Barnaby Roper Sets Fashion's Latina Heroine into a Spin
Puerto Rican supermodel Joan Smalls is transformed into a high-fashion superwoman in today’s exhilarating short by director Barnaby Roper. “I was playing around with the fact that the summer brings blockbusters. This year this includes Man of Steel, which is being released the same week as this film,” explains Roper of the video that employs the New York-based filmmaker’s signature technical wizardry. “I tried to show a strong individual female character and Joan was the perfect person—she gives really strong poses.” Stylist Keegan Singh built up Smalls’ heroic look by plundering designers including Balmain, Rodarte and Altuzara for powerful silhouettes and then finished the looks off with piles of tough jewelry from Eddie Borgo. Smalls, who modeled in New York for three years before her big break walking exclusively for Ricardo Tischi’s Givenchy couture show in 2009, has become an industry favorite featuring in cover stories for W magazine as well as various editions of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and fronting campaigns for Gucci, Stella McCartney and Estée Lauder who, in 2011, made her their first Latina face.
Mirte Maas Walks an Infinite Runway in Barnaby Roper's New Interactive Story
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Credits: 1. Leather dress by Givenchy, skirt by Ann Demeulemeester, top and boots by Rick Owens, cape by Araks; 2. Coat, dress and boots by Rick Owens; 3. Leather dress by Givenchy, hooded top by Ann Demeulemeester; 4. Hat and mask by Rick Owens; 5. Top, dress and boots by Rick Owens; 6. Dress and boots by Rick Owens.
The Versatile Supermodel Stars in a Gender-Bending Animated Short
Daria Werbowy morphs from skater to rocker, businessman to dancer as she shape-shifts through an array of different characters in this stop-motion animation by photographer Cass Bird. The pair were inspired by a series of black-and-white cut-out collages made in the early 70s by Cindy Sherman, an artist famed for her fascination with identity and gender. “I’ve always been interested in how clothes can override our identity,” says Bird from her home in Brooklyn. “How they can change our posture completely, or even how we feel about our sexuality.” Since their first collaboration over a decade ago Bird and the Ukrainian-Canadian Werbowy have traveled the world capturing some of the most distinctive images of the chameleonic model. Bird is celebrated for her spontaneous and intimate photographs of celebrities including Cate Blanchett and Viggo Mortensen, as well as personal projects like recent monograph Rewilding, which portrayed androgynous girls in the Tennessee wilderness. She brought a similar uninhibited freedom to this latest session with her close friend Werbowy, who holds the record for opening and closing the most runway shows in a fashion season and has graced the pages of everything from Vogue to V magazine to the Pirelli Calendar. “I laughed the whole way through it,” says Bird. “I’m always taken with Daria’s physical range. She pushes herself physically and emotionally and has this God-given gift to be able to channel masculine and feminine energy quite genuinely.”