Ford Models Blog


Tao Okamoto & Crystal Renn | Interview March 2011 by Damien Neva

The other week deep in the fog of the show season this story arrived in my inbox. Amidst a forest of exclamation marks and ASCII smileys it was apparent from the message that this was not just any Mert & Marcus masterpiece, nay, it was several hygrometer percentages sultrier. There is no shortage of bare flesh in the supposedly clothing-centric field of fashion photography (see also Purple Spring / Summer 2011), but that doesn’t necessarily translate into imagery that could be construed as even remotely seductive let alone artistic. Such failings, however do not befall the peerless Mert & Marcus for their latest editorial outing in Interview March 2011 that features Ford’s Tao Okamoto and Crystal Renn. Titled “China Girls” the Karl Templer styled story transports readers to the intersection of 1970s glam and 1920s decadence by way of a steamily sapphic opium den.

I immediately identified Tao Okamoto from the opening page, she’s holding an anthurium flower and wearing earrings and ring by Erickson Beamon, but missed Crystal, chameleon that she is, on the first look at the story. As it turns out Crystal later appears at the bottom of page 168 wearing shoes by Yves Saint Laurent with her arm wrapped around Fei Fei Sun. As one of the story’s central protagonists Tao commands much of the story, but also shares a striking portrait with Crystal on page 177. In that shot Tao wears pants by Akris, earrings by Erickson Beamon, Lynn Ban cuff, Hwa Park cummerbund, and Louis Vuitton shoes. Crystal wears Haider Ackermann briefs and also Louis Vuitton shoes, Erickson Beamon earrings, and Lynn Ban necklace. Needless to say this is an intoxicating story borne of pipe dream the likes of only Mert & Marcus could conceive and Tao and Crystal realize. Now, where again did I leave my dog-eared copy of the Kubla Khan… .

Credits include: Publication, Interview March 2011; Title, “China Girls”; Photography, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott; Fashion editor, Karl Templer; Hair, Paul Hanlon at Julian Watson Agency; Hair color, Tina Outen; Makeup, Charlotte Tilbury at Art Partner; Manicure, Lorraine Griffin using Chanel 2011 Spring Collection, including Black, Pearl, Vamp, and Rouge Fatal Nail Color; Casting, Michelle Lee at KCD; Set design, Gerard Santos at http://www.themagnetagency.com; Production, Layla Land; Retouching, Dreamer Post Productions; Styling assistants, Elin Svahn, Kerry Buckley, Chi-San Wan; Hair assistants, Keisuke Terrada, Corey Tuttle; Makeup assistant, Ninni Nummela; Manicurist assistant, James Mok; Image source, tFS.

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto & Crystal Renn | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto & Crystal Renn | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto & Crystal Renn | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto & Crystal Renn | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Tao Okamoto | Interview March 2011 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)




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