Fu­ture faces of fash­ion

Four young women of dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties have been hand­picked by Karen Millen to model its lat­est col­lec­tion.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - Sto­ries by WIL­LIAM K. C. KEE star2@thes­tar.com.my

TALK about a trans­for­ma­tion. In adapt­ing a new and edgier look for its cam­paign, Bri­tish brand Karen Millen turned to leg­endary lens­man David Bai­ley.

The re­sult is a strik­ing se­ries of por­traits that cap­ture the di­verse per­son­al­i­ties of four new model faces on the brink of global suc­cess. Each girl is wear­ing the strong­est fash­ion pieces from the Au­tumn/Winter col­lec­tion.

The cre­ative con­cept for the cam­paign al­lows the clothes and model to take cen­tre stage. It fea­tures four dis­tinc­tive women: Kar­lina Caune, Kirsi Pyrho­nen, Nur Hell­mann and Grace Gao, cap­tured by Bai­ley.

For the unini­ti­ated, Bai­ley, 75, has shot some of the most iconic por­traits of the last five decades. The Bri­tish pho­tog­ra­pher’s early work helped to de­fine and cap­ture the at­mos­phere of fash­ion­able 1960s Lon­don when he made stars of a new gen­er­a­tion of mod­els, in­clud­ing Jean Shrimp­ton and Penelope Tree. Draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from Mod­ernism and Pop Art, Bai­ley in­jected a sense of move­ment and im­me­di­acy into his work by us­ing a very di­rect, cropped per­spec­tive.

“As a brand, cre­ativ­ity and crafts­man­ship de­fine Karen Millen,” said Gemma Mether­ing­ham, the brand’s chief cre­ative of­fi­cer.

“Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Bai­ley and his in­cred­i­ble abil­ity to cap­ture the beauty of the clothes and the essence of his sub­jects through evoca­tive por­trai­ture en­abled us to tell our story per­fectly.”

Mether­ing­ham added that while Karen Millen uses cou­ture-in­spired tech­niques within their col­lec­tions, Bai­ley is one of the few pho­tog­ra­phers who still shoots us­ing film.

In an ex­clu­sive Q&A with Star2, Mether­ing­ham an­swered more of our queries.

De­scribe the work­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with David Bai­ley.

He is iconic within both the fash­ion in­dus­try and as an artist; it was in­cred­i­bly in­spir­ing to work with him on our new cam­paign.

How in­volved was Bai­ley in the shoot?

Cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tion is at the heart of our brand, from work­ing closely in de­vel­op­ing unique fab­rics with our Ital­ian mills to the de­sign process in our Shored­itch-based ate­lier. There­fore it was im­por­tant to us that we worked very closely with Bai­ley on the shoot and par­tic­u­larly on the se­lec­tion of the girls. Bai­ley has been quoted in say­ing that our cam­paign cre­ative is “very him”.

What were the cri­te­ria in choos­ing the four mod­els for the cam­paign?

We re­ally wanted to high­light the fact that Karen Millen is about mak­ing lux­ury ac­ces­si­ble to all women. Our look has evolved sig­nif­i­cantly over the past few years as our in­ter­na­tional busi­ness has grown. We now have stores in over 50 coun­tries. This was an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to high­light the in­ter­na­tional ap­peal of the brand and the breadth of our fash­ion-led prod­uct of­fer­ing.

I no­tice a di­ver­sity in terms of the mod­els’ na­tion­al­i­ties, was that in­ten­tional?

We se­lected the girls on the ba­sis of their in­di­vid­ual looks and per­son­al­ity. We saw some­thing spe­cial and com­pelling in each of the girls we fea­tured in our cam­paign, as did Bai­ley and (stylist) Katy Eng­land. Each look was styled to suit the girl, we wanted to cel­e­brate in­di­vid­ual style and show­case a con­tem­po­rary way of dress­ing.

Can you tell us more about the mod­els?

Where China-born Grace Gao is con­cerned, her ca­reer has taken her from the far East – she has been fea­tured in mag­a­zines such as Harper’s

Bazaar China and Elle Viet­nam – to Lon­don for our Au­tumn/Winter cam­paign. When asked who she thought is

the most beau­ti­ful woman of all time, her ami­able re­sponse was her mother.

Al­though Lat­vian-born Kar­lina Caune is a new face in the mod­el­ling world, she was crowned win­ner of the Ford Su­per­model Of The World in 2010. She has been fea­tured in magazine ed­i­to­ri­als such as Bri­tish

Vogue, French Vogue and W Magazine, and be­ing pho­tographed by Bai­ley for our cam­paign was “a big hon­our”.

Kirsi Pyrho­nen, who is Fin­nish, was dis­cov­ered as a model at the young age of 13, while shop­ping with her mum in IKEA. Since then, she has worked far and wide from Mon­go­lia to Ge­or­gia and has been fea­tured in Harper’s Bazaar as well as on the cover of the Sin­ga­pore edi­tion.

Last but not least, there’s Nur Hell­man. She was born in Ger­many and dis­cov­ered as a model while shop­ping with a friend in Cologne. She de­fines her per­sonal style as “el­e­gant, but with a bit of rock ‘n’ roll”.

What are the must-have items from the Fall/Winter col­lec­tion?

Our sig­na­ture tuxedo suit, a great soft knit, one of our iconic leather jack­ets and our per­fectly tai­lored tweed coat.

In your own words, de­scribe the Karen Millen woman.

The Karen Millen woman has both style and sub­stance: she’s feisty, in­tel­li­gent, ur­ban, so­phis­ti­cated, con­fi­dent and in­ter­na­tional. Her style is strong, self-as­sured and fash­ion­able.

The Au­tumn/Winter col­lec­tion, now avail­able at Karen Millen stores, is priced from RM225 to RM2,206.

Grace­ful: Model Grace Gao in a turtle­neck and coat from Karen Millen, pho­tographed by David Bai­ley.

Diva in the mak­ing: nur Hell­man was dis­cov­ered as a model while shop­ping with a friend in cologne. She’s wear­ing a red dress and black leather belt from Karen millen.

Latvia-born Kar­lina caune is a new face in the mod­el­ling world. Here she wears a black leather jacket with fur trims.

Leg­endary lens­man David Bai­ley has been quoted as say­ing that the lat­est Karen Millen cam­paign is ‘very him’.

Where china-born Grace Gao is con­cerned, her ca­reer has taken her from the far east to Lon­don for Karen millen’s au­tumn/Winter cam­paign.

Kirsi Pyrho­nen,

who is Fin­nish, was dis­cov­ered as a model at the young age of 13. She

sports a long jacket that ex­per­i­ments with tex­tures from

Karen millen.

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