Friday, October 21, 2011

Rooney Mara Gets Vogue Makeover

Back in January Rooney Mara debuted a radical new look for her role as Lisbeth Salander in the movie adaptation of Stieg Larrson's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

And now the actress, 26, is pulling another style 180, showing off her feminine side on the cover of Vogue's November issue.

Inside the magazine, Mara poses in stunning gowns by Marchesa and Vera Wang, against an enchanted fairy tale background.

Rooney Mara For Vogue

"Before, I dressed much girlier," she told Vogue of her physical transformation for the flick. "A lot of blush-colored things. Now I literally roll out of bed and put on whatever is there. I have really enjoyed being a boy this last year."

To achieve her look in the film, Rooney had to cut off all of her hair and dye it black as well as bleach her eyebrows. She also received several piercings in one day.

"The eyebrows were the biggest shock because that really changed my face, and I didn't recognize myself. But I was fine because I knew it was going to be really helpful for getting into character."

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which also stars Daniel Craig, hits theaters December 21.

Interview With Rory Lewis Portraiture Photographer On Tricks Of The Trade.

Portraiture is all about the face, the model, the muse.

The best models I have worked in the past have been confident actors. Actors who are able to work through a series of poses following the photographer’s descriptive direction or example imagery; whilst having the confidence of adding there own thoughts and felling’s and ideas. In essence being on the same wavelength of the photographer almost psychically.

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Model: Sam
When a photographer and model are on the same wavelength great things happen. This has occurs often in my portraiture photography. The capturing of a perfect portrait moment a split second when the model and photographer connect. You can only achieve this with the right model. As noted actor Allan Walsh says: Modelling is just another branch of acting.

Remember these moments are STAGED the model in my opinion has to be a gifted actor. This can’t be emphasised enough. Lets not forget studio portraiture is photographed in an artificial atmosphere with a specific theme and when everything slots together, the results can be stunning.

Model: India

Professional models must have character and a photogenic consciousness, realising what looks good on camera and what does not. Whilst knowing how to use both in accordance with the direction of the photographer. As a photographer I don’t see or think like a normal person someone with good facial bone structure and looks is NOT necessarily a good model. Photographers must see everything creatively and search for models with character and confidence.

Take the time out to find your Muse your Model someone who has charisma, somebody who is confidant who can take direction and in doing so come up with their own ideas.

I teach a great deal of  one to one sessions and  workshops  with photographers who are just starting out and find that their work is let down by one key factor, the face of the person they are photographing. Don’t get me wrong no one is perfect yet, this can severally affect the shots they are trying to achieve. If photographers are looking to achieve a high standard of studio work they must not only think about lighting and makeup, but the models they are shooting.

The question you must be asking is where can I find good models? And you are probably expecting me to say a good model agency. Well you may be right but you may be surprised. There are a number of creative social networking sites on the web where models and photographers can collaborate, so signup. Ive also found models in unusual places from bus stops to bistros, keep alert and don’t be frightened to ask if you even spot someone in the street, the worst they can say is no.

Model: Kristie

In terms of model agencies take the time out to contact your local model agency. You may be amazed as agencies have a great number of new faces in need of shots. You may not be paid, but you will have the opportunity to learn with models that have experience, confidence, acting skills and good characteristics. If you take the time to find a good model the level of work you are trying to achieve will improve ten fold.

How Do Models Annoy Photographers?

It seems inevitable that when photographers have tons of experience working with models, they’re going to form some strong opinions about the things models can do right and wrong over the course of a shoot. In search of some good stories, we asked several pros, “What are your biggest pet peeves when it comes to working with models?” (In fairness, stay tuned for part two, where we’ll ask models the same question about photographers!)

Arriving In a “Bad” State

“If the model partied the night before and is tired, grumpy, looks bad and has low energy, that can really affect a shoot, as you can imagine. Makeup will only hide certain things, but generally if the model has low energy in her eyes, and is too tired or hungover from a hard work week or party, then that really can deflate the shoot.” Peter Koval

“He or she doesn’t take care of him or herself. Unless we are shooting an ‘art’ project, for most commercial work it usually involves making the models look good. So coming in looking like you haven’t slept in 3 days or heavily intoxicated is generally not recommended. There is also the distinction between being fashionably thin and starving yourself to death. Hint: The latter defeats the purpose. I have literally stopped a shoot mid-way and asked a model to rest and eat something because she was obviously starving.” Tommy Zablan

That said…Showing Up Late Or Not At All

“One of my biggest pet peeves that models can do to make the shoot more difficult is to be late. If the whole crew shows up at a call time and everyone is waiting on the model, it kinda takes a lot of steam out of the momentum and energy for the shoot.” Peter Koval

“Being really late for a shoot or cancelling a booking last minute. While there are perfectly reasonable situations when these things happen, a model can also make a reasonable effort to avoid having to do this. Nobody wants to re-schedule an entire crew or location.” Tommy Zablan

“When you’re working you’re working. Don’t leave in the middle of a session because you have to go somewhere. And show up on time.” Bernhard Kristinn.

Big Egos

“Being Italian, I cannot imagine having to deal with my business without food. It can sound odd but food is part of my culture, it is a symbol of happiness, and when I shoot in studio I want to share the same feeling with the team, starting with the model. If you cannot enjoy food and smile at it, how you can smile for my camera? But sometimes I do not choose the model and she comes from the agency. When this happens I always have a bit of fear…The face of the model, when I offer her some sweets, a bit of wine, becomes terrible and she looks at me like I was trying to kill and destroy her career! Pure fear of food and pure fear of happiness! That make me crazy and the shooting never goes as it has to be.” Massi Tiberi

“I find a lot of models don’t seem to realize there is a lot more to it then just looking good. Most of them don’t practice posing, facial expressions and conveying emotions. Time and time again I see models who have one look. They learn how to pose their body from pictures in magazines but they forget to look at the details in the facial expressions that tie everything together. There is a major difference between someone who looks good and someone who looks good and photographs well. I remember shooting a guy for his portfolio, he had all these poses but the same facial expressions. No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t get him to emote any other look but this same facial expressions over and over again. So we ended up with a set of photos that pretty much looked the same. To make matters worse he thought it would be best to tell me how to setup the lighting, so maybe models should keep their egos in check as well.” Tristan Jud.

“I’m not a therapist–don’t get in front of my lens and tell me how much weight you have gained, or you have a turkey neck, double or triple chin. I’m there to make great photos of you. And don’t force me to flirt with you. If you tell me you are bad looking or pictures of you look terrible, I’m forced to tell you the opposite.” Bernhard Kristinn

Messing With the Photographer’s Work

“My pet peeve is models walking all over my seamless backdrop. I know it is easy to fix in Photoshop, but when you are doing 50 looks for a catalog, you just start adding up the minutes of your life that are going down the drain if you have to correct it 50 times. Now, I know it annoys me, so I start by bringing the model over nicely and explaining the retouching predicament. I point to the exact spot and ask if she can take one big step to get there. I am not sure why this next thing happens. Maybe it is wolves marking their territory. But, 1 in 4 models somehow still seem to enter from the side and take six steps to get there. My beautiful white background with the first of many traces of grey.” Michael Creagh.

“Don’t put on the Zoolander lips. I too often get the ‘blue steel’ or ‘magnum’ look, and it’s terrible.” Bernhard Kristinn

“The thing that drives me crazy is when models are skeptical. Maybe it is that they don’t quite trust your creative process or some incorrect bias on how they think the direction of their portfolio should be, but it is a recipe for disaster. Years ago, I had a young woman who loved my work and the way I made people look. But when it came to her, she micro managed everything to death. I was so frustrated with all the wrong choices from background to lighting, that in the end she actually got me to concede and hold a mirror next to the camera lens. The shoot was horrible. Why did I do it? By the time I held that mirror, I was in so deep that I would have done anything to get that shoot to end. It was funny when she came back a few days later to go over the shots. I was editing another shoot, and she was like, ‘Wow that is great. Why didn’t we do that?’ I guess it is because she hadn’t thought of it.” Michael Creagh

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Episode Fashion Management : An Interview With Grace Coddington

At the Ann Demeulemeester show for Paris Fashion Week, where Ann Chapelle showcased her Spring / Summer 2012 collection, we were honoured enough to run into Grace Coddington.

For those of you who are still not aware of the background of this visionary, then, please log off now. Grace shot to fame in the 1960's as a top fashion model, before a car crash caused her to leave the world of modelling. Then,  as chance would have it, she started as an assistant fashion editor for Vogue London. The rest as they say is history.

Recently, Grace shot to fame and became a household name,appearing in the "Fly On The Wall" Vogue documentary  "The September Issue" cataloging her creative genius and tempestuous relationship with Anna Wintour within the confines of American Vogue, heralding her by the team as "The Worlds Greatest Living Stylist".

I am delighted to say Grace comes across just as pleasantly in real life, and she took 1 minute out of her exceptional schedule to pose for a photograph and a quick Interview.

Here is what she said:

Hi Grace Welcome to Paris, how many years is this you have been coming here now?

As many as I care to remember. Nice Accent, where are you from? And nice blazer.

I am Scottish, and yes I tried to echo the Gothic theme of the Demeulemeester trend.

Politely nods and said ok.

So, what did you think of the show?

Very good, lots of drapey long sheer layers, and I loved the wide brimmed hats, and music.

Yes I loved the movement and the contrast in textures throughout the collection.

My shoes are all  sand though with the floor finish though.

Laughs. Well I need to be saying good bye.

Thank you very much for taking the time to agree to this. Please may we have a picture as well?

With pleasure.

She smiled, she posed and before the flash went off, she was off to the next show. What a lady.

Charley McDonald with Grace Coddington

Paris Fashion Week S/S 2012: The Trends And The Ones To Watch

The Blazer Vest:

Browsing through the latest Paris shows I spotted what I think will be a Key Item for the Spring 2012 season- a blazer vest in soft feminine fabrics and color.For Fall 2011, we saw the Teddy Boy look popularizing menswear items and I believe Parisian designers have an updated Spring version in the soft blazer vest.

I saw three incarnations this week by Givenchy, Issey Miyake, and  Costume National. They all represent their own take on this item but share the same feminine and soft appeal that is just right for Spring. I don’t see the menswear influence leaving anytime soon and this reincarnation of the blazer is a perfect example of the staying power of this current movement.
Givenchy S/S 2012

 The tailored blazer vest stands out among the sea of vibrant prints and fluid layers we have so far seen dominating the Spring runways.The practicality and instant cool factor of a blazer vest will capture the heart of girls looking to move along with fashion. And the femininity injected in this updated menswear look will compliment well with the vibrant colors and prints overflowing from the Spring runways.

Paris Favourites:

Because Paris is so Major League and each day is full of fan favorites and new surprises, I feel the need to feature a few of my favorites so far knowing there will be plenty more to come in the remaining days of Paris Fashion Week.

So far I’ve loved Dries Van Noten,Pedro Lourenco, and Balenciaga. Dries I have always loved and of course Balenciaga never fails. It was Pedro Lourenço who surprised me the most with improvements in his tailoring and craftmanship as well as over-all aesthetic appeal.

Dries Van Noten.

I am constantly surprised and I fall in love season after season with this designer. I am a huge admirer of Van Noten’s prints as he reinvents them each season with inspired skill and innovation. This season he collaged photo prints from different elements and time periods: seascape with baroque, wall paper with historic garden and tropical scenery.

Dries Van Noten S/S 2012 

What was really interesting was his collaboration with English photographer James Reeves. The photographer’s photos of iconoclastic landmarks at nighttime were used on the surprisingly couture like shapes toward the end of the show. Seems like the Cristobal Balenciaga exhibit  this past Spring might have had an impact on more than just Nicholas Ghesquiere.

I love how all the prints work so effortlessly together especially the on trend couture inspired shapes.

Balenciaga/ Pedro Lourenço

The other two of my favorites so far share a perculiar resemblance to each other. But since Nicholas Ghesquiere has been on the scene for much longer, one can argue that Pedro Lourenço is closely following Ghesquiere’s footsteps. Their similarities in style was one thing that I noticed ever since the name Pedro Lourenço became familiar to my ears. The way they both favor dramatic shapes, the way they handle fabric and proportions, and the manner in which sporty elements are infused with traditional technique, these are all positive elements that make both of their collections an instant winner for the women who dare to wear Fashion.
Pedro Lourenco S/S 2012
Pedro Lourenço

Pedro Lourenço has come leaps and bounds since his meteoric debut two years ago as a teenager with enormous talent. It is good to see that he is growing in maturity and in the execution of his aesthetic. His collections have diversified and shown that he is attuned to what his customers and supporters want to see and wear.


I would say the one thing that separates the two designers at the moment is Nicholas’ vast Balenciaga archive in which he can explore endlessly.This season, he once again used it wisely featuring prints from Cristobal’s famed archive of sketches and fabric. His ability to take traditions and apply them in an utterly urbane and modern manner is something that will translate well at any fashion house and it’s a modus operandi that defines much of today’s fashion elite.

Balenciaga S/S 2012

Spring 2012 Paris: Ones To Watch.

And finally Paris Fashion Week starts today marking the beginning of the end of the Spring runway season. So far we’ve been seeing tons of vibrant fashion from NY, London, and Milan making the theme of fashion pretty pronounced this season. The big question is whether Paris will follow suit and present us with bright colors and a sporty vibe, or will it embrace the optimism and nostalgia of the 50s and 60s, and which designer will continue the bra top look that is popular in all the cities so far. Lots of critics and fashion editors look to Paris for the consolidation of big trends and sometimes a whole new movement can come out of this city alone, therefore it is exciting to see how the City of Lights caps off Spring 2012. But before we do that, here are a few labels that you should pay close attention to as they are very likely one of the brands that will contribute to either consolidating or setting more Spring trends.


The talented design duo Kaito Hori and Iku Furudate helm this edgy and trend leading brand. They always seem to be one step ahead of the curve, which is something I value and personally strive for. For instance, some of the hottest trends we are seeing so far such as  cut out transparency, sporty items, and intense color-blocking were all explored in Commuun’s Fall 2011 collection. I cannnot wait to see where this fun yet sensible brand will bring to the table for Spring 2012.

Commuun S/S 2012


I have often said that  Opening Ceremony  duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are taking over fashion and their latest role is their appointment as the new creative directors at Kenzo. Earlier this year amidst the fashion musical chair of exiting Head Designers, Antonio Marras parted ways with Kenzo after being the Creative Director of the brand for 6 years. Soon after, the brand released the surprising news that Leon and Lim will be taking over starting with the Spring Collection and that instantly made Kenzo one of the most anticipated shows this season.

Kenzo Duo Leon And Lim
Humberto and Caorl made Opening Ceremony a global brand and are known to have a great eye for their stores as well as creating basics with a Japanese flare for their own brand. So therefore, on paper it makes sense that they would jump at the chance to tackle a beloved Japanese brand with such a strong heritage and the jury is still out on this one but certainly interested to see how they interpret and transform the world of Kenzo.


Seems like I am leaning toward Japanese designers this year as I am also excited to see the new Undercover collection designed by Jun Takahashi.Undercover  is a super underground and avant-garde brand that is not well known in the States and I have loved this brand for a long time. Designer Takahashi has a way of making clothes with a twist that forces you to pay attention and look twice. His last Fall collection marked his return to the Runway after a few seasons of showroom presentations and the result was exquisite and nothing short of his signature. For example, a simple parka turns out to be made of drab chiffon and felt panels, and mini skirts sported extra panels and zippers that seemingly end in the middle of nowhere. I have always been a big fan of this brand of fashion and I am so glad to see what Undercover has to offer this season.

Undercover S/S 2012

Julien David

My last “Ones to Watch” is Paris resident Julien David. My Japanese obsession does not end here. As it turn out Julien studied fashion at Parsons in New York before working for Narcisco Rodriguez and Ralph Lauren but then he moved to Tokyo and launched his label of silk printed scarves that have a heavy Japanese avant-garde influence. Last season marked his first foray into a full collection and I instantly loved what I saw. The Japanese influence was apparent and besides the on trend Creepers, it included a clean color palette with a few hits of colors, sharp tailored lines with unexpected yet not outrageous proportions, and naturally his signature silk prints popped up here and there. Julien has a bright future ahead of him with new fans after each season. At this rate he is poised to become a new force in the Parisian-Japanese scene.

Julien David S/S 2012   

The New Designer To Join BVBA 32: Jean Paul Lespagnard

Jean-Paul Lespagnard is a fashion designer, costume designer for theatre and dance, visual artist and stylist for magazines. He combines a great sense of fashion with a fascination for high and low art and for popular culture in all its shapes and forms.

Jean-Paul studied visual arts and fashion design in Liège (Belgium) and Luxembourg. He was a collaborator of Anna Sui (New York) for two collections and was an assistant to Annemie Verbeke (Brussels). He has created the costumes for several theatre and dance productions and is a regular collaborator of choreographer Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods (Brussels / Berlin).

In 2008 Jean-Paul won two awards at the International Fashion Festival in Hyères (France), which led to the creation of a capsule collection for the French brand 123. He recently founded his own brand, Jean-Paul Lespagnard, and presents his first women's ready-to-wear collection during Paris Fashion Week in March 2011.

All Jean-Paul’s creations reveal an overflowing imagination and he eloquently succeeds in communicating his optimistic universe where originality and offbeat style go hand in hand with a playful irreverence for convention and the generally accepted. Jean-Paul Lespagnard wants to offer luxury, not material luxury but the real thing: the freedom to be who you want to be.

The Jean Paul Lespagnard woman is a foxy lady going her own way and making individual choices, thriving on interesting encounters and surprising experiences.

She is at the same time self-aware and knows how to make fun of herself. She celebrates life and personal freedom. Arrogance is not to be found in this girl’s dictionary. She sparkles, combining optimism with a great sense of humour.

The Jean Paul Lespagnard brand addresses individuals with an open mind and a free spirit, immune for the generally accepted and convention.

A woman wearing Jean Paul Lespagnard wants to express her animality, being fully conscious of the authenticity of his creations.

In a way Jean Paul Lespagnard offers luxury, not material luxury but the real thing: the freedom to be who you want to be!

Episode Fashion Management : The Style Beyond The Staff

Six different days, six different looks. This is what our very own Managing Director Charley Daniel McDonald and Creative Director Lisa Keenan wore.

Day 1: Vintage Gothic

Black Skinny Jeans : Emporio  Armani
Black Skinny Vest Top : Emporio Armani
Emerald Green Vintage Velvet Smoking Jacket: Camden Market
Chunky Pewter Belt: Diesel
Black Leather Gloves: Red Or Dead
Black Boots: All Saints

Day 2:   Urban  Military

Black Skinny Jeans : Emporio  Armani
Black Skinny Vest Top : Emporio Armani
Pale Grey Military Jacket: Zara
Chunky Pewter Belt: Diesel
Black Leather Vintage Cap: Camden Market
Black Boots: Raval

Day 3:  Fine And Dandy

Black Trousers  : Dolce And Gabbana
Black Shirt : Dolce And Gabbana
Emerald Green Vintage Velvet Smoking Jacket: Camden Market
Stiletto Belt: Zara
Black Boots: Raval
Ruby Red Silk Cravat: H and M

 Day 4: Fade Away Or Radiate

Shirt: Hugo Boss
Trousers: Hugo Boss
Belt: Zara
Shoes: Raval
Sunglasses: Rayban

Day 5:   City Slicker

Shirt: Hugo Boss
Trousers: Dolce And Gabbana
Tie: Zara
Waistcoat: Salvatore Ferragamo
Belt: Zara
Shoes: Raval
Sunglasses: Rayban

Day 6:  Monochrome Magic

Black Shirt : Dolce And Gabbana
Black Trousers  : Dolce And Gabbana
Chunky Knit Jumper: Reiss
Black Boots: Raval
Stiletto Belt: Zara

And one for the Ladie's : Here is what our effortlessly chic Artistic Director, Lisa, wore.

Day 1: Utilitarian Chic

Short Dress: Zara
Black Leather Gloves: Red Or Dead
Black Shoes:  Nine West

Day 2: Casual Refinement

Navy Jumpsuit:  H and M
Gold Wedges: Office

Day 3: Patiently Patterned

Dress: Zara
Shoes:  Office
Bag: House Of Fraser

Day 4: Nautical But Nice

Dress: Jane Norman
Shoes:  Office
Bag: House Of Fraser

Day 5: Autumnal Attitude

Top: Zara
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Dune
Necklace: Vintage

Day 6: Velvet Victory

Dress : River Island
Necklace: Vintage
Shoes: Dune

Spotted : At Paris Fashion Week S/S 2012

The list of celebrity attendees at Paris Fashion Week would rival that of the Oscars. You'd think with that many beautiful people roaming around, fashion faux pas would be at a minimum, and thankfully it was.


Hilary Alexander
Grace Coddington
Nina Garcia
Lara Croft 
Elton John
Suzie Menkes
Anna Sui 
Dries Van Noten
Allega Versace