XXII. JEANIE ANNAN-LEWIN
Stylist ___ i-D online. LURVE. VISION.
“ The boy I shoot is uncomplicated, detached and somewhat of a reluctant superhero. ”
IN HER WORDS:
'I started working in fashion around 7 years ago. I had always wanted to do something artistic, I was particularly fascinated by magazines. I soon began interning at Tatler Magazine, initially for 2 weeks only I ended up staying there for 8 months in the fashion department, working under the immensely talented Isabella Blow. After that I worked everywhere and anywhere, including Pop Magazine. I then went onto FT - How to Spend It, working for freelancers who styled for Dazed & Confused, i-D and Purple Fashion. Then I went to New York and interned at Interview Magazine, after which I returned to the UK and began an internship at LOVE magazine, I ended up assisting Katie grand for a year and a half. I’m now completely freelance and looking back right now have been a very busy bee'
ElysiumEditorial: So the basics, to the uneducated amongst us, how would you dissect your role as a stylist, in relation to what you contribute to a shoot?
JeanieAnnanLewin: It’s completely dependent on the type of stylist you are, the role can be as involved or as detached as you like. I personally like to be involved as much as possible, being the complete control freak I am. Coming up with a theme or idea - most of my references are from old art and photography books or a film I might have seen recently - then trawling through style.com to source the clothes to fit a story. After a long and rather boring wrangle with PR’s I bring whatever I’ve managed to beg borrow or steal to the shoot and make the magic happen
EE: A sterling sense of personal style is typically an innate quality, is styling a trade only viable to this naturally fashionable crowd?
JAL: Anyone who has ever met me knows that I’m not fashionable in any way shape or form, most days I look like a bag lady. Having a good eye is definitely important but that doesn’t mean I look like any of my editorials
EE: Speaking of your personal style, what do you find yourself wearing on a daily basis and on reflection do you feel your own appearance consciously or subconsciously affects the aesthetic you create?
JAL: I live in baggy jersey tees from Alexander Wang, odd socks and Dr. Martens. I personally loathe colour on myself but have recently been trying to inject as much colour as possible into my editorials. I adore clothes and can talk about them all day, equally I love dressing others but when it comes to myself I have no interest whatsoever. If I could show up to places in my pyjamas, I probably would
EE: London is currently the city in which you reside, on an artistic level do you feel this is the best place for you to be?
JAL: I spent three months in New York at Interview Magazine and it made me realise that London is home. I truly feel the buzz of the city and on a daily basis I feel excited about living here. Plus I’m not chic enough for Paris and not financially intune enough for the United States. For now London is home, but then I do plan on moving to New York at some point in the future, so we shall see
EE: Where would an editorial concept typically germinate – would it perhaps be a piece of clothing, a model or a location?
JAL: Its several things for me, usually a painting or a photograph, maybe even a sculpture will spark my creativity. I studied art history at university so I spend a lot of time in galleries. On occasion I will obsess about a particular piece of art, that is until I have the chance to shoot my own version of it
EE: Do you have any particularly peculiar non fashion focused inspirations?
JAL: 90’s sitcoms / Vanessa Paradis / Boys
EE: The initial image on your website screams attitude, with the model confidently wearing the garments and not vice versa. It seems long gone are the days where a model was merely a clothes horse, furthermore as are the days of unachievable editorial imagery. Do you feel you have a signature style that seems to underpin all your work to date?
JAL: Good question, I’m still trying to figure that one out to be honest. I know that the boy I shoot is uncomplicated, detached and somewhat of a reluctant superhero. I’m still trying to figure out who my girl is...
EE: How would a stylist maintain said signature style when the industries seasonal trends alter so often?
JAL: I think it’s important to stick to what you know and what you feel comfortable doing, regardless of what’s in vogue
EE: A tiara, a suitably glistening male torso and the ultra masculine razor sharp tailoring of Mr. Tom Ford, certainly make for an eclectic mixture of aesthetics. Would you be so kind as to explain the concept and sources from which you styled your recent Vision China shoot?
JAL: Oh gosh, well I was looking at a lot of old portrait stories and I wanted to try and shoot something where every boy looked different & dare I say it almost iconic. What better way to show your true masculinity than to dress up like Princess Diana, in some odd way it’s the most cohesive story I’ve ever done
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?
JAL: I’m not sure I can answer that as yet, maybe as me a little further down the line of my career
* EE: Personal Picks: Fashion Designer (specifically when it comes to incorporating their garments into your work) / Photographer / Artist / Musician?
JAL: Prada would have to be my favourite fashion house, I dream about her clothes. Givenchy makes me quite weak at the knees too. Photographer wise I would have to say Terry Richardson, there is so much life in his photographs. As a result of my studies my favorite artist would have to be Masaccio, an old pre renaissance painter. When it comes to present day, I’ve been very impressed by Ray Caesar’s work
EE: What makes you feel the most alive?
JAL: In work it’s being involved in stuff I’m really passionate about. In general I think I’m still trying to figure that out
EE: After your work, what is your best talent?
JAL: I’m pretty funny. Although people tend to laugh at me rather than with me
EE: If we were to check your bedside table right now, what would we find?
JAL: A bible, I come from quite a religious household and there’s always one about. I don’t read it as often as I probably should
EE: If someone wrote your biography, what would you think the title should be?
JAL: ‘She’s a little odd’ or ‘Bubbles, Unicorns, Pink things and Prada.’
EE: Elysium (E): A place or state of perfect happiness – When are you at your happiest?
JAL: There are 3 things that I Love doing in equal amounts. I enjoy daydreaming about bubbles, unicorns, pink things and Prada in bed. Drinking beer with friends, whilst singing loudly with my eyes closed and eating a vast meal at the family abode, laughing hysterically at my siblings