FASHION commissioned Benjamin Shine to create a unique tulle portrait for our 40th anniversary cover. Shine worked with Riccardo Tisci (when he was in givenchy) and John Galliano (in Maison Margiela), but this was his first time working with a magazine. When we asked him whether he was a self-described artist or sculptor, he replied. “I don’t want to be boxed in by these labels. I consider myself a “creative explorer”.
Shine, based in London, UK, spent a day in New York and created her own portrait with a photo of Witcomb. “I tried to go beyond technology and capture people’s feelings,” he explains. “Amber sends out a kind of quiet and timeless force, and her facial contours are charming, and this is the pre-raphael in Greece.
When he studied fashion in central saint martins in London, he discovered his gift for painting. He began to make sculptures and works of art, but he didn’t use tulle until more than a decade later. “I remember my studio noticing how the crumpled tulle ball landed in the sun,” he recalls. “I was interested in the way it pleases, and I wondered if I could manipulate the fabric to create an identifiable image.
His technique is time-consuming and the media relentless. Once the fabric is molded with two hands and glued to the canvas, it can’t be undone. The seemingly floating portraits have a poetic lightness to them. “The use of tulle is very different from other work media such as marble, glass and steel,” he said. “It’s really nice and not there, which makes it a unique spirit and an empty quality.”
But how does it feel to be immortal in Benjamin shane’s portrait?
One MBER Witcomb was used to being photographed, but the 23-year-old model was taken aback when she learned that the service would create a portrait of her as our anniversary cover. “I’ve never seen a job like Ben,” she said. “It is very timeless and beautiful. I believe that once my model journey ends, I will always remember it. ”
The journey began three years ago, when her agent, mwangwang management company Sean Penhall, investigated her at a music festival. “I noticed the tall avatar girl walking toward me,” he recalls. “I knew immediately that she was special. I remember telling her that she would be my first star, of course, she was. ”
The british-born Canadian has gone through all the main runways and fired a shot at Celine and Burberry. “I think the burberry movement is my favorite memory to date,” she said. “When I saw this activity on billboards in London, New York and milan, it was surreal.”
It was also surreal to get on her first magazine cover with FASHION. “I felt incredibly humble,” she said. “For me, special moments will see my family and friends in Canada pick up magazines. This is a huge milestone in my career! ”
Witcomb, a media and communications degree from Brock university in st. Catherine, Ontario, also read Lord byron’s poetry, “she walks in beauty,” a fashion film for the shoot. “I’m a romantic myself, so this poem resonates with me,” she says. “It’s wonderful to read aloud.”