>> ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —The first photo from Prada's Fall 2009 campaign has leaked, and instead of horses involved as previously reported, the setting is four girls — Prada favorite Ymre Stiekema, Katlin Aas, Julia Hafstrom, and Kendra Spears, who is said to be the main focus — in a boat, surrounded by water; this particular image is supposedly one of the "most interesting," according to someone who claims to have seen the full set by Steven Meisel. The Miu Miu Fall 2009 campaign, which has yet to appear, will reportedly have a strong androgynous theme. [TFS, TFS]
Put together sensual Sasha Pivovarova and Morocco and you have pure ecstasy. For Vogue Italia's May issue, Steven Meisel snapped Sasha looking like a Moroccan marvel in traditional yet stylish garb from the North African country — all, of course, with a fashion flair. Baggy harem pants ruled, as did vibrant pops of orange, raspberry, and red. Sasha's stacked bangles and coin necklaces also caught my eye and of course, that hair! There's something about the dank, dark background and how Meisel made a collage of two photos — Sasha along with historic images of the country — that portrays a very eclectic feel. Looks like I'll be adding a Moroccan holiday to my travel queue . . .
>> INSIDER WIRE —The introduction from Steven Miesel's new book, Three Hundred and Seventeen & Counting, which showcases 317 of his sequential Vogue Italia covers, serves up a dig at Vogue: "The freedom that Steven Meisel enjoys on Italian Vogue is exceptional, as is the length of the collaboration and its systematic nature, both unprecedented in the field. A quick look at the covers of US Vogue created by Meisel is enough to convince: one sees the same girls but there is no hint of a story nor shadow of a meaning." [The Imagist]
>> INSIDER WIRE —Yesterday, a blind item circulated about a major publication letting their contract with a star photographer near the end without renewal — many drew the conclusion that it might be talking about Steven Meisel, who has photographed every cover of Vogue Italia for almost twenty-one years. However, a source who seems to know the ins and outs of Meisel — including that he turned down shooting the Missoni, Christian Dior, Max Mara, and DSquared2 campaigns for Fall 2009 because of money, and that he recently shot the Roberto Cavalli campaign in New York with two girls and a boy — says it's not him. Perhaps it's Annie Leibovitz (Vanity Fair, Vogue) or Mario Testino (Vogue)? [TFS, TFS, TFS]
>> INSIDER WIRE —Art + Commerce scored a coup last week, snagging Patrick Demarchelier to add to their stable that already includes Steven Meisel, Hedi Slimane, Annie Leibovitz, and Craig McDean. Meanwhile, this week comes a photographer blind item — which may or may not be related — many are thinking it refers to Steven Meisel and Vogue Italia: "Which power magazine is facing the the finish date of that mega-photographer's blue chip contract with the publication? The Hiss Squad is [in] a tizzy at the thought of what might happen should said book fail[s] to close a new deal soon. The creation of fashion's most valuable free agent? More room for a new generation of photographers to play? A rethink of the nature of long term contracts?" [FWD, The Imagist]
>> ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —While a horse of Steven Klein's caused Madonna injury over the weekend, another Steven — Steven Meisel — worked with a horse last week for one setting of the "marathon" four day Prada Fall 2009 campaign shoot at Pier 59 Studios in New York. No confirmation on which models were involved, but a number of unconfirmed sources are indicating four girls — Kendra Spears, Anna De Rijk, Katlin Aas, and Miuccia Prada's current favorite, Ymre Stiekema. [Chic Report, TFS, TFS, TFS]
We've been celebrating models all month long in anticipation of the Met's Costume Institute Gala model-themed extravaganza next month. Vogue is right there with us. Their May issue is dedicated to the gorgeous faces that mold the industry and one special photographer who helped made lots of them happen — Steven Meisel. He shot this gatefold cover with some of today's bright young things. I'm not going to reveal who my favorite is — OK, it's between Liya, Lara, and Natasha — but which face leaves you wanting more?
(L-R: Liya, Natalia, Anna, Isabeli, Lara, Jourdan, Raquel, Caroline, Natasha)
>> Steven Meisel, who is legendary for his photography, but also for his mysteriousness — he's reclusive, with public appearances few and far between — and always covered up, with dark sunglasses, head covering, and a uniform of black. He won't discuss the boyfriend he lives with, and he even finds seclusion on shoots, working from behind a scrim or in a black box.
But he's opening up a little — it was just announced that he will make a personal appearance at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography at the end of this month, and Jonathan Van Meter caught him for a series of phone interviews recently, collected in a profile for the May 2009 issue of Vogue:
Back in high school, Meisel's hair was down to there, according to classmate Pat Cleveland.
"He had this long, silky black hair down to the bottom of his derriere. He wore really tight little jeans and beautiful shirts. He wasn't wild. But, you know, when you see someone who is that beautiful, they don't have to be outrageous and loud. He didn't have to push his way into anything."
>> Some models are forthcoming about who they're dating, like Doutzen Kroes, who's been seeing DJ Ruckus for a little over a year — they met at a Vogue party in 2007 — while some, like Chanel Iman, like to keep their fans guessing. In the May 2009 issue of Vogue, Chanel — who finally comes clean about dating rapper Tyga, a relationship rumored since late last year — Doutzen, plus four other models pose with their boys for Patrick Demarchelier.
Some relationships blossomed within the industry — Julia Stegner and Steven Pan, who is Steven Meisel's first assistant; Caroline Trentini and Victor Demarchelier, who first saw each other when he was assisting his father Patrick on a shoot three years ago; Arlenis Sosa Pena and model Rene Rodriguez, who met through their agent; while some went outside the industry — Doutzen, Chanel, and Anna Maria Jagodzinska, who sees economics grad student Duncan Winecoff. Curiously missing from the spread (though she appears elsewhere in the issue)? Lily Donaldson and Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld.
>> THE MODELIZER — Linda Evangelista on her first Steven Meisel shoot ever: "It was the beginning of our story. I remember I heard something about how they loved my knees. As a model, you are never referred to as a whole person. You are dissected into little pieces. I thought maybe they were being sarcastic, because I got teased my whole life about my knees. There were also comments about my gums. I was like, 'My gums?' I didn't think that my gums would stand out. [Laughs] So, there you go. My knees and my gums." [Style.com]