Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-At-Large, Barneys

“I grew up in this grody town just outside of London called Reading, which was an industrial kind of town back then. The environment was so gritty and postwar—there wasn’t an abundance of anything. But from an early age I was interested in fashion and glamour, and my mom was a big believer in maquillage. She was a lot more put together than the other mothers on our street…her style was very 1940s and she kind of looked like Bette Davis, with the upswept rolled hair and the overpainted lips. She always wore a longline girdle even though she was really skinny, and she smoked. She was a very film noir chick.

The ’50s were still very grim, but then in the ’60s, everything went into Technicolor. My mom used to get magazines, and one that she subscribed to was Nova, which was very avant-garde. When she would get her hair done, I would sit and read it. It was very far out—that whole English flamboyance. You’d see Rod Stewart and he’d be wearing an Ossie Clark blouse with satin trousers. Around that time I became very focused on buying clothes. Back then your parents didn’t give you money, you had to get a job, so when I was 16 I got a job in a cork factory making bottle tops. I was like, ‘Great! Now I can go into London and buy clothes!’ I worked for awhile and then got it in my head that I was going to go to college—my parents hadn’t gone, but I had great O Level results, and I got into Manchester University. I went for psychology and art history. It was great because Manchester was much bigger than Reading, and it was kind of like a gateway to living in London.

After college, I worked at a department store in my town called John Lewis with my friend who looked like Ziggy Stardust. We moved to London together to have a fabulous time—we were really focused on being groovy and having certain clothes and going to certain places. I worked in a shop near Savile Row selling women’s fashion, and my friend became a cross-dressing cabaret artist. We got to know all kinds of people…a lot of my friends back then worked for Zandra Rhodes, and I also got to know a lot of people who did window display. I thought that would be something I would like to do since being a salesperson got boring. I did a lot of freelance work on Portabella Road and Savile Row—I would go in and say, ‘Who does your windows?’ I did that for Shirley Russell, who had a shop selling and renting vintage clothes. She had Schiaparelli and Fortuny dresses—incredible things! Another job I had was for Tommy Nutter, who was a very trendy tailor on Savile. Mick Jagger wore a Tommy Nutter suit when he married Bianca. I did a window that was proto-punk with stuffed rats and trash cans and these very glamorous tuxedos. This guy came in and said, ‘I like your window, you should come work for me in LA.’ I told my roommate and he said, ‘Where’s LA?’ And I said ‘I’m not sure.’ But I ended up going!

So, I went to LA to work at Maxfield. People said to me, ‘You’ll never get your green card because they don’t give them to gay people.’ It was open discrimination. On the form it said, ‘Are you homosexual?’ That disqualified you from getting a green card! Of course, I lied. I worked at Maxfield for Tommy Perse, who is a brilliant fashion retailer. Maxfield is and was one of the greatest, most brilliant owner-operated stores. Everyone from Cher to Natalie Wood to Fleetwood Mac would shop there. They paid full retail! That was a mistake, giving clothes to celebrities, because they are the only people who really need them. I always thought that was a bad move. I find kissing a celebrity’s ass utterly unbearable, I don’t know how people do it.

I worked there for eight years and then this friend of mine said to me, ‘We should go to New York and volunteer to work with Diana Vreeland at the Costume Institute.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding! I’m an accomplished display person, I’m not volunteering anywhere!’ I went there and I actually talked my way into a paying job working on the Costumes of Royal India exhibit. I slept on a friend’s floor and worked at the Costume Institute. It was a four month gig. Back then, at the opening reception, anybody could buy a hundred dollar dessert ticket, so you would get to go to the Met for the party after dinner ended. Hundreds of people did it. All these fashion riffraffs would buy these hundred-dollar tickets and storm the place! It was so fun. It was there that my friend introduced me to Gene Pressman, who owned Barneys. He said, ‘I’m familiar with your work at Maxfield, you should come to work for me.’

By then I was 33, so I thought, ‘Maybe I should get a grown-up job and medical insurance and all that stuff.’ I relocated and moved to New York and I’ve been here for 30 years. I was in charge of windows [when I first started out at Barneys]. Then I worked in advertising and store design. I was Creative Director for most of my time at Barneys and now I’m Creative Ambassador-at-Large–since 2010. It’s more of a PR-oriented position, you know, hosting events and talking to press. It was my dream job. It still is!

My book [Confessions of a Window Dresser] came out in 1998 and really started my career as a writer. I wrote columns for the New York Observer for 10 years and I’ve written six books. Fashion is hard to write about because it’s very much a visual thing. I like writing about humorous things, like culture. I write culture for Slate now—I just wrote about the anniversary of the Valley of the Dolls. I never thought I’d be a writer. My career has been about jumping on things and being thrown into them. It’s a millennial thing to have this sweeping vision of your future and your career. No wonder you all have anxiety disorders! It must be horrendous to live with that. For my generation we were all like, ‘Oh, that could be groovy and fun…’ It was about low expectation, good work ethic, and a willingness to throw yourself at anything, basically. The real focus was what you were going to do on Friday night! I think it’s the opposite now.

I know the beauty world inside and out—I used to write all the copy for the cosmetics mailer for years. And Barneys beauty is legendary. We launched François Nars! But I’m a believer that nothing is important. I use this Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm, but I use it for everything—if my face is a bit dry I slap it on my face because I can’t be bothered. I once had a facial and I thought I was going to die! I thought someone was clog dancing on my face. I go to this fantastic woman, Grace Pak, once a year, and she just slashes off anything that’s problematic. I’ll be with a group of friends and they’ll say, ‘Your skin looks great!’ and I’ll be like, ‘What did it look like the last time? Like shit?’ I just don’t think that way. I’m lucky that I’m aging OK and I don’t think that [having plastic surgery] is serving my interest at all. I think men look fine when they’re craggy.

In the shower, I’ll wash my hair once or twice a week with Aesop Shampoo—and I get it on my face, and that’s enough [to wash my face]. I’m so feral! I was raised by wolves. I use Vitaman Hold Factor 2 Pomade to style my hair. I put some on my hands, warm it up a bit and then push it into my hair. The less you do your hair the better, I think, for men…it can look very artificial. If I were going bald I would do a hat or like a Warhol wig, where it’s a wig and everyone knows it’s a wig, and not some surreptitious toupée, which I think is really cringe-making. I would get a wig that’s blue. I used to love to throw on a colored wig!

I go to the gym every day, but I also do tai chi. It’s more meditative and great for your posture. The way to look and feel young is through physical exercise. That, to me, is more important. I love to paddleboard, bike and run, but I do the stairs and elliptical. I’m one of those annoying people who enjoy it. I learned [tai chi] from this wonderful guy called Dr. Lam on the internet because it’s not so complex. He’s based in Australia and everything I’ve learned to this point I’ve learned from looking at the computer. I think it’s one of those things that you don’t fully understand until you’re over 60. It’s both a health thing and a vanity thing. I’ve never eaten junk food, and I also take a lot of vitamin D.

I never got into makeup. I plucked my eyebrows—that’s it! It was the glam rock [era] and I had a unibrow! I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I should pluck them,’ because I loved Roxy Music and Bowie, and they were all full-on with the makeup. I always wished that I had [been into makeup]. I was always in a hurry, but I admired when people would do amazing makeup. It wasn’t because I thought it was feminine—I thought it was great! I would sit and get makeup done for those VH1 appearances and then they would say, ‘Don’t you want to look at yourself?’ And I would be like, ‘Oh. Right. I should, I guess.’ I’m not vain, really.

I’m still very into glam rock. I’ll wear sweatpants and a t-shirt when I go to the gym, but never out. I never have anxiety about what I’m going to wear. I understand it, but that’s the thing with fashion today—there isn’t one way to dress. You just have to self-invent and self-create. People care very little about what you’re wearing. I think it’s self-indulgent to stress about how you look—just throw it on! No one really cares, so just have fun with it.”

—as told to ITG

Simon Doonan photographed by Tom Newton at his home in New York on February 1, 2016.

Read about how Oribe got his start as a hair salon receptionist and how Linda Rodin mixed her first Olio Lusso in a coffee mug in The Professional.

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Romain Duquesne, Photographer & Anna Santangelo, Stylist

Last month, we launched Milky Jelly Cleanser, after more than a year of development and hundreds of suggestions from our lovely community of readers. But product development is only part of the story—there’s still the campaign, the casting, the styling…everything that makes Milky Jelly into a world. Today, meet two key players in the final stages of Milky Jelly: Romain and Anna. Best friends from Australia, they photographed and styled those great photos of Georgie that live on Here they talk about careers, inspiration, and why your best friends can also be your mentors (and vice-versa): 

Romain Duquesne, Photographer: I grew up in a little country town of 7,000 people in western Australia, and I hated it so much. As a teenager I was like, ‘I need to escape, I need to do something with my life.’ So I moved to Perth, and then Sydney, and now I’m based in London.

Anna Santangelo, Stylist: I lived in Australia too, but I have an identity crisis about where I’m ‘from.’ I was born in California, and then when I was 15 I moved to Sydney and now I’m back in the States, but on the other side—New York. Being in Orange County feels like it’s a past life when I talk about it! My dad worked for a company at the time that brought us over [to Sydney]. We were only meant to stay for a year and then the next thing we knew, we were there for 13 years. It’s very much home.

Romain: I remember being this little country kid and saying to my mom, ‘Hey mom, I’m going to be a fashion photographer! I’m going to move to this city and this city and then I’m going to end up in Europe!’ She was like, ‘Cool, great.’ I don’t think she really believed me at the time, but I proved her wrong, didn’t I?

Anna: I wish I had that clear of a path! My younger sister was like that—she was one of those kids who knew exactly what they want to do.

Romain: You’re like, ‘Did I make the right decision?’ Because you’re so young. But I just love photography, so it worked out. I first started taking photos when I was 14, and I ended up going to college and studying photo.

Anna: I actually went to school for science and anatomy. My dad was a marine biologist at a university and I’m the oldest of three girls, so I think he was like, ‘Yes! One of my girls is going to be a scientist!’ Then, as amazing as the degree was, it kind of didn’t resonate with me as something that I wanted to do. But I was always inspired by styling. I’ve always liked the idea of visually expressing things with clothes and the ability to show them in a way that’s not conventionally the way one might wear them.

So I didn’t go to school for styling, but I feel like assisting is the best way you can get experience. My first assisting job was for a magazine called Madison. In Sydney it was like one of the Bauhaus Media ones, kind of commercial. I was stuck in this little closet making labels and cleaning adhesive off of shoes and I was like, ‘What is my life?’ But that was the first thing I ever did working for someone else. I assisted quite a few stylists in Sydney, no one really prolific, but a lot of the people that I really looked up to in Australia had already made the move over here, like Stevie Dance. After that I started doing my own thing and for me it was very important to work with someone that I felt inspired by.

When I moved to New York I got the opportunity to assist Karl Templer. I had just moved here, hadn’t even bought a bed yet, and I was going for an interview with Karl! I was freaking out. The interview was intimidating, but you get a tougher skin. I got the job and my first shoot with him was for a Vogue Italia cover with Steven Meisel. It was definitely jumping in the deep end.

Romain: I’d only been in Sydney for three years before I started shooting for Oyster. When I met with the fashion editor at the time we just got along so well and we kept working on so many shoots together. I feel honored to have received so much support from her at a time no one else was really that interested. She saw something, and that was great. Anna’s been working with Oyster longer than I have. I only met her in December of 2014. We did a few shoots with Oyster just in the beginning of the year before she moved. And we always say that we wish we would have met sooner. When we started working together, it was like… You know how you meet those people and you just click? We have similar styles, but just enough that she pushes me and I push her and we create something a little bit different than what we are both used to.

Anna: We speak to each other like mentors.

Romain: It’s true! Our friendship is really good because we tell each other about the good sides and the bad sides. Both of us are always there for the other. There’s so many great creatives on top of their game, but I’m much more into working with Anna. I think that working together on the same level, you’re not dealing with a person’s ego, so you can progress together and push each other and that’s a really healthy relationship.

It’s not hard to stay inspired when you love what you do. There’s no method, it’s just your life. There are days when it’s harder to get the ideas, of course, but I’m always quite keen to do it. A while ago I did a beauty story for a magazine and I was given a reference for Glossier’s first campaign and I thought, ‘Cool, I like this!’ Of course I wasn’t going to copy it. I wanted to do my own version.

Anna: There was a magazine in Australia that contacted me not long after I moved here, and they wanted to do a feature on Annie [Kreighbaum]. It was a very small editorial operation, so they organized a meeting for me to come to Glossier and meet her. I came in and I noticed the moodboards on the wall and so many images were Romain’s! I was like, ‘Annie, can I please take a photo of your moodboard and send these to Romain?’ She was like, ‘I really love his work!’ And I was like, ‘I know him and he’s moving to London, I can put you in touch!’

Romain: When Anna told me that I was like, OK! A few weeks later I messaged Emily saying, ‘Hey, I’m moving to London in a few weeks and I would love to work with you guys one day.’ She cc’d me on an email with Annie and Annie said, ‘OK, great! Let’s work on something together!’ It’s a small world, right?

In Australia, the market overall is very commercial, so making the move to London was the right choice for me. Even with the weather—it’s better for my personal work. That’s what inspires me…to be in a place where I’m not held back from shooting whatever I like. For inspiration, both Anna and I have been saying that we don’t want to look at fashion photography anymore. We’ll send each other films that we like watching or snippets of films or go to galleries. For me it’s walking down the street. The industry is very saturated with people shooting very similar styles and, as much as that is beautiful, we are all being subconsciously influenced by the same things.

Anna: There’s so much to be inspired by! I was never really a huge movie watcher until quite recently, but there are so many things that I want to shoot now that are inspired by film. I’ve always liked to dissect things that are very small and seemingly not important to people, but maybe that’s the science background in me.

—as told to ITG

Romain Duquesne and Anna Santangelo photographed by Tom Newton.

See the full Milky Jelly campaign (and discover the whole story behind the launch) here. Or read about the careers of Oribe, Sarah Brown, and others in ITG’s The Professional.

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Michael Gordon, Editor In Chief, Hairstory

“I left school at 15 to apprentice in this salon in London—this was in the mid-1960s and things were changing. The culture was moving from this older world into this newer world of arts and music, and everything was exploding. I had no interest in hair, but I didn’t know what else to do—I wanted to be a race-car driver, I just didn’t know how to make that happen. But I hadn’t excelled in anything at school, and my mother did hair, and we had a comfortable income, so I became a hairdresser. I was this kid working in an extremely prestigious salon with women who were just breathtaking. My education really came through listening to them talk about their world, and then I discovered magazines. I read American Vogue, which was much more powerful during those days. Between the magazines and the people who were coming in, I was learning about how to create an aspirational, innovative, exciting culture and ambience.

There was another salon that was the hottest place in London, called Leonard of Mayfair. It was a modern version of the place I trained at—which was more traditional—so I eventually went to go work there. When I was there, one of the hairdressers was leaving to open his own place, and I found myself fantasizing about opening up a salon…Why would somebody want to work there? What kind of clients would it attract? I would casually daydream about those kinds of things—things that I didn’t like about traditional salons.

I was 21 at the time, and I thought that someone had to be 30 to be successful, so I was like, how am I going to get there? I was addicted to yoga at the time, and I’d visited Johannesburg, South Africa the previous year and loved it, so I decided to move there to study yoga. While I was down there, I decided to open a salon, which would support me while I studied. The salon was called Bumble and bumble, and in five years we moved around to three different locations until we settled somewhere.

[The name] Bumble was kind of like a joke. It was like, I trained at the house of Renée, which was very serious, and the house of Leonard, which was also very serious. They were kind of uncomfortable and pretentious-sounding, so I would never have put my name on something. Whereas Bumble is disarming, in an illogical kind of way. If you’re a schoolteacher or a housewife and you walk into the house of Leonard, you feel like you don’t really belong there. Bumble made it OK for everyone and that’s what I like. In the ’60s there were the Beatles and the Stones, and there was this irreverent postwar kind of fuck-you-who-gives-a-shit sensibility. It was charming. So that was the name. We had just moved to the third location—some of my clients were interior designers and had designed it, and it was fantastic—but I decided to leave Johannesburg at that point. I wanted to make things better…it was never good enough. I wasn’t dissatisfied, I just wasn’t satisfied.

In the ’70s, somebody convinced me to come to New York, saying that it was the best place to go…but it was the worst place. I came here, didn’t know anybody, and bought a dump on 57th Street. That was hairdressers row and I was the guy who came from nowhere. It was a very old-fashioned-looking space, so I painted it and tried to make it look better. After about a year and a half later, we got a write-up in Vogue and in the newspaper, and suddenly I was really busy. My strategy was different than most places—it was about having a downtown atmosphere, but uptown. And we were much more affordable than the other uptown salons. Bumble was just a different culture.

We kept getting more and more publicity, and I was always attracting people to do editorial for us. One of the people we had at that point was Orlando Pita. I would watch him work and I started thinking, ‘We need to make products that he wants to use.’ So I decided we would make six or eight products. There was the Seaweed Shampoo and Seaweed Conditioner, which still exist, and then we had Brilliantine—editorial people liked it—and the Thickening Spray, which was kind of starchy. What was not traditional was that most hair companies made their bread and butter from shampoo and conditioner, but we were the reverse—it was all about style. It became hip to get your hair done at Bumble, and then the products just took on a life of their own. There were a few products in 1992, but we became Bumble [the company] in 1996. At that point, we were on Estée Lauder’s radar—they were already buying up Aveda and MAC. Leonard Lauder called me one day—he was very charming, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s good’—and in 2000 he bought a majority stake in Bumble.

In 2003 we were building our place on 13th Street, and that was something that really annoyed Estée Lauder. I didn’t use their realtor and instead used a downtown broker that I liked, so they were pissed off about that. They were like, ‘What are you doing on 13th Street with all these meat people?’ I thought it was great! We would just do things that other companies didn’t do. But at some point there’s a resentment that’s built-up because I wouldn’t fill in expense reports, I wouldn’t do all the things they did, or go to their parties. I needed to leave and do something new.

After I sold the rest of my shares, I rested for a while. When I came out of hibernation, I decided things should be different. So I started a new line of products, Hairstory. I had a sneaking suspicion that something was up with shampoo. I kept saying, ‘Can you make it gentler?’ Nobody even though it was possible to do. The thinking was that Bumble had 15 shampoos that were basically all the same. Why does L’Oréal have 30? Why do they have conditioners? Why do they have all this stuff? Because they think they’ll sell more. Nobody needs all these products—nobody needs shampoo, but hair companies all have the same silly marketing plan and they copy each other, so there’s nothing original. All shampoo, from $2.99 to $100, is essentially water and sulfate and stuff. The ‘stuff’ is meaningless, it’s fragrances.

Detergent is bad for your hair and bad for your scalp and it is the cause of why you need to use conditioner and why you need to add stuff to give it some body…It’s this cycle. If you don’t use detergent on your skin, why would you use it on your scalp? Your scalp is even more sensitive. After the underneath of the tongue it’s the most absorbent area in your whole body for toxins. We have oils which gently remove accumulation, and then your hair feels fantastic without the conditioner because you didn’t do the damage in the first place. The line won’t be more than six or seven products. Do they work on pretty much everyone in the world? Yeah, they do. Does it mean that they’ll be a huge success? I have no idea. That’s what makes me excited.”

—as told to ITG

Michael Gordon photographed by Tom Newton in his home in New York on January 6, 2015.

Discover the careers and trajectories of hair’s biggest legends, like Didier Malige and Danilo, in The Professional.

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Stephen Galloway, Creative Movement Director

“I was born in Columbia, Tennessee, but I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. That’s where I started dancing and appreciating fashion and that kind of thing. I used to organize fashion shows with the neighborhood kids in my grandfather’s backyard…because my grandmother was a seamstress, she always had tons of clothing around. It was really funny, because she said I would be very, very strict—you had to be there at a certain time, you had to walk a certain way, you had to follow the rules—or I’d send you home! I would literally say, you have to go. Unfortunately, without pay…you know, thats how hardcore it was back then! [Laughs]

I came from a kind of hyper-creative family. My father’s side was very creative, and my mother’s side was much more academic. My mother worked at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, which was also a super huge influence in my upbringing. They had this program called the Culture House and you could learn photography, sculpture, painting, anything. I wanted to become a painter. But one day some of the choreographers came to our class and they said they needed boys for an upcoming performance. So all the guys went to be in the dance performance. I’ll never forget—it was a very basic routine. And what happened was I loved it so much that they said, ‘Well, why don’t you stay?’ So I basically switched from painting to dance. We had these amazing teachers from California and New York who all became my friends. I often feel very, very blessed that I didn’t have that type of teaching where it was beat into you. It was all taught through love.

At 15 I got a scholarship to study dance at the Harkness House in New York, and after the scholarship they wanted me to join the Harkness Ballet. Back in my day, if you weren’t in a company by 17, your career was over. My mom said, ‘You know what? I don’t feel right about this. I want you to think really, really hard. You’re going to miss your last year of high school.’ And for some reason, I agreed to hold off. I finished high school and did a lot of great performances with my school at the time. And the Harkness House closed five months later! It would have been a disaster. Meanwhile, a lot of American dancers were leaving to go dance in Europe. And I had all these great French teachers, so when I was 17, I used all of my scholarship money to move to Europe.

I auditioned for one company in Brussels but they didn’t have a contract for me for that year, because I didn’t even know how to audition, basically. I didn’t know that when I would go to a dance audition, the contract would actually be for the next year. They said, ‘Why don’t you go to Stuttgart? Maybe they’ll have a contract for you now and you can dance with them for one year and then come back and join me in the next year.’ So I went to Stuggart and auditioned with Marcia Haydée, a hero of mine. I stayed there for a whole week, and I took class, and I was like, you know what? Forget Brussels, I want to work here. But she didn’t have a contract for me either. So she said you can to go to Frankfurt for one year, which is only an hour-and-a-half by train.

Then I went to go see William Forsythe, who I’d never heard of, and he was at the height of his ‘enfant terrible’ attitude—he was the bad boy from America who was shaking everything up. He had just taken over the Frankfurt Ballet, which I was only interested in because it was close to Stuttgart. So I go in and I’m trying to take class, and Billy’s never there, and he keeps coming in at the end of class when it was all over, and I’m like, this is for the birds. I thought, I’m going to give this one more day. The next day he came and watched rehearsal and told me to stick around. He taught me this solo, which he had just taught at the Paris Opera. Then he gave me a contract to immediately start working. The rest is, unfortunately, as they say, history. Because I ended up absolutely loving my work with Billy—he taught me everything. We were literally trying to figure out how we could confuse ourselves every day we went into the studio. We never wanted to repeat ourselves. That’s kind of been my thinking in terms of how I approach a lot of things.

And then the whole thing with fashion started. Gianni [Versace] did costumes for three premieres for the Frankfurt Ballet—he would come to the first three rehearsals, then he’d go to Milan, design them, and have them produced. But little did he know that in that time in between, the ballet had completely changed! I was always watching the process, and that was one of the reasons often I think that Billy asked me to become the costume designer of the company. I really work with the dancers. Because I was a dancer, I understand what they need, and the changes of it—the piece is always growing, so I can’t just say, ‘OK, I’ll see you 2 weeks before the premiere,’ and that’s it.

Then I started working with fashion shows. I think the first time was with Issey Miyake, because he had done costumes for us, and of course I was obsessed. To have someone like that working on costumes specifically for me…I was wearing these incredible Issey Miyake pieces which no one else could wear! Then one day I received a call…‘We need someone to help us with the show, and Issey wanted to know if you would be interested.’ I was doing a lot of costume coordinating for him at the Frankfurt Ballet, and then I fell into doing all of his shows. I was art director for Issey Miyake for about five years.

Issey led to working with The Rolling Stones because, at the time, Mick was looking for someone who understood theatre, but also had an understanding of fashion. So all those things together kind of brought me to be able to work with him. And then I started working with Inez and Vinoodh…they’d come to Frankfurt Ballet performances, and I was such a freaky fan of theirs, so we developed this relationship long distance. I got a call one day and they were like, ‘We’re going to be doing this Calvin Klein thing,’ and they wanted to have me to come in and work on the model’s physicality and movement—it does not get any better than that.

I love Inez and Vinoodh because they’re able to create an atmosphere in the studio. Bruce [Weber] also does it, and so does Mario Testino—I just worked on a TV commercial with him and Karlie Kloss. There’s a whole different generation of photographers today who are used to only working digitally, and that’s very frustrating for me. It’ll take me 10 minutes to build their movement up, and then all of a sudden the photographer is spending 15 minutes checking on his computer while she’s standing there, the energy has completely dropped, and we have to start all over again. They’ve never had to shoot a Polaroid and wait to see how it’s turned out! The good photographers walk into it, and you shoot it, and you know it’s going to be right, so there’s no need for you to be checking it every step of the way.

I used to call myself a choreographer. But I realized what I’m doing on set, unless it’s specifically required of me, is not choreography. I’m directing a type of movement, and so my agent and I came up with the title Creative Movement Director. Let me tell you, within 24 hours of changing my title, all of a sudden, the clients went from being like, ‘We’re doing a hair commercial, why the fuck do we need a choreographer on set…?’ To… ‘We need to do this!’ The best models are always constantly in some stage of movement, and I work with them—Christy, Gisele, and Kate are all incredible. And now I’m getting more work with film, which is great, because it’s starting to become interesting to me. I’m getting requests from feature-length directors to collaborate on developing a movement vocabulary—how actors and actresses move. That’s really, really exciting.

As far as the dance scene is concerned here in the United States, it’s becoming extremely conservative. It’s literally reverting back to what it was years ago, because of money. People are not interested in taking risks anymore. The first four years of the Frankfurt Ballet were not successful, in terms of ticket sales or public, but they were beyond successful in terms of what we were able to experiment with—and only through experimentation are you able to develop. During the ‘80s and the ‘90s, you also had incredible heads-of-houses, artistic directors, who didn’t give a fuck about it being sold out…they wanted it to be new, they wanted to have great things happening, things that people had never seen before. And we don’t really have that anymore, because they just want a hit, and if it’s not a hit, then that director’s contract is up next season—his all-access pass is being revoked at the stage door because you’re going to get someone in who is able to push those numbers. But this thing with movement is it’s becoming super important—I read this one report that apparently like in 2019, almost like 40 percent of advertising will be digital, visual, video. We need to start getting this now, because it’s going to be everywhere. That fabulous campaign that you’re doing in Vogue Paris is now going to be a video on my phone, so you’ve got to turn the heat up a little bit more.”

—as told to ITG

Stephen Galloway photographed by Tom Newton in New York on October 12, 2015.

Watch the video that Stephen choreographed for Tom Ford’s Spring 2016 presentation—and read more of The Professional here.

The post Stephen Galloway, Creative Movement Director appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Dick Page, Makeup Artist

“I was born on the South Coast of England, near Portsmouth. We moved around a lot because my dad was in the Navy. We ended up Watford, north of London by ’77 and I was doing some makeup by the early ’80s. I was in a theatre group in school and we did everything for it—sets, costumes, and makeup were sort of an afterthought. It was that DIY thing, which was very post-punk and New Wave-y. It was all, you know, just very make your own clothes and do your own music, cut your own hair because no one’s got money…

And then I moved to London in ’87, and I started coming to New York to work in the early ‘90s. I moved here—properly moved here—probably in ’94. At that point, a part of me knew [doing makeup] was a proper job because I did start buying English Vogue. Obviously someone was getting paid for it. I would read i-D magazine for as long as possible until getting thrown out of the shop! The magazine was very different than it is now—it had this kind of like rectangular format that was quite blocky, almost Xerox-y looking. A lot of the photos were just someone looking cool on the street, like the punks…and then in crept the pictures of Boy George before he was Boy George and all of those characters. I used to see Maria Cornejo in i-D—then a hundred years later we’re friends and we work together.

And then I started to apply myself to those magazines. You’d have to just call and show up and then no one would see you. I didn’t get any proper big magazine work in England until I started working in America. Every job before then was for places like a magazine in Bristol called Venue, and for the local newspaper. There really weren’t that many magazines back then, even compared to now. We talk about the death of print media. But there’s like more fucking magazines than you can shake a stick at. And there’s magazines I’ve never even heard of! Somehow they seem to have these incredible production values on nothing. There are some big magazines you can do work for—the big ones even—but you know, better bring a sandwich. They’re not going to feed you!

I didn’t assist either—I didn’t know that was an option. Because I also hadn’t had any formal training. I went to a beauty-aesthetic program but it was really, really archaic and old-fashioned…matching blue eyeshadow for blue eyes and this kind of stuff. It was really, really antique, and I thought, I’d just do better myself. And I did.

Eventually I started working more with The Face and i-D. I did the story with Kate [Moss] and Corinne [Day] and Lorraine Pascale. When I started working with Kate, she still lived at home in Croydon, and I lived in Brixton at the time. Her bus ride was a bit longer than mine, but I would always take the bus and get off in Brixton and meet her. This is going to sound schmaltzy and romantic—but so much of what we were doing was very homemade at the time, you know…How many people have a car? Who’s got a fashion clown car? Can we pile in it? How far can you go with it? What can you do? On no money. It’s not like that anymore. Juergen Teller probably held onto that way of doing things for as long as anybody. He still works in that way, even in big commercial projects where there’s going to be more of a crew. It’s tight and very personal, very individual. It hasn’t become this great movie set production.

My first fashion show was Calvin Klein. It was like the no-makeup makeup thing. That’s like a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. What I do is temporary. I’m not tied to it—or any style really, even though I might be known for a certain kind of thing. It washes off. And the photographic proof is generally not mine. I’m not talking myself out of a job because I think that’s the beauty of it. The freedom of it is that it doesn’t last. Even if you do exactly the same makeup every day for your entire life, it’s always different because it’s always new every time you put it on. It’s like Groundhog Day.

Once I started doing shows in New York, then people started asking for shows in Europe. But the shows then were not at all like the shows now. It was not a zoo. Obviously there were no such things as bloggers. And there were a handful of photographers. The only mainstream reporter was for CNN—plus Tim Blanks was probably doing something. Once or twice I got interviewed. In a way, I think it’s a terrible shame that backstage has become so important. There isn’t any mystery left to a show. I sound like a grandpa, but I like the idea of waiting for a magazine to see what happened at the shows. My sister is a nurse and she sees my work before I do. I’m backstage, and I’m still working on the girls, and then I’m on my way back from the show and she’ll text me and say, ‘Oh, Michael Kors looked lovely!’ And I’m like, ‘Good. Haven’t seen it…’

Anyone who does shows just knows there’s a raft of the cliché questions or directions you’ll get, and a big part of the training is how not to be a bastard about it. But if I had a penny for every time I heard ‘You know—like she did it herself…’ There’s some weird psychology here, but there’s a certain effect that people assume that the less that’s been done to the girl—in spite of her being this genetic anomaly in the first place because she’s six-feet tall and the perfect size—makes it somehow more authentic. Or, you know, they invoke Kate Moss, which is pointless. Invoking Kate is like saying Beetlejuice. It doesn’t mean anything, because it’s Kate. And you’re either Kate or you’re not. Every few years we hear, ‘Oh, she’s the new Kate Moss.’ Which probably happens in all media…’It’s the new X musician, the new Johnny Depp or whatever.’ Who cares. It’s the same with trends—they’re just mathematics and I won’t have anything to do with them. You have to rely on fashion’s goldfish memory that people don’t remember that we’ve done it 20, 30, 40 times before.

My work isn’t really about big gestures. Occasionally I’ll do something that’s a solid, identifiable stamp of something. Céline was like that with the blue eye. And that came from Phoebe—she liked the blue eye. She liked the red lip. And sometimes she liked them both. But the interesting thing is that we did that makeup on less than a quarter of the girls at the show. Most of them had no makeup on. So it just popped up. And that feeds into what I said before—makeup is ephemeral. It is transparent, it is temporary. That’s how I feel about my work—it’s just a temporary condition. And I don’t think it’s possible to have a complete vision in such a temporary medium. Makeup doesn’t exist until someone’s face. You fuck it up but it washes off. Everyone has 10 minutes to wait, so I take it off and start again.

As a makeup artist, you should be able to do everything. You may not have to do everything, but you should be able to. You will never have to create the Peggy Moffat eye with four pairs of false eyelashes, but you should be able to—because it’s what we do. You have that reserve of information and knowledge and hopefully frames of reference and understanding of at least some aspects of beauty and makeup history. Get a membership to the Met or the New Museum. Or the Whitney. You should be seeing everything. Films, sculpture, and great art. Have range and also keep moving. Never have an idle hand. Draw. If you’re not doing makeup, you should be drawing. You should be writing. A hand should always be mobile, should always be fluid. I just did it until I figured it out. Until I got it right.”

—as told to ITG

Dick Page photographed by Tom Newton in New York City.

Remember Dick Page’s look for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show last year? Check out that video here. Or, read more of The Professional (including career advice from Tom Pecheux). 

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