A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Shoot for LOVE with Fashion’s Great Influencers Ms. Moss and Ms. Grand
Kicking off NOWNESS’ Valentine’s week celebration of all things romance, LOVE Editor-in-Chief Katie Grand casts a beguiling Kate Moss as a Pre-Raphaelite muse. Shot by the venerable Tim Walker and showcased here in an exclusive expanded edit, the belle époque scene’s floral accessories dominate the supermodel’s otherwise minimal wardrobe. Accompanied by handwritten passages from Angela Carter’s 1967 coming-of-age novel The Magic Toyshop, the result adds a blush of decadence to the current issue of Grand’s London-based brainchild. In addition to today’s stunning story with Moss, whose ever-flourishing career has been leading the industry for over 20 years, LOVE’s latest tome includes intimate features with British fashion darlings Cara Delevingne, Liberty Ross and Edie Campbell, as well as American actress Chloë Grace Moretz. Grand paused for a moment before the Fashion Week rush to reveal details behind the shoot and talk personal romantic highlights, from the awkward to the irresistible.
What’s the strangest thing someone has ever done for you in the name of romance?
Katie Grand: Steve [Mackey, Grand's husband] proposed to me after holding my hair back while I threw up in a field at Charlotte Stockdale’s wedding. I’m sure there have been other strange incidents, but that's the most prominent.
This issue casts three models as muses—Kate, Cara and Edie. What’s the thing you love most about English girls and how does your portrayal of them harness that essence?
KG: I’ve always loved English girls. My whole career is sprinkled with my various English girl crushes, which is why Liberty and Agyness are also in the issue. I don’t think they take the whole modeling thing so seriously and generally know how to have a good time. I love Nigel Shafran's pictures of Cara and Edie as they are so ‘normal’ and charming, and very English too.
How did you achieve the flower styling for Kate’s shoot with Tim Walker and were there any awkward moments?
KG: Ha ha! We had a prop stylist who placed Kate’s flowers. I’m so used to seeing Kate naked, so it was just another day at the office for us. Her body looked incredible on the shoot though and it was nice to see her naked in such a romantic way.
What were the overarching themes that most interested you in putting together this issue?
KG: British girls were the running theme, and Chloë [Moretz] is an honorary Brit as she’s spent so much time here.
If Chloë Moretz is a modern day Ophelia in her cover photo, what characters would you liken Cara and Kate to?
KG: I wanted to do something different from our last few covers, which have been quite romantic and painterly. We had looked at Antonio Lopez’s work and wanted to nod to his sense of glamor, so Cara and Kate are kind of Jerry Hall and Grace Jones for me.
What is your ultimate Valentine’s fantasy?
KG: To be whisked off somewhere exotic by my husband. The reality is I will be working on London fashion shows!
What’s the sexiest shoot you’ve ever worked on?
KG: There have been so many. Gisele is always so sexy and hot to work with, so are Kate, Daria [Werbowy] and Lara [Stone]. Our first cover shoot with Beth Ditto naked was pretty sexy too. It was a gorgeous hot day at the Chateau Marmont.
What’s the most erotic moment in film?
KG: 9½ Weeks is still pretty erotic.
What’s the sexiest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
KG: A trip to Azzedine Alaïa is always sexy.
What song do you find most seductive?
KG: “Little Red Corvette” by Prince.
Director Jamie Caliri Conjures Up an Animation for the Indie Rockers
Three sinister gentlemen, a magician and an enormous rabbit populate the fantastical landscape of Emmy-winning director Jamie Caliri’s video for “The Rifle’s Spiral,” a new track by Portland-based indie rock heavyweights The Shins. Sketching the short’s narrative from any lyrics that grabbed his attention, Caliri had free rein to let his imagination run wild, resulting in a surreal stop-motion animation. “I have always loved Edward Gorey’s illustration work and his influence is apparent throughout the video,” says Caliri. “Also, seeing Martin Scorsese’s Hugo three times subconsciously veered my thoughts onto the magic theme.” Founded in 1996 by singer-songwriter James Mercer, The Shins played Coachella Festival last weekend as part of a US tour in support of their grandiose fourth album, Port of Morrow. Featuring guest appearances from Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer and Wild Flag’s Janet Weiss, Port of Morrow took five years in the making after Mercer put the group on hiatus to become a father. Enthusing about the current renaissance in music videos after also making a 3D version of the film exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS, Caliri observes: “It's now more like the years before MTV, when music videos did not have a formula. You can be expressive and idiosyncratic.”
Fashion Photographers Inez and Vinoodh Stake Out the Balmain Supermodel
When Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin signed on to shoot the fall/winter 2010/11 Balmain campaign starring Kate Moss, they did so as double agents. Without anyone knowing, the renowned fashion photographers set up four surveillance-style cameras to capture Moss’s unbridled performance on set. The short film, titled Everglade, takes its name from the haunting Antony and the Johnsons song that serves as its soundtrack, and premieres on NOWNESS today. It marks the latest instance of the Dutch duo's intentionally blurring the boundaries of reality. “Surrealism is always there in our work, whether it’s in camera or through computer manipulation,” says Van Lamsweerde. “We’ve had the idea for this video for some time. We are fascinated with the different realities going on in one shoot and so the music, the animation, Kate's movements and the camera angle represent these layers of perception.” With animated illustrations by artist Jo Ratcliffe (in collaboration with Bouwine Pool for Sherbet), the film not only captures Moss in action, but also aims to represent a fantasy inner world. “We talked to [Ratcliffe] about it being half horror and half Disney,” Van Lamsweerde says, and what evolved is an idiosyncratic take on the behind-the-scenes genre. “It ranges from a sinewy heavy metal feel to a much cuter place,” she sums up. To read our exclusive Q&A with Ratcliffe, click here.