Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another Magazine Fall 2009 preview: Carmen Kass, Photo: Nick Knight

Nick Knight photographed Carmen Kass for Another Magazine on June 7&8 in London, with stylist Panos Yiapanis.

Concept: Panos Yiapanis and Nick Knight
Photography: Nick Knight
Styling: Panos Yiapanis at Intrepid
Model: Carmen Kass at Women Management
Hair: Sam McKnight at Premier
Make-up: Hannah Murray at Julian Watson
Nails: Marian Newman at Streeters
Photographic Assistance: Tristan Thompson,
Andy Vowles, Adam Goodison, Joe Colley and Amy Barton
Styling Assistance: John McCarty
Hair Assistance: Koji
Make-up Assistance: Lauren Parsons
Production: Charlotte Wheeler
Location: SHOWstudio

Creative Direction: Paul Hetherington
Editorial Direction: Alexander Fury and Laura Bradley
Technical Development: Ross Phillips
Project Design and Development: Francisco Salvado
Editorial Assistance: Imogen Chapman
Studio Assistance: Josephine Weaver

The entire shoot was covered live by

Our in-house studio space at Bruton Place is being prepped at this very moment for tomorrow's LIVE shoot for Another Magazine with none other than the legendary Carmen Kass! From 12 Noon GMT Tomorrow, SHOWStudio will stream all the action from the set with Kass, Nick Knight and Panos Yiapanis collaborating on this latest editorial for AnOther over two days. This shoot, however, is slightly different than most, promising to show a side of Carmen that has never been seen before. At the hands of Panos, and with the help of greasepaint, wigs, and fashions from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Rodarte, Christopher Kane and Nina Ricci, Kass will transform into a clown - but you can wipe any preconceptions of mournful monochrome Pierrots, Commedia dell'Arte Harlequins or even good old-fashion circus pratfalls from your mind. For this shoot, clowning around takes a decidedly dark, macabre and dare we say downright evil twist. More live and direct from the shoot tomorrow...

With our first outfit in the bag - and daylight fast diminishing -Panos, Hannah, Marian and Sam are putting the final touches to Carmen Kass' second look of our two-day Clown shoot. Despite our project title, Nick Knight's glossy 8x10 polaroids above testify that the shoot's aesthetic is veering far, far away from the accepted and understood realms of circus ring and fairground performance - not that we really expected light and carefree joviality, given Panos' visual references and choice of designer togs. Accordingly, the final looks have more in common with mournful French Pierrots, Stephen King's 'It' and the nightmarish Siats of Ute tribe mythology than the child-pleasing ilk of Bozo, Coco or even Krusty. And with night closing in, it can only get creepier.

With Carmen Kass' face contorted by transparent plastic tape to resemble a Royston Vasey resident and Sam McKnight's teased beehive towering hevenwards, we're off on outfit number two. This time. Kass is an explosion of riotous colour, clad in a draped tunic-dress and bejewelled leggings by Louis Vuitton, velvet shorts by Prada and a beaded top by Gucci. Panos again fashions the trademark final touches himself - in this instance, a bead-encrusted harness and sparkling shoes fit for a Maharaja.

Silent film legend Lon Chaney Sr. once stated 'There is nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight'. We're testing this theory to the max this evening, as Carmen Kass takes to the street in Panos Yiapanis' uncompromising vision of a maniacal masquerade clown. Rest assured, this is no laughing matter! Unfortunately we are unable to take our live stream out onto the fair streets of Mayfair to chart Carmen's progression, but I will be tweeting from the roadside as Nick Knight pushes Carmen to the very brink!

The team are back at our Bruton Place studio ready for another day of shooting for Nick and Panos' clown-themed story for the upcoming issue of AnOther Magazine. Model Carmen Kass already being prepped in hair and make-up, Panos and his team are busy working on items for today's looks, there's a constant flurry of garment bags being delivered via courier and Nick's just arrived so we thought we'd turn the LIVE STREAM on early. Today is a SHOWstudio first: this is Nick's inaugural shoot in our upstairs studio space, and as it's a weekday, we've got a full-house with the rest of the team downstairs attempting to go about their day-to-day duties. As well as a constant live stream trained on the heart of the action, Alex Fury and I will be multi-tasking to the best of abilities, providing regular blogs and regular Twitter updates throughout.

Carmen Kass takes to the stage in Panos Yiapanis' second look of the day: a devoré velvet tunic, cardigan, bloomers and those love-or-hate thigh-high tan waders from the A/W 2009 Prada collection. This high-fashion ensemble is however subverted into something far more unsettling, and thoroughly in keeping with our Clown theme, with the addition of items specially crafted to Panos' exacting specifications. In this instance, hand-beaded leggings and bra-like harness and a sinister 'Hannibal the Cannibal'-style face fetter. And check out Sam McKnight's truly terrifying hairdo!

Here is one of the leitmotifs of the photographer's trade: the polaroid wall, in this case covered in glossy eight-by-ten images of Carmen Kass in this morning's outlandish array of Dolce and Gabbana and Prada pieces mixed in with Panos' inimitable array of customised garments. Nick Knight's images are shaping up to blur the line between figurative and abstract - quite literally in many cases, as the sections of the photographs appears fuzzed and clouded, while other aspects register crystal-clear. The mirror-embroidery detail on one of those Dolce and Gabbana gowns, for example, runs the gamut between abstract polkadot to images so finely-focussed you can see each stitch. Carmen herself, of course, has been somewhat abstracted already - to the right of this image, you can see her behind Panos, complete (and completely unrecognisable) with Hannah Murray's circus whiteface and the chicest of frightwigs by Sam McKnight.

Now Kass is seated, dressed in 2 Miu Miu dresses, overlaid with Panos' bejewelled tutu, Miu Miu stockings and heels.
Check out the neon lip sign Panos and his team have cleverly fashioned for this look
With daylight fading fast in our Bruton Place studio space, what could be a better accessory than a neon 'lip' sign for our model Carmen Kass? Another example of Panos and his team's ingenious handiwork, the specially-devised red glowing lips are currently being used to create fantastical trompe l'oeil effects in front of Nick's lens. Dressed in head-to-toe Miu Miu (two flesh-toned, jewel encrusted dresses, stockings and heels) and a tutu customised by Panos' team, this is our sixth look today. And the team are no way near close to completion - with five (or even six!) looks left to shot and talk of venturing outside, I can safely say that we will be live streaming, blogging and Twittering late into the night.

We're going outside! Nick wants puddles but as it hasn't rained, we're going to make some of our own...
For tonight's next look, Nick's wanted to photograph Carmen in the street in some puddles - as it hasn't rained for the past week, his assistants have had to fake it with buckets of water. Here's a scene you don't see every night on your way home: Carmen Kass dressed in Givenchy and blue crystal shoes, face painted ghostly white, jumping around in puddles, pulling crazy clown poses, in front of photographer Nick Knight and a 11-strong team.

Eagle-eyed viewers will have seen Carmen pop back in for a quick outfit change. Now she's in a sparkling Gucci and back outside!
After our twelve hours of shooting (on top of yesterday's nine hour session) Nick and Panos now have everything they need for their upcoming editorial story destined for the Autumn issue of AnOther Magazine. After shooting Carmen in a plethora of Panos Yiapanis' clown-inspired looks, for most of the day in the studio space of our new Bruton Place HQ, the shoot came to a close outside in our surrounding Mayfair streets just moments ago. Here, a snapshot from the day's penultimate shot: a gracefully elegant Carmen Kass, sporting a sparkling Gucci ensemble.

It's 00:30 and we have the final shot is done!

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