Mario Sorrenti’s photographs and films capture the raw intimacy – and originality – of his subjects. Get a rare on-set look at the bohemian inspiration behind Sorrenti’s fall collaboration with Lucky Brand, featuring models Missy Rayder and David Gandy and styled by fashion impresario Melanie Ward.
When Lucky Brand creative directors Patrick Wade and Matt Berman gathered with models Missy Rayder and David Gandy at legendary photographer Mario Sorrenti’s tiny Manhattan studio, it was with a very distant, and different, place in mind: the gypset hills of California’s Topanga Canyon. “We wanted to create an environment that would capture Missy and David’s chemistry,” Berman explained of the drugstore-inspired vintage tiles and found leather chair, curated by set designer Philipp Haemmerle (W, Purple Fashion, Numero).
The mood was further instilled by Sorrenti’s mellow approach. “Neil Young was playing in the background and when it came time for lunch, we all gathered together for an Italian meal cooked by an old friend of Mario’s,” Wade says, emphasizing the real-life closeness of Missy and David, whose off-camera vibe Wade describes as “brother-sister” and of Sorrenti’s loyal crew, most of whom have been with the photographer for decades. This blurring of the lines between crew and familial clan, and between work and life, lend a rich layer to the unpredictable – and impossible to replicate – aesthetic that sets Sorrenti’s work in a realm of its own. From his of daringly unguarded portraits of Kate Moss, Kirsten Dunst and Will Ferrell to album covers for Duran Duran and boundary-breaking editorials for V, Vogue, T Magazine (and virtually every magazine in existence) to his latest collaboration with Lucky, Sorrenti has irreverently mined the visual landscape of intimacy.
Stylist Melanie Ward represents a similarly individualistic approach. Having established the '90s' minimalist fashion craze as Helmut Lang’s muse, Ward has since repeatedly reflected the emerging style-zeitgeist before anyone else, by following her own gut instincts about what looks and feels good. For the Sorrenti shoot, she gravitated towards printed silk scarves and soft, leather bombers. "She’s a fan of our denim fits,” says Wade, adding that Ward was impressed that none of the jeans needed to be altered on-set, a rarity on fashion shoots. "Missy slides right into the jeans," Berman chimed in, "she’s got a real body. Men thinks she’s sexy and women respect the way she looks. We knew that with Mario shooting and Melanie styling, Missy was the ideal woman to convey Lucky Brand's independent spirit."