Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss work their mic game at the cinemgraphs shoot.
We can't believe the time has come, but Season One of House of Style is officially in the books! It seems like just yesterday we were on a Paris Fashion Week adventure with our newly-named hosts, Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls. And boy did they keep things entertaining the past few months. When they weren't high-fiving at the Cinemagraphs shoot or rocking glamorous locks backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, they were shooting Holiday campaigns and strutting the runway as iconic musicians for Jean Paul Gaultier. You know, being fiercer than fierce supermodels along with their hilarious and stunning model BFFs.
Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne and Joan Smalls show that funny can be fierce.
Justin Van Hoy was an artist. He was also a founder of THIS gallery in Los Angeles, as well as the editor of a beautiful book featuring contemporary California art called Milk and Honey. For this season of House of Style, we’d always known that we wanted to include an episode about art and when our frequent collaborator Todd Oldham mentioned Justin’s then as yet released book, we knew a segment on the L.A. art scene would be perfect.
Justin was kind enough to invite us into his studio where he walked us through the works of art that were important to him and told us stories about why. He showed us a framed poster that had hung in his father’s bedroom in high school, a portrait of his grandparents, and the scads of books that comprised his sprawling library. It’s funny because you’ll see that it’s near impossible to capture the backdrop and his face in a single frame since Justin’s a good foot taller than Todd and our crew. Fittingly, his nickname was 'The Dutch Giant.'
In this episode of House of Style, we tasked actress Mae Whitman and fashion designer Rachel Antonoff with finding the perfect dress for every occasion. We thought it would be a lovely service piece that would illustrate the wonderful relationship between the two intelligent, vibrant women considering that Mae has appeared in Rachel's look books and has worn a great deal of her bestie's wares for various events. Of course they could've rattled off the requisite, "First Date," "Meeting The Beau's 'Rents," "Picnic" categories, but since they're real-life humans with faces and brains with non-borg frames of references, they came up with truly, nuanced, helpful scenarios.
There's "Going To an Opera With A Black Swan Fancy Vibe." And, "The Dress To Impress A Hot Dude You Hope To See At A Party But Your Boycrush Kisses Another Girl So You Go Cry Outside On The Curb Yet Still Feel Like A Princess With Your Butt Kinda Showing But Only In The Way That You Might Want For That Moment." And also, "Non-Binding Holiday Dress Where You Plan To Eat Alarming Amounts Of Food Without Compromising Comfort" and of course, the "Dress That You Wear To The Twilight Two Premiere Only To Eat S*** Going Down Some Stairs So That Blood Is Literally Oozing From Your Leg." Obviously, I do not need to parse the utility of knowing EXACTLY what to wear for each of these predicaments.
Shirley Kurata is an L.A.-based stylist who styles Peter Jensen look books, a slew of fashion editorials for magazines as well as music videos for Beck. She also works frequently with Zooey Deschanel, Elijah Wood and Miranda July. It’s basically the dream, especially when you consider that she’s super tight with the enigmatic Mulleavy sisters and styles their Rodarte runway shows. We’ve climbed into her brain with this interview with Rookie Mag, and the fine folks at Refinery 29 did the internet a solid when they photographed her home but by then our appetites were good and whet (hmm… why does that sound so tawdry?) on the prospect of rummaging in the hallowed confines of Shirley’s closet!
Shirley was incredibly accommodating and patient as we pored over her belongings with our massive cameras in tow and we’re really lucky because a peek at the deconstructed puzzle pieces really does provide a legend or else a secret decoder ring to the method behind a classic Kurata look. Shirley’s described her aesthetic as “mod secretary” but her personal style sort of reminds me of science textbooks in the ’70s. You’ve got swaths of color (usually hues that were HUGE for appliances or Corningware from the era), with accents picked up by the addition of a hat, or pair of opaque color-saturated tights, or else a belt or another accessory that mirrors or harkens back to another color or design motif, like, polka dots. It’s like how color, pattern or shape is used in an infographic; no aspect of an ensemble is accidental and everything works in tandem. It’s not overwrought, it’s just that there’s a clear point of view and a decisive, considered throughline for the eye to travel.
As fashion shows go, Victoria’s Secret’s fashion show is a MONSTER. This year’s airs on CBS on Tuesday, December 4th but the show itself went down last week and the scene backstage was bananas. Just think about it, for the 2012 jam you’ve got performances from Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars not to mention hoards of gorgeous models, as well as thousands of feathers, gobs of jewels, miles of hair extensions, and a heaving throng of press.
No big deal.
Well, except that we had a House of Style segment to shoot. Our hosts Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss were busybusybusy and in between hair, makeup, and being ferried to and fro, we were able to catch up with them to gossip about what goes into being a VS Angel.
Unsurprisingly, Joan and Karlie, as well as a number of other girls we interviewed, were working out like maniacs to prep for their scanty ensembles but it's not just about getting all skinnyminnie about that one unforgiving camera that shoots straight up into your chin and nose from the end of the runway. Heaps of the models focused on balance and core exercises because everything is so DAMNED heavy. Joan's wings were 15-20 pounds easy. And it's not just about looking poised in an enormous flower costume, it's about looking poised in an enormous flower costume atop 6" heels. Ambitious stuff.
Who loves portmanteaus??!!! For those who don't know, Cinemagraphs are where cinema and photographs meet in the middle. They're beautiful images where a single element has been animated for several frames to move eerily but elegantly. It's sorta like a GIF within a still photo.
Pioneered by Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck and created during NYFW in 2009 as a collaboration between the graphics artist and the photographer (respectively), cinemagraphs have enjoyed HUGE popularity on social media like Tumblr and Twitter. The fashion iterations you've likely seen have predominantly featured hair or hems of dresses blowing in the wind or else a roving eye like, this Coco Rocha version.
Who loves exposition??!!! Read More...
Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne and Joan Smalls at the Carine Roitfeld MAC event in Paris.
By now you've probably watched the new House of Style episode a bajillion times (lord knows we have!), and if you're anything like us, you might've finished the 9 minutes and 43 seconds of awesomeness thinking, "Man, I want to see even MOARRR Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls being cute at Paris Fashion Week!" Well friends, you're in luck. We've got some extra clips to hold you over until our next episode straight from the Carine Roitfeld MAC event in Paris. Karlie and Joan got all dolled up in their Carine-inspired smoky eyes (which Karlie said was one of her top fall trends on the Today show this morning!) and chatted it up with guests including model Cara Delevingne, designer Alexander Wang, and Vogue Japan editor-at-large (and H&M collaborator!) Anna Dello Russo.
Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss show off their Italian language skills.
If you don't already have a monstrous throbbing crush on our House of Style hosts Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss, allow me to change that for you with one quick, 1-minute video. We caught a lot of footage gems from our Paris Fashion Week trip with Joan and Karlie that didn't all necessarily fit into our first episode, but instead of keeping all the magic to ourselves, we're letting the extended play videos fly free. First up is one of our favorites which captures Joan and Karlie at their most candid yet, recounting all the words and phrases they know in Italian!