Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Who is the Real Steven Meisel? (Hint: Watch the Video)

Perhaps you've read Jonathan Van Meter's Vogue profile of more powerful than god photog Steven Meisel. (For the uninitiated, if Meisel simply casts a girl in one of his fashion stories, she like, instantly skyrockets and gets the "super" tag affixed to her "model" title asap.) People in the industry routinely say things like, "Have you seen Meisel's new girl? She's amazing." And his breadth is stunning: He may be the man behind classic beauties Naomi, Linda, Amber Valetta and Christy Turlington, but he can also traced to more modern muses like Jessica Stam, Coco Rocha and Agyness Deyn.

The profile is beyond fascinating because Meisel is a notorious recluse, and declined to meet Van Meter at all. (Can you imagine him saying, "Sorry Anna, we do it on my terms or not at all." SNAP.) But his phone demeanor is described as "...brusque and impatient—sort of perpetually annoyed with the idea of doing an interview at all." The writer gets his revenge by dangling the titillating bit that Meisel's reticence may stem from personal insecurities regarding his encroaching crow's feet and rumored weight gain, which in my opinion, is perhaps a sort of poetic justice when it comes to a man so responsible for the fashion world's voracious appetite for newer, younger, thinner. Still, the image of Meisel as stony, simmering agoraphobic gets shattered in this amazing 80's video filled with guyliner, big hair, 17-year old Paulina Porizkova, a certain "Swedish smorgasbord" and Meisel as insane style cheerleader. Watch, it's CRAZY.

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