V88

ARTICLE SARAH CRISTOBAL

PHOTOGRAPHY KARIM SADLI

CREDITS ARTICLE CONTENTS

THE VIDEO: THEORY S/S '14

THE VMIX: RADIO RAHILL

RICCARDO TISCI ON ERYKAH BADU: “WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER”

EXTRA CREDITS

Makeup Val Garland (Streeters London)  Hair Malcolm Edwards (Streeters London)  Set design Alexander Bock  Digital technician Edouard Malfettes (Digitart)  Photo assistants Antoni Ciufo and Laurent Chouard  Makeup assistant Veronica Martinez  Hair assistant Adlena Dignam  Production Brachfeld Paris

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RICCARDO TISCI ON ERYKAH BADU: “WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER”

PHOTOGRAPHY KARIM SADLI
TEXT SARAH CRISTOBAL

WHEN IT CAME TIME FOR RICCARDO TISCI TO BRING HIS UNIQUELY URBAN CHIC SPRING GIVENCHY COLLECTION TO LIFE, HE HAD A VERY SPECIFIC CAMPAIGN STAR IN MIND, THE WONDROUS NEO-SOUL GODDESS ERYKAH BADU

READ V88 THE MUSIC ISSUE ON YOUR IPAD! SUBSCRIBE HERE



If you experienced a shock of delight when the Givenchy Spring ads started populating the Internet, you are probably a child of the late ’90s who remembers when “On & On” hit the MTV airwaves and a gorgeous, turbaned creature with a jazzy inflection reminiscent of Billie Holiday commanded your attention. Riccardo Tisci was one of the many who was captivated by Erykah Badu, and the admiration has been everlasting. The designer had the regal songstress in mind when designing his Spring collection. Badu, who is in the “creative process” of a new album, has been quietly touring for years in between taking care of her three children at home in Dallas and continuing her duties as the world’s chicest doula. A long time admirer of the house of Givenchy, she was photographed for the campaign by Mert & Marcus last November in L.A. Here, the designer and his muse explain the genesis of their creative collaboration, their newfound familial bond, and why musicians have become the current faces of fashion.

V Erykah, did you know Riccardo before you got the call to appear in the ads?  

ERYKAH BADU I just got a call from him. There’s not a big backstory to it. Unless you want to include that I’m a big fan of his work. 

RICCARDO TISCI I knew her as a musician and an artist. And she is a real artist. We had crossed paths before once in New York but never really knew each other. I asked her and she said yes. I was very, very happy. I wanted to represent the collection with style and elegance and I think she is perfect for that. 

V In addition to being an incredible artist, you’re also quite a fashion magpie. Are clothes another mode of expression for you? 

EB It’s all art to me. I just really enjoy expressing myself artistically in any genre. Whether it be music or cooking or hair. Costume, makeup, fashion. It’s just fun exploring all of the little things inside of my head and seeing them manifest. I would liken fashion or styling to putting a lump of clay in the middle of the table and carving away. And there’s something underneath. Layering and silhouettes. A pair of earrings. I think it comes down to my favorite things and how they come together. That’s fun when that happens.

RT And this is one of the great things that drew me to Erykah. Aside from being quite talented, and the queen of the ’90s. I was thinking of someone who was quite elegant and urban. She’s always been this way. She has a very good sense of style, she’s great with jewelry. Her look can be quite feminine with the turban and a dress but also masculine with flat shoes or trainers. It all works. 

V Can you talk about the shoot with Mert & Marcus? 

RT For me it’s all about family. They are like family. Erykah, once we met on set, we fell in love. Now she is family. 

EB They are just so awesome. They want to work with the artist and the model to make sure that she’s seeing what exactly is going to appear. I think that’s really kind and generous. And I love Riccardo’s heart. I like that he’s very thoughtful in his art and his design. Not only does he have a superb eye for silhouette and technique, but he also has an imagination that’s pretty out there. That’s why we get along pretty well. He allowed me to contribute to the style of the shoots. 

V How so?

RT She put the looks together in such a strong way. I was really very impressed. Some celebrities are in campaigns for money or whatever but it’s forced. But I only want to work with people that I love and respect. With Erykah the energy was already there. This was perfect because in a way we belong to each other, we help each other as artists. 

EB I love this idea of bringing these garments artistically into function. It’s functional art that Riccardo does, basically. That’s what I do as well. We speak each other’s language. We check on each other. He’s taught me a lot about fashion and lines and the way he sees. I really appreciate the way Riccardo sees. He reminds me to be fearless. 

V There have been a few musicians—Rihanna, Miley, Gaga—appearing in fashion campaigns this year. Why do you think that is? 

EB I think that we keep each other moving creatively, especially those that have been in this game awhile. To see our fellow artists like Riccardo and Donatella choose musicians only shows that we are all connected. My creative song is married to Riccardo’s creative eye, perhaps because I can sing a lot of songs about these designs and ideas that he has. I think it’s just the spirit of where we are as a whole tribe of humans. Visual expresses music expresses theme expresses theory. Everything goes together to more broadly express what the artist is trying to say. There’s no way I can express what I’m trying to say without the help of some visual artist completing my sentences. I think right now we’re completing each other’s sentences, artistically. 

READ V88 THE MUSIC ISSUE ON YOUR IPAD! SUBSCRIBE HERE

EXTRA CREDITS

Makeup Val Garland (Streeters London)  Hair Malcolm Edwards (Streeters London)  Set design Alexander Bock  Digital technician Edouard Malfettes (Digitart)  Photo assistants Antoni Ciufo and Laurent Chouard  Makeup assistant Veronica Martinez  Hair assistant Adlena Dignam  Production Brachfeld Paris

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VINTAGE V: KAREN TAKES FLIGHT BOSS BOTTLED REBEL FLOWER CITY OF GOD
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