Shirt Stories: Claire Thomson-Jonville

Shirt Stories Claire Thomson Jonville 

You always notice the person wearing a great shirt. A classic that, for me, holds just as much appeal as a perfect pair of jeans. Shirt Stories is about others who feel the same, women and men, and who wear it well.

I first noticed the white shirt and the attitude. Then I read her advice, part of an interview for Filippa K: “Work hard. Stay humble.” Even if I had known nothing about Claire Thomson-Jonville (the editor-in-chief of Self Service magazine, one of the fashion industry’s leading publications), that would have been enough to feel inspired by her. Especially that she is more of a trouser girl, tuxedo for evening, in her own words, and the foundations of her wardrobe are well cut pieces that suit her, in grey, beige, navy blue and black mainly. However, the white shirt seems to be one of her pure necessities of life, too. Classic, tomboyish, relaxed chic. It serves her and her life philosophy well.

“Just quietly work away and focus, and your turn will come. I think there are a lot of egos and noise with social media and everyone wants to be famous and, for me, that’s a turn-off. I am naturally drawn to people who are quietly working hard. That would be my advice – just quietly work, persevere with what you’re doing”, she stresses out once again in a recent conversation on I’m with her.
Shirt stories Claire Thomson Jonville

Related Shirt Stories entries: Francisca Mattéoli (interview) / Robert Redford / Charlotte Rampling / Ralph Lauren / Heidi Merrick

photos: Lena C. Emery for Filippa K

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The Poster Art of Hans Hillmann

The poster art of Hans Hillmann -Shadows

Hans Hillmann poster for Shadows (John Cassavetes, 1959)

One of the pieces of film memorabilia in our home that I cherish the most is the Metropolis poster designed by Schulz-Neudamm, which is unequivocally included on every possible list of the best movie posters in the history of cinema. I pay great attention to film posters and I love, for example, spotting them hanging on the walls in movies (used as a way to pay homage to influencing films or filmmakers or for whatever other reason), like in the case of Vittorio de Sica’s 1948 Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) – not necessarily the Rita Hayworth poster that is center-state at the beginning of the film, but the office Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) works for, with its walls covered in movie posters.

Unfortunately, it does not happen very often these days that a current movie poster catches my eye and makes me want to watch the film – with an arresting image and pithy tag line – without my knowing absolutely nothing about it beforehand. The kind of great movie poster that adds something to the experience of the movie – accompanying it rather than simply attempting to sell it. Poster art is a medium designed to speak to the public before the film does. The window to the world or story waiting for you to discover.
Hans Hillmann poster art

Hans Hillmann posters for (left) The Fire Within (La feu follet, Louis Malle, 1963) and (right) Los olvidados (Luis Buñuel, 1950)

But I did come across one such poster last year and that was the one for The Lobster, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. I was not surprised to find out that the inspiration behind it was the stark and striking work of the great German graphic artist Hans Hillmann, whose talent was immeasurable. He created more than 130 film posters in his career, including designs for landmark films such as Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket and Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds.

The number of iconic film posters that bear his name is astonishing, and Hans Hillmann’s style was as much a signature as that of the directors he often collaborated with, such as Luis Buñuel, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean Cocteau and Federico Fellini.

I have gathered here some of the work I wasn’t familiar with until recently, like that incredible poster for John Cassavetes’ Shadows.
Hans Hillmann poster art

Hans Hillmann posters for (left) Storm over Asia (Svevolod Pudovkin, 1928) and (right) Rashōmon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)

photos via The Criterion Collection | Museum Folkwang/Deutsches Plakat Museum and Hans Hillmann estate

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Play It Again, Sam

Jesse Kamm trench SS 2017 
Spring. Sun. Trench. Style reloaded. Repeat. It happens every single year. When March arrives, one of the first things that spring into my mind is: “Trench weather, finally!”. And you have to be quick to enjoy it while it lasts, because summer will catch you by surprise before you start to feel like yourself again wearing proper clothes after a long and cold winter (and before the blazing temperatures of summer hit and make you forget about style again).

So I am committed to make the most of it and wear my trench coat everywhere. “Never leave the house without it”, says designer Jesse Kamm (the piece in the image is from her spring collection). I rarely do in spring. I wear it to the park, to the film, to a meeting, to the plane, on a road trip, to a tennis match, on a countryside dirt road. You name it, I’ve done it. Too dressed up does not exist when it comes to this versatile and timeless item. There are so many ways to play it down. And you can count on the trench to always play the right card for you.

About Jesse Kamm, I have previously written about her, and, in the meantime, I have come to appreciate her and her work even more than before (for example, the only social network she’s on is Instagram, and that counts for a lot in my book). Not only does she live by her own rules and strong values, but she runs a sincerely admirable company from start to finish – and she does it all by herself (from sales, to delivery, to PR) from her home studio in California, refusing to collaborate with fast fashion chains. Made in California, supporting local manufacturing, using high-quality, well-constructed textiles like modal, American-grown cotton or deadstock fabric whenever she can. Jesse’s philosophy is that business should be of a specific size and scale — bigger isn’t better. But when it comes to style, the scale goes considerably up for the brand Jesse Kamm.

photo: Jesse Kamm

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Ryan Gosling and His Otherworldly “Drive” Jacket

Ryan Gosling Drive jacket 
That’s Ryan Gosling at the wheel. After all the singing and dancing in La La Land, here is a little reminder that he can do tough, too (but then again, he can take on any role). Gosling is Driver in Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 American debut film. With uncanny skill, in league with cameraman Newton Thomas Sigel and composer Cliff Martinez, Refn blends tough and tender, violence and beauty. Drive is wild and damn good.

Driver drives for hire. He is a part-time mechanic and Hollywood stunt racer who moonlights as a getaway wheel man. Gosling is silent, stoic, mysterious, a loner, referencing Alain Delon’s disciplined isolation in Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï (he kills for hire). Both characters abide by a certain code of conduct, leading a solitary existence. They both even gamble with their own lives. But unlike Delon’s Jef Costello, who won’t let anything distract him from his own path, Gosling’s Driver gambles with love, too.
Ryan Gosling Drive jacket

Ryan Gosling Drive jacket 
That’s Ryan Gosling’s jacket in Drive. Why “otherworldly”? Because, unlike many other film costumes that are meant to be copied for decades to come and even become the voice of a generation, this one is meant only to be noticed and rememebered. Because Driver is that unique. On him, a character of no place, no family, no history, no name, it has a place and purpose. On anyone else, mere mortals in real life, it wouldn’t. It is what it is because it belonged in the movie, and on Ryan Gosling’s character in the movie. The ever-present satin bomber jacket becomes his armour, part of a ritual he alone has established for himself.

Film costume, once again, helped shape the character and the image of the movie. The jacket itself was a custom design made specially for the film, and which took months for Los Angeles based tailor Richard Lim and costume designer Erin Benach (who also worked for Half Nelson, Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines, all starring Gosling) to perfect.

Nicolas Refn wanted Gosling to wear a white satin jacket that would illuminate him at night. “Good actors find their own costumes, so Ryan found a type of jacket that he really liked,” the director told IFC. The idea for this particular type of jacket apparently originated in 1950s Korean souvenir jackets. “[Gosling] had bought one on his own and was wearing it around”, said Erin Benach. “So we started to think, wow, that might be really cool. But the style and shape of them was definitely very fifties and slouchy. We felt like Driver was really buttoned-up, clean and streamlined. So we built it piece by piece. We knew the collar had to be able to pop up, we wanted the knit around the wrists and waist to be 100 percent wool as opposed to stretchy nylon. We wanted every element to be perfect. We went through 15 or 20 iterations until we got it right. Which was down to the wire — about an hour before shooting!”

The director and his lead actor both had their say in choosing the scorpion logo, too, which is a reference to one of the first music videos ever made by Kenneth Anger called Scorpio Rising. A tribute to a time of avant garde filmmaking. Drive is indeed a film that, in every aspect of its making, shows respect to craft.
photos: stills from the movie | Production Co: FilmDistrict, Bold Films, OddLot Entertainment

sources: interview with costume designer Erin Benach, Grantland / interview with director Nucolas Winding Refn, IFC

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Team Spirit

Jennifer Neyt Emmanuelle Alt 
I am one of those persons who has never had that kind of fascination with French style. The kind of fascination that implies that possessing an innate sense of style comes with the territory just because you are French. I have equally been drawing inspiration from anywhere, be it of French, American or Scandinavian origins.

But watching Isabelle Huppert on the Oscars’ red carpet (wearing Armani Privé), looking like a glamorous star from the 1940s and overshadowing, once again, in beauty, elegance and class, every other actress present there, young and old, made my admiration for her skyrocket once again and it made me want to shout “America, take notice!” in the dead of night (it was past 2 a.m. our time) (I think I may have let out a few pretty loud ‘wow’s). And that was about the only exciting moment of the night. Oh, right, I didn’t catch that very last monumental bit that turned into a for-the-ages Oscars fiasco, “the greatest heist Bonnie and Clyde ever pulled”, as The Rolling Stone magazine put it. You might say that I went to bed knowing that La La Land had won (I called it a night too early apparently; nothing exciting had happened all night long, after all, and what was there to happen after they announced the winner?) and woke up to Moonlight winner of best picture (the unpredicted did happen, after all). But I digress.

A day after, I happened to come across the image above of the Vogue Paris team, my two favourite French fashion editors (personal style related), Jennifer Neyt and Emmanuelle Alt (it’s them in the second image, too), and Aleksandra Woroniecka. Do they all have style in spades or what? Rarely do I see such a cool looking bunch. Remember the Sartorialist’s Lunch for 25? I want someone to organise something similar for women, too, and invite these three, among others, Isabelle included, bien sûr (all just as natural and effortlessly looking, without forgoing individuality), who would make me speak about them in the kind of high terms I usually keep for men’s style. And men could take notice for a change.
Jennifer Neyt Emmanuelle Alt

photos: 1-Alexandra Chalaud / 2-Sandra Semburg

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