Superstar Stylist Katie Grand Explains Herself And Working for Marc Jacobs
Katie Grand is probably the most famous stylist in the world. Currently best known as the founder and editor of Love, the London-based, biannual, super high fashion glossy, Grand previously worked her magic at magazines like The Face, Dazed & Confused and Pop. The Birmingham, England native has collaborated with a who's who of the fashion industry including Marc Jacobs (she styled 18 Louis Vuitton shows and in February she'll work on her fourth Marc Jacobs show), Bottega Veneta, Kate Moss and Prada. We caught up with Grand the day before she headed to New York to start working on Jacobs' Fall/Winter 2014 showÂ -- his first since leaving Louis Vuitton -- and chatted about trying to top Jacobs' last show, her love of supermodels and which celebrities still leave her starstruck.
Miley Cyrus on the cover of Love's Spring/Summer "Fantasy Documented" 2014 issue, on stands now,
Photographed by David Sims.
Photographed by David Sims.
Mickey Boardman: It seems like there's so much happening in London right now. What is it about the city that makes it such an amazing place for young talent and fashion?
Katie Grand: We're so used to being exposed to London as a cool, happening city with cool, happening people in it. You don't really get that in Milan or Paris. You're getting less and less of it in New York -- I'm talking about Manhattan -- the more sanitized it gets. People are brought up with images of cool-looking people in London from the '60s up to the present day and some people want to be that. That's how it keeps perpetuating itself. It's always going to be a vibrant city. It can't exist on tourism alone.
MB: You're known for working with supermodels. Do you ever like to work with new, up-and-coming people?
KG: I think it depends on the season and it depends on the clothes. Established girls look interesting in conceptual clothes because that's not how you're used to seeing conceptual clothes. For the current issue of Love we've got Anja Rubik in the Comme des GarÃ§ons collection. A sexy girl with a red lip and a red nail wearing that collection is the polar opposite of how it was shown and how you think of it. Most of the rest of the issue is pretty new girls. I haven't worked with Kate [Moss] for two issues, but before that I'd worked with her on every issue. It's how fashion goes. Sometimes you want someone young and new and other times you think, "Can we just have someone turn up who knows what they're doing?"
Rila Fukushima by Nobuyoshi Araki; Flowers by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
MB: Let's talk about Marc Jacobs. You've worked with him for a long time, but this is the first Fashion Week he'll be able to focus solely on his Marc Jacobs line after 16 years with Vuitton. What's that like?
KG: I always get quite anxious about it because it's going into such an intense work period. It's going to be two weeks of 16,17, 19, 24-hour workdays with basically one person, so it's really intense. Today I'm a bit like, "Ooh I hope everyone's in a good mood. I hope it's all going to work out. I hope the fabric arrives." The usual. And then there's the gremlin in the back of your head yelling, "The expectation is so high!" But you would never get out of bed in the morning if you really took that seriously. You have to get on with it. I do think his last show is one of my favorite shows that I've ever worked on, so it's been more mental torture about how we are going to better last season than what people are going to think of Marc's first show without Vuitton. That's actually been more of a pressure. The set, the casting and the hair and makeup were so good. It was quite magical, and I don't say that lightly. You want to react against that and say, "Let's not do any embellishment!" and then you think, "That's not gonna fly." It's not like the '90s where you could say, "Let's just do something really simple." Everyone will go to sleep.
Kate Upton by Nigel Shafran; Lily McMenamy by Juergen Teller
MB: You said you were starstruck when you worked with Kylie Minogue at Dazed & Confused. Do you still get starstruck or are you over famous people?
KG: No, I'm so uncool. When Miley walked into the studio I was like, "Oh my God you're Miley Cyrus!" She just stood there and I thought that probably sounded really bad. Miley is a big one because she's tall and good-looking and she has quite a powerful physical presence. I was quite an idiot over her. I kind of like that some people still excite me. I'm never particularly impressed by people because they're famous, but I do find it really amazing when they're famous and they're good people. Like Drew Barrymore, I just love. I think she's great. But just because people are famous I don't feel the need to hang out with them only for that reason.
MB: We shot Duran Duran a few years ago and when Yasmin Le Bon [Simon Le Bon's wife] came in I lost my mind.
KG: John Taylor still does that to me. My dad chased John Taylor down the motorway in Birmingham when I was 11 years old. No matter how many times I see John Taylor and no matter how many times he's normal to me I still have that thing of "Ahhh! I followed you down the motorway because I loved you."
MB: A girl never forgets her first love.
REMIX: Love issue 11 Spring/Summer 2014 will be bigger and better featuring six special covers and content celebrating the pure imagery of Love. Available exclusively at Bookmarc and Marc Jacobs stores on February 17.