Near the Stairways

When celebrity photographer Mark Seliger acquired the old brick building at the corner of Charles Street and the West Side Highway (New York City) in 1997, his friends couldn’t understand why he wanted a place in such an unfashionable area, across the street from rotting piers on the Hudson River and not far from the infamous meat-packing district. The building had been built as a factory in 1852, and Seliger had it gutted and rebuilt (an immensely expensive job) but a little over a year after buying it he had it operating as a state-of-the-art studio. Today the meat-packing district is filled with fashion boutiques, chic restaurants, and upscale hotels. Across the street from the studio, a luxury apartment development designed by Richard Meier is going up. “I went from being the stupidest person on earth to being the smartest,” shrugs Seliger.

During the remodeling, an old elevator was disassembled and taken out, leaving an empty shaft that, to the photographer’s delight, was topped with a 20×30-foot skylight. Seliger had a wooden platform built into the shaft, creating a private space upstairs from the main studio — a small, quiet place defined by the texture of its brick walls and flooded with creamy light. Inevitably, he began taking his celebrity subjects into the rebuilt space, now part of a stairwell, to photograph them.

“Every time I had a session where there was time to shoot someone in there, I’d do it,” says Seliger. “It became another option — when I would run out of ideas for what I was going to do with someone in the studio, I would take them upstairs.”

 

Manon

 

Julia Roberts

 

Heidi Klum

 

Iman

 

David Bowie

 

Mick Jagger

 

Lou Reed

 

Chris Martin

 

Paul McCartney

 

Luciano Pavarotti

 

Mihail Baryshnikov

 

Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox

 

Mel Brooks using a comb to make a Hitler moustache

 

Adrien Brody

 

Liam Neeson

 

Lenny Kravitz

 

To watch more pictures taken by Mark Seliger (and Lenny Kravitz’s I Belong to You music video, also directed by Seliger), please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style‘s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogy-of-Style/597542157001228?ref=hl

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The Concept of Travel in an Emotional Sense

“The Journey of a star, captured in a flash”. Annie Leibovitz and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Annie’s studio, New York

 
 

“Is there any greater journey than love?” Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi. New York

 
 

“There are journeys that turn into legends”. Sean Connery, Bahamas Islands

 
 

“Every journey began in Africa”- Ali and Bono. Uganda

 
 

“A journey bring us face to face with ourselves”. Mikhail Gorbachev, Berlin, Germany

 
 

“Some stars show you the way”. Muhammad Ali and a rising star. Phoenix, Arizona

 
 

“Three exceptional journeys. One historic game”. Pelé, Diego Armando Maradona and Zinadine Zidane. Madrid, Spain

 
 

“Some journeys change mankind forever”. Sally Ride, Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lowell. California

 
 

“A single journey can change the course of a life”. Angelina Jolie. Cambodia

 
 

“Inside every story, there is a beautiful journey”. Sofia Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola. Buenos Aires, Argentina

 
 

Louis Vuitton Core Values campaigns revisit the brand’s heritage with a completely fresh interpretation of the concept of travel in an emotional sense, viewed as a personal journey, a process of self-discovery. The campaign debuted in September 2007 in major international titles featuring no other but the former Soviet statesman Mikhail Gorbachev, the French movie siren Catherine Deneuve, the founding member of The Rolling Stones Keith Richards and the tennis power couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, among many other influential and famous people.

Pietro Beccari, Senior VP of Communication explains this shot: “Not only does it capture the unique quality of a father-daughter relationship, in which both are enriched by a shared experience, but it also evokes the heritage of Louis Vuitton with its suggestion of know-how being passed from one generation to the next.”

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s first steps on the Moon, the ad features legendary astronauts Sally Ride (first American woman in space), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11, first steps on the Moon, 1969) and Jim Lovell (Apollo 13) looking up in the Californian desert night sky.

In 2010 Brazil’s Pelé, Argentina’s Diego Maradona and France’s Zinedine Zidane all won football’s ultimate prize, and all wore the emblematic N°10 shirt. They met up in the Café Maravillas, a typical bar in Madrid, and were tempted into a game of table football. The image leaves the suspense intact, but clearly captures the atmosphere of fun and friendly rivalry.

Given the photographer of all Core Value campaigns personal and financial troubles in 2010, Louis Vuitton wished to offer support in the most positive way and suggested that Annie Leibovitz become the next campaign’s hero. She accepted on the condition that she appears alongside for friend and one of the foremost dancers of the 20th century, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

This is the first time U2 frontman Bono has appeared in an ad sans his bandmates, but instead with his wife Ali Hewson. It’s also the first time that a label other than Louis Vuitton is getting a fashion credit – the pair are wearing their own clothing line Edun, a line of ethical fashion. Proceeds from the sales will go to TechnoServe, which supports sustainable farming in Africa.

As the pioneer of the art du voyage, Louis Vuitton is always on the look out for the exceptional people with extraordinary journeys. The question is who will be next?

Swan’s Way

Blazon

For the Countess of Peralta

 
 

The snow-white Olympic swan,
with beak of rose-red agate,
preens his Eucharistic wing,
which he opens to the sun like a fan.

 

His shining neck is curved
like the arm of a lyre,
like the handle of a Greek amphora,
like the prow of a ship.

 

He is the swan of divine origin
whose kiss mounted through fields
of silk to the rosy peaks
of Leda’s sweet hills.

 

White king of of Castalia’s fount,
his triumph illumines the Danube;
Da Vinci was his baron in Italy;
Lohengrin is his blond prince.

 

His whiteness is akin to linen,
to the buds of the white roses,
to the diamantine white
of the fleece of an Easter lamb.

 

He is the poet of perfect verses,
and his lyric cloak is of ermine;
he is the magic, the regal bird
who, dying, rhymes the soul in his song.

 

This winged aristocrat displays
white lilies on a blue field;
and Pompadour, gracious and lovely,
has stroked his feathers.

 

He rows and rows on the lake
Where a golden gondola waits
For the sweetheart of Louis of Bavaria.

 

Countess, give the swans your love,
for they are gods of an alluring land
and are made of perfume and ermine,
of white light, of silk, and of dreams.

Ruben Darío

 
 

Photo: Bruce Weber

 
 

Carmen Dell’Orefice by Norman Parkinson, 1980

 
 

Swaroski logo

 
 

Bathyllus in the swan dance, Aubrey Beardsley

 
 

Henri Matisse making a study of a swan in the Bois de Boulogne, c. 1930

 
 

Advertisement illustrated by René Gruau

 
 

Illustration to Garcia Márquez’s short story Bon Voyage Mr. President, by Josie Portillo

 
 

Still from The Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

 
 

Anna Pavlova

 
 

Still from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (Bill Condon, 2011)

 
 

Helena Bonham Carter

 
 

Laetita Casta. Photo: Mario Testino

 
 

Uma Thurman and Mikahil Baryshnikov as The Swan Prince. Photo: Arthur Elgort

 
 

Truman Capote styled his beautiful and wealthy female friends “swans”

 
 

Accompained by Lee Radziwill and Jane Haward

 
 

With socialité Babe Paley in Paris

 
 

Escorting CZ Guest

 
 

Capote and Gloria Vanderbilt Lumet arrive at New York’s 54th Street Theatre for the opening performance of Caligula., 16 Feb 1960

 
 

Gloria Vanderbilt ad campaigns

 
 

Ludwig II (Luchino Visconti, 1972). He was sometimes called the Swan King

 
 

Mirror, Mirror (Tarsem Singh, 2012)

 
 

Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in The Great Gatsby (Jack Clayton, 1974)

 
 

Leonardo di Caprio. Photo: Annie Leibovitz

 
 

Madonna. Photo: David LaChapelle

 
 

David Bowie

 
 

Ad campaign featured in Vogue, January 1997

 
 

Tory Burch swan-print wedge sandalias

 
 

Swan Evening dress by Charles James, 1951

 
 

Kate Moss wearing a Givenchy gown by Ricardo Tisci, Spring-Summer collection 2011

 
 

Giles Deacon Spring-Summer 2012 collection

 
 

Erin O’Connor wearing a gown by Alexander McQueen. Photo: Tim Walker

 
 

Eglingham Children and Swan on Beach, Tim Walker, 2002