The Sultans of Style

The Sultans of Style

The Sultans of Style Taking Fashion to the Streets Interview by Lauri Lyons Once again, the intrepid fashion photographer John-Paul Pietrus has been making rounds on the international style circuit. He recently made a pit stop in the Ottoman Empire to shoot a Young Turk fashion story in Istanbul. Did you ever have a desire or fantasy about going to Istanbul? John-Paul Pietrus:  I always had a desire to visit Istanbul as it is this fantastic place historically, the merging between East and West, so it has this allure related to Orientalist fantasies and folklore, which I wanted to experience even in modern day terms. Was this your first time visiting Istanbul? This shoot was my fifth visit. I really love Istanbul. What was the inspiration for your story? The concept was about an opulent Orientalist fantasy and the meeting of East and West. Who was on your team? The styling was done by Lucia Liu and Fatos Hanlim. The model was Tian Yi. The hair was  done by Bon Chou and the makeup was done by Adam de Cruz. The stylists and model flew in from Beijing and the makeup artist and I flew in from London. I hired a Turkish production team and a local photographer, Pinar Lauridsen, to shoot the behind the scenes video. Pinar was already a good friend of mine from my previous visits to Istanbul, so it was wonderful to work and hang out with her. Where is the model from and why did you choose her for the story? I hired Tian Yi because she has a very delicate beauty with a...
Asia in 5 Films

Asia in 5 Films

Asia in 5 Films A Native P.O.V. By Gian Cruz There’s never been a more exciting time in Asian cinema. The dynamic multiplicities working alongside the crossroads of different cultures, plus the ambiguous confluence between the East and the West, are paving the way for a richer cinema.  Asian cinema as a whole has started to explore a more inward-looking perspective, specific to the cultural contexts across the continent.   The label “exotic” is quite a tricky one, that I myself being Asian, can not explain  in a precise manner - and  that’s the beauty of it. There’s a whole dreamy universe of Asian cinema that speaks of ambiguity amidst vast landscapes and cultural nuances. It’s just a matter of how much of it you let in, and then slowly you’ll find yourself drawn deeper and deeper into it. A Personal Selection of Films Cemetery of Splendor (dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul) In this latest film by the Thai auteur, he touches on the whimsical mix of shamanism and magic. As one catches a glimpse of the spirit world and the mysterious realm of the unseen, he gives us an enigmatic kind of cinema, that captivates audiences through the metaphysical in a way that is free and unpretentious. The supernatural and its unexplained mysteries find itself in a romantic homage to an ancient civilization, that’s not of our time but still begs to have a certain semblance to our times. Above the Clouds (dir. Pepe Diokno) After the loss of his family, a young boy gets reunited with his estranged grandfather. As they try to mend their precarious relationship through a...
The Jewel of Tuscany

The Jewel of Tuscany

The Jewel of Tuscany Florence’s Artisan District By John­-Paul Pietrus With a sigh of relief, one early February morning I boarded a tiny airplane and left behind London’s cold, dark, and wet environs, in the roar of a jet engine. This was the start of my month long Italian ‘mini­sabbatical’. Although I love being a fashion photographer, last year I was stung by some of the industry’s thorns and realized that I needed a break. My new plan was to live a glorious life in Florence, while studying the art of Florentine jewelry making and design. I’d always had an interest in jewelry and thought; why don’t I learn something new for a month and keep my brain on a creative track with something not directly related to my work? As one of the creative capitals of the Renaissance, Florence is a city of artisans which still prides itself on creative traditions and incredible craftsmanship. One walks down the narrow streets of the city and passes cobblers, goldsmiths, printmakers, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. Metallo Nobile (noble metal) is one of Europe’s top jewelry schools, and is set in the heart of the artisan district of Santo Spiritu. This area is located just a stone’s throw away from the historic Pitti Palace and the Ponte Vecchio. Walking into the scuola, I was greeted by the sound of blaring opera music and pounding metal hammers. The air lingered with the unmistakable scent of hot wax and morning cappuccino. Geometric glass lamps hung from the ceiling above two dozen jeweler’s desks, at which an international selection of students from Salvador, China,...
Strike A Pose In Bogota

Strike A Pose In Bogota

Strike A Pose In Bogota Dancing In the Streets Interview by Lauri Lyons     Take a walk on the wild side of Bogotá with film and video director Jacob Krupnick and the illustrious dancer Kia Labeija, as they explore Colombia’s alluring streets and hidden pathways.   Where are you from? Jacob Krupnick: For starters, I’m from NY, and I’ve lived in Brooklyn for the last 12 years. I’ve explored the world pretty enthusiastically on my own, and work brings me around on all kinds of cool missions.   Have you traveled to Latin America before? I spent a couple weeks in Ecuador in 2014 shooting documentaries for Intel, but aside from that, I’d never spent time further south than Mexico.   How did your collaboration with Pillar Point come about? Two years before directing Dove, I made a dance film for the same musician, Pillar Point, called Dreamin. We filmed in New York City, my home town, on the coldest weekend of the year. The music video was, to our surprise, a huge success, so when Pillar Point had a new album coming out, I wanted to work in a similar style. But the music video was due in January, and I had the dream of filming in a huge, colorful fruit market. I’ve filmed a lot in public spaces around New York, so it was time for a change.     Who is Kia Labeija? ​​Kia is an artist and Vogue dancer from New York. She’s amazing, and a joy to work with. Her focus is incredibly high. Her performance is intense and consistent. She’s a true professional,...
Theater of Life

Theater of Life

Theater of Life Jean-Paul Bourdier Interview by Mackenzie Lowry Modern day renaissance man Jean-Paul Bourdier creates photography, films, and books that are an ethereal dreamland just beyond plain sight.       Mackenzie Lowry: You were born in France, how did you end up in California? Jean-Paul Bourdier: ​I studied in France, and received a scholarship to study in Versailles twice. Later I got my masters degree in Illinois, then I got a job with the University of Georgia Tech, in Atlanta. Afterwards, I got a job for three years in Africa. On return, I got a job with the University at California (Berkeley) where I’ve been a professor since 1982.   Of all these places you’ve lived, do you have a favorite? Well every place is touching in different ways. Even if I do not like France, I can be touched by the old stones that are Paris. Even if work was very difficult in Africa, I was very touched by the friends I had in Africa and the social life. While I don’t enjoy the social life in America, I do enjoy my work. I do enjoy the view I have of San Francisco and the Golden Gates. Every place has it’s own advantage, flavor and particularities. It’s only my mind that wants to have things perfect.         How did you get into photography? Coming from a family of photographers, I have denied photography for the longest time, although I have used it in many books on Africa, and in my artwork. Up until the last ten years, I have kept my work quite...
Slim Aarons: A Curated Life

Slim Aarons: A Curated Life

Slim Aarons: A Curated Life The Story Behind the Glamour Interview by Lauri Lyons Iconic photographer Slim Aarons was famous for documenting the quintessential good life all around the world. Now his daughter and former photo assistant, Mary Aarons, is revealing her father’s techniques for creating the perfect shot, as well as a good life of her own.   A Sophisticated Snooze: Slim Aarons in Greece.   Where was your father, Slim Aarons, originally from? Mary Aarons: He was born in New York City.   Did he serve in the military before becoming a professional photographer? Yes, he was in the Army during World War II. He was a part of the press corps. He started out in the darkroom and then worked his way up to being a photographer.   Was the war his first opportunity to travel outside of the U.S.? I’m sure it was. I don’t think anyone really traveled outside of the U.S. at that point.   Where was he stationed? North Africa (what would be considered Tunisia and Algeria now) and Rome. Rome was really his favorite spot. At one point he also went to London and Paris, and then all throughout Europe. His letters remind me very much of that film T​he English Patient.​The soldiers were in some beautiful places, but some pretty horrid things were going on around them.   Did he ever talk to you about what it was like being a photographer during war time, and how did he develop his skills? He was working for Y​ank ​Magazine (the Army weekly). It was his first magazine and he was working with a group of guys and some...
A Peace Treaty

A Peace Treaty

A Peace Treaty Fashion Without Borders Fashion designer Dana Arbib, shares her global perspectives on life and style.   Interview by Lauri Lyons   What inspired you to start A Peace Treaty? Dana Arbib: I studied graphic design at Parson’s. I was working in a lot of different fields of design. I was consulting at Sotheby’s, and freelancing at DKNY. I always liked sketching, and I realized that I love drawing patterns, it’s so much fun, it’s so easy, it’s so creative.     What is your cultural background? I’m middle-eastern. My dad’s from Tripoli, Libya. He grew up in Tripoli, but he went to school in Italy because Libya was an Italian colony at that time. So he’s kind of a blend of Italian, and Arab, but Jewish. His generation is pretty much the last of the Libyan Jews. Once his generation passes away, it’s kind of gone. I’m from Israel. So we’re kind of like Arab Jews in a way, which is complicated.     How has your culture influenced your design aesthetic? I grew up with a lot of scarves, a lot of caftans, that kind of style. I had seen that when the company started, there was a trend in the market for kofia scarves. I realized there was a gap in the market for mid-level price scarves. That’s when I said “Let’s do a scarf company”.  I’m constantly researching textiles from all over the world. It’s kind of an obsession of mine. I have a huge database in my head of references from Africa, Asia, Scandinavia, Japan, from everywhere. I’m traveling constantly. My dad, for a living, has a humanitarian background. He does a lot of...
Never Cannes Say Goodbye

Never Cannes Say Goodbye

Never Cannes Say Goodbye The Fashion Jet Set Story & Photography by John-Paul Pietrus      The French Riviera has always retained a sweet spot in the lore of glamour and sophistication, and the City of Cannes has always been the epitome of global chic. Since 1946, the city has hosted the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and the Cannes Yachting Festival. No matter what time of year it is, people never can say goodbye to the French Riviera.  Set sail with fashion photographer John-Paul Pietrus, as he recalls the mise en scene of his luxurious photo shoot on the iconic Promenade de la Croisette.      It was my first time in Cannes, which is amazing, glamorous and beautiful. It’s everything you think the French Riviera should be. The French Riviera reminds me of a James Bond movie. It has that sort of super 70’s chic feel, with beautiful weather and beautiful light. Our team stayed very close to the waterfront, at the InterContinental Carlton hotel, where they have all the big social parties for the Cannes Film Festival.     We had a model confirmed for the shoot, but she had a problem with her visa. As a replacement, we contacted a Paris based modeling agency, and chose the gorgeous Alimata Fofana, who I love.  I knew it would be more expected to see a white, blonde or brunette, woman in a French Riviera shoot.     For the story, our fashion stylist, Loic Masi, wanted to dress the model in all red, white and blue. Since we were by the...
Transitórios

Transitórios

Transitórios Seizing the Memories of Moments Story & Photos by Diego Kuffer   When I was a kid, my father always said, “Enjoy the moment”. The idea stuck with me all these years, because it was a concept that I didn’t seem to be able to grasp. Photography was a way that I found to capture a moment, in order to understand what it was and maybe find out how to enjoy it.     After a while, I understood that photography only allowed me to capture instants. Even a long exposure photo is only a blurred instant.     So, I decided to hack photography, getting the technique behind movie making and applying it to my photos.     Photographing the same instant several times, and then slicing and dicing the results and mixing it all together chronologically. In this way, I was able to capture a moment, not showing what exactly happened, but at least showing that a moment happened.   The transitorios locations include Sao Paulo, Paris and Buenos Aires.   In another life Diego Kuffer studied business and received a postgraduate degree in psychoanalytic semiotics. He later worked in the marketing industry for ten years. Luckily, Diego finally came to his senses and gave all of that up to start a new life as a brazilian photographer. You can follow Diego on instagram @dkuffer.    Photos ©Diego Kuffer  ...

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