Givenchy’s Fall 18 Campaign ‘Night Noir’ is All ’80s Berlin

Photography by Steven Meisel for Givenchy


Givenchy’s Fall / Winter 18 campaign, shot by Steven Meisel, takes the brand’s leathery, architectural collection and places it in the black-and-white, dramatic world of (an albeit much younger, more modern version) a noir film.

Creative Director Clare Waight Keller drew upon ’80s Berlin clubbing in creating her shoulder pad-filled, sensual collection – so it only makes sense for the actual setting of the campaign to mimic that – though the party scenes could really take place anywhere. The images comes accompanied by an aesthetically corresponding short film.




BlackBook Interview: The ‘Sharp Objects’ Set From The POV of Its Roller-Blading Teen Stars

Photo: Anne Marie Fox/ HBO


We’re assuming by now, five episodes in, HBO’s Sharp Objects has you trembling with fear and anticipation, as you await the next chapter of the limited series each Sunday night. The Amy Adams led adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel is equal parts gripping crime thriller and heartbreaking exploration of a woman deeply troubled by her childhood and her battle with alcoholism.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the show is its handling of children – particularly the three young roller-skating party girls at the plot’s center. Eliza Scanlen plays 13-year-old Amma, the younger sister of Adams’ Camille Preaker. In the most recent episode, we saw her popping pills on stage with her two cronies, played by real-life sisters Violet and April Brinson.

We’ve seen their backlit silhouettes gliding down the nighttime country roads of Wind Gap, Missouri all season, their miniskirts fluttering as a psychopathic killer of young girls remains on the loose. As the show progresses toward its sure-to-be grisly conclusion, we couldn’t help but wonder: what’s it like on set in the deep south (Barnesville, GA), alongside a somber Amy Adams, a sinister Patricia Clarkson (playing Camille and Amma’s cold-hearted mother), and several fake corpses?

Who better to answer that question than the true flies on the wall: the Brinson sisters, who watched the show unfold from the comfort of their roller skates.


Walk me through the casting process – how did your audition(s) go? 

Violet Brinson: Well, before we even got in the room with casting, we had to submit a roller-skating video. April and I filmed separate videos that we sent to casting. It was really funny because they called up April’s agents and asked them if April had a sister, and her agents didn’t know, so they said she didn’t. Then casting called again asking if she had a cousin or something, because our last names are the same and our videos look very similar. April’s agents called our mom and finally asked whether or not she had a sister or cousin auditioning and my mom confirmed that, yes, April has a sister that is also auditioning. Everyone got a good laugh out of this. After we read for casting the next step was the director’s session with Jean-Marc Vallée.  At first, it was a bit bittersweet because we were both going in for the same role. We really had to channel our inner Serena and Venus Williams (sister goals).  We were so thrilled when we both got cast!

Had you read the book before coming in? 

April Brinson: As soon as I found out I was going to be reading with casting I read the book. I loved it and became attached to the characters and story almost instantly. I had previously read Gone Girl, so I was already a fan of Gillian.

How familiar were you with Amy Adams, Jean-Marc, and Patricia Clarkson before signing on? 

Violet: Oh my gosh!  I knew exactly who all three of them were!  I’ve seen Dallas Buyers Club and Wild and Demolition and they are some of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve grown up watching Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. They are such successful and talented actresses, who I have looked up to since I was young. Being on set with them was so surreal.
April: I had seen almost every project each of them had worked on. I had grown up looking up to them. While I was going through the auditioning process, Big Little Lies was being released and I was obsessed. So I couldn’t help but be thrilled to work on Jean Marc’s next HBO series.



What were your feelings toward your fellow cast members going in versus how you feel about them now? 

Violet: I was terrified! Going onto a set with such extraordinary artists who have been my idols was very nerve-wracking.  But they were all so welcoming and so warm. They really put me at ease and made me feel comfortable enough to do my very best work.
April: I was extremely nervous. They all are such talented and hardworking people, I really felt like I had to step up and be the best I could be. As soon as I arrived on set, everyone made me feel at ease. Because of everyone’s kindness I was able to do my very best work and since it was such an inclusive environment, I was really able to soak up so much knowledge from everyone around me. I was really fortunate to work with them and get to know what amazing and compassionate people they are.

What was it like on set? Was it scary and serious, or lighthearted? 

April: It was a very passionate and hardworking set. Everyone really loved what they were doing. That being said, the content is very dark and difficult. When we were working on some of the more difficult scenes, there was a respectful and professional tone so that the actors could stay in the emotional state they needed to be in. However, overall it was a very warm set.

Did you know how to roller skate before this, or did you learn for the part?

Violet: It’s funny, because both April and I were competitive figure skaters when we were young, but we haven’t spent much time roller skating. However, I do believe our figure skating along with our dance training helped a lot when learning to roller skate. Eliza, April, and I were taught by a World Champion for about two months before we even started filming and it was so much fun!

Did you both become close friends with Eliza Scanlen? How was it working with her? 

Violet: April, Eliza, and I connected really well right from the get go. Learning to roller skate together really gave us the opportunity to bond. We all became great friends. Eliza is such a hard worker, she is so sweet and talented and getting to know and work with her was such a blast! We love her and are still great friends today!
April: Working with Eliza was not only incredible because she is so talented and hardworking, but because when the three of us are together, on or off set, we have a total blast. It was so nice being able to form such a close bond with her, she is such an amazing and thoughtful person. We both adore her.

Kim Petras Is The Star of Opening Ceremony’s F/W 18 Campaign

Photography by Oscar Ouk for Opening Ceremony


Kim Petras is starring in Opening Ceremony‘s Fall / Winter 2018 campaign, her debut as the face of a fashion brand.

With images by Oscar Ouk – Petras plays both shopaholic and shopkeep, swiping her plastic, and strutting around with bags laden on her arms in certain shots, then steaming clothes as a stylist in others. She looks amazing in each shot, retaining her signature playful, casual high fashion vibe throughout.

“It was like we were all hanging out,” said the shoot’s stylist, Matthew Mazur to PAPER about photographing the rising pop star. “Just because it’s work doesn’t mean you have to be bored, anxious, or stressed.”


Photography by Oscar Ouk for Opening Ceremony


Photography by Oscar Ouk for Opening Ceremony


Photography by Oscar Ouk for Opening Ceremony


Photography by Oscar Ouk for Opening Ceremony



BlackBook Interview: Natalie Walker’s Twitter ‘Auditions’ Are Required Viewing

Photography: Alex Schaefer


If you’re not following Natalie Walker’s Twitter movie audition videos, are you even on Twitter?

The actress and writer has blown up online for her mock auditions cleverly critiquing the lack of interesting roles for women in big budget films, while still getting to show off her impressive chops as a character actor, with performances like:




Fresh off her exciting tales with the most talented high school actors in the country, we caught up with Walker about her thoughts on the film industry and how she’d create a blockbuster film with real grit. Read on.


How’d these videos come to be?

Voracious media consumption – I have just seen so many movies now that these tropes are all bouncing around in my head…combined with profound malaise. I’d get asked to do table reads of scripts and the call would be “Natalie, I am putting together a table read and there’s a part that’s PERFECT for you, so so funny!” – but then the role would be “crazy girl who wants to fuck the male lead so bad it’s comical.” And then I would go to some miserable audition where they didn’t like the way I dressed or said my face was too animated or something and at a certain point, I just felt like, Jesus Christ, I think I am good and all the gatekeepers are saying no, but maybe the gatekeepers are bad because I have seen some of the gatekeepers’ things and I do not like the stuff they are keeping behind those gates. The videos then killed two birds with one stone in that I got to share gripes about movies in a way that felt more productive than bellowing “I HATE THIS THING” into the Twitter void, and I got to act.

Do you have any other video ideas that have not been made yet that you can share?

Oh, absolutely, and then maybe this will get the men who routinely tweet me trope requests – despite paying me neither in money nor opportunities for career advancement – off my back for awhile, knowing I already have some on deck. I have the dead wife who exists in dreamy Vaseline-lens flashback, to show us why our hero is sad and motivate him later on. I have a white lady solving racism in a girly way in a very feminist movie written by white men. I’ve got the love interest in a movie made for nerdboys who shows she is Not Just Any Love Interest because she eyerolls a lot and makes a sarcastic comment every now and then.

Favorite actors?

Charlize Theron. Angela Bassett. Parker Posey. Emily Blunt. Viola Davis. Julianne Moore. Sandra Oh. Margo Martindale. I am unfamiliar with male actors’ work, but I hear good things!

Dream scene partners?

I could probably Single White Female Aubrey Plaza in something; it is important to me that I kiss Oscar Isaac once before I die; and I would love it if Julia Louis-Dreyfus played my mom at some point.

Favorite films?

All About Eve. Pleasantville. Boogie Nights. Wet Hot American Summer. Get Out. Defending Your Life. Drop Dead Gorgeous. Carol. Pariah. Lady Bird. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. Marie Antoinette. Paddington 2. Pretty much any movie where the closing credits are set to “September” or “This Will Be.”



Favorite role you have already played onstage?

Sally Bowles in Cabaret. I did it just last year, and have not stopped thinking about it since. She’s the epitome of white feminism to me (e.g. won’t take any hard stances against racism or nationalism because she’d rather have a good time and be liked by everyone), so even though the production was set in period, it excited me to view her through that very post-2016 lens. Certainly found a few modern celebrities to draw inspiration from.

Upcoming projects?

My best friend/platonic husband Heath Saunders and I are doing a duo show at 54 Below at 9:30 on Friday, August 31st, which thrills me because he is so good at singing that I could truly abandon the stage and go to the bar across the street and people would say the show was tremendous. After that, a lot of writing here and there! And getting things in place for a show all of my very own in late autumn/early winter. People have told me to do a solo show forever, but I’ve been wary after years of being forced to attend mindnumbingly banal “and THAT’s what I’ve learned from MY time as an ACTOR in NEW YORK!” cabarets.

What initially made you want to be an actress?

My sister was born and stole all of the attention that had been rightfully mine before. I tried first to kill her – by asking to hold her and then slowly, methodically squeezing her to the point of suffocation while repeating “love the baby” – but was thwarted by our shared mother in a devastating betrayal. So then I got proactive about figuring out a different way to make everybody focus on me, and it turned out to be doing voices and recreating all the performances I saw my parents enjoy on TV.



Assemble your dream writer/ director/ cast/ plot theme for a blockbuster film you’re starring in.

Blockbuster is difficult because I am more into indies with at least one scene where a woman screams and cries behind the wheel of a parked car; but if the people want a blockbuster, here is my pitch: I am a grown-up Veruca Salt. I have spent years off the grid after a narrow escape from the Wonka Factory massacre and now I return to exact revenge on the people who wronged and punished me for being a young woman unafraid to voice my desires. I weaponize the factory against Charlie and Wonka. I shove cotton candy right into some guy’s eyeballs or something. Cars explode. I think somehow Lexi Alexander, Greta Gerwig, and Taika Waititi all join forces on the creative side of it, collaborating on the writing and directing and combining their aesthetics. Grown-up Charlie must be played by a sad sensitive boy with a punchable face, which I think Evan Peters does very well on Pose. Wonka, probably John C. Reilly, who still deserves an Oscar for Walk Hard. Oh, and as I set out on my journey I seek out and team up with fellow survivor Violet Beauregarde, and she’s played by Janelle Monae.

If you weren’t going to be an actor/writer, what would you be?

If I still have all the skills I have now, I think probably do ASMR videos on YouTube. To get monetized for rubbing sandpaper together and pretending to put makeup on someone? Phenomenal. However, if not being an actor/writer sets off a Butterfly Effect timeline, where I grow up being good at other things, then the sky is the limit! Maybe I have a driver’s license in that universe.

Important scenes/Broadway moment YouTube clips for rookies to watch?

ACTRESS ACTING ON FILM: Madeline Kahn in everything, but specifically “I’m Tired” from Blazing Saddles, for the moment when she goes to lazily place her hand on a part of the wall that is not there, so you get a sense of her laser precision.


Then you can watch her monologue from Paper Moon and marvel at the detailed beat work.

Then do the rightly universally beloved “flames” Clue moment because it was improvised when she forgot her exact line, so you can compare and contrast her extemporaneous brilliance with the carefully calculated performances you just watched.

“ACTRESS ACTING ON STAGE: “Alabama Song” from The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny as performed by Audra McDonald.
That little laugh after “we’ve LOST”? Coming down from the most unearthly gorgeous voice you have ever heard? Come on. She’s everything. That she is also wearing the exact same wig that the Mamma Mia universe leads us to believe Christine Baranski wore for 30 years is a bonus.

Behind the Scenes of Beyoncé’s September ‘Vogue’ Cover Shoot


Beyoncé’s September Vogue cover is a glossy piece of fashion history: it’s the first time in the magazine’s 126-year-history that the front page has been shot by a black photographer.

The cover spread was also unique in that Beyoncé was given full creative control of the outfits she wore, and she wrote the entire accompanying piece, a confessionally-structured, highly transparent explanation of her journey with motherhood, family, and heritage that you can read here.

Today, Vogue has released behind-the-scenes footage of Bey’s cover shoot with 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell.


Karamo Brown of ‘Queer Eye’ is Releasing A Line of Bomber Jackets

Photo: Netflix

Karamo Brown, the resident culture expert on Netflix’s Queer Eye, is releasing a line of fashion bomber jackets.

“It’ll be coming very, very, very, soon,” Brown told Variety. “We’re starting with a small collection, and it’s going to be unisex. It’s going to be all sorts of patterns from things that are sparkly to things that are floral to things that you can wear to work.”

Brown has previously told The Strategist that he believes bomber jackets are possibly the “LBD for men,” so this collection should really come as no surprise.

Variety also picked up on further details about fellow Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski’s upcoming NYC restaurant and discovered that the show’s interior design expert, Bobby Berk, is preparing to release a line of home goods.


Watch: Nicki Minaj’s Epic ‘Ganja Burn’ Video


In the new video for the “Ganja Burn” single – from her latest album Queen – Nicki Minaj plays a royal empress crawling through the sands of a fiery desert, surrounded by warriors / highly muscular dancers.

Directed by Mert & Marcus, the video follows a biblical sort of story, beginning by telling the tale of a queen who lets raiders destroy her empire before rising up in revenge. It culminates with Minaj posing just like the album cover. 

She’s previously released videos for “Bed (feat. Ariana Grande),” “Chun-Li,” and “Barbie Tingz.”

Take a look at “Ganja Burn” below.


‘Lemonade’ Cinematographer Chayse Irvin Also Shot ‘BlacKkKlansman’


If you haven’t seen Spike Lee’s new film BlacKkKlansman yet, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket here right now. The movie is based on the crazy true story of the first black cop in Colorado Springs, who took on the Ku Klux Klan through an undercover mission – and though it’s technically a period piece, it couldn’t be more relevant.

Lee pulled dialogue straight out of the mouth of our current POTUS in creating the lines of the racist white people in his film, and that, combined with the movie’s shocking ending, makes it an absolute must-watch that delivers an incredibly important jolt of urgency about the current state of our country.

What we didn’t know before seeing the film is that Lee employed cinematographer Chayse Irvin to shoot his story, and Irvin has another very impressive piece of cinema on his resume: Beyoncé’s masterpiece visual album Lemonade. 

“I remember those moments where [Spike] would turn around, he’d be in the front seat and he’d be like, ‘I know the ending. We’re gonna burn a cross.’ Then a week later, ‘I know the ending. We’re gonna go into this thing,’” Irvin told IndieWire about working with Lee. “He was having these ideas as we were exploring the film, which I thought was great. I’m all about that.”


Here’s Your First Look at Natalie Portman as a Pop Star in ‘Vox Lux’


Word has come that Natalie Portman is playing a pop star, singing original songs by Sia, in a film premiering at the Venice Film Festival this year.

Von Lux follows Portman’s character as she survives a shooting and goes on to become an international sensation over the next 15 years. She’s joined in the cast by Jude Law, Jennifer Ehle and Stacy Martin.

It’s directed by Brady Corbet, who got his start as an actor before directing 2015’s The Childhood of A Leader, which won awards in Venice’s Horizons sidebar.

It does not yet have a theatrical distributor.


Courtesy Venice Film Festival