Ursula Wangande Stole All Eyes
Ursula Wangander, the veteran model who all eye. The current stylist (model in the 80s) gave a stroke of effect with firm step, professional.
Experience is a degree. And surely thanks to her Ursula Wangander managed to cross with a firm step the absolutely dizzying videocinetic installation that Demna Gvasalia commissioned to the artist Jon Rafman for the Balenciaga spring parade of 2019. “It was a very, very special set and you had to be very, very concentrated, “the 52-year-old Swedish stylist told us via telephone from Stockholm. “I tried not to notice what was going on around me, because you already know that the ground was moving, the walls were moving, it was super-intense.” However, such wiggles did not bend Wangander for a moment, and less with his industry veteran.
But, first: how did you get there exactly? Balenciaga said he was looking for an older woman with a lot of cool. The model agency Nisch, from Stockholm, sent images of her to the casting director Dora Diamant, who was impressed and showed them to Gvasalia. “And here I am,” says Wangander, with a smile in his voice. Actually, for the Swedish did not mean any debut on the catwalks. At the behest of a stylist friend, he began as a model in the mid-1980s, posing for Mikael Jansson, also in its infancy, and marching for Comme des Garçons in Tokyo. “It seemed to me that [that clothes were] so different at the time,” says Wangander, who had short hair as soon as he put on a bristling, pointed wig like Siouxsie Sioux. Currently, he has long hair in his natural dark color and combed with a stripe in the middle, practically like the styling that he wore for Balenciaga. The makeup for the parade was minimal: “They wanted us to appear very pure,” explains Wangander.
One of the elements that Demna Gvasalia is reviewing and updating are the daring silhouettes of the 80s, which Wangander knows first-hand. “The 80s were pretty ugly in a matter of fashion, do not you think?” He reflects. “It was all so exaggerated, much more synthetic in a way. The look used to be very unreal, but I think you can keep some cool things, like [the shoulders, the high waist] of [then], and now people do not use makeup or a lot of hairdressing, and that makes it more modern I think it lands a lot. ” His adjective for the slender look that he wore in Balenciaga (number 19) is ‘chic’: black pants, trop with asymmetrical draping and killer heel boots in neon green. “I felt very strong when I put on my clothes, like a woman with a lot of power.”
Wangander’s voice takes a longing tone when mentioning the boots, but in his day to day he usually wears men’s shoes from Crockett & Jones, classics that complement the vintage male clothes that are his preference. The stylist also treasures a collection of lace dresses from the 30s, her favorite time. As an icon of style, she names Katharine Hepburn, and is equally attracted to other irresistible characters of the time. “I always have classics like Gregory Peck or Montgomery Clift in mind,” he shares. “I love that pretty tailoring look with high waist, broad shoulders and legs, but with a modern touch.” Wangander has found such sensitivity in Dries Van Noten, and especially in his men’s collection, that he buys often. Closer to home, she trusts Oscar Jacobson for coats and similar garments; and at Atelier Saman Amel, a young tailoring team on request. Not in vain, Wangander confesses Philo fan. He also admires the current work of Gvasalia in Balenciaga. “He knows how to maintain the feeling of a luxury brand, but he is softening it, making it ideal for a younger client who is looking for comfortable clothes, who does not want anything too rigid, they want to be comfortable without the need to wear casual clothes, [and] Demna’s costumes] are very elegant in appearance but very comfortable, I think it achieves a great balance between the street and the tailor’s clothes “.
Dedicated to freelance styling since 1991, while serving as the fashion director of Scandinavian Man, Wangander often unleashes very similar feelings on the set of work. “I work in a very similar way to what a costume designer would do”, he says. “I try to visualize the whole character before putting the clothes on”. Wangander defines the experience in Balenciaga as something only once in a lifetime, but not by what we could imagine. The character of the whole team is what impressed him the most: “I take it inside,” he says. “I have never met such nice, humble and loving people. There was a fantastic atmosphere. ”
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