Model Olympia Campbell Goes Beyond Cutoffs and Wellies for Glastonbury

Olympia campbell glastonbury photo diary

Kate Moss may have set the standard “I’m with the band” festival chic when she started sporting very abridged cutoffs and wellies to Glastonbury Festival, but by now the look has become somewhat de rigueur; sure, your legs look good, but is that really the best you’ve got? Leave it to Instagram’s favorite British model Olympia Campbell to pave an actually outré festival-going look of nineties raver-redux-meets-hazy-flower-child that has us totally rethinking our approach. Think pastel crocheted high-waisted shorts with a matching cropped tank, topped off with a banana yellow Muppet vest, and accessorized with very oversize palm-tree-embellished frames. “I hate looking like I’m in uniform—and wellies are also extremely unsexy to dance in,” says Campbell of her concert-hopping ensemble. “Not that I was looking particularly sexy anyway—unless people are into the bag lady look!”

Campbell’s ensembles for the musical affair ran the gamut of retro frocks with sleeves of bell-bottom proportions patchworked in fuchsia, red, and violet, to a Pepto-pink jacket paired with a barely there top. And those off-kilter looks comparable to the garb in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat roused plenty of reactions from fellow showgoers. “There were quite a lot of people who dressed pretty wacky, but someone did say I looked like a bumblebee one day, and I got quite a few compliments on my big colorful coat with the wizard sleeves,” says Campbell. “Most of the time I think people just thought I looked like a complete madwoman.” In a sea of the same-old cutoffs? That’s definitely a good thing.

And as for where Campbell scored the goods? It was all London-sourced. “I went shopping along Portobello Road,” says Campbell. “There’s this great shop that sells lots of old Afghan clothes where I bought the embroidered cropped shirt.” And Campbell plans on wearing her garb-on-the-grounds on the street, too—though her neighbors may not be too keen on the look. “I’m not sure the yummy mummies of Notting Hill would approve if I walked around the streets wearing the same outfits,” says Campbell. “But I’m quite mad for hats, so that crushed bowler should come out pretty often.” Wearing your festival duds year-round? That’s something we’ll definitely tip our hat to.

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Two Literary Thrillers to Read on the Beach This Weekend

Photo: Courtesy of HarperCollinsPublishers

The allure of traveling alone summons the thrill of anonymity: In a place where no one knows your name, you’re free to be anyone at all. Vendela Vida has built a career writing about women lost in translation, Americans on leave from themselves in places like the Philippines, Lapland, and Turkey. In her Casablanca-set latest, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty (Ecco), an unnamed tourist’s backpack is stolen as she checks into her hotel—an inside job, most likely, given the reaction of the hotel staff. When the police turn up a stolen bag belonging to someone else, insisting it’s hers, she takes the path of least resistance and claims it. Using another woman’s passport and credit cards to check into a luxury hotel, she meets a Hollywood actress filming on location. One bad decision leads to another, one impersonation builds on another, and before she knows it, she has a job as the actress’s double. By the time the source of the narrator’s dispossession is revealed, it’s almost immaterial: The real mystery, echoed in references to Paul Bowles and Michelangelo Antonioni, is freshly resonant in our image-obsessed time and is a philosophical one. What happens when we release the tethers of identity altogether? Vida’s clipped, enigmatic style and on-the-lam story will resonate with anyone who’s ever used another culture to get lost in, though one wishes she’d finally cut loose a little, like her heroine.

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud

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Photo: Courtesy of Other Press

After 70 years of anonymity, the Arab murdered on a sunny beach in Albert Camus’s classic novel, The Stranger, gets a name—Musa—and a novel of his own. Narrated by Musa’s younger brother, Harun, in retrospect, Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud’s searing debut, The Meursault Investigation (Other), isn’t simply a postcolonial reimagining, but an allegory of his own country and time. Harun’s attempts to avenge his brother have also made him a murderer, a stranger in a land caught between “Allah and ennui.” A best-seller in France and a finalist for the Prix Goncourt, Daoud’s novel has the magnetism of its forebear, but its themes of voicelessness and rage feel utterly present day.

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Caitlyn Jenner, Ian McKellen, and the Cast of OITNB Show Their Pride

Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Taub/BFA

Two days after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on same-sex marriage, New York City’s annual pride parade was the biggest and brightest party of the year. So it should come as no surprise that a number of famous faces wanted in on the celebration.

LGBTQ patron saints Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi were front and center, decked out in matching rainbow sashes, kissing supporters on their cheeks, and raising their Panama Jack hats.

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Photo: Courtesy of @diversidachi

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Photo: Courtesy of Brian Bumby/@bumbyfoto

Hedwig and the Angry Inch star Darren Criss opted for a tee instead of his character’s famous fishnets when he climbed on top of Hetrick-Martin’s float, flying his Technicolor flag high.

Marching with @HetrickMartin @DarrenCriss Celebrate Pride! pic.twitter.com/Sy8C8dBeEE

— PropositionLove (@PropositionLove) June 28, 2015

The award for most committed ensemble goes to Orange Is the New Black. The women of Litchfield went above and beyond to show their enthusiasm. Yael Stone and Jackie Cruz danced—in a style we assume Mr. Healy would not approve of—on top of the OITNB float.

And now this is happening. pic.twitter.com/v9RTUADmTi

— Sara Hess (@SaraHess) June 28, 2015

Lea DeLaria’s to-the-point tee would make Big Boo proud.

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Photo: Courtesy of Yael Stone Morello/@yaelstone_morello

Cruz and castmate Adrienne Moore literally leapt for joy.

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Photo: Courtesy of Adrienne Moore/@acmoore9

And just a few avenues over from the city’s kaleidoscopic street celebration at the Dream Downtown, Caitlyn Jenner joined in on the fun and made her first big public appearance. During the Jared Needle and Voss Productions party, Jenner and six friends stopped by the hotel to see transgender icon Candis Cayne’s performance, but it was Jenner who stole the show. The crowd offered their unbridled support for her, chanting, “We love you, Caitlyn!”

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Photo: Courtesy of @supportcaitlynjenner

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Summer’s Prettiest Nail Color: Yes Way Rosé x Tenoverten’s Limited Edition Polish

yes way rose nail polish tenoverten

Nail polish collaborations—with fashion labels, magazines, and celebrities—are a regular part of the beauty conversation these days, and Tenoverten is no stranger to the concept. In recent years, the New York City–based mani/pedi destination has joined forces with J.Crew and SoulCycle on limited-edition custom shades. Lacquer and liquor make for decidedly less likely bedfellows, yet the nail brand’s latest partnership—a blush pink manicure color created in partnership with Yes Way Rosé—feels entirely logical to those familiar with the nuances of the Provençal wine’s distinctive peach-tinged hue.

“They’re a perfect pairing,” says Yes Way Rosé cofounder Erica Blumenthal, who started thinking about the connection between a glass of rosé and a well-manicured hand while sitting down to drinks with Tenoverten cofounder Nadine Ferber at the New York City boîte Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs (where the façade just so happens to be pink). And Blumenthal’s reasoning goes one step beyond aesthetics: She and partner Nikki Huganir founded their popular wine content and commerce platform on a love for drinking the varietal—as well as the free-spirited, summer-loving culture that goes hand in hand with the chilled, warm-weather beverage. Their universally flattering pink polish, appropriately called “Rosé Vibes,” is no exception—channeling the optimistic hue, while acting as an unexpected neutral that works on hands and feet.

According to Ferber, the polish (which launches tomorrow) fills a seasonal color gap in Tenoverten’s self-titled collection. Plus, she adds, it was an excellent way to harness the “really creative and fun energy” that has earned Yes Way Rosé its loyal legions of Instagram followers—not to mention its own wine, a just-launched Napa Valley pinot noir rosé called Summer Water that seems destined to disappear just as quickly off shelves.

Yes Way Rosé X Tenoverten Rosé Vibes Nail Polish, $18, available June 30, 2015 exclusively at shop.yeswayrose.com, and Tenoverten salons for a limited time.

 

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Artist Melissa McGill’s Constellation Brings the Stars Down to Earth

constellations

On Friday night, I battled the inevitable end-of-week desire to do absolutely nothing, and instead dragged myself through the gauntlet of Grand Central Station with a colleague so that we could board the 5:30 p.m. commuter train to Beacon. In the city, the sky was ominous, toggling between storm clouds and sun, but by the time we emerged from Grand Central’s cell-phone-deadening matrix of tunnels into the calm of Upper Manhattan, the sun was out and our expedition seemed blessed by the weather gods. We were headed upstate to get on a boat that would take us out onto the Hudson so that we could view artist Melissa McGill’s new light installation, Constellation, located on the tiny outcropping of Pollepel Island in the middle of the river.

If you’ve ever joined the hordes of athleisure-clad weekend warriors who stream up to Cold Spring in warm weather for a pre-brunch scramble up Breakneck Ridge, or if you’ve ever just taken the Metro-North up the Hudson, you’ve probably noticed Pollepel Island—though there’s a decent chance you wouldn’t know to call it that. The island sits about 1,000 feet off the shores of Beacon, across the river from Storm King Mountain. Perched on top of it are the ruins of a mysterious castle. As of this past weekend, it also holds seventeen flag poles topped with blue tinted LED bulbs (better for birds), which, every night for the next two years, will flicker on in an animated, organically inspired sequence. As the sun goes down, the poles recede into darkness, and for two hours the lights glow like a low-hanging cluster of stars, dipping in and around the ragged stone walls of the ruined fortress.

constellations

constellations

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Photo: Courtesy of Rob Penner

It was speculation about the castle that first kindled McGill’s interest in the site. She’s lived and worked in Beacon for eight years, but a decade ago she was a Greenpoint-based artist who, like the rest of us, occasionally found herself on the Metro-North fantasizing about the wilds of upstate. During those rides, and later, once she moved and regularly rode back into the city, she’d eavesdrop on the conversations around her about the strange castle out the window. “I heard someone say, That’s from the seventeenth century. That it was built by a king. Someone said it was a theater set,” McGill told Vogue.com over the phone. “There’s all sorts of mythology.” When she moved, she asked around the community, and received more unlikely answers. “Most people who live in this area have never been there,” she said. “I’d hear ‘Oh, it’s filled with snakes,’ ‘There’s bats,’ ‘It’s covered in poison ivy.’ All these very dramatic, mysterious stories. And so I thought you couldn’t go there.”

In fact, you can go there, as she eventually discovered. The castle was built at the turn of the 20th century by an army-navy surplus dealer named Francis Bannerman, who purchased the island after concerns about his large stockpiles of explosives forced him to move his operation from Manhattan. On his new land, he built a summer home for his family and a series of turreted arsenals that would serve both as storage and as an ornate advertisement for the used military goods he bought and sold. Bannerman died in 1918, and by 1920 his fantasyland had begun to crumble: first when a gunpowder explosion damaged the arsenals, then when a fire further destroyed the complex in 1969. By then, the Bannerman family had sold the land to New York State, which incorporated it into the Hudson Highlands State Park. Over the years, the parks department has partnered with the Bannerman Castle Trust to clean up leftover explosives, stabilize the structures, restore the gardens originally planted by Bannerman’s wife (not-so-fun fact: Angelika Graswald, the woman who has been charged with killing her fiancé while kayaking on the river this spring, was one of the volunteers who gardens every Wednesday), and, since 2004, lead public historical tours.

For McGill, the island became an impossible-to-ignore art prompt so potent that she’s dedicated the past three years of her life, and independently raised more than half a million dollars, to bring Constellation to fruition. It’s a process that’s involved help from a “galaxy” of people—more than a hundred, she says—including art-world mentors like outgoing Creative Time president (and incoming director of the Brooklyn Museum of Art) Anne Pasternak, Museum of Modern Art director Glenn Lowry, and Polich Tallix owner Dick Polich, whose fine art foundry engineered the highly complex installation. (“On a bedrock island in the Hudson River, with this difficult topography, with a fragile ruin on it that’s a historical landmark,” McGill reminded me.)

It’s been not only a passion project for the artist; it’s been a way of negotiating a still relatively new life upstate. Before her twins, now ten, were born, McGill had five solo shows—in London; Memphis, Tennessee; Columbus, Ohio; Bologna, Italy; and New York City—within the space of a couple years. But then motherhood, as well as the disorientation of moving, sent her into an incubation period. “It took me a little while to get reconnected with my work,” she said. “It wasn’t easy in the beginning.” During that period of relative dormancy, McGill was influenced heavily by two experiences: watching Robert Irwin speak at Parsons, and seeing Tino Sehgal’s 2010 piece, This Progress, at the Guggenheim Museum, in which visitors to the museum were led up the central ramp by guides of ascending ages, while engaging in conversations about the meaning of progress. “I was ripe for some kind of transition and I was really taken by the idea of the experience of the work, perception, the way that a viewer could interact or be part of the work,” said McGill.

In the empty space of the ruined castle, and in the questions that arose surrounding those ruins, McGill found a powerful symbol of absence and presence, a theme that has always fascinated her. The installation’s seventeen points of light hover atop poles of different heights, which reference the original heights of Bannerman’s structure, mapping out the now mostly missing buildings. But they also reference a more profound absence: that of the Lenape tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the area long before Dutch settlers named the island Pollepel. When McGill showed Hadrien Coumans of the Lenape Center her initial renderings, he connected it with his tribe’s legend of Opi Tamakan, a path of stars that links this world to the spirit world. It was perfect kismet. “That was part of my idea already,” explained McGill. “This path of stars that marks a path between past and present, light and darkness, and heaven and earth.”

When we met during Friday’s boat ride, McGill, dressed in black capris, fuchsia Vans, and a boxy white sleeveless shirt, was ebullient, as bubbly as the Prosecco we were served on the short trip out to the island. She has a tendency to grab your shoulder as she talks to you, and it’s clear that her personal warmth must have been instrumental in wrangling the massive amounts of help and support needed to make her complicated public art vision a reality.

Later McGill would try to explain her work to me in terms of the language of finches—the spaces between chirps communicate as much as the chirps themselves, she says—but on the boat, cerebral frameworks paled in comparison to the elemental, almost magical experience of Constellation. As we puttered toward the island, birds dive-bombed through the vacant windows of Bannerman’s façade. The rosy stone of the castle walls glowed against an eclectic green mountain backdrop. The sun lowered in the sky and a Creamsicle sunset formed on the horizon. We weren’t alone: A speedboat parked off the rocky shore of the island, and a group of kayakers (Storm King Adventure Tours leads trips to see the lights) gathered nearby. Even on our boat, populated by a boisterous crowd of journalists just beginning to get tipsy, the anticipation felt palpable.

“How do you feel?” I asked McGill when she wandered by as we circumnavigated the island, waiting for nightfall. “I feel like I can’t believe this happened!” she said, a huge smile on her face. Later on the phone, I posed the question again. “There’s this ancient Arab proverb I’ve been thinking about for a very long time,” she told me. “ ‘Throw your heart out in front of you and run ahead to catch it.’ That’s been the experience. You believe in something, you have an idea. You take the right steps. You talk to all the right people. You do all these tests. But then to see it actually up is . . . thrilling.

Thrilling, indeed. Down river, the yellow lights of West Point gleamed against the dusk, and up river, the lights of Newburgh did the same. But when the first bulb of Constellation, attached to the tallest of the poles, turned on, its light appeared genuinely celestial. The LEDs McGill opted for are directional, so they tend to twinkle, getting brighter when you’re directly in front of them, and flickering lower when you’re not. One by one, the rest of the bulbs ignited, until they were all dancing in concert, like a perfect microcosm of the cosmos.

Practically on cue, a couple of actual stars appeared higher in the mostly cloudy sky, mirroring the woman-made version below, the last in a series of friendly helpers who have blessed McGill’s project. They seemed to be there just to say: See, she kind of got it right.

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