(ph. Johnnie Shand Kydd)
Juergen Teller and Vivienne Westwood have known each other about 16, 18 years. The last six years, Juergen Teller has been doing her advertising campaign, so he’s been dealing with the dress code of her fashion a lot. Teller says he’s mesmerized by who she is, what she stands for. He admires her and the way she looks, her white skin, red hair and the way she is so uninhibited.
Vivienne Westwood by Juergen Teller
Vivienne Westwood ad campaigns by Juergen Teller
Juergen Teller was curious to know what Vivienne Westwood looked like naked and asked her if he could photograph her naked. Immediately she said: “Yes, come next Sunday”. Whenever Teller is super-nervous, he takes his wife Sadie (Coles, contemporary art dealer) with him and this time their son Ed came along. he was about 4 and a half at the time.
Andreas (Kronthaler, Vivienne’s husband) and Vivienne made a lovely early dinner and after she said: “Are we going to do this or not?”, because Teller was too shy to make that step. She got undressed and Ed came in and said: “What’s going on there? Why is Vivienne naked?’. Teller answered: “Because I’m interested to see what she looks like and I want to photograph her and she looks really beautiful I think.” And Ed went back to playing with his PlayStation.
This was the atmosphere in which the photo shoot took place.
When Juergen Teller took these pictures at the designer’s home in Battersea in south London in 2009, Vivienne Westwood was 68. Inevitably, her body lacked supple youthfulness. But so what? But in her coquettish, self-assured and letting-it-all-hang-out relaxed, she looked magnificent: sexy and with a dazzlingly impressive appearance, like a playful queen in the private apartment of a Baroque palace. The photographs are wonderfully harmonious, too – constructed around a palette of red, golden-yellow, beige, cream, orange, white and pale pink.
(The Vivienne Westwood nude pictures are part of Juergen Teller’s “Woo” Exhibit at ICA in London)
Considered one of the most important photographers of his generation, Juergen Teller is one of a few artists who has been able to operate successfully both in the art world and the world of commercial photography. The exhibition provides a seamless journey through his landmark fashion and commercial photography from the 90s, presenting classic images of celebrities such as Lily Cole, Kurt Cobain and Vivienne Westwood, as well as more recent landscapes and family portraits.
Teller’s provocative interventions in celebrity portraiture subvert the conventional relationship of the artist and model. Whatever the setting, all his subjects collaborate in a way that allows for the most surprising poses and emotional intensity. Driven by a desire to tell a story in every picture he takes, Teller has shaped his own distinct and instantly recognisable style which combines humour, self-mockery and an emotional honesty.
Juergen Teller, Go-Sees
In 1999, Juergen Teller had another stroke of genius! After becoming successful, model agencies started calling, asking if they could send over models for a go-see (casting), which means, new models come to show their portfolio and hand over a setcard. At first he didn’t know what to do with these requests, but then he turned the procedure around and called the agencies to send girls and photographed them all at the entrance to his studio. Juergen Teller, Go-Sees became a photographic log of every model that had visited his studio May 1998 and 1999. The hundreds of portraits made for an artistic concept exploring identity. The book is an uncompromising journal of the uncharted world that lies behind the outward glamour of the fashion industry. These portraits of models, most of whom are unknown, are sometimes deeply moving.
The Missoni family
“We wanted the campaign to be a snapshot of an evening with the Missoni family,” said creative director Angela Missoni, “I always think that our product has some extra value – an artisanal, traditional value – and I know that people often collect the pieces and keep them for a long time. The product is real so I wanted to show it in a real context – and that is difficult to do with traditional fashion imagery.”
The campaign was shot at the home of Missoni founders Ottavio (or Tai) and Rosita Missoni in Sumirago, in Italy’s Lombardy region and starred three generations of Missonis: the founders themselves, their daughter Angela and son Vittorio and grandchildren Margherita, Francesco, Theresa, Marco, Ottavio Jnr and Giacomo, all wearing pieces from the Missoni ready-to-wear collection.
“It was very relaxed, we had a lot of fun,” Missoni laughed. “Juergen had only one assistant so there was no big crew – it was just us and him. We did have to make some samples up specially for the shoot – because my son and my nephews are huge compared to catwalk boys – but apart from that it wasn’t a big effort. At half past midnight my father said ‘Are you planning on staying much longer?’ but it was definitely a good day.”
Céline , autumn/winter 2012
Recently Daria Werbowy returned as the face of Céline for a/w 2012. Daria cut her hair and dyed her eyebrows a lighter color. Posing without makeup and unstyled hair, she wears the Parisian label’s clean-cut tailoring and signature oversized coats in unique shades for a mixture of candid shots which are interspersed with some accessory close-ups and some quirky snaps of pink flamingos.
Juergen Teller is one of the most influencial fashion photographers of his generation