My last experience as a guest of a gathering of others in the luxury travel industry happened in Cannes a few years ago. The finale, the frambois on the cake, was a bizarre celebration consisting of a disco night, cocktails in plastic beakers and nude dancing in a cage: this was the end result of a week dedicated to the crème de la crème of the luxury tourism industry.
It has taken a few years to recover from the carnevale I participated in Le Cote Azur. Bravely I venture inside the Condé Nast Traveller Fair in London, fortunately there is no trace of nude dancing. The exhibitors are few but good, some have a fresh face with a back-bone of family money. The woman holding flyers and trying to be a marketing kitten makes me melancholy - perhaps because I have a daughter? Maybe because I was raised as a little spartan by a mother who loved to play the guitar rather than pull the ravioli? Who knows where it comes from this itch that I feel when I see a woman using her body as a weapon of mass rather than as a magic spell, nonetheless I feel it is annoying.
I like women very much. This little preamble has nothing to do with the right of a woman to be naked and inviting. I do not think that everything is a man's fault, or that women are not real if they shave their legs. Seriously. I'm just saying that taking advantage of the table of equal opportunities to dance on it panties-less is not that fruitful, that the constant checking of our own sensuality through our opposite gender's eyes does not bring that much into the debate between men and women, at least not at the type of conversation I feel attracted to. I am, however, interested in leaving a small testament to my little girl, a stunning seven year old who is walking me through life with her own little hand, something that she can read in a few years to find her road, in her own way, living in the fullness of her uniqueness: the magic of ourselves, for me, is the only possible step forward, the one move that comes from our creative force, the constructiveness that us women possess, a force that knows how to hold back the destruction, death, without any effort involved apart from listening to ourselves carefully, with heart.
So I have chosen ten women who have made it without growing hair on their legs, who are beautiful, famous, and all female. I have carefully chosen them with the not-so-secret purpose to spend some time with them without having to pay and, of course, celebrate something that exists and that never ceases to fascinate me: a woman at full potential, somebody who did not lose herself in the race for success.
Marcella Martinelli: the style whisperer. She is a ‘honorary fellow’ of style, a walking encyclopedia of the aesthetic, but never, ever the unspeakable changeable word trend. Martinelli grew up in Switzerland and got contaminated in London, she boosts a vast culture in the field of fashion, photography and advertising, and is a person of carachter when it comes to styling: she is a sophisticated woman who loves creation as well as citation. She integrates and mixes, re-invents, contructs and deconstructs. Marcella’s unique selling point is her incredible references that are archived in the back of her mind in endless volumes. She is a devotee to beauty and belives in the power of image with all of her heart.
Helena Bonham Carter, Julia Roberts, Jerry Hall, Pedro Almodovar, Angelica Houston. And then. Dita Von Teese, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Simon Le Bon, Russell Crowe, Helen McCrory: here is a little piece of her resume. Her mobile phone number is on speed dial for the frequent walkers of the red carpet.
We meet at the Bell & Crown pub in leafy west London, thanks to the intercession of common friends. Marcella fills the room, she looks like a taller Silvana Mangano. She is wearing a red flower in her hair, is of course in total black and accompanied by a gloriously looking husband (naturally). I am struck by her skin: smooth, perfect, without a trace of makeup, and even more by her quick, deep, bluesilver eyes.
*"My first job came when I was still a student at the London College of Fashion. By chance I came to Vivienne Westwood. In this adventure I made, remade, disassembled and reassembled a bit of everything for an entire year and I faced my first major responsibility: to work the show of Pall Mall. I then wanted to measure myself with the styling side of the job, and that's when I got my first service for the photographer Jean Baptiste Mondino and the group of Urge Overkill - famous for the song ‘Girl, You Will Be A Woman’ soon on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. This experience has left me even more curious about fashion and people, even though I knew from the beginning that what really gets me, interests me is to create a unique, unrepeatable look - as Yves Saint Laurent: "fashion fades, style is eternal".
There must be an absolute correspondence between the content and the outward form, no matter what is happening all around, the tight timing, the pressures. I would add that one can not and should not accept any compromise: ideas, creativity, they can not be diluted or distorted. I worked hard, I still do to this day, because you do not get anywhere without a religious, calvinist dedication to what you do, whatever that is.
The worst betrayal of myself would be to have no more desire to create, to participate, to let myself lose enthusiasm for life and, as a result, for the process we define creativity. The joie de vivre is a part of me, of my daily life, human and artistic. It is important that each day brings me a little surprise and I do everything so that can happen.
I do not think that there is any use in retaining memories of negative experiences or feelings: it's not really in my nature . We tend to consider the negative experiences as a pretext to improve, but I find that my personal growth is instead resulting from places opposite to those of anger, boredom, hatred.
I have wonderful memories, one of the best being Anjelica Houston's smile and warmth when we worked for the first time together on a set for InStyle Magazine Usa: this professional, amazing woman has really helped me to believe in myself, she made me feel happy to have a part in this world, I owe her a lot in terms of self-confidence.
When I helped Jeremy Irons in the choice of each piece of the wardrobe for his play that also gve me confidence in myself and it was a vital step of my career: although this was a first time and everything went just pitch perfect, I clearly felt a lot of pressure on my shoulders.
The photo shoot with Helen McCrory for last year BAFTA remains one of the most memorable works for me: her grace, her beauty, her infinite kindness inspire me since then and continue to do so every time I dress her for a red carpet event. This artist is truly exceptional.
At the end of the day, it is the trust that I am granted by a great artist or a talented photographer whenever they choose me for a job that makes me happy and inspired. I love that feeling of being the right person in the right place, it just makes me glow with satisfaction. I recommend to the girls of today, tomorrow and yesterday exactly what I keep telling to myself: never stop being curious, always be honest and put away that watch when working on something you really care about."
With over ten years experience in the industry Marcella Has worked with a broad range of clients, photographers, publications, fashion shows & celebrities.
Photo Credits: , , Gemma Arterton by Sarah Dunn, Helen McCrory by Sarah Dunn, Sir Ian McKellen by Sarah Dunn, The next appointment is for the 1st of January 2014.