CHLOE BY RAUL ROMO
Photographed and Interviewed by: Dustin Mansyur @dmansyur
Talent: Jacqueline Novak @jacnov
Stylist: Gabriel Held @gabriel_held_vintage
Lighting Tech: Johnny Vicari @johnnyvicari
Hair: Isaac Davidson @isaacdavidsonhair @Industry Mgmt.
Make-up: Nina Soriano @ninasorianomakeup
Production Assistance: Genaro Ordonez @genaroordonez
Special Thanks to Cherry Lane Theater for providing location
Going up from going down, Jacqueline Novak’s sold-out one woman show is extending its West Village run. With her prolix and personal storytelling style, Novak’s Get On Your Knees is sure to please.
Jacqueline Novak is on the floor. Stretched out languid and feline in a vintage black and white color block three-piece suit, knees bent and feet mid-air kicking back and forth like an 80’s teen flick fantasy. In lieu of a landline phone she cradles the microphone, a fitting prop for her to divulge all of her juiciest momentos to. After flexing about her floorwork in hair and makeup, the Get On Your Knees comedian is happy to oblige for our shoot. Today she’s giving us a montage of her realest moments of recent: the backstage nerves before her entrance, the tenuous question, “Can she do it”, to finally owning the stage with her one-woman show. Glammed up is a good look for Novak, who’s giving us nods of comedic “it girl” with appearances on Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon and sparkly reviews from the New York Times and Rolling Stone. Sold-out and extending are also good looks–with its initial stellar off-broadway sell-out run at Cherry Lane Theater, the one-woman show Get On Your Knees presented by Natasha Lyonne and executive produced by Mike Birbiglia will remain in the West Village, continuing its run at the larger Lucille Lortel Theatre through the fall.
Exploring the etymology of a blowjob, Knees takes us on a meandering discursive journey filled with Novak’s hilariously self-reflective personal anecdotes, hyperbolic metaphor peppered with sage wisdom weaving a story of sexual coming-of-age. Poetically examining all the feminine qualities of the penis was an entertaining concept for me to embrace as a gay man, and coupled with Novak’s articulate script-flipping on long-held stereotypes of masculinity was nuanced, comedically refreshing if not insightful. Profoundly-layered and self-aware, Novak’s delivery comes across at times like an unadulterated soliloquy of the voice inside her head conducting a many-angled dissection of the conundrum of catalogued oral sex experiences, preconceived ideas and expectations pushed upon her since youth, a storytelling technique that drives you to lean in. With Get On Your Knees, Novak proves comedically there’s no question of “if” or “can”–she’s done it and she’ll do it again.
IRIS Covet Book caught up with Jacqueline in her dressing room just before her final show at Cherry Lane Theater. [read more below]
DM: I had a really great time on our shoot yesterday. I’m so happy you trusted the team to push you off into a campy kind of character which is a departure from your show. Gabriel is such a genius with styling and character reference. Did you have fun?
JN: Oh my god yes, I had the time of my life!
DM: We were in love with this Bette Midler kind of “Big Business” fashion reference for the styling with lots of prints and costume jewelry.
JN: I loved it!
DM: You took our photo direction so well – I love how you put your spin on the idea. What’s that like when you’re asked to play a kind of character like that for a shoot?
JN: I think I played my cards right by basically keeping it incredibly simple for my show wardrobe, right? Part of the thrill of the shoot was the departure from that. It’s a really exciting time right now with my show going up and going well, and as I said yesterday at the shoot, I felt like I was playing out an 80’s fantasy–like a montage in a movie for my big break. There were lights flashing and I’m in those kind of looks representing these moments–so it was really fun.
DM: When you were growing up, who were your comedy icons?
JN: Probably people in specific roles. Steve Martin in…Roxanne. Thenardier in Les Mis. Chris Elliot in Get a Life. In high school, Parker Posey in Christopher Guest stuff and of course, House of Yes. Chris Rock.
DM: In your stand-up, you mention writing poetry. I was just curious how you began your career writing…was it always satirical comedy or was that something that came later?
JN: I started writing poetry and short stories in high school. Then in college, I started doing dramatic writing, play writing. Then, personal essays. Around the time that I was doing improv in college. Stand up allowed me to be both a writer and a performer.
DM: So, it was more of a natural transition because it combined all the things that you were exploring at the time…
JN: Well there is no natural transition to stand up. It’s always an uncomfortable, awkward and outrageous leap. Unless, it’s 1902 and you sort of find yourself talking in a saloon night after night with an ever growing crowd. Otherwise, it’s showing up to open mics which isn’t natural. But for me, looking back, sure, it’s natural. It was the intersection between comedy, performance and different parts of what I was interested in.
DM: Your show has been a huge success, you sold out and you have moved to a new theater and extending it. When did you start to realize that your show was becoming somewhat of a phenomenon?
JN: I’m still in shock! Even when you articulate it that way, I’m like oh my God! Is it true? Well, it’s very absorbing doing the show and there’s no time to think. I moved to LA and I put it up for a few nights and got a great response which was exciting because it felt like “these people don’t know me and they enjoyed it.” In terms of the NY run, in previews we were selling well which the producers said was a positive sign. I keep waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me. Then with great reviews, the run kept selling…until we sold it out! I’m truly still processing it. This is one of the cases where my brain works for me – my ADD hyper-focus brain keeps me weirdly in the present with it.
DM: The producer Natasha Lyonne has been complimentary. She said that she thinks of you as “a great new philosopher with a fully existential show.” In your words, how would you describe your show and where did your inspiration come from for the material?
JN: It’s a show about blow jobs, but really it’s a show about ideas. I love how that sounds so I keep saying it. But it’s kind of a show about thinking, and one’s evolving thoughts around a particular subject. Yes, it traces a narrative but it’s a narrative of ideas – here’s what I thought at 12 about the blowjob, then at 16, then at 20, etc, with a few key moments shaping the whole thing.
DM: You share a lot of vulnerable and personal anecdotes. Does it feel liberating to just lay it all out there in this format?
JN: I’ve always been pretty comfortable with that kind of personal divulging, so that aspect didn’t feel new. The liberating part was letting more of me into the show – not just what I think of as ‘suitable for stand-up.’
DM: I love how you poke on the anxiety of walking from the door of the stage onto the stage. When you began doing stand-up, what were you most nervous about that no longer phases you?
JN: When I started, I was very scared of the embarrassment of having people perceive me attempting to be funny, but I also found it embarrassing to try to act like you had not just said the punchline that you wanted to [say]. It was embarrassing to cover up a joke that I had just said by rushing into more speaking to make it seem like the audience’s lack of laughter was not a problem. I wanted to skip the landing of every joke, so to speak, but then that requires kind of admitting that you think what you just said is funny and just pausing for laughter, it’s kind of the inherit thing of being a comedian. I think Mitch Hedberg had a joke that said something like, “I pre-approved all these jokes as funny.” That expressed what’s most embarrassing to me in comedy. The self-appointment. Inherent in standing up there, you have informed people that you believe you deserve to be up there, to make them laugh, and that you think you’re capable of doing so. Seems like something only an asshole would think.
DM: What’s the last thing that you say to yourself in your head before you walk onto stage, or what’s the last thought that goes through your mind?
JN: At the beginning of the show, Madonna’s ”Like a Prayer” is playing. I feel the physical nerves before going on stage. I try to experience gratitude for what’s happening…in a juicy way not in a moralistic way. I remind myself that feeling this kind of fear is exactly the fear I wanted to be in a position to feel. So take note and appreciate it, bitch.
DM: What do you like most about performing for a live audience, and in particular, the audience for this show?
JN: It’s nice how few distractions there are generally in theater versus a comedy club. I remember Mike Birbiglia, in a conversation before the run, when I was running the show on the road in clubs. He likened performing in a comedy club to driving a car on a bumpy road and that performing in a proper theater is like driving that car on a racetrack. Everything is tuned up and ready to go. It’s a more ideal circumstance to present your ideas.”
DM: One of the brilliant things that I loved about your show is that feminization of the penis and how you personified it with the stereotypical qualities that are assigned to women like it being over-sensitive or hysterical in nature. How did you come to the realization that the penis has feminine qualities?
JN: I had noted that the vulva is compared to a flower, but I never found that image suitable. I then liken a penis to a flower instead, and from there the feminine imagery expanded. It’s hard to say though, it all kind of develops simultaneously.
DM: When we were at the show, there was this older gentleman behind us that was goading his wife to leave when you started to unpack the idea and she kept telling him to calm down and to let it play out. I was just curious…have you encountered anything of this among the attendees who didn’t know the nature of the show?
JN: I feel like for the most part people have been pretty well behaved in the first couple rows, which is where I could see. Do you remember specifically what I was saying?
DM: I think it’s when you used the floral kind of reference.
JN: No! That’s hysterical!
DM: Yeah, you had just started to unpack it. You hadn’t gone too far into it and I thought [about the couple] are you serious right now? This is a comedy show so chill out!
JN: That’s wild! It hasn’t been too bad. Occasionally, I’ll see someone’s face in the front row and they start opening the program and look in it. I’m like, if you’re not enjoying the show, there is nothing in there that can help you. It’s just bios. I have a sense of some of my audience – like the people that come are comedy fans in general and then there’s the audience that just comes because it’s an off-Broadway show in NY. I particularly enjoy mixing the high and lowbrow, so to speak. I honestly get some pleasure of that mix.
DM: You take us on a journey of your experiences giving a blowjob, beginning with your initial insecurities surrounding it, overcoming those insecurities, and feeling as though you mastered it. I couldn’t help but feel like it was a metaphor for something a little more subliminal. I guess, without trying to get too Freudian about it, what is the blowjob implying to you and what do you hope that your audience takes away from the show or the material?
JN: The blow job was something I was worried about, wanted to do well, had my own ideas about, and found this in conflict with the world’s. One thing I would like for people to have more understanding or empathy about is the idea of a teenage girl giving a blowjob is a pretty limited idea that is reduced to a stereotype, so it’s trying to complicate that image a little bit for people. It bothered me at the time when adults knew that you gave a blowjob they would think you were not a good girl. And in that way, a big part of the story is the blowjob could represent my changing perceptions around it, what it meant in different points in my adolescence. Then the question is – do you live your life by what other people think things mean or what you think things mean. Ultimately, the message, I guess, if I may be so vulgar, is that in this life you can cultivate your own narrative about yourself, even if it’s not bulletproof, even if it’s tenuous, even if all the proof is not there.
DM: In your book How to Weep in Public, you discuss your experience with depression. How did comedy help you make sense with the experience of it?
JN: I don’t think it really did. I think comedy, like anything, is just made harder to do when you are depressed.
DM: Was it therapeutic in any way to write and explore this darker form of humor?
JN: In order to write that book, I had to be in a better place than I was when I conceptualized it. I like to be clear about that. I feel like writing a book is NOT a therapeutic experience, and getting feedback and working on it is incredibly difficult. Writing is hell. Just happens to be my favorite kind. I’d love to be able to say it was therapeutic but that ain’t it.
DM: So much of the work of a comedian and a writer is observing life experiences and dynamics and then finding the humor or meaning in them. Do you feel like you have a heightened ability for empathy as a comedian and a writer?
JN: I wouldn’t want to say I have heightened ability over someone else. I suppose I’m a little looser with my thinking than non-comedians. I am willing to draw inappropriate comparisons. Comedians are never upset by that. Comedians are usually willing to go on thought experiments.
DM: You’ve written for popular TV series, such as “Broad City.” If you had a chance to create your own scripted series and star, what kind of storyline and character would you create?
JN: I’m actually too vain to properly do an autobiographical show. I’d want my character to always be right and lovable. Ha! I’d rather not tell a story about a comedian, I know that. I’d rather go far and wide, away!
DM: I am excited that your show has been extended. I’m just curious – after the show concludes, do you have any other projects that you are willing to share?
JN: Nah. Gotta keep it all secret, while it’s still in the cauldron. Can’t open that oven door. And other analogies.
DM: Besides overcoming the insecurity of a blowjob, what’s the thing in your life and career that you overcame that you’re most proud of?
JN: Let’s see … doing stand-up at all. I’ve been doing stand-up for a long time, and the original leap, it seems, was the scariest part. I’m most proud of the initial leap and I’m most proud of sticking with it. I’m proud of myself for being continually consistent and I’m in a position where I’m really getting to do it at a level that I want to do it.
DM: I feel that’s relatable for anyone working in a creative industry. I watched an interview you did a few years back and I think you said, ‘some of us are just scratching and crawling at relevance behind the scenes trying to make it’ and I was like, ‘I totally get that’. I completely agree with you.
JN: The long-term part isn’t flashy, but it certainly is important. And it can pay off. Even if it seems like it won’t. And I don’t think anyone regrets effort.
Dress by Zhivago
Photography by Greg Swales | Styling by Lisa Jarvis | Creative Direction by Louis Liu | Hair by Dimitri Giannetos | Makeup by Jamie Greenberg | Interview by Benjamin Price
Equipped with a dazzling personality, expressive eyes, charming sense of humor, and a girl-next-door smile, it is no wonder that 19 year-old Joey King has found herself to be one of the most promising young actors in Hollywood today. In what stands to be her most emotionally challenging role to date, Joey King has transformed herself into the abused victim-turned-convicted-killer Gypsy Rose Blanchard for Hulu’s new series The Act. Gypsy Rose lived in an environment of abuse, manipulation, dependence, and exploitation at the hands of her mother Dee Dee Blanchard, played by the Academy Award winning actress Patricia Arquette, which Joey King portrays in a shockingly sincere and earnest performance in this disturbing, re-telling of true events.
Joey King’s career and devoted fan following surged after her performance in Netflix’s The Kissing Booth, which was one of the streaming service’s most watched and re-watched films – landing the cast a sequel to be released sometime in 2020. Now, in her new role for Hulu’s latest series The Act, King proves her acting can range from cute, romantic comedy ingenue to psychologically disturbing and multi-dimensional true-crime dramatic starlet.
Taking a break from filming her upcoming productions, Joey King takes the stage as Iris Covet Book’s spring cover. The teenage actress sat down with Iris Covet Book to discuss The Act, the importance of badass women and minorities in Hollywood, and why she would love to direct the next Girl,Interrupted.
Dress by Zhivago
Hi, how are you?
I’m doing well, thank you – Ok, so let’s jump into this! Can you tell us about your start as an actress at 4 years old? Did you think as a kid that you would be starring in major film and television projects today?
No, definitely not! But it’s interesting because when I started acting, my very first job was actually a LIFE cereal commercial. I thought this was what I was always going to do and had no doubt about that, but I never imagined I would be where I am today. It’s just been an insane journey and opportunity to be where I am, and to meet the people I have met along the way. I have been so incredibly lucky.
That’s a good point. Making the right connections is important in any career – especially as a young actress in the industry I imagine it can be hard to trust everyone.
Exactly! With all of the things that have happened in the past few years with the Times Up Movement and Me Too, I think it’s so exciting to see what new things are happening and how people can feel more safe in the industry. I’ve been in this business for a pretty long time and I feel like I have been pretty lucky to have avoided most of that. I mean of course I have experienced it every now and then, but I know what it looks like, I know how to stay clear, and I haven’t seen a really really dark side as much as other people have. And I feel very lucky for that.
And starting out young would definitely teach you what to avoid later on as you grow and mature by meeting more experienced actors who can show you the lay of the land. And speaking of the Times Up Movement and what’s going on in America at-large, but specifically in Hollywood, what changes have you seen personally in the industry?
I see a lot of inclusiveness and I think it’s beautiful. I just think it’s fucking awesome that more African American people and more Asian people get to tell their stories on-screen more often now, and that’s a new thing to see. I’m really happy that I get to see more of that. It’s great that I am not just being cast to be the daughter anymore, or the little best friend role, and seeing the change in available roles for young women like me is really exciting. I love it so much and I hope we get to continue on this path because things are really starting to change for the better!
It seems to be a really exciting time to be an actor or actress right now. It brings to mind Reese Witherspoon’s production company that works with female-led and female-centric stories, and I wonder if you have any interest in going into writing or producing something like that?
I do! I’m always amazed by writers and directors and how you can come up with a story in your mind and translate it onto paper. I’d love to learn more about the writing process and to direct one day. I feel like now that I am a bit older I have such an interest with what goes on behind the scenes, like I love to hear the Director of Photography talk about the shots, the order of the scenes, and all of those things. I am actually paying attention, and it’s so cool to see how much work and thought goes into making a film or TV show. It’s the coolest thing in the world! I am amazed every day with what they do.
It’s such an exciting time to be listening and aware of all of the different stories out there, especially with social media. You have nearly 9 million Instagram followers and have the ability to tell your story to all those people around the world. How do you feel as an actress and role model to have access to all of your fans directly?
It’s so cool! I get to hear from people every day who look up to me, and I am lucky to have them. My fans are so so sweet, and I am excited that I get to have such direct contact with them. I mean, they are the reason that I am where I am, you know? The Kissing Booth couldn’t have the success that it had without them and some fans watched it over and over again and because of that it became Netflix’s #1 movie in 2018!
Dress by Murmur
Dress by Stella McCartney, Jacket by Roberto Cavalli
Paris Hilton said in The American Meme documentary that she loves her fans because she can feel so alone on the road, and doing press, and she feels like her fans are like her family.
Absolutely! I totally agree with that, and I love that she said that. It’s true, like now I am filming in Georgia and working every day, but when I have free time it’s nice to hear from my fans and feel their support through social media.
Yeah absolutely! To pivot the conversation a bit, I really want to hear more about your upcoming role as Gypsy Rose Blanchard on Hulu’s The Act.
Yes! I’ve actually really never been able to transform myself like this before and this is the first time where I can become a different person – a real person! She is alive and in prison as we speak, and the experience has just been incredible! Playing Gypsy was weird…I want to do right by her and I want people to understand her situation, and why she did what she did. Not that what she did was right, but I also don’t think that she deserved to be completely blasted for her thought process. And working with Patricia Arquette is just genuinely the greatest experience of my life.
Were you able to meet Gypsy to prepare for the role or during the process? Does she know about it?
I know that she knows about that show, but I wasn’t able to contact her. I would have loved to get to know more about her as a person, but all I can do is research her story and try to do the best I can and do right by her.
When the story of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee came out three years ago were you aware of it? Did you watch the HBO documentary?
When I got the call to come in and read for Gypsy I had heard of the story, but I didn’t know a lot and hadn’t seen the documentary. I watched it before the audition and was like, “Are you freaking kidding me??” I went into the audition and was so nervous, but I am so happy that I got to portray her story.
Was there a lot of added pressure playing somebody real? Many actors and actresses have said it can be a bigger challenge.
It is a challenge, and I want people to understand and think about this, and I have conflicting emotions myself over Gypsy. She was raised by a master manipulator and so she kind of became one herself. I understand why a lot of people have a hard time sympathizing with her but I also think this show will hopefully open people’s eyes and show how messed up the conditions really were. It’s a lot of pressure playing a real person, one who is literally just sitting in prison right now, but at the same time I feel really good about it. I hope that I am doing right by her and if she sees it one day she will be like, “Thank God they portrayed me that way!” The series is partially fictional, it is a TV show, but a lot of the shit we are putting in there is true as hell!
This is one of those stories, like you were saying earlier, that needs to be told. And it’s a story that people can see multiple sides of this very famous, national news story retold in a different way.
Absolutely and there are parts of the show where you will start to feel bad for DeeDee or maybe not like Gypsy very much. The show goes over several years of their life, and you can’t help but go through a lot of emotions while watching it.
It’s real life and there are multiple dimensions and you won’t always like it. I think that’s what is so amazing for actors today because it seems like there are so many dimensional roles for women.
It’s amazing how many female directors we have on the show! It is so awesome getting to work with these super smart women. I have a lot of “firsts” on this show, and these amazing male and female directors made me feel safe to try new, uncomfortable, and weird things.
Blouse by Queenie Cao, Pants by Marc Jacobs
Dress and Shoes by Versace
How was the experience as an actress immersing yourself into such a dark space?
It really feels like being born again into this world. I’ve never been able to experience this before, and I am so lucky to have Patricia Arquette by my side every day because she was so supportive, she is so talented, and just a super kind person. And I know being her shooting partner that there are no judgments ever, and I feel like it is honestly so important who you work with because you are in such a vulnerable place as an actor. If you feel judged or feel that the other person is not there for you 100%, then it’s really freaking hard to do your job. She has just been the best partner, and I am so grateful for her, and I am so excited to have everyone see her work on the show. She’s mind-blowing–I mean it’s fucking Patricia Arquette!
Yeah that’s such an amazing opportunity! Have you had any moments while working with her where she has shown you a new layer of the craft?
Definitely! Patricia has definitely shown me a new way of looking at acting. She has such great advice, personally and professionally. She’s just so amazing and I have learned so much from her in the past three months that we have worked together.
That’s fantastic, you are so lucky to have that opportunity.
I know, I can’t believe it! Like every day I’m like, “Oh my god, I get to work again!”
(laughing) That’s great! Are there any other projects that you can hint at in pre-production?
Yes! But…I can’t tell you about any of them. (laughs) I am going to be in Georgia for awhile, and I cannot wait to start doing more press for The Act’s premiere.
What advice would you give another young actress? What would you warn them about?
I would absolutely warn them of people trying to use them or people being friends for the wrong reason, and when you find someone who is there for the right reasons then you have to be sure to hold onto them. Whether it’s a friend, a relationship, a peer, or a mentor, just make sure to hold onto the good people and steer clear of the bullshit! (laughs)
I think that’s good advice for everybody!
I think so too! And it’s so hard to find the right people, but you know I am so lucky to have my family. Not everyone has a strong and supportive family, and if you don’t then you need to surround yourself with really great people and create your own family. It’s going to be hard and it will take awhile, you’re going to cry a few times, but in the end it’ll be worth it!
I love that, that’s good advice! Following-up on our discussion of #TimesUp, minority roles, and the great projects coming out, especially in today’s political climate, is there any movie that you would want to re-tell from your perspective or some story that you would love to produce or direct one day?
Oh my god! That’s such a good question… I don’t know…if I would want to retell a story and direct it myself…the movie I really am thinking about is Girl, Interrupted. I don’t know why that is the first thing that came to mind, but I would love to direct the shit out of that.
Oh my god! Please do that! That’s one of my favorite movies of all time, but I would definitely be very critical of it because it’s just such a fantastic movie.
I would expect nothing but honesty from you! (both laugh) I love that movie so much and I am so happy you love it too. If I were to ever direct something, then that is the first movie to come to mind. I honestly would be open to anything. I have a lot more to learn about this business and a lot more to experience, so I couldn’t tell you exactly what my directorial debut would be just yet!
Well even if it is not Girl, Interrupted, then I think that theme that we have been discussing of women’s stories is so important and telling female-centric, multi-dimensional stories like that would be a great path for you.
I agree with you, that shit’s awesome!
Dress by Murmur
Special Thanks to Hammer and Spear in Los Angeles and Larissa Saenz at i-D Public Relations
Silk green and black print dress and silk black belt worn over the shoulder by Marc Jacobs, Vinyl body corset by Alexander Wang, Crystal headband and kitten heels by Tom Ford, Spandex liquid leggings Stylist own
Green and black print, silk dress and black silk belt worn over the shoulder by Marc Jacobs, Vinyl body corset by Alexander Wang, Crystal headband and kitten heels by Tom Ford, Spandex liquid leggings Stylist own
Crystal embroidered colorful dress by Tom Ford, clear vinyl jacket by Philipp Plein, crystal embroidered kitten heels by Tom Ford, green spandex liquid full bodysuit stylist own, pastel pink pop socks by Maria La Rosa
Crystal embroidered colorful dress by Tom Ford, clear vinyl jacket by Philipp Plein, crystal embroidered kitten heels by Tom Ford, green spandex liquid full bodysuit stylist own, pastel pink pop socks by Maria La Rosa
Cabinet – Fu Console by Nick Dine
Crystal and tulle sheer top by Givenchy, latex skirt with crystals by Tableaux Vivents, blue spandex liquid full bodysuit stylist own, crystal and mesh stockings by Area, vinyl and leather heel by Alexander Wang
Bench – Pipeline by Harry Allen
Sofa – Stealth by Richard Shemtov
Makeup by Liset Garza @ The Wall Group using MAC Cosmetics
Hair by Yukiko Tajima @See Management
Production by Benjamin Price of LEO Creatives
Fashion Assistants Patrick Surach and Ashley Wooten
Production intern Louis Kang
Special thanks to Aaron Shemtov of Dune, for more information visit: dune-ny.com
Kicking off New York Fashion Week, the Richard Bernstein: STARMAKER book launch party was celebrated at PUBLIC ARTS at Public in New York City earlier this month.
The venue walls were plastered with enlarged artwork of and cut outs of Interview Magazine covers spanning from 1972 to 1989. Legendary cover stars came to life on stage in a Studio 54 VIP Room setting while being catered to by a bevy of hunky bus boys. Performers who resembled Divine, Liza Minelli, Halston, Pat Ast, Jerry Hall and Grace Jones danced and partied the night away.
Celebrities in attendance were the creative director of the new Interview Magazine Mel Ottenberg, Pat Cleveland, Halstonette Karen Bjornson, famed Studio 54 publicist Carmen D’Alessio, Gaultier muse Stella Ellis, Angie Everhart, Amanda Lepore, Miss Jay Alexander, Dianne Brill, artist David Croland, Michael Musto, head of Warhol Enterprises Vincent Fremont and Jeffrey Deitch.
The private event was hosted by authors Mauricio and Roger Padilha whose book Richard Bernstein: STARMAKER Andy Warhol’s Cover Artist is now available in all major bookstores worldwide and is published by Rizzoli International Publications Inc. and presented by Alcone Company with FHI-Heat, Oralgen, Svedka and PUBLIC ARTS at Public.
Performers as Liza Minelli and Halston
Performers as Divine, Pat Ast, and Grace Jones
Stella Rose St. Claire
Mel Ottenberg, Stylist and Creative Director of Interview Magazine
John, Ellen, and Rory Trifon, family of Richard Bernstein
Jeffrey Deitch, art dealer and curator, and Mauricio Padilha, co-founder of MAO Public Relations
Journalist Michael Musto
Angie Everheart, model and actress
Jonte Moaning, performer, dressed as Grace Jones
Dianne Brill, Queen of New York nightlife
Stylist Wouri Vice
(left) Chris Makos, famed photographer, (center) Shelly Fremont, film director and producer, (right) Vincent Fremont, film producer and head of Warhol Enterprises
Legendary models Karen Bjornson (left) and Pat Cleveland (right)
Drawing fascinating parallels between remixing a classic cocktail and remixing a classic song, the interactive series will travel to select destinations across the country, offering bartenders, influencers and journalists an intimate taste of D’USSE, the cognac category, and its role in both cocktail and music culture. You’ve never tasted Cognac like this before.
Three iconic Masters of their Craft lead the NYC launch sessions:
• Cellar master Michel Casavecchia – fresh from the brand’s home at the historic Chateau de Cognac, the legendary creator of D’USSE XO and D’USSE VSOP will reveal his inspirations behind each expression while offering tailored one-on-one tastings.
• 9TH WONDER – the Grammy Award-winning producer responsible for hits by Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J Blige will unveil the fascinating parallels between remixing classic cocktails and tracks through an interactive DJ Masterclass utilizing The World of McIntosh’s renowned sound system
• Legendary Cocktail Expert DEREK BROWN and his team from D.C.’s award-winning Columbia Room, will provide guests with a sonic wave cocktail demonstration showcasing how using a singing bowl to stir cocktails with sound vibrations allows an interpretation of sound through drinks and impacts its flavor. Each of these artistic elements play off the core concept of how altering one simple ingredient – sound, tone, or even spirit base – can change the way something tastes or is perceived.
Monsieur Michel Casavecchia is the Cellar Master of the prestigious Château de Cognac and the creator of both D’USSÉ VSOP and D’USSÉ XO. He is proud to be part of the privileged line of heirs of the Baron Otard, charged with perpetuating the tradition of the knowledge of blending ‘eau-de-vie’ (water of life) into Cognac.
Michel was born in Lorraine, in the eastern part of France to a father with a passion for collecting and enjoying fine Cognac. This passion, which Michel inherited at a young age, has driven him throughout his career. Though he has not followed the traditional path to becoming an elite Cellar Master, Michel’s relentless dedication to Cognac had led him to the Château de Cognac where he has spent more than a decade overseeing the Cognac making process of some of the world’s finest Cognacs.
After ten years as an apprentice at the Château de Cognac learning from his predecessor and refining his craft, Michel received the opportunity to move into the role he has wanted to achieve most of his life. After nearly 20 years as the curator for some of the most prestigious Cognacs in the world, Michel was tasked with developing a new Cognac for Bacardi, D’USSÉ VSOP.
Patrick Douthit, better known as 9th Wonder, is a Grammy award-winning hip hop record producer, record executive, DJ, lecturer, and rapper from Durham, North Carolina, U.S. He began his career as the main producer for the group Little Brother, and has worked with notable musicians including Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Drake, Destiny’s Child, and Kendrick Lamar.
As a college professor, 9th is an adjacent hip-hop history professor at Duke University and has held several Artist-In-Residence positions at top universities across the country including University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, and Harvard University. Through his positions in academic, 9th seeks to educate students on the history of hip-hop as well as advocate for its future.
Derek Brown is a leading spirits and cocktail expert and president of Drink Company, which owns and operates 2017 Spirited Award winning “Best American Cocktail Bar” Columbia Room as well as PUB, a rotating pop-up bar that’s housed the wildly-popular Miracle on 7th Street, Cherry Blossom PUB and Game of Thrones PUB. Playboy magazine named him as one of “The 10 Entertainers, Thought Leaders and Heroes Who’ll Save Us in 2017.”
A native Washingtonian with deep ties to the city — his great-grandfather was once D.C.’s police chief — Derek admits that Washington provides a unique vantage point as the capital city, having mixed drinks for everyone from royalty, ambassadors and senators to fellow Washingtonians, interns and students. He’s concocted cocktails at the White House, clinked glasses with Martha Stewart and was even appointed Chief Spirits Advisor at the National Archives. Derek’s philosophy for crafting memorable drinks goes beyond what’s shaken, stirred and served in a glass. “When I think about cocktails, I think about how they connect to nature, I think about how they connect to history,” he explained to Imbibe magazine, which named him 2015’s Bartender of the Year. “I think about how they connect to the people who made them and the time they were living in.”
Derek’s passion for spirits has taken him across the globe, where he’s learned about the integral role food and drink play in the culture, customs and values of communities worldwide. He’s also written about drinks and drinking for The Atlantic, The Washington Post and Bon Appetit magazine, among other publications.
ABOUT D’USSE: D’USSE [dew-say] launched in 2012, D’USSÉ is an ultra-premium cognac that blends over 200 years of tradition with the modern inspiration of Cellar /Master Michel Casavecchia. D’USSÉ is a uniquely powerful, authentic cognac that starts off with distinguished intensity, giving way to a pleasantly smooth, balanced finish. With exceptionally blended expressions including D’USSÉ VSOP and D’USSÉ XO (launched in 2014), D’USSE lends itself to a variety of elegantly crafted rich, and complex cognac-based cocktails.
Guests enjoyed Derek Brown and Columbia Room’s sonic wave cocktail demonstration using a singing bowl.
Georgia Fowler enjoying the classic Sidecar at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER
Ron Hill crafting his own re-mixed cocktail with D’USSE VSOP
Jamal Jackson at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER at McIntosh Townhouse
TK Wonder with DJ Millie, in between her sets of the evening at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER
Martin Salomon enjoying the Side Chick cocktail – a riff off the Side Car – at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER
Quiana Parks and her friend at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER
Elijah Dominique and friends at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER at the McIntosh Townhouse
DJ Millie entertained guests with sets throughout the evening at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER
Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder led guests through a DJ Masterclass using the World of McIntosh’s renowned sound system
Amrit at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER at the McIntosh Townhouse
Vashtie enjoying the Side Car at the NYC D’USSE RE-MIXER
Photography by Rosamagda Taverna | Fashion Editor & Stylist Stesy | Makeup and Hair by Adelina Popa | Model Sophia @Mp Management
Earrings by Victoria Hayes
Photography by Dustin Mansyur | Styling by Airik Prince | Model Marina Nery @ IMG models
Makeup by Nina Soriano of Artists and Company using Makeup Forever USA
Hair by Gonn Kinoshita using TIGI Bedhead | Nails by Jini Lim using Chanel Le Vernis
Earring by Slight Jewelry
Earrings by Victoria Hayes
George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, November 1963 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation
In January of 1963, Avedon photographed Baldwin for a magazine assignment and suggested that they work on a book about life in America. Baldwin readily agreed. “This book,” said Baldwin at the time, “examines some national and contemporary phenomena in an attempt to discover why we live the way we do. We are afflicted by an ignorance of our natures vaster and more dangerous than our ignorance of life on Mars.”
Corresponding frequently with Baldwin, Avedon traveled extensively in 1963 and 1964 photographing portraits for the book while Baldwin wrote the essay. They met up periodically to share and discuss their progress. The collaboration resulted in some of Avedon’s most pivotal portraiture of his middle career, from civil rights icons (Malcolm X) to staunch segregationists (George Wallace); to aging stars (Joe Louis) and young fame seekers (Fabian); to powerful politicians (Adam Clayton Powell) and ordinary citizens; to young idealists (Julian Bond) and elderly pacifists (Norman Thomas); to patients committed to a mental institution who seek love, comfort, and some semblance of consideration.
At the core of the photographs – almost all of which will be on view at Pace Gallery – is the question of how Americans understand race relations and their own identities, and, by extension, the identities and civil rights of others.
“Both Avedon and Baldwin cared deeply about what was (or was not) going on in America in the early 1960s. It was an explosive time, not unlike the one we live in today. The events enveloping our country provoked Avedon’s careful reflection and examination of the place and its people. There is a lot to learn from looking at this prophetic work and considering the very profound statement it makes.”—Peter MacGill
Marilyn Monroe, actress, May 1957 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Nothing Personal was originally designed by Marvin Israel and published by Atheneum in November of 1964 under the aegis of legendary editor Simon Michael Bessie. Though denounced at the time of publication, Nothing Personal is now recognized as a masterwork whose powerful message of a confused and often compromised society seeking fleeting moments of joy, grace and occasional redemption remains equally relevant more than a half-century later.
Richard Avedon (1932–was born in New York City in 1923 and joined the Young Men’s Hebrew Association camera club at the age of 12. After serving as a Photographer’s Mate Second Class in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II, he began working as a freelance photographer, primarily for Harper’s Bazaar, in 1944. Under the tutelage of Alexey Brodovitch, Avedon quickly became the magazine’s lead photographer, while also creating formal portraits for many other sources, including his own portfolio.
First showcased in Edward Steichen’s Family of Man exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1955, Avedon’s work has appeared in numerous exhibitions worldwide. His first retrospective was held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington,
D.C. in 1962 and was followed by solo exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (1970), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1974), the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (1985), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1994), among others. Avedon was the first living photographer to receive two shows at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (1978 and 2002).
Avedon died while working on an assignment called “Democracy” for The New Yorker during the 2004 presidential election. During his lifetime, he established The Richard Avedon Foundation in New York City, which now houses his archive and works with curators and collectors around the world.
Patients in a mental institution, February 1963 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Pace/MacGill, one of the world’s leading photography galleries has been dedicated to advancing fine art photography for over 30 years. Known for discovering artists, representinv masters, and placing important collections and archives into major public institutions, Pace/MacGill has presented some 200 exhibitions and published numerous catalogues on modern and contemporary photography. Founded in 1983 by Peter MacGill, in collaboration with Arne Glimcher of Pace and Richard Solomon of Pace Editions, Pace/MacGill is located at 32 East 57th Street in New York City.
Pace is a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most significant international artists and estates of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Founded by Arne Glimcher in Boston in 1960 and currently led by Marc Glimcher, Pace has been a constant, vital force in the art world and has introduced many renowned artists’ work to the public for the first time. Pace has mounted more than 900 exhibitions, including scholarly shows that have subsequently traveled to museums, and published over 450 exhibition catalogues. Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide: three galleries in New York; one in London; one in Palo Alto, California; one in Beijing; and spaces in Hong Kong, Paris, and Seoul. In 2016, the gallery launched Pace Art + Technology, a new program dedicated to showcasing interdisciplinary art groups, collectives and studios whose works explore the confluence of art and technology.
Members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, March 1963 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Santa Monica Beach, September 1963 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation
William Casby, born in slavery, March 1963 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation
With the store originating from the tropics of South Beach and having expanded to Houston, Costa Mesa, and Bal Harbour—it was only natural for The Webster to house their new location in the heart of New York City’s, Soho. Laure Heriard Dubreuil, founder of the luxury retailer, has mirrored the same opulent brand formula with a new ingredient—Webster Home. The six story building will handle pieces by Italian artist Gaetano Pesce, Pierre Frey fabrics that are exclusive to The Webster, and Nada Debs brass candy colored pebble table. Throughout the renovation of their new location The Webster befriended Maxi Cohen, photographer, video artist, and neighbor whose piece is now featured on the third floor.
The store is thoughtfully filled with French 50’s sconce lights and wall papers from the 20’s and 30’s and does the historical 1878, 12,000-square-foot building proud. Turn of the century light wells guide you onto a vintage loading dock entrance, and step out into a room that’s a fusion of new and retrograded pieces mirroring the original Webster store, which was redeveloped with the help and design of Christopher Osvai.
Filling the six floored location are thirty male designers and 68 women designers, including but not limited to Isa Arfen, Julien David, and jewelry by Anita Ko, The Webster combines high end clothing interwoven amongst art deco and one of a kind installations. Sculptures such as Aaron Young’s “Below the Underdog, 2010” is set amongst thoughtfully chosen menswear on the fourth floor.
For more information about the founder, Laure Heriard Dubreuil, check out her Iris Woman feature!
All photos by Andrew Rowat courtesy of Karla Otto Public Relations
The Webster, located at 29 Greene Street, opened to the public Monday, November 6, 2017
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