Seven Top Models Assume Unlikely New Professions in the French Video Artist's New Short
The lives of a mechanic, maid and lifeguard take on glamorous new guises with a little help from models including Dorothea Barth Jorgensen, Cameron Russell and Hilary Rhoda in this new short from French video artist Marie Vic. Gearing up for the grueling month of fashion shows around the globe, the seven beauties in the film, all represented by Elite New York City, pose and preen in a tongue-in-cheek take on an alternative career path. “I like to play with props and I really take pleasure seeing things out of context,” explains Vic, who received an MFA in photography from Parsons The New School for Design and has exhibited at the Hendershot Gallery and Eyebeam in New York. “I wanted to compose an eclectic collection of ambiances where the models interact with an arrangement of accessories in a given area of New York to create an oxymoronic situation.” The varied locations include The Mark Hotel in Upper East Side Manhattan, a vogueing ball in Harlem and the boardwalk of Brighton Beach. Vic, who handled every aspect of the production apart from the music, filmed one model individually in each of the locales to create the disparate tableaux. As the director says: “The only thing that runs through the whole video is one pair of Pierre Hardy shoes!” We caught up with Maryland-born Rhoda about the pitfalls and necessities of fashion week.
The Front Row Fashion Flock Show Up in a NYC Coffee Whiz's Latte Portraits
To kick off New York fashion week madness, the highly photographed faces of industry legends and celebs—Anna, Karl, Marc and more—are rendered by Mike Breach, a 28 -year-old New York-based portraitist whose medium is foam. Breach, a.k.a. Baristart, moonlights as an expert coffee dude at The Breslin Bar and Dining Room within the trendy Ace Hotel, where he has plenty of opportunities to practice his oeuvre. Noticing that people were becoming bored with hearts and leaves in their lattes, Breach decided to apply his appreciation of art to his coffees. Some of his favorite portraits to date include “Leonardo di Cappuccino,” “Kurt Cobean,” and “Ziggy Starbucks.” Reactions to Breach’s work tend toward amused astonishment. Handed a latte with her face on it, Grace Jones was so impressed that she exchanged contact information with him. Whether Ms. Wintour and Mr. Lagerfeld will be so pleased remains to be seen, but latte art certainly seems the perfect medium to illustrate fashion’s cycle of invention and consumption. At the very least, it’s an entertaining way to caffeinate before racing to the next show.
What constitutes the perfect latte?
Mike Breach: There is a massive element of humor in what I do so the perfect latte to me makes me laugh.
What are the best (and worst) things about working with foam?
MB: The best and worst thing about working with foam is that it is very challenging.
What sort of image is most frequently ordered?
MB: Most people who happen to track me down want portraits of their pets.
What other medium would you most like to work in?
MB: I am very content with coffee as my medium because it makes people happy and blows their minds.
What's the choicest reaction you've gotten to a portrait?
MB: It was actually from a very simple teddy bear head design that I gave to a girl who was obviously very upset about something. She got choked up, smiled and hugged me. It’s great to me that something so simple can really make someone’s day.
Liz Goldwyn Directs the Award-Winning Actor in a Dark Burlesque Portrait
Perched in a dreamy rose garden, a seductive and melancholic Jena Malone narrates this poetic 19th-century-inspired short by filmmaker and author Liz Goldwyn. Part of a series of works devoted to demystifying the sex industry, The Painted Lady casts the future Hunger Games: Catching Fire star—who made her name in Donnie Darko and Saved!—as a young woman who recalls an encounter with a lushly powdered call girl. As Malone's distinctive voice glides over the hazy footage, intercut shots transform her baby-faced ingénue into a defiant, colorfully made-up femme fatale against a floral backdrop. Only 21 when the vignette was filmed six years ago, the actor’s performance was informed by her own personal transformation at the time. “I was definitely a girl on the verge," explains Malone. "Liz had the sense to see the woman that was crystallizing inside of me. It felt comfortable and somewhat voyeuristic—like the woman I was to become was having a muse’s sitting with my younger self, asking her to remember things." Much like Goldwyn's acclaimed HBO documentary Pretty Things, an exploration of American Burlesque culture, The Painted Lady and its sister project, Sporting Guide, spark discussion of broad social issues, such how our view of the body impacts feminine identity. “In all the work that I do I'm promoting an intelligent conversation about sex,” the director explains. “Jena might look glamorous, but there's a lot of darkness in these stories.”