miracle Natural Skin Perfection foundation to perfect and even the skin tone. The eyebrows were bleached to erase them so that the focus was shifted to the eyes. Click here to read De May's fall makeup recommendations.

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Sally Singer: Finger Pointing

The Vogue Editor’s Sideline in Elegant and Bizarre Nail Concepts

Five exquisite manicures designed by nail art devotee Sally Singer are captured as fanciful still lifes by regular Vogue and T Magazine photographer Raymond Meier. Conceived for NOWNESS in collaboration with New York City-based nail artist Maki Sakamoto, Singer’s trademark artful talons are approached as miniature canvases influenced by the Japanese beauty mania for elaborate, 3D nail art, which may seem at odds with Singer’s personal pared-back approach to fashion and beauty. From an elegant silvery French tip or dégradé color effect to raised white ‘Wedgewood’ cameos on a matte black base, Singer’s nail concepts are inspired by everything from fashion and art to personal whimsy and politics. “I had an idea for left wing nails—a left hand with the symbols for different socialist parties on each fingernail, and the right hand could just be painted black,” she says. When it comes to doing her own manicures Singer is more likely to go for a buffed nail or clear varnish, but whatever the look, it’s likely to influence the accessories she chooses. “If my nails are natural I’ll go minimalist with no accessories,” she explains, “but a glittery French manicure calls for lots of sparkly rings.” Below, Singer talks through the thought process behind each nail design, and how she would wear them this spring. 

Powdered Violet
This is “extravagant old lady.” The hand pictured is covered with powdery violets but I’d do fewer flowers for myself. It is matte, and I like how romantic, nostalgic and strange it looks. The clothes this spring were about a prettiness that’s so literal it becomes quite odd—for instance, the Comme des Garçons and Valentino shows. It refers to a history of femininity that is really interesting. I would wear these nails long and very rounded.

Céline Orange Nails

Everybody wants Céline, and if you can’t get the real thing you can get the nails. It's their two-tone handbags and how their knits have that little Céline logo in the corner, like a man’s monogram. Maki used to do the Chanel logo all over the nails, but with Céline you only want it on one finger. I’d wear this style on quite square and short nails. 

Mexican Sugar Skulls
Wear these on a clear, gelled nail and with a different face on each one staring up at you. Again, I like the powdery-ness and that crystalized sugar look. With this sort of Japanese-inspired nail art it’s about creating as much character as possible. You need a design where every nail is different. 

Taxi Driver Seat Nails

I wanted a really textural nail, because for me that’s the most interesting—those strange, matte textures like the wooden beaded coverings on New York taxi driver’s seats. This would look good with Burberry’s spring collection.

Kate Middleton Nails
For this glittery blue nail with the single crown, I was thinking of spring 2012 Chanel couture, with all those deep blues. I don’t usually like a blue nail but I liked those color tones. It’s a royal, attention-grabbing nail—it’s the Kate Middleton nail. I wanted crowns and heraldry.

Nail Artist Maki Sakamoto
Assistant, Kazuhito Sekiya

Post-Produced by VS+Company

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