Stylist Claire Edmondson today talks THE LOOK through realising the stylistic vision of one of our favourite artists, Roisin Murphy.
A couple of weeks back we covered Murphy’s excellent grasp of visual style, as recently underlined by her collaboration with Scott King (formerly of Sleazenation) on the first promos for tracks from latest album Overpowered.
With the clip for new single You Know Me Better (released this week), Murphy has taken a fresh direction.”The point was to do something different – a little bit softer, more feminine,” says Edmondson, who explained that the American artist and photographer Cindy Sherman was a major reference point. Murphy and her team lovingly recreate images from Untitled Film Stills, in which Sherman explored archetypes and identity through self-portraits, employing wigs and clothes to alter her appearance.
//Cindy Sherman from Untitled Film Stills//
The lightness of touch avoids the direct approach taken by Tori Amos for the sleeve of her 2001 covers album Strange Little Girl, in which the American singer-songwriter replicated a number of Sherman images.
In a newly-released behind-the-scenes film, Murphy describes Sherman as a “massive influence”, though the looks are firmly fashion-forward: she wears Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu, as well as a number of vintage pieces. The overall effect is feminine, mysterious and a little oblique, kept fresh and modern by Murphy and Edmonson’s use of neck-ruffs, tulle, bows and gloves from east-end boutique No-One and up-and-coming Londoners Poltock & Walsh.
The look is also a contrast to the Scott King collaboration, which had a harder-edge and more modern feel. “Roisin usually does most of her own styling,” says Edmondson, “but because there were so many different looks required there was no way she’s have time to organize it all.
“So that’s where I came in. I shopped and called in clothes for about a week and then Roisin, myself and my assistant spent two evenings in a hotel suite in Soho putting all the looks together. We were really into the Louis Vuitton S/S 08 collection, with all it’s tulle and sugar pastel shades, so I think that was our starting point.”
Revealing that Roisin’s favorite outfit is the vintage green dress, with pink hotpants and neck ruff, closely followed by the Louis Vuitton dress she wears in the hallway, Edmondson describes the look as “quite feminine but still strong, which I think is an accurate reflection of who Roisin is in real life: very beautiful and feminine, but also a very strong person”.
Louis Vuitton S/S 08
It’s entirely appropriate that the S/S 08 LV collection is their starting point, since that was the result of a collaboration between Marc Jacobs and artist Richard Prince, inspired by his nurse paintings. Jacobs described the shoes for the collection as a “collage of a traditional Vivier, a nurse shoe and a classic pump from the sex shop”.
Prince collaborated with Cindy Sherman on a double self-portrait in 1980 when they were lovers, dressed in identical suits, ties and Andy Warhol wigs. Sherman too has collaborated with Marc Jacobs – working (and dressing up) with Juergen Teller on the 2006 campaign.
Edmondson enthuses about the experience of working with Murphy: “It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a fitting with a musician, because usually I’m being told to tone it down, but Roisin always wanted to push it.”