Beyoncé‘s style file
It’s something I love about Beyoncé; she’s always ready to get straight to work. She had chosen to wear four designers: Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Giorgio Armani and Australian Martin Grant. They were very lavish, very formal pieces, as Cate seems to fall into a shoot more comfortably if there is a sense of theatre about the clothes.
I had also organised for some very special and hugely expensive Tiffany jewels, necklaces and rings to be flown in, and they were there with their own bodyguard. Cate and I did the prerequisite try-on of all the clothes I had hanging in the dressing room until we settled on what she felt best in. I mentioned that I could hardly wait to see her in the upcoming Sydney Theatre Company production of A Streetcar Named Desire. ‘Oh no, don’t put so much pressure on me,’ Cate laughed. I was stunned to hear that even someone with the formidable talent of Cate Blanchett possessed an element of self-doubt. I voiced my surprise. ‘I often think I am Blanche DuBois,’ I confessed, admitting my penchant for complicated Tennessee Williams heroines. ‘You know, there’s a little bit of Blanche in all of us,’ Cate replied.
The process of the sitting was unusual in that the team, which included the amazing hairstylist Sam McKnight and makeup artist Dotti, would get Cate ready in full hair, makeup, clothes and accessories, and present her to David. Afterwards, we retired to my room, leaving them alone to capture the moment. Normally a shoot will have
at least ten people on set, but David’s work required intimacy, and a personal connection to his subject. Each sketch took approximately half an hour, after which David would summon us back to the suite to start over again. These were the initial drawings, which he would later work on and perfect to produce the final images. It felt rather old-school and marvellous. It was also, for me as an editor, a joy to have such a controllable process we could execute a headshot, a full length, a three-quarter length, whatever we desired, in the knowledge that every one of them would work. We could make them work. You cannot do that with film. You either get the shot, or you don’t. But with illustration, we could embellish, tweak, play. I felt well I hoped the reader would see them as a present. They were exquisite enough to be framed.
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Beyoncé‘s style 2015 Photo Gallery
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