XVII. FERRY VAN DER NAT
Stylist ___ TeaPaper dk. L’Uomo Vogue. Blend.
“ Fashion is not exclusive anymore. It’s getting wider and broader by the day but not any deeper. It’s an era where identity is in high order, but all identity eventually becomes uniform. ”
*Blend Magazine Shoot with Photographers Joost Vandebrug & Carmen Kemmink
ElysiumEditorial: Hi Ferry, how are you?
FerryVanDerNat: Hello ElysiumE, i'm very well, thank you very much
EE: So, let’s begin with the basics, to the uneducated amongst us, how would you dissect your role as a fashion stylist/creative director?
FVDN: When clients ask me to do a series or image or portrait, I start by investigating the subject and source for inspiration, then I find the right photographer, casting, hair, makeup and location. The story should stand on its own with the right crew behind it. Later, I fill it in with the styling
EE: How did you become involved in the industry, was the progression fluid and unexpected or do you have previous fashion training of any form?
FVDN: Before the styling I used to be a make-up artist for 12 years so I knew the buisness and the people within it, which was handy
EE: Do you feel artistically Amsterdam is the right place for you to be?
FVDN: Amsterdam is a nice base but people are not as well dressed as in other cities. The street vibe is not very inspiring, like London is for example. It can be hard to get the clothes over here from abroad, but then again it is in the center of cities such as Milan, Paris and London
EE: Speaking of, anything particularly exciting going on in Amsterdam currently that we should know about?
FVDN: Fashion Week is coming up and a relatively new event called Salon - which is great, there are Salon exhibitions throughout the entire city
EE: It’s a well known fact that it’s such a challenge for fledgling designers to survive in the industry, is it quiet as testing for the stylist counterpart?
FVDN: It’s been hard for stylists recently, theres less money to produce great images. This keeps you alert and on your toes and makes you realize the importance of producing high-quality productions
*EE: You work alongside such exciting designers as Sjaak Hullekes & Hyun Yeu – creating crisp images with highly considered and polished styling. In a creative sense what do you hope to offer to these young talented designers?
FVDN: I’m always interested in doing images for designers so I can create a flow and look at connecting the collections and the casting. I always aim to give the collections a bit of an upgrade to help them catch on internationally
FVDN: I’m inspired a lot by artists such as Luc Tuymans and Egon Schiele - even more so than fashion images – and also by contemporary photography, films and documenteries
EE: Your photographs provoke a strong sense of innocence and vulnerability, utilizing intriguing layers of simplistic styling. Do you personally feel you have a signature style?
FVDN: Well,thank you, I love it when people notice that in my work. I hope to continue developing my style, which is not so much ‘in your face’ but more sensitive and simplistic
EE: The work you were involved in for FERRY Menly Magazine as well as your personal shoot ‘All About Eli,’ illustrate an artistic stance on male nudity. Have you always been so aware of the human body and celebrating its form?
FVDN: Yes I adore male nudity in any form, I think it is poetic and sensitive. For Ferry Manly magazine, I took the pictures myself and tried to keep it soft but still explicit. And for ‘All About Eli,’ he is my muse, and we talked about it for weeks before we went to shoot it with Joost Vandebrug. He was 17 at the time, and the whole story revolved around a 17 year old being completely different to an 18 year old. Much more vulnerable and less aware of his beauty and sexuality
EE: The visuals in your Blend editorial were beyond stunning, with a rather relaxed, subtle stance on high fashion allowing the viewer to fully appreciate the garments. Would you be so kind as to explain the concept and sources from which you styled this shoot?
FVDN: The story for Blend, which was actually 20 pages long was shot with two different photographers and became two different approaches to gender morphoses. The first series was with one of my favorite photographers and friend Joost Vandebrug. We shot a large group of men and boys as part of a community where gender was not an issue and every character had a special place and function in the group. This project was really great to cast! The second shoot was with Carmen Kemmink, also one of my favorite photographers. She really has a gift for revealing the vulnerable side of models. We shot only girls in strong poses with very little makeup and simplistic clothes. We also included a male model named Luc who has a very effeminate beauty
*EE: Which shoot from your portfolio, do you feel best represents your styling aesthetic? Where did the concept for the shoot germinate and how did it progress to the visuals?
FVDN: It would have to be my latest series'Absurd Heroes,' for TeaPaper dk, the images are simple and have a certain innocence and vulnerability about them. Historic as they are modern, emotional and beautiful, with strong androgynous vibes
*Photography: Joost VandeBrug @ Manja Otten / H&MU: Sandra Govers @ Angelique Hoorn / Model: Jaco Van Den Hoven @ Republic*
EE: On reflection, do you find your personal style consciously or subconsciously affects the aesthetic you create? How would you describe your personal style?
FVDN: Aah, I do think it is subconscious, but very true, I always like to be properly dressed with a closed collar. Very tidy indeed
EE: With an understated, ultra-relaxed, delicate eye for fashion styling it’s almost as if you’re inviting the viewer to escape the chaos and drama of real life – is this a fair observation?
FVDN: I am very flattered by this observation. It’s true though, it might be a way to escape the ugliness in life and the chaos in my head
EE: As well as styling for several acclaimed international publications, you are also occasionally involved in film work. Do you feel a moving image offers a freer creative outlet?
FVDN: Although I love doing films, for me it’s somewhat harder to create an atmosphere as intense as in images. But it’s great to be able to give the whole concept an extra dimension
EE: Speaking of publications, there are SO many creative platforms around currently – digitally and in print – do you believe one in particular ticks all the boxes?
FVDN: As far as digital platforms, it is great and has made it all a lot more accesible for young people, although I really love to see and feel a printed series in my hands
EE: TeaPaper dk, Parool, L’Uomo Vogue, Blend, Wonderland – care to tell us what might be next in the pipeline?
FVDN: I hope to continue working for L’Uomo Vogue on a regular basis. I just made a film with artists Lernert & Sander for Nowness, which will be great. I have also just joined Unit c.m.a, and am very curious to see what that will bring. So far everything has developed organically, and I love that
EE: Favourites: Fashion Designer (specifically when it comes to incorporating their garments into your work) / Photographer / Artist / Musician?
FVDN: Designers: Yohji Yamamoto, Raf Simons, Yves Saint Laurent, Steven Klein, anything vintage
Photographers: Robert Mapplethorpe, August Sander, Helmut Newton, David Simms, Guy Bourdin
Artists: Egon Schiele, Andy Warhol, Luc Tuymans
*Inspirations ___ Robert Mapplethorpe. Guy Bourdin.
EE: Do you have a muse, fashion related or otherwise?
FVDN: The funny thing is, I just worked with my muse of all time, Hannelore Knuts, so I am a happy camper. But also my neighbor Maria is a muse for her great sense of style. Fong Leng, who’s outfits from the 70s and 80s I collect and the acclaimed Ellis Faas also inspires and amazes me. Last but not least, my mom Rita who keeps on going strong
EE: Do you have a fashion faux pas you wish to purge?
FVDN: Celebrities who are wearing outrageous iconic outfits but aren't iconic themselves
EE: Where do you see fashion progressing in 2011?
FVDN: A lot is changing – fashion is not exclusive anymore. It’s getting wider and broader by the day but not any deeper. It’s an era where identity is in high order, but all identity eventually becomes uniform. I’m hoping people will be more interested in quality again
EE: To date, what has been your career highlight?
FVDN: I would have to say working with Viktor & Rolf on the Dollhouse and the Shalom show with Shalom Harlow were highlights for me, and working for L’Uomo Vogue has been fantastic. More highlights are yet to come
EE: Best advice you have ever been given?
FVDN: Be true to yourself
EE: If someone wrote your biography, what would you think the title should be?
FVDN: 'Heaven is Chaotic Glamour'