Thursday, December 6, 2012

Elegance Above All | A conversation with Lloyd Klein

Photographer Chris Callaway | Stylist Adrienne Young

Lloyd Klein
Lloyd Klein is a French-Canadian couturier based in Los Angeles.

Klein was born in Montreal, Canada to French parents. Klein is the youngest of four children. Although initially trained in architecture, Lloyd Klein decided to make haute couture fashion design his career after attending a Givenchy runway show.

He initiated a self-study of the prominent fashion artists of Europe and the United States, and developed an interest in the work of Yves St. Laurent, Jacques Fath and Halston. After two seasons of presenting his work on the Paris runways, he became the head designer for Maison Mme. Grès.

In 1997, Klein established his own label, Lloyd Klein Couture. Klein’s gowns have been worn and/or modeled by celebrities Tyra Banks, Kate Moss, AnnaLynne McCord, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Williams, Jane Fonda, Paula Abdul, Joan Collins, Paris Hilton, Tara Reid, Kate Beckinsale, Eva Longoria, Toni Collette, and Dita von Teese.

I just want to give a heart felt thanks to Lloyd for sharing some of his life and thoughts with us. So without further ado... Lloyd Klein. 

Jonathan: What is your bliss? 
 Lloyd: The moment that I can visualize the collection in color which sometimes occurs to me at the oddest times but when the vibration hits… I know exactly where I am headed and it becomes my obsession. 

Jonathan: In design, what is your most sterling trait? 
Lloyd: Elegance above all -  is what I strive for.
Photographer Robert Voltaire | Model Alex Abercrombie |  Fashion by Lloyd Klein

Jonathan: What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?  
Lloyd: My grandfather's crocodile belt with his the initials JPK engraved on the front given to him by my grandmother on Armistice Day at the end of the war. 

Jonathan: What is your guilty secret?
Lloyd: Window shopping for sports cars even though I have never driven and never intend to do so. 

Fall 2012 Sportswear Collection

Jonathan: Where is your ideal home?  
Lloyd: Hollywood, California – the only place I still dream of and then live the dream each day.

Jonathan: What is on your bedside table right now? 
Lloyd: A jaguars head made of cut crystal by a dear friend who is the artist – I told him once that I felt I was a panther in a previous existence and he convinced me that I was more than likely a jaguar rather than panther – a week later he presented me with the sculpture and a week later he passed away – it was his last work of art and it is inscribed with the words “ Lloyd Klein the eternal Jaguar who thinks he’s a panther."  

Jonathan: What if any, book are you reading now or last read?
Lloyd: The Lover  - by Marguerite Duras – for the 3rd time.

Jonathan: What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
Lloyd: I only read emails on the internet and magazines have power and substance… I can’t imagine reading from a kindle – that’s a lack of romance

Photographer Robert Voltaire | Model Alex Abercrombie |  Fashion by Lloyd Klein

Jonathan: What’s your music library like?
Lloyd: I adore the campiness of Amanda Lear, the mysterious one of a kind sound of Yma Sumac, because they are both my eternal friends but Edith Piaf is a never ending voice in my head and Rachmanoff plays in the background of my thoughts and in my home almost every day - all of those artists attract a very welcomed vibration to me and I am somehow connected to their sounds at any given moment.

Jonathan: What and where is your favorite meal?  
Lloyd: OK I’d like to be clever and say “one poached egg” but the reality is ridiculous…. Whenever I am back in Paris I go to see my friends at “La Maison du Caviar” and I indulge in megadoses of little tastes of heaven that don’t taste the same anywhere else…..and that’s the truth!

Lloyd Klein Fall Winter Collection
Jonathan: If you could not be in fashion, what would you be?
Lloyd: I have always felt that I would have been a good dancer in a serious ballet company – the dancer e’toile.

Jonathan: Who is your inspiration/style icon?  
Lloyd: Madame Grès forever...

Jonathan: Who is your favorite designer?
Lloyd: Madame Grès and Monsieur Yves St. Laurent they - are my “ying and my yang” – I often ask myself what would Monsieur or Madame do in this situation?

Little Gold Dress by Lloyd Klein Beverly Hills
 Jonathan: In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.   
Lloyd: Progressive, unfortunate, and exhilarating.

Jonathan: If you could, would you wear your own designs or shop in your own store? Or who would you suggest?  
Lloyd: I’d wear any of the new leather jackets and in fact I made masculine versions of each for myself…

Jonathan: If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
Lloyd: Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Anna Wintour and Maria Callas – can you imagine?

Photographer Robert Voltaire

Jonathan: Whose opinion do you value most?
Lloyd: My conscience and my intuition are both very influential in the conversations that go on in my head.

Jonathan: What store or which designer do you most like to shop in or wear?
Lloyd: My tailor’s little atelier in Paris is my favorite place to shop and I like to wear Versace for Jeans, Dolce for jackets and Hedi Slimane for this and that….

Photographer Robert Voltaire | Model Alex Abercrombie |  Fashion by Lloyd Klein

Jonathan: Do you have a dream collaborator?
Lloyd: I know it may sound pathetic but Madame Gres was genius and if I get to have a second choice I’d like to be pleasantly confused by Salvador Dali.

Jonathan: If you could pick anyone as your customer, who would you select and why?
Lloyd: Lynn Wyatt or Nan Kempnor -  because they will be forever the quintessential curators and arbiters of what is fashionable and two heroines for my industry…. the front row will never have the same meaning without them.

Jonathan: What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
Lloyd: “Don’t go there!” but if you have no other choice because you are passionate than always follow your heart and passion and never look at what the others are doing.

Photography: James Russell and Ann Rutherford

Say hello to Lloyd on Facebook or visit his web site to check all the latest.

Advertisement: Check out the Vogue Collection on Zinio for your iPad or tablet.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New York Fashion Designer Alex London | Wide Awake

Photographer: Zhang Jingna | Stylist: Sansyrae St. Martin/Plutino Group
MUAH: Vanessa Jarman/Page One Management
Model: Natasha Yaroslava/Ford
Wardrobe: Alex London

Alex London is a NYC based designer that has been featured in New York Fashion Week, a Vogue gallery exhibition, Harper's Bazaar Vietnam, Kat Deluna's new hit single "Wanna See U Dance", and Z!NK Magazine March cover featuring Gossip Girl's very own fashion icon Taylor Momsen. Alex has attended Parsons the New School as well as F.I.T's precollege and various internships.

Photographed by GL Wood | Styled by Lisa Jarvis
Photo Assistant Alex Benigno | Stylist Assistant Sandra Emilcar | MUA Vincent
Model: Taylor Momsen | Dress: Alex London | ZINK Magazine
Currently, Alex London is holding a fundraiser to help bring the new Fall | Winter 2013 collection to New York Fashion Week in February, but needs YOUR help to do so!

You can make a private donation via the designers online fundraiser from the hugely popular event and fundraising website indiegogo. There are rewards for all levels of donations starting at 1 dollar and maxing out at 10,000. All contributions will be greatly rewarded with everything from signed canvas prints to private classes on hand sewing and fashion illustration.

Photographer: Julia Comita
Photographer: Sinsong Xi | Style/Wardrobe: Alex London | MUA: Lisa Jarvis
Hair: Takeo Suzuki | Model: Sietska @ Fenton Moon
Jonathan: What's your creative process like when beginning a collection? What part for you is where the magic happens?

Alex: Uhh.... I don't know....  It just happens... I'll sleep.. wake up... remember a dream.. and there we go. Just sort of happens. But I sleep... a lot... I love sleep... If I'm too tired, the magic's not there. Sometimes I'll make dresses in my sleep. Literally... dream first, so I know what I'm going to do in my head beforehand, then I don't waste any time...  But usually, I end up over sleeping so I just can't win either way :P

Jonathan: Why is fashion your choice for artistic expression? What do love about fashion?
Alex London: I just LOVE it... I love that fashion is something real, more so than any other art form. It's something you can put on at the end of the day and become a part of.

Photographer: Stian Foss | Stylist: Lisa Jarvis
Jonathan:  Okay... you have carte blanche for an editorial... what magazine? And whose on your team? MUAH, Stylist, Photographer...

Alex London: Easy!! Italian Vogue - shot at the Cologne Cathedral
Photographer: Steven Meisel
Stylist: (my bff) Lisa Jarvis
Makeup: Misha Shahzada
Hair: Takeo Suzuki

Model: Tereza Janakova
Photographer: Julia Comita | Styling/Wardrobe/Hair: Alex London | MUA: Lisa Jarvis | Model: Rachel Jean
Jonathan:  What has been your biggest "wow" moment career-wise so far?
 Alex London: My stuff being pulled and shot for Vogue this past Sunday, I was on set for 5 mins. to pick up stuff for the shoot the next day... just to be pulled over and told " we're shooting you're top next.. don't spazz out or tell anyone you're the designer." I saw the girl dressed... and had to keep myself from squealing... It took a loooot of self restraint.
Photographer: Zhang Jingna | Stylist: Sansyrae St. Martin/Plutino Group
MUAH: Vanessa Jarman/Page One Management
Model: Natasha Yaroslava/Ford
Wardrobe: Alex London
Jonathan: Who is the one person in life you would say inspired you most?

Alex London:
Alexander McQueen, design-wise... but really... I'd have to say my friends... both past and present. 

Jonathan: Just want to thank Alex for her time and join us in supporting her dream. 
You can support Alex at indiegogo or check out her latest work at her online Shop.
You can also visit Alex on Facebook and Twitter. xoxo

Photographer: Zhang Jingna | Stylist: Sansyrae St. Martin/Plutino Group
MUAH: Vanessa Jarman/Page One Management
Model: Natasha Yaroslava/Ford
Wardrobe: Alex London

Young British Designers - Shop the New Generation

Saturday, July 28, 2012

An Added Touch | Photo Retouching | Jonathan

For months, I've been daydreaming about doing some retouch work in Fashion. I do it all the time in other work. Remove a double chin, whiten those teeth, take that tree out of the background kind of
stuff . Then I met California fashion photographer Tyra Hansen on Facebook. She was wondering if I would like to do some retouching for her. (Thank you, Tyra) The shots are of the lovely Dee Sproles (model) and here are the results.

1. Original raw file shot Dee by Tyra (above) and was graciously given a free hand to be as creative as I liked. My goal was to create something slightly ethereal or ghostly. I also wanted to experiment with a new techniques I read in Advanced Photoshop Magazine (awesome magazine)... a quick Bokeh effect.

 2. I work in Photoshop CS5 with just a mouse... I should use a tablet but I don't like them that much.
I invested in the plug-in Color EFEX Pro from Nik Software a few months ago and was blown away. Note: I put an (EFEX) notation when I use one in this tute. Here, I just went around the image, cleaning up loose hair, any blemishes, etc.

3. Here, I used a  Glamour Glow (EFEX) on a new layer and adjusted the opacity until I liked the result. Also did a little highlighting (like the bottom lip) on areas with the Dodge and Burn tool.

4. Then I wanted to get a cross processed effect which attained by creating a subtle S-CURVE in CURVES. After which I went in the COLOR BALANCE and played around with the green. cyan and yellow until saw what I was after.

 5. Always been curious about Bokeh and found a great tutorial in Advanced Photoshop magazine. The effect was created rather quickly with a custom brush. Click here to check that tutorial out.

The final image. I used a simple white gradient to soften the whole image and leave room for any future typography. Below are some additional images I did for Tyra. 

Just went with a highly saturated cross processed look with this one and threw a little Bokeh effect in for fun.

This last one,  I discovered the power of the Lens Correction feature (amazing) but that is a tale for another day. Thanks for joining me. Look forward to your feedback/thoughts/comments/criticisms.



Monday, July 2, 2012

Out of the Darkness | Fashion Stylist Darwina Slioa

In her own words
When I was as a child, I was surrounded by an atmosphere of art and politics, it was an odd mix but my father was both a painter and a politician. I use to re-shape his paintings, not by painting over his canvases but by creating forms using pieces of old fabrics and broken clocks. A combination of pain, the feeling of suffocation and mind set due to our family background, experiences of war, our escape and loss of many family members. Despite our family background, I found myself free to take myself to the fashion world and the creativity I found there. My first step was to buy vintage clothes, repurposing pants into skirts and sewing my accessories on dresses and skirts. 

I also found an outlet for expressing myself by writing philosophical poetry when I was very young, creating garments and other odd forms for each poem which was mostly about the human condition and its "darker" side.  The shadowy territory of the mind, where I think not too many dare to step in to, but I do… out of simple curiosity.  These elements are infused in my work even today...

In 2008, I left Sweden to study fashion and styling in Milan, Italy. I was very busy adapting to a new life, city and fashion culture. Taking the necessary progressive steps in Milan, I grew to an even more creative and business oriented creature. Having teamed up with various professionals, creating new concepts and working on imaginative projects, I have reached many of the results, creatively and professional I had set out to achieve. Since then I’ve worked my way up into becoming an established fashion stylist.

I have always been interested in the dark aspects of the world, about the feelings people are afraid to talk about or even think about, these thoughts are surrounded by “evil spirits,” our personal demons, the difference is that I work closely with these thoughts in creating and it seems to permeate my work.  In the realms of the industrial and alternative scenes, I am free to express myself without judgment. In order for us to understand the world of fashion and its power we need first to understand society… the world and our place in it. I prefer to set no boundaries.

My goal is to create trends, styling using a complete set of aesthetic structures, textures and shapes. Combining graphic elements - using location to connect the perfect feeling for each image. We are in a futuristic era where nothing is right or wrong and I am trying to take advantage of that and this is what really interests me - knowing more about life and its inner treasures. The best way for me to do that is my passion for styling and the thoughts behind what I trend out. My personal expression has taken shape in these trends, styles. They continue with my love of the written word.

Blackletters of Opium
I am currently working on an art photography fashion book and text called "Blackletters of Opium", which is again about the mind, our humanity and pushing the boundaries of artistic methods in photography. You can learn more about it HERE
Our interview
Jonathan: As a stylist, could you explain a bit of your creative process when starting something new? Any routines or little rituals that help you get in the flow?

Darwina: For me the first important thing which leads me to the practical step is inspiration. My inspirations are always nicely expressed in my graphical moodboards- collaborating with the photographer. I focus a lot on the trend inspirations, the outfits, hair and makeup, location and poses, photography and light, as the main prospects. I make sure that I have everything organized regarding time and preparation. To make everything even more flexible I always bring my stylist kit with me and my positive energy to inspire the team as also to get inspired while doing a fun and good thing.

Jonathan: Who are your biggest heroes or influences in your work? Personally, I'd love to see what you'd do working with someone like say...Gareth Pugh or Thom Browne.

Darwina: It's funny you mention Gareth Pugh since he has been my huge fashion source lately. I am not fond with heroes if we arent talking about any super hero like Batman. No but, I mostly get inspired when listening to music, photography, quotes and atmospheres in a gloomy and myserious connection. one musician which has inspired me alot with his beats of oddness is the young echo artist Kahn. Kahn´s music has put a spell on me to never stop spinning my innerself into creation, as also the legend Gil Scott-Heron´s talkactive "me and the devil". Designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh or Yohji Yamamoto will never stop being admired.

Jonathan: Darwina, what would you say was the biggest obstacle or challenge you had to face and overcome to reach the level you've reached?

I am still in this challenge trying to survive as a very new and established stylist. Everyday is a struggle for me to reach a higher level where I feel satisfied with what has become a development for me, thinking that I have put myself in to two different work positions as a flexible person, regarding DM-RL and the styling. But everyday is a positive fight and the winner is the one that never stops learning or giving up. My goals mean everything to me.

Jonathan: If you could, please share one of your favorite moments in your career so far?

Darwina: I still don´t have a favorite moment to be honest, but the greatest memories are always the ones where I get to travel, like the time when I shoot an Editorial in Lecco, Milan or London. I love being international.

Jonathan: What advice would you offer someone with a dream of being a stylist working in fashion?

Darwina: Working in fashion is not all wine and roses especially in the beginning. Hard work is needed in order to become better and stronger. I believe that the person that wants something very bad gets even more, but you need to love hard work because if not, someone else does, and that means your spot. Be clever and assist as much as possible or study fashion styling, that would be the ultimate freedom to start your career faster.

Jonathan: If you could have a superpower, what would it be? :)

Darwina: To be able to read your mind.

Photographers: Denny di Silvestre, Enrico Lunardi, Paolo Consaga and Rasmus Wallin
You can contact Darwina through her...
or visit

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Beauty | Joe-yves Asmar | Passion

In His Own Words

“My passion is couture fashion and hair, I love what I do and I will do it until the day I die.”

I grew up in Lebanon in the middle of a war and when I was 5 years old I moved to Sweden where I still work today. I fell in love with the hairdressing after my brother died in the war. My brother was a famous hairdresser and was working with the royal family of Jordan. My brother is the reason why I became a hairdresser. My passion is couture fashion and hair, I really love what I do and I will do it until the day I die.

When I was 14 years old, I got my first job in a salon as a shampoo guy and one year later I went to school to become a professional hairstylist. At very young age, I won my first competition in Sweden and was hooked. My passion grew and after a lot of hard work, I went on to win many national and international awards. My last was Style Master of the Year. I have had the privilege to work for magazines and television and my work be seen all over the world. Nowadays, I really am enjoying the opportunity to share what I have learned with others at some of the biggest hair shows in Sweden in front of thousands of people.  

My dream has come true.      

R&J: What is it that inspires you about couture?

Joe-yves: All the people around the Haute Couture world are a huge inspiration, when the models walk in on the catwalk with the different fabrics, colors, makeup and hair… it just amazes me. It’s such a big inspiration for me.

R&J: Hair plays such an important role in every aspect of fashion, runway shows, editorial and advertising photo shoots and television. Which is the most demanding? Which is the most fun?

Joe-yves: The most demanding is the runway shows… very stressful and you need to work with very high speed on each model. The most fun are the photo shoots, I love it when the model hits that perfect pose and that "picture will live forever."

 R&J: What was the funniest thing to ever happen to you while you were working?

Joe-yves: One day, I was working in the salon and a lady comes in with very long hair and she says, “I give you a free hand.” I took the scissors and in seconds, cut off a huge amount of her hair and she looks at me, almost in tears, ready to strangle me. I put extra time on her cut because I realized that something must be going in her life because a women almost never gives you a free hand to do whatever you want. You need to know that something is wrong here. But in the end, she left with an amazing cut. Two weeks later she come back with flowers and she gave me a huge hug and said you changed my life. 

R&J: Do you ever get nervous doing those huge hair shows? What is like to work on a stage with all those people?

Joe-yves: My first shows I was really nervous but now… no. To work in front of all these people is an amazing feeling and especially when you are not nervous because then you can get this amazing connection with the audience and to share something that I love so much in my life…. hair, it’s extremely special.

R&J: What advice would you give a talented hairdresser who has only worked in a salon but dreams to work in the fashion world?

Joe-yves: Find a good photographer and do a lot of work (a lot) so you can build a strong portfolio and show your work. Assisting good hairstylist is essential. And continued training is very important day in day out.

R&J: That's all the time we have for now. Just wanted to give Joe-yves a big thank you for sharing his thoughts with us and wish him the very best.

For more information about Joe-yves, you can contact him via email HERE

Photography by Rasmus Wallin