From the Beautiful People Archives: Paz de la Huerta, Thom Browne and Dov Charney

PAPERMAG

For the past 14 years, we here at PAPER have put out an annual Beautiful People issue highlighting up-and-coming actors, musicians, artists, writers, designers, etc. who we feel particularly inspired by, and believe may go on to do great things. To celebrate the April release of our 2011 BP issue, throughout the month we'll be poring through the archives and featuring a few of our favorite Beautiful People of years past. Below, we include the original text and photos from our 2004 BP issue, which included Paz de la Huerta, Dov Charney, Thom Browne, Demetri Martin and Chromeo.

Paz De La Huerta

In Bringing Rain, actress Paz de la Huerta plays a delusional, self-destructive boarding-school student with a coke habit and an infatuation with a screen star. In Light and the Sufferer, she's a rich New York girl who dates a drug dealer; in Homework, a ballerina in love with an African dance teacher/plumber. It's clear that she's eager to talk about her latest films, since she discusses them animatedly. There's also 88 Madder Shades, for instance, with Patricia Arquette, as well as director Steven Kressler's Five Up Two Down, with Isach Da Bankolé. And then there's To Each Her Own, directed by legendary auteur Henry Jaglom, which she calls, "A contemporary All About Eve."


The 19-year-old starlet, who is half Spanish and lives in Tribeca, is also an artist. Her most recent oil painting depicts "a boy in a pear with fingers coming out of all his orifices, and he's holding his penis. I like being creative in any way. I write down my dreams in a book. I have very intense dreams."

In addition to being an It Girl and the muse of designer Zac Posen, de la Huerta finds time for issues that are meaningful to her. She recently ventured to Juárez, Mexico, on the Texas border, to join a political rally. "Women in Juárez keep disappearing," she says. "Young girls are getting kidnapped, mutilated, tortured and killed. The situation is really horrible. Jane Fonda and the V-Day movement told me about it. It's a very corrupt place." She dreams of one day opening schools for sick children in poor countries around the globe. "I want to travel too," she adds. "Right now, I can't seem to stay still." -- Peter Davis
2011 Update: De la Huerta has continued to show off her acting chops, landing a role on HBO's hit prohibition drama Boardwalk Empire as Steve Buscemi's bombshell mistress. Appearing nude on our December 2010 cover,  De la Huerta continues to hold court as a New York "It Girl," if not bad girl -- she was recently arrested for punching a woman and throwing a drink in her face at the Standard Hotel.

Thom Browne

"I love uniforms!" says Thom Browne. "They make everything so effortless and easy." That's not something you'd expect to hear a men's clothing designer say, but then 38-year-old Browne sees no sense in fashion -- at all. His own initial venture into the business was innocent: The former actor and business major couldn't find any suits that he liked, so, with the help of a tailor, he designed five of his own. His look garnered admiration, and he started designing for other people, building a solid clientele. Less than a year later, he was spotted outside the Meat Packing District brasserie Pastis by a costume director, who promptly hired him to outfit Ewan McGregor on the set of Marc Forster's new movie Stay.

"I want the guy who wears my suit to roll around in the mud with it, to really live in it," explains Browne of his boyish yet sophisticated designs. He draws inspiration from the vintage American looks of the '50s and '60s, and his style differs from the confusing metrosexual movement that has put a strain on so many men. Those who have suits designed by Thom Browne are bankers, lawyers, actors, celebrities -- anyone who doesn't like trendy cuts. "I love to throw things off," says the demure designer, gesturing toward his short, tapered trousers. "I want people to think, 'Does he know his pants are off?'"
2011 Update: Thom Browne has expanded his empire considerably since, introducing his slim, miniaturized suits to the masses through partnerships with Brooks Brothers and Moncler. Browne also recently began trying his hand at women's clothes, which feature the same slim tailoring as his menswear, and presented a baffling, yet very amusing, nun-inspired show at Fall Fashion Week 2011. 

Dov Charney

American apparel owner Dov Charney moves and speaks at warp speed, his frenetic brain zipping in a million directions at once. "I appreciate the form of the perfect T-shirt, just like the form of the perfect lightbulb or the perfect shoelace or the perfect piece of bread -- it doesn't always have to have jam on it," he declares. Charney founded the fast-growing sportswear company in 1999 in downtown Los Angeles.


Born in Montreal, the designer likes his products to be plain and generic. He admires the unadulterated T-shirt, with no logos, insignias or silkscreen images. "I don't like printed T-shirts," the 35-year-old admits. "I appreciate the art they put on them, but I choose not to define myself like that." He mentions that he wears his own T's for two full years "to have the true experience of what it's like to own an American Apparel shirt and grow with it. No T-shirts are alike. There's always a rip or a hole that becomes a part of your personality."

Part of the appeal of American Apparel is that the clothes are allufactured in the U.S. and not produced in sweatshops. But don't call Charney a patriot. "I don't believe in America. I believe in a new international standard. Who gives a shit where your passport is from?" The retailer currently has four outposts in Los Angeles and New York City, and recently opened shop in Montreal. He singles out members of the "youth movement" as the typical American Apparel customer. "I think we're in the dawn of a civil rights revolution, a sexual revolution, a design revolution, a financial revolution. Young people are going to transform the world up and fucking down! -- Peter Davis
2011 Update: American Apparel has grown considerably from its days as purveyors of simple, logo-less t-shirts. Charney -- who has been both celebrated in the media for eschewing sweatshop labor and vilified as a reckless, sex-crazed provocateur -- has since opened stores around the world, with over 200 locations. Despite this growth, however, the company has run into serious financial difficulties in recent years and warned investors in 2010 that it was teetering on bankruptcy. Making matters worse for the company, five female employees filed sexual harassment lawsuits against Charney last month, which he plans to fight.

Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin is a palindrome-loving, Late Night with Conan O'Brien-writing, glockenspiel-playing comedian. He may be a dorkus malorkus, but he's also the comedy world's next great hope -- and he's not just slaving for late night's favorite former Simpsons

After graduating from Yale in 1995, Martin was attending NYU Law School when he landed a much-coveted internship at the White House under Bill Clinton. He soon realized that this line of work wasn't for him and dropped out to intern for The Daily Show, which helped him master the art of random observations. He delivers them with deadpan perfection. "I think video games are really violent," the 30-year-old muses in a gentle voice. "I want to design a video game in which you have to take care of all the people in other video games. It would be called Busy Hospital." Another sign that he's made it is that he recently moved from Fort Greene, Brooklyn, to Soho. "I live on the fifth floor of a six-floor walkup," he says. "It's kind of a pain; you really have to think before you leave." Armed with his nutty-professor-meets-Lower-East-Side-hipster shtick, Martin (if he ever leaves his house) is sure to wow your brain and melt your heart. Or at least write you a palindrome. -- writer. Since winning the Perrier Award last year (one of comedy's most prestigious prizes), he's started work on a screenplay, a book, a sitcom with NBC and a half-hour Comedy Central special. -- Alexis Swerdloff

2011 Update: Not long after this piece ran, Martin left Late Night With Conan O'Brien to pursue his own comedy career. Turns out this was a wise move -- Martin went on to star in Ang Lee's 2009 Taking Woodstock, and landed his own Comedy Central show, Important Things With Demetri Martin. His book, This is a Book, was just published. Martin also recently sold a sitcom to CBS that he's to produce and star in and a film, Will, to Dreamworks. 

Chromeo

Chromeo wants to be taken seriously. Too bad. The synth-laden tracks, talkbox lyrics and premium drum machines on the Montreal duo's first full-length, She's in Control (Vice), have listeners crying irony and invite comparisons to countless '80s acts, from Hall & Oates to the Timex Social Club.

"'Are they really joking, or are they really serious, or are they seriously joking, or are they joking about being serious?'" mocks Dave 1 (aka Dave Macklovitch), half of the electro-funk twosome. Dave and his childhood best friend, P-Thugg (née Patrick Gemayel), have been collaborating since they formed a funk band called Rubbadoid Crew back in high school. Now, as Chromeo, they've opened for the likes of the Scissor Sisters, Tiga, the Streets and James Chance. A mad multitasker, Dave is also CEO and founder of indie hip-hop label Audio Research Records, hip-hop editor at Vice magazine, brother of all-star cut-up DJ A-Trak and a Ph.D. candidate in French language and literature at Columbia University. P-Thugg (who in his Clark Kent incarnation is an accountant) may come off as a gangsta -- but only until you ask him to name his favorite singer. "Phil Collins," he says without missing a beat. "No Jacket Required. '83 to '87." -- Alex Zafaris

Turns out they're not kidding, and that's what keeps Chromeo grinding toward acceptance -- no winking required. "If a song were to come out today called 'When Doves Cry,' people would say 'That is so cheesy!'" claims Dave. "Nobody thought Prince was a joker. I want to come to a point when we can come out with a song called 'Cupid Took His Arrow Back,' and people will say, 'That's just Chromeo doing their thing.'"
2011 Update: Chromeo followed up She's in Control with 2007's acclaimed Fancy Footwork and, recently, 2010's Business Casual. Dave 1 is still at work on his PhD in French language. 

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