“Looking at the clear sky after several days of rain, I would say my favorite color right now is blue,” Peter Philips tells me over Zoom. He’s tuning in from his office in Paris; behind him are stacks and stacks of Dior coffee table books and a fuzzy KAWS figurine. He’s frenetic— “My head is spinning a bit because we have so many deadlines for shoots and campaigns. Since everybody in France is going on holiday in August, suddenly there are all kinds of projects popping up from left to right”—but he’s in high spirits.
Anyone who has flipped through the pages of V can rightfully assume that Philips is a friend of the magazine. Some would go so far as to say that he’s more like family, given that he was the hand behind the iconic Mickey Mouse-themed and Willy Vanderperre image, which was actually shot for issue V0—the first visual zine that was sent out to secure advertisers for V’s inaugural issue—and has gone on to participate in dozens of shoots since. “A-Z with Inez and Vinoodh was so fun,” he recalls, “as was, of course, working with the late Stella Tennant.”
Every time, Philips has managed to deliver something fresh, playful, and chic. His excitement is palpable. “I like to have fun,” he states. “When I saw Malika, she reminded me of Lisa Bonet in The Cosby Show. Her style was very specific and cool, very ‘80s.” Philips goes on to tell me that the headpiece in this shoot was actually, hilariously, not a headpiece at all, but in fact, a pillow.
“I keep making things that I can glue on a face. I studied graphic design in the ’80s. That was before the computer and it was very specific. It’s like art school. You learn about colors, mixing, printing, and drawing, and I developed a steady hand, which is why I like to draw on faces.” —Peter Philips
“We wanted the volume of the ‘80s—a bit of oversized shirts, a bit of weight in the hair. The stylist Nathan [Klein] was going for that hippie-but-not-a-hippie vibe. Like that dress is a skirt with a belt tied around it.” Unlikely props are kind of Philips’ thing, so none of this comes as a surprise.
His flare for pearls, feathers, hand-embroidered accessories, and more—“I keep making things that I can glue on a face,” he jokes—has its roots in his training as a graphic designer. “I studied graphic design in the ‘80s. That was before the computer and it was very specific. It’s like art school. You learn about colors, mixing, printing, and drawing, and I developed a steady hand, which is why I like to draw on faces.”
Aside from the artistic side of graphic design, there’s also a big emphasis on marketing, which proved itself useful to Philips as he went about his career. “We would be called in on a Monday morning and the teacher would say, ‘Drop everything. Today, we are an agency and this is your client.’ We’d build a campaign, merchandising, make packaging mock-ups, everything—it still helps me today in my job here at Dior.”
Thankfully, though, he won’t have to think about any of this now that his busy season is about to come to a close. Instead, he’ll be able to enjoy summery blue skies for a few weeks—that is, of course, if it remains his favorite color.
Photography Alvaro Beamud Cortés
Makeup Peter Philips (Art + Commerce) for Dior Beauty
Model Malika Louback (IMG)
Fashion Nathan Klein
Hair Lorenzo Barcella (Julian Watson)
Manicure Beatrice Eni (Saint Germain)
Production coordinator Elena Cimarosti (Interlude Project)
On-set producer Elena Sophia Ivalidi (Interlude Project)
Digital technician Thomas Jezequel
Photo assistants Simone Triacca, Emil Kosuge, Thomas Jezequel
Stylist assistants Brittany Lovoi, Amelie Richart
Makeup assistants Ayana Awata, Sayuri Yamashita
Location Daylight Studios
Special Thanks Luiz Mattos