The Making of V: Nicola Formichetti (V54)

The Making of V: Nicola Formichetti (V54)

The stylist reminisces on the paparazzi storm from his cover shoot with Gisele.

The stylist reminisces on the paparazzi storm from his cover shoot with Gisele.

Photography: Mario Testino

Styling: Nicola Formichetti

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To illustrate our V family values, we revisit some of our most scrapbook-worthy clips.

NICOLA FORMICHETTI: [For V54] I came up with the idea of playing with denim. So I got loads of denim from all the different brands, including Diesel, Replay, and G-Star and things like that. The night before the shoot I customized them all. It’s probably not allowed these days, but back then it was a little bit more free. My assistants always say, “Never give Nicola a pair of scissors” because I cut everything. I loved the idea of Gisele in denim but also that she was such a sexy sex-bomb, so I wanted to show her skin. We cut loads of denim to show more of her skin and we added all of this high-end jewelry. So it had a high–low mix and Gisele looked amazing. The funny [thing] is, we shot this in Malibu by the beach. The initial idea was supposed to be Gisele, in the denim, in front of the beach. She would stand in the sand and then you could see the sea behind. It was supposed to be this homage to the ’80s bikini shoot but as soon as we started shooting, we were surrounded by paparazzi. Even though we were in this incredible place, the beach is obviously not private. We went back to the villa and decided to shoot in the greenery. By that time it was already the afternoon and the sun was going down. We literally did the whole shoot, three covers, plus a ten-page shoot, in an hour and a half. It was incredible, to have this superstar who managed to give us amazing shapes and looks within a matter of seconds. There was no time to fuck around and [she] was such a professional. These images are very timeless. I love working with denim because it’s timeless and sexy. And Gisele is, of course, a timeless beauty. Sometimes when you work with fashion, it captures that era, and the imagery sometimes becomes dated. But a hot girl in denim is still hot today and always will be.

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