Fashion: youth culture and cult of youth, a teaspoon of faux punk and DIY appeal done by somebody else. Young is to some magazines what glamour is to Vogue and in both cases hearts often fail to find a balance between geniune and gimmicky. And pretty ironical is how youth is so much of an obsession while so few young creatives get a real chance. Models are young, yeah, sometimes too green and we'd love them older, while photographers tend to get old while the younger ones are either starving shooting test images in their parody of living room or shooting shit to please and survive. That's it: everyone seems to want to stay young (but not wild and free) and no one wants those who really are to emerge. Two options left: laugh loudly or talk about anything different. We woke up today picking the second.
Not in the mood to chew thoughts on facts we all know and don't care, not in tune with the common winds blowing these days but undecided whether it's better to resist and fight against them or just sail away to sweeter shores. The pictures are from Interview and feature Agnes Sokolowska by Stas Komarovski. It's not related to what was said on paragraph one and that's why we think both are relevant together. Because our message if there is any left alive isn't about how right or wrong one approach can be. Perhaps it would be there is no worthy approach or point of view, perhaps we just wanna claim we dislike the smell of powder and gunsmoke – in for a thrill but steering clear of any kind of fight. The weather's way too warm to waste our time on topics such as nepotism, merit or the perverted perception of perfection (youth and co.). Dare to care to disagree it's much more exciting to get excited by sweet sweat and go bonkers for a bunch of bikinis while remembering rushing to the laundry is on top of your to-do-list for next week.
Let's String Together
We've always been fond of photographer/model combos that work as if both were born to collaborate together, especially those that are less obvious or less expected than Meisel and Viktoriya or Jansson and Daria. Unique creative connections for one day or a lifetime resulting in fashion bedtime stories handmade with love to get ready for the sweetest dreams – think of Chadwick Tyler with Ashley Smith or Ali Michael, David Sims with Alexandra Tomlinson for Vogue Paris, nearly ten years ago but hard to remove from visual memories. It's not everytime made of groundbreaking innovations in terms of photography or modeling, not necessarily the most original images you've ever seen. It's often, first of all, a matter of feeling. Something that oozes, something you perceive and can hardly explain.
On one hand is Thanassis Krikis, photographer who enjoyed the perks of being a fashion designer then editor before handling the camera and who regularly contributes to these less-coveted-than-Vogue publications we more than often enjoy much higher (various editions of Numéro, Marie-Claire and Harper's Bazaar, Ozon etc.). On the other is an up-and-coming model, Eva Klimkova; enrolled in fashion via the Elite contest (at its highest levels). For those who had the chance to witness Klimkova's first steps and professional evolution, her strengths as a model were quite clear from day one – a natural beauty, naturally poised and elegant. Perhaps that's exactly where Krikis shoots and scores: kicking her out of her shell (it's still too early to talk about comfort zone). Eva by Thanassis steps away from the still image of flawless poise and understated beauty. It's time to raise the flag, even when it's down to black and white, time to spread around some vivid and viral emotions, to unveil, to reveal. Maybe their two roads won't cross again but since our eyes got caught by Strings, the story from Schön! Magazine featured here (styled by Kay Korsh), we may look at its main characters work differently from now on.
No Time for Beanpoles!
She surely is no giraffe but shouldn't face too many issues to touch the sky. Lina Stensjø Simonsen is the sensation of this ending week after making a remarkable (and noticed) appearance on Gucci's runway. And competition was there too: many of the models walking the show were rather new and quality was... literally walking along them. But Lina stood out from the gorgeous crowd and could be spotted backstage on pictures worth editorial pages. Talking about printwork, the most heartbreaking hearbreaker of the moment (since she's repped by Heatbreak Models, Norway) can rely on a couple goldchips in her portfolio to keep on impressing beyond the catwalk. From local testshots and tearsheets to these marvels showcased here, stolen with love from Another Magazine's latest issue, captured by Robi Rodriguez and crafted by Lotta Volkova. Little Lina's got the look that would overshadow the highest skyscraper, no less.
"In a world without melancholy, nightingales would start burping"
We've been thinking of Cioran with brand new brains and that's why we had to choose our favorite quote from him as today's title. It sometimes, yet pretty rarely, feels good to steal words from another mouth, another mind. Have been thinking of him, then, while working on artistic projects (painting and drawing, and the other way round, mostly), shaking themes like the uncanny beauty of the disease, the very thin line that barely separates ingenuousness (candeur in french, like candies, like sugary forms of beauty) from delusion. Or the gutsqueezing fear(s) to see cute things and feelings (heartmelting kitschy innocence and such stuff) get spoilt, get hurt for the sake of the mean will to hurt. How to get rid of that fear, how to create a handmade haven for the small things we cherish. Angst, despair and dead worms in our stomachs, the very place where butterflies should spread their tiny wings. Then the thirst for fluff, soft thoughts and dirty denim dreams overloaded with odd romance. And in the middle of these jungles of dry throats, Frida Gustavsson appeared on our screen. Impromptu. Balsam.
Leaving for a short while the cult of the disease, the love for weird medicine and some of the bruises that are too gorgeous to let them heal... Looking to Frida. Frida... Frida. So many faces wore this name before Miss Gustavsson's arrival on the list, at the top of it. Frida, the granny next door from childhood memories who had that odd sense of fashion when it comes to wearing a printed headscarf. Frida the painter, the eyebrow, the burning soul, the broken owl on fire. Frida, Giannini too, and perhaps a couple others hidden here and there and popping up every now and then. Frankness in fashion is hard to come by (as mostly everywhere else, actually) so, let's not pretend: our first thoughts on Frida (Gustavsson) sounded more like congrats than wow and several pieces of her work at the climax of her career didn't do much to/for our eyes – editorials as perishable goods, and vain campaigns. But since she's slipped away from her past spotlights we started to grow a serious crush for the supplement of soul she now brings to the pics she's in. First in a book called The Tarn, and now in this story from Eurowan by Olivia Frolich. In tune with our glamorous gloom and worth any Vogue.
Better be the Lovely Leaflet than the Boring Book
While FDIB used to be our daily commitment during half a decade, from it's babbling debuts to that four-and-a-half-year hiatus, now, nearly ten years after we had this wicked idea of starting this venture, we feel the rythm has changed, our peception of our page as a media has evolved. First because we have our personal lives and loves, projects and problems, and our entire world couldn't be limited to FDIB. Then, the world outside isn't exactly the same, the internet rules and habits are different. How relevant would be three items a day (and this include editorial choice, analysis, writing, promoting) when all goes as fast as Twitter or Instragram, when all goes too fast for the love of images and words at our past pace.
We still enjoy blogging – both doing it and reading what others have to show or say. Like it when some fellow online art and beauty enthusiast throws ten posts per day with no piece of writing yet still proposes an insightful text every now and then. We hate unnecessary blurbs and love people having a point, creating their aesthetics, being inspired and inspiring. We'd love to be that ourselves and that's why you won't read as much as before but still can enjoy a single digital picture of a (rather) new face on our Facebook page. We don't feel the heat or the need to drop notes on heights, agency placements, crazy (more or less) irrelevant expectations that end up all sounding similar. That would be useless to our stubborn bunch of hardcore readers and a gross task to us. And we're pretty bad at business, we've never been wannabe insiders even if we used to swim with some big fishes (including a couple sharks) and drink with the pros twice a year at least.
We're passionate persons and that's who we aim to remain, desperately or delightfully, as gently as fiercely. Here is just today's inspiration to go with that embryo of manifesto (brought to virtual life by chance or mistake). That's no policy, no prophecy, no philosophy and totally out of schedule, just timeless as the appeal of Vanina Sorrenti's photography. Published in 10 Magazine and styled be Sophia Neophitou, spiced up by an unpredicable (and timeless, again) team of models: Ming Xi, Yumi Lambert, Maria Borges, Lily Donaldson.
That's no secret, no mystery: we're not really obsessed with covers in general. We're more the kind that is eagerly looking forward to seeing what's insde the belly of the beast. Covers suffer, way too often, from an overload of unnecessary letters. Covers suffer from the fact they are covers, actually, meaning they had to be appealing to the masses or at least to the magazine's core afficionados, who love ''their'' book to look like the way they love how it looked like last month, last season, last year etc. Really? Seems to be slightly more complicated. Magazine-addicts are such complex beings, sometimes stubborn people that get no satisfaction, sometimes nostalgic daydreamers complaining when they have to wake up, and sometimes they can be nicely surprising as well. We might be no exceptions in what could be called an ocean of exceptions: we happen to complain, we think of the long-gone golden days of some former favorite mags of ours, we rejoice when we read some names before seeing the cover and contents, we also have weird crushes. One of the latter could be japanese i-D's premiere. Though it's seemingly not a real debut issue as we heard this magazine existed in the early nineties then quickly disappeared, less than two years after it's launch. But let's feed our eyes and not the debate. (Kiko Mizuhara by Nobuyoshi Araki).
Whether she is relevant or random as a covergirl is a pointless topic – she gives us goosebumps and sends our eyes to could nine everytime she appears in or on a magazine, she'd look just as fantastic if she were on first page of a free daily newspaper. Iselin Steiro is synonymous with incredible instants, magical moments and memories of her from Vogue Italia, a decade ago already, remain unforgettable, and so does her story from Vogue Paris something like eight months later. Vogue Paris again this time, literally the face of their summer (and most likely of ours as well). First time we're pleased by one of the french edition's covers this year. That's relieving, that leaves some hopes for a brighter future (higher expectations would be a tad too much, though). But let's not be mistaken: Vogue Paris isn't going to go back to what it used to be during Roitfeld's reign, that era's over. The real matter is if the mag is currently finding his new direction, at last. (By Mikael Jansson).
Word is that Meisel has lost his magic (or his mojo, inspiration, his Meisel-ish vibe – call it how you like best). The question isn't if this is true or not but where do these whispers come from, and the answer is as simple as ABC: from some people living with a certain idea of what Meisel's work for Vogue Italia has to be, like forever. But then, you'll probably also hear Testino is boring, Walker and Roversi are repetitive, Richardson is sleazy and Lindbergh gets lazy. Too many people putting too much energy into complaining and stuttering, right? Then arrived Vogue Ukraine as a sort of outsider next to its european, asian, overseas and downunder older sisters that are either damaged by their very own routine or struggling to break this very same routine. Vogue Ukraine's team seems to know what they want, where they wanna go, and how to walk that way. There is a real will but they do not have aesthetics of their own yet. Or it seems so, it screams so, it screams old-school Vogue Italia. Sometimes to the point of parody, sadly enough because they could use their special status to bring something genuinely new to the (coffee) table. This being said, and while there is still much room for improvement, the latest issue's cover and main editorial are better than most of their work before. Good sign from this front too. (Emily DiDonato by Bon Duke).
Redheads & Bedheads
More than a full decade ago, for artistic purposes, we started growing a passion for red-haired models as portraits of redheads were our main topic while painting. Hence our relentless quest for young ladies with copper locks and special features – some combination that was way easier to find on a model agency's webpage than in any magazine, book or at the grocery next door. From strawberry-blondes to the darkest auburn beauties, from naturally ginger-haired and freckly-faced lovelies to much-hyped gals who just had their look seasoned by flashy, flamy makeover, every shade of red appeared immediately on our radar. And that's how our project as painters has become a regular FDIB featre, almost a gimmick – at some point, we had agencies sending us materials of their newest redheads in town with the mention ''we know you'll like her''.
From Lily Cole's golden years (she went through bland and blonde, black and blue since, before embracing her signature color again) to the spiced-up babies of the season Katie Moore and Olga Afanasyeva, timeless beauties like Lorna Foran or our latest auburn darling Teddy Quinlivan, we've always loved paiting it red. And everytime it's with the same huge pleasure that we introduce the newest generation (or even the next one) of models bearing the coveted hair hues. Following our double-entry on Madison Stubbington is a bunch of youthful Swedes sharing an editorial for Sleek Magazine shot by Jasmin Storch, namely Isabell Thorell (the lighter) and Thea Arvidsson (the brighter), both from Elite along with Matilde (Mikas) and Julia (Stockholmsgruppen) on the group picture far above.
When the Skies are Grey
As kids, when the borders were still fences and it wasn't such an easy deal to cross the big river just to get some cheaper ciggies, we used to think the sky looked different in german cities than in our french hometown. A greater grey, we should say, grey like expensive pearls, soft and smooth with a slight touch of wholesome melancholy echoing the pavents of their broaders streets and more recent buildings, a grey that used to turn pigeons into divas taken away from their red carpet and green leaves into colorful witnesses of the majestic greyness around. It's not that we're in a mood for childhood tales but after a trip to Germany last thursday and looking at today's weather, facts and things drove us to Madison Stubbington's latest editorial stuff, both from german magazines that we found about between a restless hunt for bargain tobacco and a hunger for smoked cheese.
Maddie's name has been on our little papers for some weeks already, thinking of some good-old 'redhead issue' like we liked to write years before and the late love for her shown by german mags smelled like the perfect reason to pick up the pen to drop our prose. First batch of photographs comes from Harper's Bazaar and results from a session with favorite of ours Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello, it pictures some Yucatan dreams für deutsche verliebte Augen while the second round is straight out of Vogue's most recent ''new face'' series. We'd rather feel the thrill than feed the debate (whether Madison is a new face or not, she's newer than Lily Cole anyway, period) and if this simple yet efficient denim daydream by Luigi and Iango may not be an overwhelmingly innovative piece of work it's kind of hard to take our eyes of it – a perfect guide on how to spend our time on a bank-holiday afternoon, under a grey sky imported from Germany.
Nothing to do with Miss Stubbington, except for the fact it comes from the same Vogue story, but it was too much to resist: Leila Goldkuhl's solo page. Basically because we never get enough and days are too short, nights are too blind.
Mad (about) Manning
Don't think we were on holidays (oh, holidays) or, even worse, we gave it up. We were simply busy drawing, painting and painting again. All in all, it's pretty much the same job as picking pics for FDIB – it's all about understanding faces, capturing beauty, feeling thrilled by what we see and being able to translate it our way, may it be through words, lines or colors, thank to a keyboard or a pencil. But remaining almost sleepless in front of extra-thick sheets of paper didn't stop us from thinking of who's next, who's the one we want to have here as soon as some text is ready. And the answer tonight is called Mad Manning. Just as lovely as the melody of her name.
Found about her as late as yesterday but she's already a Vuitton favorite. Maybe we saw her and labeled her too young (or more exactly too young-looking as we have no clue on how old she is) and we keep thinking she still has time to pave her way with the finest materials at her own rythm, yet her recent work definitely deserves our words and better now than never (or later for that matter). Thank to these lovely photographs from i-D, we became aware of this incredible talent of hers only begging to express. In black and white and shades of grey or natural colors and lighting for Karim Sadli, directed by Alastair McKimm, she seems like a fish to water in those leather clothes creating a very different atmosphere from usual punkish, rockish, rebel, blah-blah-stuff with these moody pouts and a slice of innocence. Tender and terrific, you get the combo, girl! And just as if this wouldn't be enough to justify a feature, she appears to appear in the main editorial of newest Vogue Italia, by Steven Meisel. Some surprises are pure sugar for the eyes and fuel to the heart.
It's like summer knocking at the door, almost and already, and here we come with visuals we'd rather feel to be a wintery mood? Nostalgia of november nights? Not really, not this way. After all, last week was as cold as late fall and we're just starting getting used to spring's sunny sweetness. The thing is this story from Grey we love so much reminds us of past trips, all of them during autumn or winter except for two times ten days in Berlin and Paris for Couture week with temperatures climbing up to fourty, Celsius. New York, Bucharest, Warsaw, Riga etc. everything else happened when nights get really long and traveling became slightly synonymous with early dusks and leather coats. Another kind of delight, right?
Today's weather is more likely to push us outside and have a fresh beer in centre town than keep us locked in a hotel room to enjoy the quiet heat with a bottle of Jack and a few drunk friends coming from all around the world. Though we can't help loving this Psycho Chic, the story by Alexandra Carr (would be reason number one) starring a charismatic Renata Guerra (reason number one and a half). Plenty of neons, zero percent sunshine, streetlights in the evening, small shops, East Village – echoing memories of ours from November or February in NYC (the latter was rather soft-weathered, though). The small text from Grey may contain the last word: besides claiming that ''style needs no alibi'', it's stated that ''a little insanity never hurts anyone''. Might be it, might be our little insane moment mixing gut instinct with eye-crush with irreverent aesthetic postulate on timeless elegance never looking as good as when twisted a bit.
Jazz Up the 1st of May
Jay Wright's name remained on our to-do-list for some time already (say weeks or months or so) and went overnight from the ''no rush'' category to our priority section. Any specific reason? If being stunning on every image is good enough of a reason, then this is it as we went through her portfolio page after page and could tell each one deserves its place in the book. We hate to use words like these but you could describe her, somehow (very somehow) as an ethereal beauty with a raunchy rock'n'roll touch and this translates into pictural performances going to elegantly awkward or almost innocent to full-flavor fierceness – bold, brave and obviously beautiful. Jay was groomed by Mother Model Management, is powered by Next, will be adored by us and many others, and does all these marvels (above + Vogue Italia by Miles Aldridge, Interview, Teen Vogue by Yelena Yemchuk, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga etc.) by herself. Street couch pic by Jun Yasui for Coeval Magazine.