Laura Brown is one of the funniest people working in fashion -- the Aussie told me at Karl Lagerfeld's talk in New York last night that she's like a "little koala" who "just shows up" at the Chanel offices in Paris -- and the latest manifestation of her wit appears in the December/January issue of Harper's Bazaar.
The executive editor tapped Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and his "monsters" for a fashion spread. Shot in the streets of Los Angeles, the monsters pose alongside Angela Lindvall (and the artist himself!) in mundane situations.
Brown couldn't hide her excitement about the shoot when I caught up with her Wednesday night. "I couldn't believe he said yes, for starters," Brown said of Murakami. "I said, 'Who is the biggest, most amazing artist I can collaborate with for December?' and I asked him and he was brilliant."
"I think sometimes, working in magazines, it's a bit of a sweet spot because what you do is sort of foreign from what they do and they find it interesting," Brown offered as a reason that Murakami was so immediately interested in working with Harper's Bazaar. "That's how I've been able to work with certain major artists or film directors because they're like, 'Oh, that world! I don't visit that world so often so let's go and see.'"
Brown worked with Murakami's "really amazing, professional" crew to set up the shoot in LA, the halfway point for the two parties. Murakami is obviously no stranger to fashion collaborations, having already worked with Louis Vuitton on an extremely popular line of bags, but this spread got a new approach from the artist. "He happened to have this film out, Jellyfish Eyes, that has these creatures," Brown explained.
"I love the unexpected in an expected situation, how surreal that is, so I was like, 'Awesome, we're going to take them to In 'N Out burger, to Rodeo Drive,' and he was delighted. He thought it was the coolest thing too, because just seeing what he created in that context was exciting for him as well."
And this isn't the end of the creatures collaborating with Harper's Bazaar. "We're doing a dinner with [Murakami] at Art Basel," Brown told me. "The creatures are coming."
"They might be checking people in," she joked. "I'm not sure if they can hold iPads but we're going to give it a go!"
Check out the full spread and interview at Harper's Bazaar's website.