Consider this project an eclectic mixtape, but rather with music, it’s focused around imagery. So what started off as drawing commonalities between the gradient background of a Genghis Khan portrait and an image from a 1996 Issey Miyake runway show began my project to juxtapose images that are not always necessarily similar in subjects, but have links in their coloring, shapes, and moods evoked. For me, a bulk of my inspirations and visions trace back to fashion; be it a SoundCloud discovery as a potential Balenciaga soundtrack, or a DMV line-up as an imagined setting for a shot by Mario Sorrenti for Vogue Nippon editorial. I wanted the worlds of my inspirations, be it art, fashion or music to become more interconnected than ever and to create possible mood-boards that my treasured visionaries may have used when creating the very works that are now an integral core of my aesthetic vision.
1) “Raising Her Skirt” by Malcolm T. Liepke x “Spice Girl” Amber Valletta photographed by Nick Knight for Vogue UK (1997)
From a young age, I had always admired Malcolm T. Liepke’s work, as I had a large body of work of his to appreciate since his work is so expansive. Liepke’s work is aggressively painted, but balanced out by the subject’s sensuality, as these women are often rendered with a distinctiveness, and his palettes are so lush and vibrant that you might find yourself getting lost in their smooth undulations against his heavily textured and gessoed canvases. The sensuality displayed by Amber Valletta in a Vogue UK tutorial may have been borrowed from Malcolm’s “Raising Her Skirt,” as both works feature the subjects raising or caressing their skirts while sitting with one foot behind their right legs.
2) Björk by Rankin (1994) x Dior (2001)
For John Galliano’s spring/summer 2001 collection for Dior, he reworked mundane coats and jackets, even unconventional jackets like life jackets. Another rework of his were windbreakers is seen worn on Björk; the Dior version was simply much more tailored with its cinched waist and fitted cuffs.
3) Walter Van Beirendonck by Ronald Stoops (1998) Chandra North + Stella Tellant by Mark Borthwick for Vogue Italia (1996)
Walter Van Beirendonck fall/winter 1998 collection, titled “BELIEVE,” presented models with prostheses in the form of horns on the head as a kind of contemporary scarification of the skin as an extension of the principle of the mask as a second ego–as well as a protector to ward off evil spirits. Carrying on with spirits, Mark Borthwick photographed Stella Tennant and Chandra North for Vogue Italia in an editorial centered around Russian/Cossack/folklore.
4) Björk by Andrea Giacobbe (1995) x Carmen Kass for “J’Adore Dior” (2000)
I’ve mentioned this time and time again, but Björk imagery holds much nostalgia for me. Another nostalgia-driven photo is Carmen Kass photographed for Dior’s initial campaign for their “J’Adore Dior” perfume. Here, Kass was done up in gold and burnt brown tones; a similar direction was taken Andrea Giacobbe who was asked to shoot the promotional photo’s for Björk’s single “Isobel.”
5) Dirk van Saene (1998) x Matisse nude (1936)
What came to be a compare and contrast about garments and their relationship to nature and greenery turned into a juxtaposition of public and private dressing, as Matisse’s nude (right) features his subject lounging by a house plant and a Dirk van Saene in-store booklet from 1998 has a mannequin in van Saene garments perched by a waterfall that is right beneath the timberline.