Cait­lyn Jen­ner’s style in­spi­ra­tion

The China Post - - ARTS - BY LEANNE ITALIE

The stealth Cait­lyn Jen­ner cover shoot for Van­ity Fair sprang from her chats with the mag­a­zine’s fash­ion and style direc­tor, Jes­sica Diehl, about in­spi­ra­tions rang­ing from Lau­ren Ba­call to “The Thomas Crown Af­fair.”

In an in­ter­view re­leased by the mag­a­zine, Diehl called Jen­ner “al­lAmer­i­can in so many ways,” style wise.

“She has cer­tain ideas about what she feels great in. But those ideas are still form­ing and tak­ing shape. There will be some ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and try­ing things. Wel­come to the world of women’s fash­ion! It’s not al­ways smooth sail­ing, but I think she has a pretty good idea of what makes her feel good, and those are clas­sic sil­hou­ettes,” Diehl said.

Jen­ner’s de­but as Cait­lyn for the July cover was re­leased on­line Mon­day and will hit news­stands June 9. Down­loads of an in­side photo spread and the story writ­ten by Buzz Bissinger were made avail­able.

The cover shows Jen­ner, for­merly known as Bruce, seated, legs crossed, on a high stool wear­ing a Trashy Lin­gerie creamy corset and panties paired with the head­line: “Call Me Cait­lyn.” An­nie Lei­bovitz shot the photo and sev­eral more with Jen­ner in a gold-se­quin gown by Hal­ston Her­itage and an­other off-the-shoul­der black num­ber by Zac Posen.

In fresh in­ter­view ex­cerpts posted Tues­day on the mag­a­zine’s web­site, Jen­ner ac­knowl­edged some nerves over how the pho­tos would be per­ceived but said they turned out “over-the-top great” and have been warmly re­ceived.

“I was al­ways wor­ried — you never wanted to look like a guy in drag, you never wanted to look like a guy in a dress, OK,” she said. “If you’re go­ing to do that, come out, you re­ally have to look the part. You have to look very fem­i­nine, you have to be able to, what I call my pre­sen­ta­tion is ex­tremely im­por­tant be­cause it puts peo­ple at ease.”

Jen­ner wore a tight Donna Karan New York red mini-dress for one shot that had her in the driver’s seat of the US$180,000 Porsche pur­chased for Bruce Jen­ner by exwife Kris Jen­ner. Other pho­tos showed her in a black lace corset by Agent Provo­ca­teur and a top and skirt by Herve Leger as she lounged on the couch of her Malibu, Cal­i­for­nia, beach house.

“She has a fan­tas­tic physique. It’s just a to­tally well-taken-careof physique. She’s an ath­lete, so the mus­cle tone is in­cred­i­ble. She’s slim, and her pro­por­tions are very easy to dress,” Diehl said in the ques­tion-and-an­swer for­mat in­ter­view.

Eric Wil­son, fash­ion news direc­tor for InStyle mag­a­zine, said the Old Hol­ly­wood feel in some looks evoked a pre­cise beauty.

“I think they were pretty smart not to go into re­cent run­way fash­ion or any of the 8,000 su­per­cool de­sign­ers of the mo­ment that Kanye and Kim are such en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port­ers of be­cause this reads as a per­sonal story,” he ex­plained Tues­day, re­fer­ring to Jen­ner’s step­daugh­ter Kim Kar­dashian and her hus­band, a designer him­self.

Diehl, who has worked nu­mer­ous cov­ers for the mag­a­zine, said she didn’t have long to style Jen­ner be­cause of the need for ex­treme se­crecy.

“Nor­mally we go to, I don’t know, Valentino or Armani, and say we are shoot­ing a cover and ask if they can give us some clothes (to bor­row). For this, I had to go into stores incog­nito, so to speak — not like any­one would know what I looked like any­way — and buy stuff. That was ac­tu­ally what was fun. It was like Van­ity Fair: Off the Rack.”

Diehl did sit down with Jen­ner at her Malibu home for a cou­ple of hours to talk style and in­spi­ra­tions.

“Com­ing from a very fash­ion­for­ward fam­ily, we sort of thought that the nicest thing to do was to fo­cus on style over fash­ion. Noth­ing too bling or too shiny. Kind of keep­ing it more in the style arena rather than hard­core fash­ion arena,” she said.

The cover was quite de­lib­er­ate, Diehl said, con­sid­er­ing the months of in­tense scru­tiny lead­ing to Cait­lyn’s grand un­veil­ing.

Wil­son said those sig­nals were de­liv­ered loud and clear. The cover, for him, con­jured Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe on the beach, a clas­sic bomb­shell im­age of “what fem­i­nin­ity has been in our so­ci­ety.”

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