Moncler with Fabien Baron created and celebrated the new ART for LOVE exhibit for amfAR at New York Public Library during NYFW 2015. Take a look at the works and get insight into them, speculation or otherwise.
The new exhibition is spearheaded by Moncler together with Fabien Baron to raise funds for amfAR,The Foundation for AIDS Research. In an incredible feat, ART for LOVE has united 32 of the world’s best contemporary photographers, who have contributed their varied artistic interpretations of the iconic Moncler Maya duvet jacket, all in support of amfAR’s efforts to find a cure for HIV. The opening night of the exhibit, held at the New York Public Library, included a luxurious dinner with a star studded guest list as well as a cocktail party the following night, with a focus on the art. Guests in attendance to the party included Lily Kwong, Chloe Perrin, Nan Bush, and Pyper and Lucky Smith. Bidding took place here as well as an auction being held on paddle8.com.
As for the arts, these are new works created for the purpose. Seeing artists (especially of this caliber) interpret the task is fascinating. Naturally, there is nudity, both of the formal and novelty varietals, both staples of fashion photography. Beyond this, and perhaps more creatively, there’s a selection of college frat boy chic, icy loneliness, futurism, apparent candidness and simplicity in addition to technical fireworks. Here we will explore each piece individually:
Oliver Zahm presents the viewer with a decidedly hardcore porno-chic piece, a the Moncler jacket is made intriguing by virtue of its red, semigloss color against bare skin. It’s a series of 6 photos, black and white as well as full color. It’s worth noting a fetish appeal is provided by a rubber mask in red and in turn, moving the jacket from warming garment to sexual tool. Bid at paddle8.com.
Bruce Weber provides a luxuriously sporty look at the Maya jacket, a swift and stately photo of the wearer apparently falling off a horse, her body nearly parallel to the ground but legs wide, suggesting the rider could possibly make a return to an upright position upon the horse. It’s monochromatic to powerful degree, contributing to the timelessness of the photo and thus the timelessness of the Maya jacket. Bid at paddle8.com
View Willy Vanderperre’s “Untitled” on: paddle8.com
Willy Vanderperre provides us with a modified monochromatic look at the Maya jacket, constricting and elusive, the jacket reduced to an apparent ink blot test- what can you see? The shape invokes thoughts of the body of an ant or a spider, it’s out of focus, its distant, but nearly growing closer and more grim. Bid at paddle8.com
Sølve Sundsbø apparently suggests that the Maya jacket is a conductor of electricity, electrocuting the wearer, or giving them a new power. A metallic woman wears the jacket, hood up, embracing her electrically-charged reality. She appears contemplative, but of course, dewy and gorgeous. Her perfect expression and porcelain skin evokes the idea of a Moncler-wearing Madonna, she is a serene vision. Bid at paddle8.com
Mario Sorrenti continues the trend of looking to classical works as muses, or models in their own right, choosing to cloth the naked bodies of the 17th century with a $1,000+ coat. The photo is full of dramatic yet rhythmic movement, the shadows lifted from a Baroque painting. The writhing in the coat- sexual at first glance- is apparently strain above all, with an uncomfortable facial expression suggesting it so. Bid at paddle8.com
David Sims offers a classically clean and chic photo, very 20th century editorial: a glowing white background against monochromic supermodel Sasha Pivovarova, bundled up in a Maya jacket, her hair surrounding and spilling out from the upright hood. A single striking eye, nearly directly into the camera draws the viewer in. But her existence seems fleeting; is she only a vision? Bid at paddle8.com
Paolo Roversi will not be the first to place his photo in the context of ballet. The Maya jacket, which isn’t particularly pour le ballet, as a spectator or performer, has found favor with the ballet crowd because why? The brand is french? It’s a cozy after-performance piece? It appears so in Roversi’s photo, a girl, apparently just through with performing- shoes in hand, stands on the street, alert with perfect makeup, but tired by virtue of her posture. Or perhaps she is a rich parisian teen? Dressed nicely under her coat, but it’s a chilly night? Looking gorgeous but feeling regretful after an evening derailed by boy drama and feuilleton mélo? Her expression in this new context suggests she is frustrated. Perhaps a case of l’esprit d’escalier? Bid at paddle8.com
View Terry Richardson’s “Untitled” on: paddle8.com
Terry Richardson‘s work is not nearly as shocking or easily hated in the context of this show. With Oliver Zahm providing a control group with his tasteful but certainly sexual red-masked nudity, Terry Richardson’s piece appears to be nothing but tame. His bare (and anonymous) female genital with the bottom of a Maya jacket as occupies the first photo, with the second depicting a small dog using the jacket as a bed. You’d be inclined to call it cute as much as you’d call it sexually overt. The contrast is hilariously dramatic. Bid at paddle8.com
Ezra Petronio shows that innocence and beauty can coexist peacefully in the fashion world. His photo is soft, light, a blond woman in a maroon sweater and a red Maya jacket around the waist. It’s a strained artistry on the part of the model, trying new looks, being conceptual on her own time, experimenting with her friends, embracing avant-garde, even if its only in her own bedroom. Bid at paddle8.com
View Josh Olins’ “Untitled” on: paddle8.com
Josh Olins gives us a flower girl, in the most classic sense, a girl who’s ambitious but apparently careless, at peace but ready to go. She seems to know her place, but with a sense of curiosity. On one hand, you can sense she is easily impressed, on the other, she’s perhaps comparing the patriarchy to a wilting flower. It is spring, she’s in the coat because the buds are only rising. Bid at paddle8.com
Guido Mocafico took the high road with this one, his piece easily constituted as fine art, high art, apparently expensive art. It’s a Maya jacket buried in feathers, no people, just high concept. It’s the Maya dissected, a Maya inside out. Bid at paddle8.com
Mert & Marcus suggests an expensive frat house vibe- starting with a gorgeous boy in nothing but a red Maya jacket. He’s on the property of a historically registered place, a wild party, perhaps keg stands in the butler’s pantry, smoking pot in a 1936 Rolls-Royce, pushing girls into the granite pool, breaking the fingers on the priceless statue in the foyer. A rambunctious night, one to remember, one of dares. But on the surface, tasteful. Fresh flowers, it was catered. The parent’s away, the kids come play. Bid at paddle8.com
Steven Meisel, a legend, could have not taken a picture at all and it would’ve been perfect. His shot, though, is casual and homey, dimly lit, a man covering himself with the jacket. The composition is languid and slow, the colors inviting and gentle. The expression of the man, near visually, but distant in the mind. You can sense he’ll look away at any moment. Bid at paddle8.com
Raymond Meier contains himself in a small room, his subject is cornered, face to the wall, the shot is metallic silver and blue, like in a cloud. The wearer doesn’t seem human given the posture, on the very tiptoes, nearly defying gravity. It feels cold and thus the coat seems instantly essential. Bid at paddle8.com
Alasdair McLellan seems to maintain the frat-house chic set in motion by Mert & Marcus with his photo of a young man, beaming and luxuriating in his sheltered lifestyle, in a pair of trunks and a Maya jacket only. He’s on the lawn, a manicured meadow, really, and in the context of the Mert & Marcus shot, perhaps it was earlier in the day? A day by the pool, the Maya jacket a good thing to thrown on after a dip. The night hasn’t arrived yet, and the pleasure is all his. Bid at paddle8.com
Craig McDean‘s work lives in a different century: the people are beautiful by design, the contemplative nature is pervading, Moncler jackets are the uniform. It is perpetual winter, but the sun is shining. The frontier is unending and the fear is there, but the confidence is as well. Bid at paddle8.com
View Roxanne Lowit’s “Untitled” on: paddle8.com
Roxanne Lowit examines the ballet/performance art aspect of the baby blue Maya jacket with her blue-yellow tasseled and camouflage dancers, one begin held by the other. It’s one jacket- two performers. Seeing this in action would verify its profound movement, the jacket securing a immovable position on the head of one performer, but a perpetual movement by the other. Hands in position protrude from the jacket covering the head of the second performer. All is well as the Maya jacket guides her. Bid on paddle8.com
Peter Lindbergh takes a walk in the woods with a Maya jacket, an all black figure walks through a monochromatic clearing in the forest, she is returning home, as her expression verifies the walk was a test of endurance, but a pleasurable test. She’s grown warm, wearing the jacket is no longer essential, but it comforted her on her trek early on, providing her the warmth and psychological kindling to continue the walk. Bid on paddle8.com
Annie Leibovitz‘s photo is ready for the Vogue advertising spread. It’s dramatic, defying gravity, its parkour chic, a sporty, somewhat Tom-Cruise-1990 vibe, dressed in a Maya jacket in a dark color. It’s a spacious and a bit of an illusion in terms of the posture of the subject. Where’s he off to? Bid at paddle8.com
Brigitte Lacombe took a break for this one. Is this Brigitte’s Phoebe Philo post 2014 moment? It’s a cat in a Maya jacket. It’s playful and feels as though Brigitte let down her guard, if only slightly. A lightness pervades every Brigitte work, whether its the expression of the subject or the nature of the work (Brigitte often shoots monochromatic), but for this, it’s a lushly landscaped (photoshopped?) background, a very present foreground, with two yellow eyes stare back at you. It’s lightness, its ridiculousness. There’s a confidence in the cat, but just as much fear. Brigitte’s work brings emotion to anything. But aesthetic success aside, this is not the first time we’re seeing this in this exhibit. Bid at paddle8.com
Steven Klein, a moment of candidness. No people, just a story. Chalk-lined Maya jacket and a police car. A high profile murder, perhaps? Dark, contrasty, monochromatic. Deathly, but somewhat of an ode to Weegee’s crime-paparrazzi. In the most morbid sense, one may think, “I hope I die in a Moncler jacket.” Talk about brand loyalty. Bid at paddle8.com
Mikael Jansson plays with color wonderfully, which, like Brigitte, is a bit of a hidden talent. It’s also one of the few works that use a person of color as the subject. Dressed in coconut white calypso dress, a white headdress with a red rose, and a baby blue Maya jacket on top of it all. The subject’s gold necklace draws out the Moncler logo on the shoulder of the jacket, not overtaking, but emphasizing. The photo is deeply saturated, with a oily black background. Aesthetics aside, the final question: does the Maya jacket suppress culture or enhance it? Bid at paddle8.com
Inez and Vinoodh are arguably the most in-demand photographers, but even they have muses. Here we see a monochromatic Adam Driver (not the first or last time), tied up in a black Maya jacket, hands behind his back. The jacket is not like a headdress, but a head constraint. Was he being a bad boy? There’s an element of grit to this photo, almost intensified by the Gucci belt. The pillowy lightness of the Maya jacket grows heavy around Driver’s head. The lighting suggests an oil spill, nearly suffocating. It’s helpless. Bid at paddle8.com
Ben Hassett has perhaps the most abstract take on the Maya jacket. Something close or far, scale is unclear. The snow is piled on the jacket, is someone buried under there? The mystery and curious element of melancholy is oppressive. And with the snow still falling, what might happen? The background is almost completely dark, how far away is the nearest civilization? What’s just 5 feet away? Bid on paddle8.com
Pamela Hanson knows subtle sexy. She didn’t stray far from her usual principles, simple, tasteful, verging on candid. The look is important in its casual nature, something refined and sporty, a moment for the Maya jacket to be the hero by virtue of its warmth. She’s in something of a workout look a la LuluLemon or Athletica, taking a break from her health-conscious lifestyle. She seems alert, but thinking about things that aren’t quite within reach, physically. Perhaps a snack, a good book? Bid at paddle8.com
Hans Feurer knows a good thing. His portraits are always a face-full of looks, straight on, uninterrupted praise for the face. For the Moncler work, the jacket is only an accessory to a strikingly made-up face, intense eyes, hyperaware of her surroundings. The colors are brazen, with the baby blue Maya jacket truly fighting for attention. It’s a demanding work, a lot to consider. Undeniably Hans. Bid at paddle8.com
Arthur Elgort worked the ballerina look more, well, literally, than Paolo Roversi’s open for interpretation work. Here’s the ballerina, in en-pointe, toes supporting her total weight. It’s the ballerina off duty, but still doing her work. She’s in a studio, a white space, the dress jutting out under the coat, she looks peaceful and confidence, not a dose of fear. It is a classic ballerina portrait, with a Maya jacket tossed in. A test of balance and endurance. Bid at paddle8.com
View Patrick Demarchelier’s “Untitled” on: paddle8.com
Patrick Demarchelier‘s photo is thin. It feels empty, it feels cold. The model grips the coat around her, Maya to the rescue. The photo is close and intimate. The lighting is immediate, half of her face is in the dark. The coat is white here, shoulder exposed. She appears thankful to simply have the coat, let alone exist. Bid at paddle8.com
Fabien Baron, the curator of the show, has his own work, a spacious, narrow work, with the model emerging from her black Maya jacket, like a caterpillar, like a pillar of feathers and skin. She grips herself, but this time its in an effort to shed the coat rather than find comfort in it. It’s at her waist, her upper body exposed, her face hidden behind a curtain of hair. Her arms give her warmth. The coat isn’t really necessary, she takes it for granted. Bid at paddle8.com
View David Bailey’s “Untitled” on: paddle8.com
David Bailey in with a joyful painted person of color (two of two), the painted zigzags and dots across the body, a broad smile, luxuriating in life. A perfect white background, and the Maya jacket, here as a headdress of sorts, it’s a celebration. Her egg-yolk yellow face, a shining sun, the contrast of the black jacket. Its intense, but it’s not oppressive and it’s not desolate, despite the single nature of the subject. Bid at paddle8.com
Lachlan Bailey presents us with a dramatically different work, even further from Ben Hassett’s work. The jacket is almost hidden from view entirely, rather buried in snow, its submerged in water. The model is emerging from the water far right and low, the swim was not pleasant? She doesn’t seem tired, but seems nervous. The weather turned bad midway? Her hair is slicked back, she was prepared for the photo, despite the circumstances, she’s always prepared for a photo. Bid at paddle8.com
Camilla Akrans, a profile of a fully zipped up, hood-up Maya jacket, instead of a face (a la Craig McDean), a bouquet of flowers explodes out of the hood. The body so dark it appears to be a silhouette, highlighted at the fringes, an the latex-y reflection of light by the Maya jacket is blue. The light of the background intensifies near the body, an aura of sorts. The achievement is in the editing, for which Camilla is known, it’s manipulated, its treated, but it’s very real. An enhancement opposed to obscurant.
Thirty-two works in total, with photographers having full power over the direction. Are these artists all thinking outside the box? Or just inside a different box? Some artists truly stepped out, but others, knowing their expertise made Moncler part of their repertoire, another piece for the eventual retrospect. Others treated the project like just another advertisement. Others moved away from their own conventions, trying to exceed or change their own status quo. What fun it was!
The auction ends on September 29th, 2015. All proceeds go to The Foundation for AIDS Research.