On the Set with Saks

Behind the scenes Saks Fifth Avenue’s 2012 Fall Campaign Shoot with Isabeli Fontana, Chanel Iman and Anja Rubik!

How do you tame 21 inflated spheres, with some reaching 10 feet high? The creative minds on set at the Saks Fifth Avenue’s Fall 2012 Campaign shoot did so with a lesson of their own. Lead by Saks’ own Chief Creative Officer Terron Schaefer with photography’s master of lighting Albert Watson. Terron’s inspiration came from the simplistic compositions of world renowned German Photographer Horst P. Horst and the ideas of The World’s Fair, in particularly Brussels Atomium and New York’s Perisphere in Flushing Meadow Park. Terron Schaefer, Saks Chief Creative Officer “The Atomium is a structure of links, it meant linking one idea to the next. That’s how I see Saks. It’s about connecting and as a company. Good design is about pure geometry and…

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How do you tame 21 inflated spheres, with some reaching 10 feet high? The creative minds on set at the Saks Fifth Avenue’s Fall 2012 Campaign shoot did so with a lesson of their own. Lead by Saks’ own Chief Creative Officer Terron Schaefer with photography’s master of lighting Albert Watson.

Terron’s inspiration came from the simplistic compositions of world renowned German Photographer Horst P. Horst and the ideas of The World’s Fair, in particularly Brussels Atomium and New York’s Perisphere in Flushing Meadow Park.

Terron Schaefer, Saks Chief Creative Officer

“The Atomium is a structure of links, it meant linking one idea to the next. That’s how I see Saks. It’s about connecting and as a company. Good design is about pure geometry and we own the square with ‘@Saks’ and it made sense to use a sphere in this campaign. It’s about positive and negative. Working with all the creative minds is the most fun. Choosing people you know and trust is always something I look forward to.”

Pep Gay, Make-up Artist

“Both Isabeli Fontana and Chanel Iman have such a big presence so the idea was more about accentuating their personality and characters. They’re so beautiful, you really don’t need a lot and just little touch-ups to make them look polished and glamorous.”

Marco Santini, Hair Stylist

“Isabeli Fontana has been around for such a long time and when I see her work through the years, I feel she looks best when her has soft accents. For Isabeli’s look I looked at a lot of 60’s Italian movies. The casualness looked soft and sexy and that is what I wanted to recreate with Isabeli.”

I like staying open minded when I come to sets. Even if the opinions of others differ from mine, it’s a creative process to come up with a good compromise. Ultimately, you have to work with the girl and make the most of her beauty.

Timothy Biel, Set Stylist

“Spheres are perfect. They are complete and whole. Spheres and circles have a different presence. It’s a brilliant prop.  When Terron showed me the photographs of Horst P. Horst I thought of large pearls. How beautiful they would be, blown up and monumental. Instead we had these spheres custom made and this became a modern urban architecture.”

Photographed by Isauro Martinez-Cairo

 

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Fashion Star: Season 1, Episode 10

Terron gives his takes on episode ten of Fashion Star

The Fashion Star season has come to a close. But there are a few more winners to announce. Get ready for the most prestigious awards dedicated exclusively to Tuesday nights on NBC: The First Annual Terron Awards. Insiders call them The Terrys. Click here if you missed the mid-season preview.     Best Designer in a Leading Role: Kara Laricks Kara developed a signature style and blossomed into a thoughtful, envelope-pushing designer in just a few short weeks. She was bought by all three retailers and was far more consistent than any of her competitors. And to think, she was almost a goner on day one. Pick up something from her extraordinary debut capsule collection here.   Best Runway Show: Nicole Richie’s Winter Kate Collection It’s hard to…

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The Fashion Star season has come to a close. But there are a few more winners to announce. Get ready for the most prestigious awards dedicated exclusively to Tuesday nights on NBC: The First Annual Terron Awards. Insiders call them The Terrys. Click here if you missed the mid-season preview.

 

 

Best Designer in a Leading Role: Kara Laricks

Kara developed a signature style and blossomed into a thoughtful, envelope-pushing designer in just a few short weeks. She was bought by all three retailers and was far more consistent than any of her competitors. And to think, she was almost a goner on day one. Pick up something from her extraordinary debut capsule collection here.

 

Best Runway Show: Nicole Richie’s Winter Kate Collection

It’s hard to match the bombast of fireworks, or the excitement of a Cirque de Soleil-style acrobat tumbling onto the stage during a fashion show. But the most enchanting runway belonged to Nicole Richie in Episode 9. There were bright colors, bare feet and Slumdog Millionaire sounds. The lanterns lining the stage were pretty—somehow matching the dance-floor lighting of the set.

Shopper’s Choice Award: Orly Shani’s Zip Skirt

It’s fun and flirty. It sold out in a flash. And as a wise mentor with her own clothing empire once said, “Everybody loves a two-fer.” Orly Shani’s versatile skirt wins the shopper’s choice award for the most coveted single item of the entire season.

Best Hair: Jessica Simpson’s Branded Bangs
This was a surprise win for the new mom, as she beat out strong competition from Kara Laricks’s mohawk and LMFAO’s fork-in-the-socket blowout. The win was sealed when Jessica found me backstage and proceeded to rip off her bangs, which had “Jessica Simpson©” on the back. It was her 26th fashion license. Which leads us to a philosophical question: is it or is it not Jessica’s own hair if she designed it and has her name sewn into it?

Biggest Flirts: Nicole Richie and Nzimiro Oputa
Nicole Richie had to fend off Jessica Simpson and half the audience for the affections of dapper Detroiter Nzimiro Oputa. By the end, “Nzimimi” was bragging about wearing Ms. Richie’s pantyhose as a spring scarf. No contest here.

Such Sweet Sorrow

Yes, Fashion Star has ended for the season. So it’s back to my day job, covering the fashion world beyond the walls of an L.A. soundstage (Spring 2013 is almost here, if you can believe that). If you miss me, I’ll be posting here on SaksPOV.com.

 

MORE:

Watch Online: Missed the show? Watch it online!

Terron’s Takes: Terron gives his takes for each episode of Fashion Star.

Visit us on Facebook: Meet mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos — and sign up for updates.

Shop the Looks: Shop the winning styles from every episode of Fashion Star.


Fashion Star: Season 1, Episode 9

Before They Were Stars: Terron gives his takes on episode nine of Fashion Star

I first met Nzimiro, Kara and Ronnie in less-than-glamorous circumstances. My fellow buyers and I sat in a little room at an airport hotel in L.A. for hours on end. Dozens of designers would walk in, with each getting just 15 minutes to introduce themselves and their design aesthetic. Of course, there was a huge one-way mirror with NBC producers behind it, giving the entire situation the feeling of a police lineup. FIRST IMPRESSION OF RONNIE: Ronnie didn’t really stand out at the time, though he may have had the strongest design background of anyone in the competition. In addition to his current position at Abercrombie, Ronnie had worked for Zac Posen and Chado Ralph Rucci—two designers that we sell at Saks. I also noticed that…

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I first met Nzimiro, Kara and Ronnie in less-than-glamorous circumstances. My fellow buyers and I sat in a little room at an airport hotel in L.A. for hours on end. Dozens of designers would walk in, with each getting just 15 minutes to introduce themselves and their design aesthetic. Of course, there was a huge one-way mirror with NBC producers behind it, giving the entire situation the feeling of a police lineup.

FIRST IMPRESSION OF RONNIE: Ronnie didn’t really stand out at the time, though he may have had the strongest design background of anyone in the competition. In addition to his current position at Abercrombie, Ronnie had worked for Zac Posen and Chado Ralph Rucci—two designers that we sell at Saks. I also noticed that he had served in the Navy.

FIRST IMPRESSION OF NZIMIRO: Nzimiro came across as someone still very new to the design world. He was an engineer with great energy, and needless to say has come a long way since our original encounter. But at the time, I was worried about his ability to create clothes that would fit in at Saks Fifth Avenue. The proof? Here’s the initial sheet I filled out on Nzimiro (note that the show didn’t even have a name yet).

FIRST IMPRESSION OF KARA: Kara was one of the last designers of the night—a big disadvantage when you consider that the buyers were exhausted and more than a little cranky as the hour approached 1am. To her credit, Kara was relentlessly positive from the beginning. I was most struck by our similar influences. Kara spoke about being inspired by Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Alexandre McQueen and Jil Sander—all designers that I admire.

Nice Makes Right

One final note to all the aspiring designers out there. Notice how all three finalists are charming, humble and—dare I say it—nice? If you’re going to get your label off the ground, you’ve got to work with so many people: retail buyers, PR agents, customers, pattern-makers, party promoters, magazine editors, Cirque de Soleil performers flying above your runway show, and the list goes on. It may seem like design is all attitude, but a sunny disposition does wonders when you’re trying to get a large number of people to believe in your vision.

Last Looks from Orly and Nikki

Though they didn’t make it to the finals, I’m excited about the looks we bought this week. Nikki’s form-fitting candy cane of a dress is ideal for hot summer days, and Orly’s hourglass sheath is feminine but strikingly simple. Both are available now at saks.com.

 

MORE:

Watch Online: Missed the show? Watch it online!

Terron’s Takes: Terron gives his takes for each episode of Fashion Star.

Visit us on Facebook: Meet mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos — and sign up for updates.

Shop the Looks: Shop the winning styles from every episode of Fashion Star.


Fashion Star: Season 1, Episode 8

Terron gives his takes on episode eight of Fashion Star

This week’s challenge was my favorite: creating advertising images to represent a brand. Fashion advertising is unique in its aspiration to create true works of art—witness the photographs of Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Albert Watson, and the list goes on. Great fashion ads are in the eye of the beholder, but there are a few general rules. 1. You must have a strong point of view, as well as the skill and courage to convey it.  Brand guru Peter Arnell came up with this campaign for Donna Karan in 1992. The images are amazing, but there was genius in the decision to simply visualize a female presidency—an idea whose time had come. 2. Be bold and graphic in your choice of…

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This week’s challenge was my favorite: creating advertising images to represent a brand. Fashion advertising is unique in its aspiration to create true works of art—witness the photographs of Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Albert Watson, and the list goes on. Great fashion ads are in the eye of the beholder, but there are a few general rules.

1. You must have a strong point of view, as well as the skill and courage to convey it. 

Brand guru Peter Arnell came up with this campaign for Donna Karan in 1992. The images are amazing, but there was genius in the decision to simply visualize a female presidency—an idea whose time had come.

2. Be bold and graphic in your choice of themes, shapes and colors. 

One of my all-time favorites is Guy Bourdin, a tortured artist of the first order. His images for Charles Jourdan shoes were never quite about shoes—but they would stop you in your tracks.

3. Insist on the best talent. That goes for the photographer, model, stylist, makeup…everything.

A few years ago, we wanted to develop a propaganda-themed trend campaign for Saks. So we hired street artist Shepard Fairey (who went on to create the legendary Barack Obama poster). The campaign garnered an immense amount of attention and press, both positive and negative. But as I said on Fashion Star: if the advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is immaterial.


Kara and Luciana

The two strongest ad campaigns on Fashion Star happened to feature the two strongest looks (no surprise there). I thought Kara’s genderless world concept worked beautifully. It was all yin-and-yang, black-and-white, with a precisely tailored tuxedo shirt as the star.

Luciana’s ad conveyed her personality, style and vision with an energy that was quite impressive. I wondered why the trees were all dead in a spring ad, but they did allow the dress’s bold print to grab all the attention.

Both looks are available here right now.

Until next week,

 

MORE:

Watch Online: Missed the show? Watch it online!

Terron’s Takes: Terron gives his takes for each episode of Fashion Star.

Visit us on Facebook: Meet mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos — and sign up for updates.

Shop the Looks: Shop the winning styles from every episode of Fashion Star.


Fashion Star: Season 1, Episode 7

Terron gives his takes on episode seven of Fashion Star

Fashion Star is a competition between designers. But there’s an interesting sub-plot: the weekly face-off between the buyers and mentors. We’re not technically competing, of course. But like many up-and-coming designers, the Fashion Star contestants have to decide whose advice to take. Do you trust the owners of other design businesses? Or the buyers who have the final say on whether or not to purchase your clothes? Fashion Star gives us a way to compare, because the mentors save someone every week and the buyers dismiss someone every week. So… Who Has Done the Best Job So Far? The Mentors (Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, Nicole Richie) or the Buyers (Caprice Willard, Terron Schaefer, Nicole Christie). Tell me in the comments section below. What It’s Like…

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Fashion Star is a competition between designers. But there’s an interesting sub-plot: the weekly face-off between the buyers and mentors. We’re not technically competing, of course. But like many up-and-coming designers, the Fashion Star contestants have to decide whose advice to take. Do you trust the owners of other design businesses? Or the buyers who have the final say on whether or not to purchase your clothes?

Fashion Star gives us a way to compare, because the mentors save someone every week and the buyers dismiss someone every week. So…

Who Has Done the Best Job So Far?

The Mentors (Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, Nicole Richie) or the Buyers (Caprice Willard, Terron Schaefer, Nicole Christie). Tell me in the comments section below.

What It’s Like to Be a Judge

I spoke with W Magazine on the topic. You can find the interview here.

The Elimination

Sarah Parrott will not be our Fashion Star. From a buyer’s standpoint, this was an easy decision. Sarah started criticizing her own work, which is usually a bad idea. But this wasn’t just a case of an artist being self-critical. Sarah’s designs could have gone on sale to the American public in a matter of minutes. It was a terrible time to give viewers reasons not to buy her work.

I’m not downplaying honesty and self-reflection. But confidence in your design decisions is essential. Without it, you can get bogged down in second-guessing and general creative paralysis, making it nearly impossible for an up-and-coming designer to handle the workload.

Look around at the world’s most successful designers. They may have some, ahem, quirky personality traits. But a lack of self-confidence is rarely one of them.

Life is Tweet

Kara’s elegant shorts look is available here right now. As for next week’s winner, you can let me know how much you adore/despise it in real time. I’ll be live-tweeting @Saks during the show.

 

MORE:

Watch Online: Missed the show? Watch it online!

Terron’s Takes: Terron gives his takes for each episode of Fashion Star.

Visit us on Facebook: Meet mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos — and sign up for updates.

Shop the Looks: Shop the winning styles from every episode of Fashion Star.