Time for another riotous tête-à-têtewith Cosmo’s Sergio Kletnoy. This time ...
In 2012, film producer Stephanie Danan and model-turned-screenwriter Justin Kern...
2011 May 17
Patrick McMullan View Gallery
The Queen has spoken! Anna Wintour jumps on the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality bandwagon, appearing in a PSA to support the cause. "As far as I'm concerned, having the right to say 'I do' is as fundamental as the right to vote. The time is now. Please join me in supporting marriage equality for all New Yorkers."
2011 May 16
Sergio's week began with family bonding over borscht and vodka...wound down with frantic off-the-hook phone calls. If you haven't been in on the whirlwind life in the Hearst glossy's offices and far, far beyond, the Daily's "The Assistant Files" kicked off with Sergio Kletnoy, and each week we're following his escapades as Marie Claire EIC Joanna Coles' gatekeeper. As always, don't forget to peruse the Gallery of Sergio's fantastic photographic evidence!
Sunday, 5 p.m.
Сегодня женский день—Oops, there I go again. Whenever I’m around my mother for too long, I forget my English. Today was Mother’s Day, and I practically overdosed on my mom and grandmother for five hours. I met up with them in Sheepshead Bay—because my 89-year-old grandmother’s passport isn’t up to date so she couldn’t come into Manhattan. Meaning once again, I was forced to spend my Sunday in Brooklyn with the entire clan. It was a typical Russian affair: We ate some borscht and potato pierogis (what else?), drank Stoli and reminisced about the good times when coming home with a roll of toilet paper felt like Christmas.
Monday, 2 p.m.
It’s Music Monday, and I’m obsessed with Yasmin’s “Finish Line," “Wait & See" by Holy Ghost, and “Gone and Never Coming Back" by Melanie Fiona, who stopped by the office earlier this morning to talk about her sophomore album, The MF Life, due out this fall. Melanie earned a Grammy nod for her 2009 debut album, and let me tell you, she can saaaang, because when I asked her what her go-to karaoke song was, she wailed through “Midnight Train to Georgia.” (Seriously, she gave Gladys and her Pips a run for their money.) I love Melanie’s style: She walked in to the office in a fly pair of Gucci boots paired with knee high socks, an amazing Alice Ritter coat, and lots of very cool jewelry. Melanie knew she looked good and walked the hallways of our office as if competing for the grand prize on America’s Next Top Supermodel. She had me at 'hello.'
Tuesday, 8 a.m.
The Boss came in at 8 a.m., which is late for her, after pulling almost an all-nighter at the ASME awards (it was six hours long!). The ASMEs are as close to the Oscars as the magazine industry will ever get. Marie Claire narrowly lost out to the New Yorker for the Public Interest prize. Damn you, David Remnick, with your fancy magazine and your fancy black and white photos. But have you ever had the Glee girls on your cover? That evening, I continued celebrating my birthday with friends. Yes, it’s three weeks after the fact, but in China, they celebrate birthdays for a whole year! First stop: Rockmeisha Izakaya, a new Japanese spot in the West Village. (Order the fried chicken—to die for.) My friends and I capped it off with drinks in the private room at Bell Book & Candle, followed by '80s night at Monster. The last thing I remember was doing the Roger Rabbit to Bananarama, which I’ve decided needs to be the title of my memoir.
Wednesday, 1 p.m.
Woke up sweating sake. Shook it off with some coffee and V8, then raced off to work so I could interview another Brit, Naomie Harris, who you may recognize as the Voodoo Princess from the last two Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Naomie came in to talk about her new film, The First Grader, a true story about an 86-year-old Kenyan who goes back to school to finally learn to read and write. The best part of the interview: turns out, Harris’ and I share an obsession with Her Madgesty. (Attention, Liz Rosenberg: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. There’s a free subscription to Marie Claire in it for you…).
Thursday, 8 p.m.
Today was INSANE. The phone would not stop ringing with requests that should have been routed to other departments. Hey, where can I get the socks on page 84? Who do I talk to about an internship? Can I talk to Nina Garcia, please? Really, do I look like an AT&T operator?! Project Runway fan fave Mondo popped into the office for a quick visit. Then my new bestie Jill Zarin called to give me some fresh dirt on her fight with Ramona—and to gush over my Marie Claire video interviews with her. In the midst of all the chaos, THE BOSS had me searching high and low for a YSL beige and black fingerprint cotton halter top. By this point, Oren at the YSL boutique on 57th Street knows the urgency in my voice, and I knew I can depend on him to find whatever JoCo needs. Two hours later, the top arrived and Joanna was overjoyed. For lunch, I met up with Amanda Hearst and Lauren Bush at Lauren’s favorite vegetarian spot, Candle 79, on the Upper East Side. (Shh, don’t tell The Boss but it was a liquid lunch for me!) Then I was back to work to finish up all my other projects so I could make it in time for the advance screening of—brace yourself!—Hangover II! Unfortunately, we, meaning members of the media, are barred from reviews until May 24. (One tidbit: the monkey deserved top billing!)
Friday, 6 p.m.
It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday!
2011 May 16
Ruffians Brian Wolk and Claude Morais are back in the Big Apple after several weeks on the West Coast. This week, they share their interview with Rick Castro of Antebellum Gallery and discuss fetish tea, Tony Ward and more!
“The art of fetish is an age-old craft spanning epochs, cultures, socio-economic strata. It has been studied by figures ranging from the Marquis de Sade to Sigmund Freud. Rick Castro, owner and curator of Antebellum Gallery, simply defines fetish as human obsession, which can manifest itself in love for shoes, leather, bondage—or perhaps the ritualistic drinking of tea. Mr. Castro is a Renaissance man living in Hollywood, and his extraordinary aesthetic background in photography, fashion, and film is evident in his tremendously sophisticated curatorial skills. Trained under the likes of Herb Ritts and Joel-Peter Witkin, he is not only a collector, but also a highly respected photographer. His work appears in many published volumes including 13 Years of Bondage and, most recently, in the Dior Homme campaign. We were lucky enough to be invited to high tea in the garden of his jewel box gallery. We were served in grand style, and of course, no fetish tea would be complete with out a pig mask-wearing butler who was at Master Castro’s beck and call whenever he rang the bell.
Brian: I was reading about the great events that changed your life in your Wikipedia entry. Let's start with your love of tea.
Rick: My tea master lives in Vancouver. He has served tea to the Queen, and orchestrated the world tea party that was held in LA. I became obsessed with tea after I went to London for the first time in 1996, but my tea master is the one who taught me all the ins and outs. There are so many different ceremonies.
Claude: You also cited A Clockwork Orange as a life-changer...
Rick: I read it first in my aunt Nicky's new and used bookstore in El Monte, CA. It must have been 1969. Reading it was an epiphany for me in language, and the violence was portrayed as glamour. It was beautiful and scary, and it made sense it would become the future and norm in our culture.
Brian: Fashion is definitely a fetish—a commercial fetish, perhaps. In terms of your process, is it different when you do fashion photography verses your art fetish photography?
Rick: I never intended to do fashion. In the 80s, I was a stylist, a costume maker and a designer. IIncidentally, Rick Owens was my patternmaker. When I decided to go into photography, it was a reaction against fashion. I started to explore photography, and fetish as my subject matter was a natural choice.
Claude: Did you have a mentor when you went into photography?
Rick: As a stylist, I worked with Herb Ritz and observed his lighting, which is an important part of my work. He was obsessed with golden light, which is also known as the magic hour. I also worked for George Hurrell, from whom I learned a lot about glamour photography. A hard light diffused makes everything look incredible. I asked Joel-Peter Witkin to take me to buy my first camera, and he took me to a camera shop in Albuquerque, where he lives. It’s a Nikon FG and I still have it.
Brian: Do you miss film now that you use digital?
Rick: I don’t miss the trouble and the expense. I never enjoyed being in the dark room. Digital is cleaner, but you can never replace a nice fiber print. But you have to respect digital for what it is—a different art form. Would you like a cookie?
Rick rings the bell and the pig servant returns and pours more tea.
Brain: Tell us a little about Hustler White and your collaboration with legendary film maker Bruce La Bruce.
Rick: When I started to take photographs, I discovered that street hustlers were better than real models. One of my favorite subjects was Zac, who I met while I was pulling out of a Carl’s Jr. drive-thru. I saw him exiting the bus with a cowboy hat bandana, and his shirt was stuffed in his back pocket. He told me stories of his time in prison, and saving Charles Manson from a fire. These tall tales are also known as “yarns” (due to their often fictitious nature) and became the inspiration for my first zine. It was pre-internet, and queer kids created their own world because they had nowhere else to go. When I met Bruce in 1991, I told him I had been documenting these street boys on VHS and was going to name the documentary Hustler White. The reason for the title is they used to wear white jeans because at night, you can see them on the avenue.
Brian: Wow, what a great piece of urban fashion anthropology!
Rick: Bruce said he would like to collaborate and make it into a feature-length film, so we wove the stories into a narrative. We originally cast a real hustler for the lead role named Monty, but within 3 weeks he had stolen the production car, a guitar and paintings, married a girl, and got another girl pregnant, so we decided he was a security risk. So at that point I called my friend, Tony Ward, and pleaded with him to take the role. Remember, this was post-Madonna sex book, and he was pretty famous at this point, but he read the script and said yes. I thought he was the modern day Joe Dallesandro. He was perfect for the role.
Brian: Tell us a little about your interest in bondage…
Rick: I've been into it since I was four. As far as photography, I am interested in capturing the moment. When I photograph, I have to worry about the lighting, the position, etc. When I shot the Dior Homme editorial, the look of the ropes and they way they were tied over the clothing was critical.
Claude: Why did you open the gallery?
Rick: I opened the gallery in 2005, and it was a life-long dream to specifically open a fetish art gallery. I consider myself a fetish person. I understand obsession, so I thought I was the right person to bridge fetish to mainstream…to fuse art with fetish. I like to show contemporary art mixed with vintage erotica. I don’t have a roster of artists that I use over and over. I like the discovery process and mixing things together in an eclectic way for each show.
Brian: Tell us about your salons…
Rick: Well, I have had tea salons with human furniture, bondage demos, a fetish book club, and fetish film nights at the Egyptian theatre just behind the gallery.
Claude: Were there any events or people in your childhood that affected your work?
Rick: I had an aunt who owned a bookstore, and that was one of my first exposures to literature and art. My mom worked there and used to pick me up after school. That was where I had some of my first experiences with erotica, as they used to keep nudist magazines under the counter in brown paper bags. Incidentally, next door at the candy shop, where I used to buy caramel corn, Bob Mackie used to be the counter boy, which I recently confirmed this year when he came to the gallery to pick up a piece of art a friend purchased for him.
Brian: How did you meet and discover Tony Ward?
Rick: It was 1984, I was thumbing through Intouch (a naughty boys magazine at the time) and saw a picture of Tony while I was working with Albert Sanchez, who was the West Coast photographer of Interview. I called his agent and he said, “If you can pay for his bus fare then you can have him." He came up from La Jolla and we hit it off immediately. He was my first subject on my first photo shoot, and we have been friends ever since. In fact, we have the only Tony Ward-themed toilet which I will give you a tour of now.”
2011 May 16
Patrick McMullan View Gallery
CNN's dapper Anderson Cooper has been tapped to host the CFDA Awards on June 6th at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. (AC and CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg are chummy). Coop made a rare Fashion Week appearance last September at DvF's Spring 2011 show. Previous hosts for the ceremony include Tracey Ullman, Fran Lebowitz and Jeremy Piven.
2011 May 16
Photo credit: Alexi Lubomirski for Harper’s Bazaar. View Gallery
Britney Spears looks all grown up on the cover of the June issue of Harper's Bazaar, shot by Alexi Lubomirski. In a telephone interview with Laura Brown, Brit Brit continues to be a little dullsy in the soundbite department. As she once sang, "Gimme gimme more, gimme more, gimme gimme more..."
On Gaga! "She's unique and extremely talented. I love her spin on everything."
On Madonna! "I actually saw her a couple of weeks ago at a party. I guess she's really taught me to stay true to myself."
On touring! "I love to dance, so it's very exciting. The tour rehearsals have been going really well. I think it will be my best show yet."
PLUS! "I'm pretty normal, you know. Like I said, the type of day I love is just like everybody else's. I'm like everybody else."
2011 May 16
This week, our beauty-food-fashion guru, Francesco Clark, takes on Lady Gaga and her perplexing contribution to culture.
"Gaga is not a vegan in any sense of the word. She seems to devour everything she sees. She showed up in an egg to one awards show, wore meat to another, and liberally pushes every boundary we thought had already been pushed. Who adds exoskeleton parts to their face? And while you may never actually follow her trend, there’s something about her that has drawn so much attention. The ick factor had already been pulled a couple times—Angelina Jolie wearing a vial of blood is one memorable instance—but not like this, mainly because Jolie was still a stunning woman, but with a vial of blood. Gaga embodies it, and the 2011 incarnation was literally con carne. So with her persona leading the trend in pop-music and some fashion circles, one perplexity comes to mind – how is it we embrace and celebrate such a wild, free, and unabashed spirit, yet when it comes to beauty, we are trending to all looking the same?
We are told to go to this aesthetician for her microdermabrasion, that dermatologist for his injectibles, the surgeon for the perfect nose, and that’s not counting the endless list of people to tone, recenter you, and just make you so like Heather and Heather from the movie, Heathers. It almost feels as though, it’s okay to be different, but please, please, anyone else other than me.
But maybe everyone’s tired of the perfect photo, and now we care more about the personality, the humor, and the overall spirit. Seriously, did you ever imagine a more perfect surprise to fashion magazine covers than Tina Fey? She could wear a beef jerky body suit and still be endearing. But oof, the smell…maybe just a beef jerky bracelet would suffice."
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