Long before awards season begins, I try to see as many movies as possible in preparation for our annual Directors Issue, which is now in its third iteration. It was a great year in cinema, and choosing the directors to feature was not easy, but in the end we invited Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood), Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), and Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story) to direct three remarkable photo shoots for W. Getting to spend time with three of the best directors in the world at the height of their careers has been one of the best parts of my job. It was a joy to witness how they each approached their projects so differently.
Baumbach was first. From the start, he knew he wanted to pay homage to New York street photography. We discussed who could be the star of his New York–centric shoot, and he immediately said he wanted Debbie Harry—and Debbie Harry immediately said yes. We introduced -Baumbach to the photographer Stephen Shore; unbeknownst to us, Adam Driver, the male lead in Marriage Story, had recently gifted Baumbach one of Shore’s books. On what felt like the coldest day of the year, -Baumbach, Shore, and the lead singer of Blondie—cool as ever at 74—roamed Manhattan’s East Village revisiting Harry’s old haunts. The whole day felt like we were living in a Baumbach film (“Queen of New York”).
Next up was Bong, who explained that he wanted to create a photographic sequel to Parasite, in a modernist glass house like the one in his movie. Cho Yeo Jeong, one of the stars of Parasite, would be obsessively trying to disinfect her home, to no avail. Bong loved the idea of mixing fashion with plastic gloves and cleaning products, and on the day before Parasite won Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes, the W team and the photographer Lee Jae Hyuk, who shot the poster for Parasite, brought Bong’s deliberate and particular direction to life. The results are creepy, humorous, and, of course, very, very clean (“Domestic Bliss”).
Finally, the great Tarantino: He and our Editor at Large, Lynn Hirschberg, conjured a house party in which Tarantino would reunite with some of his collaborators and cast members from Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. The photographer Angelo Pennetta captured Margaret Qualley, Mikey Madison, Kurt Russell, and other Tarantino pals as they laughed, danced, and played Twister (“Life of the Party”). As it turns out, there was actually plenty to celebrate: The shoot happened on the day that Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood received 10 Oscar nominations.
We also feature the young Milan-born, Paris-based architect and interior designer Fabrizio Casiraghi, to whom our Executive Editor, Armand Limnander, introduced me (“House Proud”), and we eavesdrop on a personal, meaningful conversation between the artist Calida Rawles, who is having her first solo show at Various Small Fires in Los Angeles, and the celebrated writer Ta-Nehisi Coates (“Deep Dive”). As the ultimate Sofia Coppola fangirl—I’ve always loved her style as much as her films, and as a teenager I wore Milk Fed, her clothing line—I’m thrilled to have Coppola’s intimate pictures and diary from the latest -Chanel Métiers d’Art collection, in which she collaborated with Chanel’s creative director, Virginie Viard (“The Style Council”). To cap things off, we have a great fashion story by the legendary Grace Coddington, starring one of her favorite fellow redheads, Rianne van Rompaey, and photographed by Karim Sadli (“Balancing Act”). Coddington channels the woman we all want to be: one who wears the perfect Hermès khaki suit and head scarf, or the chicest Prada blazer and skirt paired with platforms.
All together, these stories celebrate the special mix that we at W love and always want to share: fashion, film, art, and design. We hope you enjoy the issue!