Behind the scenes Simons catalogue shoot with Kirsty Hume & Douglas Friedman, and Q&A with Travis Taddeo
Today I was lucky enough to spend some time on-set for Simons new designer collection catalogue shoot. Amidst a gorgeous set with equally stunning clothing, two very big names were ever-presently working the day away. Acclaimed celebrity photographer (and post filmmaker) Douglas Friedman, and multiple Vogue cover girl Kirsty Hume (I know right, pinch me!).
Who is Douglas Friedman?
The Jude Law/Johnny Depp moustached and tattoo’d hybrid who contributed to the making of film classics such as SE7EN and Fight Club straight out of school (assisting director David Fincher), and photographer who has shot portraits for some of the world’s best known faces, while successfully exhibiting his work in galleries. Who has he shot? Christina Aguilera, Donatella Versace, Carolina Herrera, Donald & Ivanka Trump, Diane Von Furstenberg, Giorgio Armani, the Max Azria’s, Fergie, Michael Kors (and that’s nowhere close to all)… Who has he shot for? Glamour, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Interview, Teen Vogue, V Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wallpaper (and the list goes on)…
Known for his bold architectural photos, and designer-infused fine art photography shows (sponsored and underwritten by Missoni and Ruffian) – this energetic and upbeat guy was infectious to be around today!
Who is Kirsty Hume?
Model for Dior, Givenchy, Chanel, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Gianfranco Ferré, Alexander McQueen, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Prada, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Victoria’s Secret and Donna Karan (amongst others), she entered the modelling field and rose to fame in the 90′s (and now, still at age 36 books high-profile jobs internationally on a regular basis – how amazing does she look?). Incredibly down to earth, patient and polite – she is the epitome of professional and efficient.
Take a look my loves at the catalogue-to-come… it’s absolutely stunning! Can’t wait to grab one in-stores to add to my scrapbook of “I can’t believe my life” memories…
It’s said that Doug is putting together a book sometime soon of self-portraits… these polaroids were all over the shoot – adored the concept (and loved him in the shoot itself)!
Montreal’s own Jessica LaBlanche made it to the inspiration table… 514 aesthetic goes worldwide baby!
Back in November (I know, I know… a little late right?), I caught up with Travis Taddeo in his studio for a little mind-picking… enjoy our convo!
Robyn – So what’s going on today?
Travis Taddeo – Today were working on hoodies for production for women, so were cutting a lot of them in grey!
R – Do they come in other colours too?
TT – We’ll probably do black and… that’s it. It’s just a basic hoodie dress – they sell really well so, y’know… little hood… raglan sleeves… and super good for winter.
R – Cool, so right now you’re doing all the production from the show you just did… you’re not on spring/summer yet?
TT – Not yet, we’ve just booked fabrics, and right now were still doing in-season production for the fall/winter collection that we showed in August. We have to start working on our fall/winter 2012 collection!
R- How is that coming along? Must be pretty intense… thinking that far ahead.
TT – It’s tight (laughs)! We just did two seasons back-to-back, so getting right back on it again, y’know, I might need a couple of weeks…
R – And all the travelling!
TT – Yeah, a lot of travelling – three, four shows in a row… it was pretty intense.
R – You must be exhausted!
TT – Yeah, a little bit (laughs)!
R – So it must be a bit of vacation right now to be in the studio, getting back into your vibe…
TT – Yeah, it’s a bit strange because like I said, we’ve been doing shows for about two months, so now it’s almost our second week back since the last show and I’m still trying to find my footing.
R- So is there anything pulling you in (inspiration-wise) for next fall?
TT – I’m really interested in working with some red or grey fox in terms of directional fabrics… then I’m really looking into some heavier wools for knitted sweatshirts for men and women. So, there’s gonna be a sort of contrast happening in shadows… that’s all I’m at right now. You know, teenage rebellion is always a big theme for me.
R – You also have to go as it comes sometimes, find things as you go if you will…
TT – Yeah, exactly. Usually by the time I come up with the title, it’s set and I know the direction for the season. Right now it’s just looking at fabrics… it’s a bit difficult.
R – As far as fabrics go, do you do a lot of treatments on them? Are you big into altering your materials?
TT – Ummhmmm! Yeah, this is a denim that we treated ourselves, so this is a bleached-out version of the original fabric (pulls out both rolls to compare). It’s stiff as a board when we get it, so after we wash it and bleach it out, it changes. I usually try and do original things to one of the fabrics in the collection just to make it our own.
R – Do you treat the fabric in bulk or only after it’s been cut or assembled?
TT – Yeah, we do it both ways…Most of the time I like to treat it in bulk first because it makes the cutting much easier…
R – …and you probably get more interesting formations too…
TT – Exactly, exactly… you can spend all day working on one pair, just painting it on…
R – …but then you drive yourself nuts too…
TT – Yeah, it also becomes more expensive.
R- How did you come by getting into processing this acid-wash aesthetic (so eighties! so awesome!)?
TT – It was basically a street feeling as usually (in inspiration), y’know, all the punks all around the city… but I mean just moving here and all the windows, seeing the colours of the sky in the morning just really opened my eyes to maybe using a bit more colour this season.
R – This is a new space for you!
TT – Yeah, exactly!
R – How are you finding it?
TT – I loooooooove it!
R – (laughs) it’s the best, in the old port!
TT – Sooo much cleaner, and just total peace of mind out here. It’s like you’re in Montreal, but you’re not.
R – I find, the best part about the old port is that generally people are visiting and on vacation… so mostly everyone is relaxed and stress-free – you don’t have the downtown “lunch-break rush” hanging over your every action…
TT – No, not at all, and it’s funny – no more junkies shooting up on my doorstep (laughs)! So that’s even better (laughs)…
R – …a different kind of inspiration ah yeah…
(Going over to the sample clothing racks along the wall)
TT – So this is Spring/Summer 2012…
R – Yeah, I noticed the feathers!
TT – It’s super fun. We did mini-skirts in feathers, and for men we did more muscle tees – but really everything’s pretty much unisex. The guys will buy the girls, and the girls will buy the guys.
R – Feathers (and fur too), is something new that you’re doing…
TT – You have to keep it interesting, so this season we also started working with a bit of chiffon and linens as well… a nice, crisp, dry look for the season. The greatest thing about linen is that it comes in your woven fabrics, or you can have your linen jerseys for summer (which are spectacular). They are super light – when you’re wearing a sweater, it’s like you’re wearing nothing at all.
R – How do you get the feathers on the material?
TT – With a whip, and a whole lotta drive… just kidding – it comes like this actually.
R – (laughs) yeah, that would drive me crazy (sewing them on individually).
TT – I’m not too sure if it’s done by hand or by machine, but it’s still individually done! It’s either you sew it on, or somebody else does, and it usually transcends into the costly fabrics anyways (laughs)! It’s not going to be cheap either way.
R – Do you get all of your fabrics local, or do you order them internationally?
TT – Typically we buy them here or in Toronto, and they either import them from Europe or China – it’s important for us to use both.
R – Well you can’t limit yourself…
TT – Exactly, you buy your basics from China (because they do it the best), and you buy your specialty fabrics from Europe because they do it the best. Until I start making my own…
R – Politically speaking (fashion-wise), do you think fashion (and the world it lives in) is discriminating (with the larger than life personalities, expectations, and egos that sometimes come in-tow)?
TT – Fashion picks on all facets of life… it picks on shape, it picks on colours, I mean everything… so it can be completely viscous, or it can be completely surprising, It depends on your approach.
R – Do you find there’s one particular thing in Montreal that we’re good or bad at in that sense?
TT – Montreal seems to push creativity a lot more I think, but at the same time, sometimes I think it can borderline costume. That’s it, I think that’s the challenge of a designer – to be able to wear it, to be able to have fun and say this is for show, and this is for PR.
R – Do you think that’s a huge influence when you design? You still want to be creative but find the need to simplify or narrow down?
TT – Absolutely. You start off with a crazy piece like a cape with feathers that nobody’s really gonna wear, but it’s fun to look at – and then you can tone it down into a little dress or skirt, and all of a sudden it becomes sellable and fun – not totally ridiculous. It’s all about starting with an inspiration and narrowing it down to something wearable.
R – Do you find it really hard to sell the crazier pieces, or is there a bit of a market for it?
TT – No, there’s totally a market here for it. Always. The crazy pieces get the attention of the public, and they love it…
R – A lot of the time those are the ones that make the map, but no one has the guts to wear…
TT – It’s so true, sometimes it will sit here for two years before it’s sold, but when if finally does…
R – …it finds a home…
TT – Eventually they all do, for someone who just falls in love and wants to have it… two years later you just sort of let it go.
R – Are you attached to your clothes?
TT – Noooo… as soon as I’m done making it, I’m done. Next season please!
R – Which designers influence you?
TT – Different ones for different things…like simplicity – Calvin Klein… Helmut Lang… for fun, for glamour, some of the Italians like Dolce… Gucci…
R – One last question… historically speaking (I’m big into this stuff – reading biographies and finding out how people who are so influential made their mark… how they got to where they are), do you idolize any public figures (doesn’t have to inspire your design work necessarily)?
TT – That’s so crazy, that’s a really tough question. It’s been so long (laughs), since I’ve read anything or since anythings really stuck with me. At the back of my head, Kate Moss will always be my inner muse in a way. I look forward to seeing her evolution…
R – She looks the same as she did when she was fifteen!
TT – Yeah, exactly. She sort of sparked my interest at a very early age, through fashion magazines and Calvin Klein… so she’s sort of been someone I look forward to seeing in editorials (and with what she’ll do next). Inspiration is neither here nor there. It’s everywhere.
R – What are the top three things that people might not necessarily know about you? Or that they stereotype or assume of you…
TT – That’s an even more difficult question.
R – I’m brain-grilling you today…
TT – I’m pretty down to earth. If anything, I get that a lot where people say “oh, I thought you would be a raging bitch!”… but I’m not really like that… What else… Some people are still in the past where they think I’m “party party” with the clothing and stuff – now things have changed, and there’s something in the collections for everyone. You can still have fun with it… or not… maybe I’m not what I seem… You know we just try and have fun – you gotta take fashion with a fun approach I think.
R – You think people sometimes take fashion a bit too intensely?
TT – They can, I think some people need to lighten up a bit… I mean I can be quite serious at some points…
R – …when it comes to creation, or you wearing things (image-wise)?
TT – Image-wise, what you see is what you get. I appreciate all those people who get dressed up like crazy – I think it’s fun, but y’know… there comes a certain point when you still have to have your own identity (which is what we try and create – pieces that will allow you to be yourself!).
R – So more of a lifestyle?
TT – Yeah… a fun little dress, so that YOU can be fun. Ups your sense of individuality when you wear it – that’s what I like to believe (laughs).
R – Who do you think is the most powerful person in fashion?
TT – Anna Wintour seems pretty scary, but the most powerful person in fashion is definitely the consumer. They are going to dictate what they want, and you have to listen (laughs).
xoxPosted under Celebrities, designer, fashion, inspiration, Interviews, montreal, photoshoot, Uncategorized by Robyn