WTF Issue WILD Fashion Ediotrial

February 18, 2014


Forbidden Food: An Interview between Ali Mahdavi and Frederic Fontan

After the making of the Forbidden Food fashion editorial for our latest WTF issue, two of the creative minds behind the project, Ali Mahdavi and Frederic Fontan, sat down to discuss working together, working with The WILD, and infusing their own unique personalities into the world of fashion.

ALI MAHDAVI by Karl Lagerfeld - copie

Ali Mahdavi:
Very pleased to collaborate again together since working on the show “Double Je / Andrej Pejic” at the W Paris Hotel. You are also a funny character: chemical engineer, artistic interpreter, dancer, choregrapher, show curator, creative director…very heteroclite, like Shiva or “Paul le Poulpe” [laughs].

Frederic Fontan:
The same applies to you when we talk about being a queer character; flamboyant divinity, photographer, illustrator, movie director, icon, artistic director of the Crazy Horse…You have also been a fashion designer for Mr. Mugler before going back to your studies at the Beaux Arts where you graduated with the jury’s unanimous honors, which is exceptional.

AM:
And for The WILD we played a different game! You did the art direction and set design for the shoot, which by the way was a first, but you are actually used to it since you organize events for luxury and fashion houses. And me, I took the pictures, of course, and also created jersey dresses on set. We had a good time, it was a little bit of a “no limit” experience—new territories for the both of us!

PORTRAIT FF Moustache LD

FF:
Yes, it was so quick and last minute, but it really did motivate us and we know each other so well. I think we are also very fast, it’s a quality we both share outside our craziness.

AM:
Yes, [magazine’s are] missing a lot of craziness these days. We are always so limited by directions, budgets, formats, it’s all very reductive.

FF:
And here The WILD and our lovely Guillaume [Boulez, Creative Director] let us be free, unlike a lot of magazines these days. Everything is so contrived, but here we had the opportunity to do a shoot that is “chic et choc,” aesthetic and provocative!

WTF Issue WILD Fashion Ediotrial

AM:
It’s true that we are far from the days of Diana Vreeland, whom I love, where we could do anything. Now everyone is scared. But here we tried so many, many things. The houses of Chaumet, Boucheron, and Dior, who we know very well both from being two big fine jewelry fans and also from working with them, trusted us! I think sometimes those houses are tired of being seen only as advertisers and having all those restrictions that minimize the creativity to almost nothing.

FF:
Well, this time, we saw everything in XXL, in COLOR and WILD! And the pieces we had on set were really exquisite, especially the “attrape moi si tu m’aimes” fine pieces from the Chaumet collection!

AM:
XXL, yes. I wanted makeup like no one does anymore with strong, bright, violent colors. Same goes for the hair styles I designed. I wanted something really crazy, thats why I thought of the lobster claw bun.

WTF Issue WILD Fashion Ediotrial

FF:
The lobster. We fought to have this world of seafood: gigantic sea spiders, crayfish, multicolor sea urchins. For me it was about using natural masterpieces to style the set. I wanted this baroque exaggeration which can be very distasteful and vulgar, like an overdone jewel, to become, in this case, beautiful and noble. By the way, you could see it in the models’ attitude which once on set had some nobility to them. You can’t be fooled!

AM:
Tiziana looked like Nefertiti and Gwen like Hemingway. . .It was a fantasy.

FF:
I also wanted to have boys in the story, which was decided the night before. All 3 were very different, but racy, and I think the sautoir and some really big rings on a man are very beautiful. It might be shocking for occidentals, but that’s the beauty.

WTF Issue WILD Fashion Ediotrial

AM:
Yes, you’re right. If you look at Maharajas, and some Russian oligarchs—men weren’t afraid of wearing beautiful jewels with big stones.

FF:
And the result was fantastic, very cinematographic. You could have pictured some sort of Dolce Vita meets La Grande Bouffe with a WILD twist! There was a lot of emotions during the shoot! Everyone was very excited and attentive at the same time.

AM:
Marco Ferreri’s La Grande Bouffe, sublime! And when we used the black forest cake that your friend, pastry cook Sebastien Gaudard, made for us, it was quite intense. It was like the last shot of a movie with a lot of tension. Everything and anything could happen, but it went the right way!

FF:
We really have lives and jobs that are fantastic! I always say that I don’t work but live my passions and that is a huge luxury.

WTF Issue WILD Fashion Ediotrial

AM:
And we have such atypical paths, it’s fabulous. Sometimes it could be incomprehensible to some, but for us, it’s logical. Like your work ethic and your discipline with regards to your engineering, marketing, and dancing. Rigorousness is necessary for all the creativity in art direction, choreography, and art commissioning.

FF:
You’re right, you’ve summed it up, and all this knowledge is complementary, you know that! In fact, to be free to create, to always start from a raw diamond, a blank page, to go in with all our background and our knowledge but staying open, and simply opening your eyes like a child who can still be surprised.

AM:
We have that in common, to always question in order to get better. I’m happy and I’m sure we’ll find a lot more projects to be crazy with and create beauty. It’s a wonderful mission we have: bring beauty on earth. It’s godlike, in a way!

WTF Issue WILD Fashion Ediotrial

FF / AM:
Cheers to a divine friendship, to flamboyant collaborations, and to our newborn: Forbidden Food!

text by: Guillaume Boulez










Don't yet have an account? now!

Order The Radiant Issue Today

Order The Radiant Issue Today

Order The Radiant Issue Today

Order The Radiant Issue Today