Gen Z photographer Bella Newman snaps her creative contemporaries in Gucci’s Chateau Marmont-inspired resort collection at the hallowed hotel
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
Photograph by BELLA NEWMAN
Creative and Fashion Direction by ALISON EDMOND
Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele memorialized a visit to the Chateau Marmont a couple of years ago by posting a single image to Instagram: its aging courtyard fountain. Inspired by the historic property, Michele created a series of pieces in Gucci’s Resort 2019 collection depicting graphics of Pan, the Greek god of the wild (complete with goat horns) who presides over the Chateau’s spout of water. After a theatrical premiere of the resortwear inside a Roman necropolis in the French city of Arles earlier this year, C asked photographer Bella Newman to capture the jackets, sweatshirts, bags and trench coats emblazoned with the dancing faun and the name of Sunset Boulevard’s most storied hotel (rendered in a vaguely astrological font), on the grounds of the property.
On set with Newman as she trains her lens on her band of creative friends dressed in Michele’s looks, the photographer observes: “[The Chateau] is the quintessential old Hollywood place that still manages to remain what it is and doesn’t change to fit with the present. It hasn’t really been corrupted.” The Pennsylvania-born photographer who, at 19, has already shot reportage stories and portraits for both Vogue and Time while studying film at New York University (she was discovered via Instagram while in high school), counts the hotel’s lounge as her favorite late-night lair on the West Coast.
Like the Chateau itself, Michele’s designs fearlessly adhere to a more-is-more bohemian sensibility, replete with his trademark vintage-inspired androgyny that somehow manages to stay fresh season after season. Once again, Old World lace, velvets and brocades coalesce in a collection worthy of a French chateau built on a Hollywood hill in 1929.
“It feels like we’re all Alessandro’s youth,” says the 12 Years a Slave, Mudbound and just-released Monsters and Men actor Kelvin Harrison Jr., 24, modeling a tracksuit embellished with Michele’s trademark tiger.
In a pose reminiscent of Pan looking on from his fountain perch, Newman takes the final shot of the day, pronouncing, “I like to make people seem like divine creatures.”
Hair by PETE LAMDEN.
Makeup by ALEXA HERNANDEZ at Forward Artists using Clé de Peau.
Photographed at CHATEAU MARMONT.
Models: KELVIN HARRISON, JR., 24, HUGHIE NEWMAN, 17, SELMA SPATH, 19, SOPHIE SMITH, 19, WEST ALDER, 17, and BELLA NEWMAN, 19.
This story originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of C magazine.