I love shooting our covers...with models. They fit the fashion. They know how to move. They're willing to take chances with hair and makeup. And we always get great covers. Today we photographed Lydia Hearst at Aesthesia Studios in Culver City with photographer Tracey Morris. It's our second time having Lydia on the cover. Only three girls have been on more than once. Dita Von Teese and Jessica Alba were the other two. Lydia's such a sweet easy-going girl. You'd never know, well, aside from looking just like her mother, Patty Hearst, that she's one of the heirs to the Hearst publishing fortune. See that six-figure necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels draped on her neck, um, yeah, she could pretty much buy that with her lunch money.
Today was also a day of getting ready for our big issue release event at the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive hosted by our gorgeous cover model, actress Katheryn Winnick. A lot time was spent planning our Carmen Steffens' shoe collection fashion presentation. Creating a fashion show or presentation is basically like doing a shoot. There's models to book (All from Wilhelmina—thanks James!); Hair and makeup and stylist to bring on board; and coordination of the fashion and shoes. No doubt all will go flawlessly. Today was also a day filled with, "Are you kidding me?" stories. But more on those later. Maybe after the party.
When I interviewed Lydia the first time for Genlux, I found that she lived a pretty clean life. No smoking, drinking or drugs. And no reality television shows. That was 2010. Today, she is part of a reality show called The Face. She says it's like The Voice, only it's for models, so it's called The Face...get it? Naomi Campbell is on it, so one can only imagine the zaniness. Still living that clean life? We shall see.
Want to see some of our shots when we shot her back in 2010 with photographers BrakahaX2? Jessica Paster styled this one. Annie Ing did makeup and Robert Steinken was on hair. All with Celestine Agency.
This photo was pretty serendipitous. Taken before I'd interviewed her, we had no idea that she had a real love for bugs and that one entire wall of her New York city apartment was covered in rare specimens such as spiders, beetles and other creepy crawlers. Her favorite was an Egyptian Scorpion. True story.
The BrakhaX2 photo team, made up of famed shooter, Moshe Brakha, and his son, Eddie Brakha, are an odd duo. Odd in the sense that their set is completely pin-drop quiet. No music. And all of the team are dressed the same way—with button-down shirts—buttoned all the way up and bow ties. Moshe pretty much takes the photos—Eddie pretty much communicates with the subject. If Moshe wants the model to move in a certain way, he'll tell Eddie and then Eddie will tell the model. When we shot Cornelia Guest using this "system" she became very agitated, "Why don't you just communicate with me directly," she said. Maybe eery is a better term than odd. Listen, they know it and they revel in it. I first started working with Moshe many moons ago when we did an award-winning poster campaign for Honda Scooters. Also on that campaign was photographer Yoshi Ohara and Tom Keller, both of those guys are still around and doing great work.
To be honest, I'm torn about these images. I love the creativity and concepts, but I would have liked Lydia to look more, well, beautiful...or at least, pretty. It's hard to say if she did look her typical "beautiful self" that the images would be as strong. When it comes to the aesthetics of the face, I think I have a good ability to pick the best shots and make necessary changes to make them "right." In this series my obvious faves are the cover and the toilet shot. In these two, her face is still beautiful AND the concept remains clear. The others...not so much. With the Brakhas it's concept over beauty—every time. I think it was Charles Aames who said that the opposite of "beauty" is "vulgarity". I almost get a sense of both in some of these images. The last time I worked with the Brakhas was on the Beverly Center billboard campaign featuring Kendall Jenner. Back to my top models list tomorrow! Going to bed.