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August 20, 2014

L’Avenue Shanghai: Désir

East Meets West in the First of the Boutique Mall’s Two-Part Love Story

In a double bill of films commissioned by L’Avenue Shanghai, director Nathalie Canguilhem circumnavigates Paris and the Chinese metropolitan hub for the kinetically charged romance, Désir. Model and actress Amber Anderson is cast alongside Beijing-born catwalk regular Hao Yun Xiang, and their dizzying tale of parallel lives is given the graphic treatment by Canguilhem, a fashion filmmaker, art director and stylist with commissions from Vogue, as well as a forthcoming project with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Anthony Vaccarello. “I had just seen Her by Spike Jonze and I liked the idea of a love story that was very moody and atmospheric. It’s more of a fantasy than something real,” says the image- maker, who juxtaposed architectural landmarks including Shanghai’s Bund Bridge and French Concession with Paris’ Grand Palais and Beaugrenelle. The collision of sensibilities falls in line with L’Avenue Shanghai’s impressive brand portfolio—bringing the French capital to Asia, with Canguilhem styling the protagonists in pieces from Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada. “I wanted to blend functionality with geometric patterns for an urban effect.”

What’s the most memorable thing someone has ever done for you in the name of romance?
Amber Anderson:
My laundry!

What are some of the best spots you've discovered in Paris?
Hotel Amour is a great place to stay and the restaurant downstairs has unforgettable macaroni cheese...

What essentials do you pack in your bag each before heading off on a long-haul flight?
A Sisley facemask and my favorite Zoe Karssen cashmere leggings—an indulgence but great for getting cozy.

What do you consider to be the perfect trait in a man?
His sense of humor.

What is your ultimate day off in Shanghai?
Wandering round the old town and taking a trip up the Oriental Pearl.

On a scale of one to 10, how romantic are you?
I'm pretty cringe when I want to be! I'd say around an 8 and a half...

Three things you can't resist:
A bubble bath, good wine and pasta.

L'Avenue Shanghai's double bill concludes next Wednesday with Rencontre. 

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Manifestation

Gallic Passion, American Charm and the British Supermodel Star in a Sun-Kissed Fashion Short from Guy Aroch

A sun-drenched Malibu Beach sets the scene for Manifestation, a playful short from fashion photographer and filmmaker Guy Aroch. Scripted by System magazine’s Jonathan Wingfield, the story sees an American and a Frenchman in a heated discussion about the pitfalls of summer in Paris—the latter finds a welcome distraction, however, in the seductive gaze of supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. As the face of Burberry, Victoria’s Secret and Loewe, the British-born beauty turns heads before diving into the Californian ocean, a far cry from her rural family home on a Devonshire farm. “I guess the film has elements of sex, humor and cliché,” says the Israel-born, New York-based Aroch, who met the model and actor earlier this year while working together on a shoot for Muse magazine. “But the point is to show how important it is to see the positive and goodness that life can bring. It’s a glass-half-full kind of message.”

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Adam Selman: Gorgeous!

Rihanna’s Designer is Joined by Amy Sedaris for a Sideways Look at His Fashion Week Debut

A gaggle of models find themselves upstaged by comedian Amy Sedaris in this mockumentary filmed at Adam Selman’s debut fashion show at New York Fashion Week, Spring-Summer 2014. Selman enlisted his close friend, the Letterman regular and star of cult comedy Strangers with Candy, to play an in-your-face photographer, spoofing the traditional casting call. “Amy played that character from The Eyes of Laura Mars,” says Selman, also who also referenced the opening scene of Lipstick as further fodder for the antics. “I just wanted her out there taking pictures and doing her thing. But it was so great because her camera wasn’t even turned on.” No stranger to spectacle, Selman created stage outfits for Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and the Scissor Sisters before working with Rihanna and her stylist Mel Ottenberg. His foray into fashion via his eponymous line is a mash-up of boudoir sexy and streetwise inspired in part by retro Francesco Scavullo Cosmopolitan covers, and was designed with RiRi in mind. “It’s hard for me not to imagine her wearing these things because we work so closely together. We’re very simpatico in inspiration and design right now,” he explains. Meanwhile, his pal Sedaris, who frequently turns up on television in bespoke Selman, keeps his spirits high, so to speak. “The first week after knowing him I ordered 100 dress labels with his name on it,” she muses. “I knew I was going to ask him to make me dresses for the rest of my life.”

How did you and Amy Sedaris meet?
Adam Selman:
We met on a Dolly Parton video shoot in Dollywood. I was dressing all the extras, including Amy, for the video. We instantly hit it off, while walking to the Chick-fil-A. After we came back to New York, I joined her craft club—we were called the Frayed Knots. It was really an excuse to get together and smoke pot. We then decided to do a crafts book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People.

What have you learned from working so closely with Rihanna?
I think the best thing is to not become too emotionally attached to clothes. Especially with someone like Rihanna, who eats clothes. She does a lot of looks so it’s good to constantly be pushing.  

Have you always been interested in fashion, even as a child?
We grew up on a ranch in Texas, close to Waco, and I come from a very religious background. We didn’t have Vogue lying around. I would have to sneak it out of the doctor’s office. My mom taught me how to sew. My dad was a carpenter, which is actually very similar to a pattern maker. It was a very hands-on childhood, very creative. When I finally moved to New York I was like, “Ohhh, Versace.”

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