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Live Fast Mag curates the best of fashion, art, sex, and travel. A vivid and sexy inspiration board for the aesthetically-inclined, Live Fast features in-depth interviews, putting the spotlight on up-and-coming artists, designers and the beautiful minds of our time.

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Interview Series: H A L S E Y

H A L S E Y. A name that undoubtedly sticks like glue once an angelic voice pummels through your eardrums, leaving cravings of healing light thrust into your black heart. Or something very close to that. Meet this New York City-based music vixen in the making, this H A L S E Y, who willingly unravels for me in L.A., dubbing this her first exclusive editorial to date. With a remarkable breakout single, GHOST, and a hot-natured outlook on life, her launch into the music industry is turning out silky smooth. Photographer Eric Mooney took these wicked snapshots while we lounged in a house way up in the Hollywood Hills- styling by Aban Sonia – beauty looks by Lernik Grikorian.

Q&A

LF: Tell me a little bit about your journey as a music artist up to your tender age of… 19 is it?

H: I was a writer before I was a musician. I was a mega-nerd. I read all the classics at a super young age and writing was something I just did every single day without even thinking twice. I guess the conflict for me was that I always wanted to read to people. I didn’t think my writing was as effective unless if came from my own voice with my own inflection. People would roll their eyes. Mostly cause they didn’t have time for that shit and they just wanted to scan it and hand it back to me with a “that was good”. One day it just clicked. If I sang it, they HAD to listen to it.

LF: That is obviously working out for you. What was the first experiences like writing then singing?

H: I wrote a lot of bad music. I still do. It’s all a learning experience. I’d be lying to you if I said I had any idea what I’m doing. I just wake up, write, and perform. This is my life. There’s no plan B!

LF: How would you describe your style of music? It’s like heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time for me, yo.

H: It’s all over the place! It all starts with an underground hip hop influence. I love tracks that seem like they’re meant for rappers. The next step instrumentally is to add some cool synths and 80′s tones. To top it off we add rad melodies with a strong pop sensibility and lyrics that are just plain honest I guess.

LF: What have been the pros and cons of being a singer in New York City? I know it can be sexy and harsh.

H: It’s pretty great actually. New York is a Mecca for artists. I grew up in New Jersey, New York City’s suburban little sister. There’s always a familiar face and it’s packed full of great resources. There’s something more authentic and intimate about live music in NYC despite all the fuss and bustling. People really put their heart out in the open out here.

LF: What was the inspiration behind your new debut single, “Ghost”?

H: Ghost was my epiphany track. As soon as it was finished a light went off in my head screaming, “This is it! This is the sound!” It’s about a girl in a relationship with someone who just isn’t mentally engaging with her anymore. He’s being a little sketchy, maybe talking to some other girls but she stays because she’s into that – the chase, the bad boy. He’s still there physically, but the connection is slipping away.

LF: Favorite lyric?

H: “I can’t find you in the body sleeping next to me.” It’s pretty personal for me.

LF: Your voice is tender and your style is edgy. As you emerge as a young artist, how do you want your audience to perceive your hybrid?

H: I’m really into androgyny I suppose. My voice is pretty feminine. Everything about me is pretty soft, really. But I think the reason people interpret me as edgy is because I’m honest and uninhibited. I guess that isn’t a common thing for females. There’s something masculine in the way I get down to the gritty details of things that aren’t so glamorous. Every one wants to talk about the late night but no one wants to admit to the brutal honesty of the morning after when the make up is rubbed away and your mouth tastes like gross whiskey and fermenting tobacco. I think that’s where you find your edge.

LF: Where do you see yourself and your career 5 years from now?

H: Who knows. The “plan” changes everyday when new opportunities and bright ideas come my way… OR when things throw a wrench in the middle of my destiny. You learn to work with what comes to you. In 5 years I just want to be making cool music and living a life that inspires me to write.

LF: Well put. Who are your top 3 music inspirations?

H: Wow only three?! Lots of things inspire me. The 1975 are a massive influence because they offer that honesty I crave and execute. Matty Healy is a friend of mine and he has taught me a lot about writing and the artistic experience. Another thing that usually motivates me is the soundtrack to the movie “Drive”. It practically screams late night, street lights, long drive. My fans and listeners inspire me too. There were so many albums and movies and T.V. shows that were instrumental in my adolescence. Records I put on that just made me lay back and feel cool and want to scream and love my life. Like I was a part of something cool. That’s the collective feel I want to bring for my fans. Something that makes them feel badass and full of life.

LF: Your favorite quote to live by is:

H: “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash” – Leonard Cohen

LF:  How fast do you live?

H: I guess pretty fast. Success over sleep, you know?

Interview Series: Willy Van Rooy

What in this world is there not to gloat about when mentioning the name Willy Van Rooy? Do you know of her? As a pure dichotomy of the most tenacious, multi-faceted muse of our time, this Holland born, world-traveling bred artist, designer and model to some of the biggest icons in fashion has strutted, inspired and posed with grace on runways and magazine covers while some of us where merely in the womb. London. Paris. NY. YSL. Karl. Newton.

Helmut Newton personal photograph of WVR, 1967

The list of the good kind of name dropping is associated with this babe—and on top of being a top supermodel of the late 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, her shoe and jewelry designs graced plenty in the likes of Madge, Cher, and yes, The Pointer Sisters. Have I fed you enough? No! I recently discovered two things: a story on Shrimpton Couture titled “Valley Of The Dolls—Behind The Picture with Willy Van Rooy,” spilling on how a mannequin was, in fact, her clone and the trials and tribulations regarding credit and payment that ensue and how she’s had a 40-year love affair with artist Salvador Maron of Spain. Dios Mios!

WVR, teens

LF: What did you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to be when you grow up, considering your active inner child?

WVR: My dream was to be a dancer like Anna Pavlova, and now that I am all grown up and have done a lot of things I like, I want to be like a tree, strong and free.

LF: How did you get discovered?

WVR: Walking in the street on different occasions and different places. In Holland, while I was still in school, later in Tokyo, Japan, and then in Barcelona, Spain— in all these cases I was approached on the street.

WVR, Helmut Newton, Vogue UK 1968

LF: What about your design work?

WVR: In London I made a special “book” with all my own designs and made up clothes and even printed the pictures with a friend who also clicked the shutter when I thought it was right. I knew in London I would blow them away, and I did.

LF: Your design career is multifaceted — you design anything from shoes to jewelry to clothing. What was your first love in the design realm, and what drew you to it?

WVR: If it was possible, I would design a car too, or anything really! Although, my first love is fashion! It’s probably because after the war, my country was very poor and in the orphanage I was in, we only got second-hand clothes so I used to remake them for myself and than for the other girls as well. I really learned how to use the sewing machine and if I got paid a little by one of the girls I had made something for, I would buy some material and just cut and sew. For sure, I wanted to look different.

WVR, YSL, Lou Lou, 1974

LF: Every artist has a process. Give me a few details on yours as a model and designer…

WVR: Really? I don’t know anything about that, it just goes, and doing one thing makes a possibility for other things. It just happened, in my case, as a natural process but of course one has to work on it. Maybe others can see this question but I don’t think the artist him or herself may be conscious of that…

Willy Van Rooy, Helmut Newton for NOVA, 1971

LF: You’ve had an artist husband, Salvador Maron for 40 years now. Do inspire me with some tips on love and romance, Mi Amor!

WVR: Well, actually 47 years as we met in 1967. Myhusband’s art is something that has fascinated me always, otherwise I would not be with him. With romance just like with everything else, you have to work it in a natural way and let things fall in place—in other words you have to give a lot of yourself and be yourself. Love is the best thing there is I think, and not only for a person, which is often a thing of ego, but for everything in this life, which is quite amazing.

Flying Furs story, Helmut Newton, 1967

LF: Speechless! You designed (and modeled) for YSL… yeah… that happened…

WVR: Always loved what YSL was doing and I had a good relationship with people who worked there. I always modeled in his shows and when he asked me to be his personal muse and to build his collection on me, I had to decline because I had my own shop going and there was lots of work to do. I could not leave my partner alone to face all that while I was working somewhere else.

WVR & Maron, Hamburg, 1968, photo by Bokelberg

LF: You denied YSL to walk and talk like a boss!

WVR: I don’t say I always made the right decisions but I always go for what I feel at the moment, even if that is sometimes too fast. When I stopped modeling my husband made me show my designs to Annemarie Munoz, the head of design at Yves Saint Laurent and to Lou Lou and they liked my work, so I started to design for them regularly on a freelance basis so I could do what I wanted. Yves liked my drawings and I did quite a lot of things for them. Later, they offered me a job with the design team in-house but I also had to decline because I was moving to Spain where I started my own shoe line for ten years.

WVR, shot by Helmut Newton for Nova, 1973

LF: I think you may have empowered a whole ‘lotta women out there! You are also considered to be Helmut Newton’s muse in your era of modeling. I can only imagine what that must have been like, but want to hear it from you, of course.

WVR: When it is all happening, it is all normal. I mean you don’t think about it. Helmut Newton was not as famous as he is now, he worked endlessly to be that famous but for sure his pictures were always different and exciting, and that’s why I loved to work with him and vice versa. As a matter of fact, I was the one to ask the Editor In Chief at Vogue to introduce me to Helmut when he would come down to London because I liked his pictures very much. To work with him was the easiest thing in the world for me because he was very clear and knew what he wanted. The thing is that I did not take modeling very serious and often disappeared for a year or more to Ibiza or India — otherwise we would have made a lot more pictures together. When I look at the pictures now, especially his fashion pictures, I realize how really fantastic they are. The first time I worked with him he said, “Oh, you are a natural!” And from then on he booked me whenever he could. He was funny and a gentleman. Without him I would not have been where I was as a model.

YSL runway show, date unknown

LF: Blown away. OK, I want to know who your favorite photographer right now is, and while you’re at it, tell me who your favorite model is nowadays and why.

WVR: Craig Mc Dean is one of them. Juergen Teller, Steven Meisel with whom I had the pleasure to work with, Annie Leibovitz and others. I see some amazing pictures but for me a lot depends on the styling. As for the models, I love Kristen McMenamy and one has to admire Linda Evangelista for being there for such a long time at the top and Kate Moss as well… the real super models. Then there are other girls I really like but cannot name all of them, I like people because they are different and inspired.

LF: Creative advice for longevity and re-­creating yourself?

WVR: How am I to give you an advice on longevity, I don’t think you can do that before you are 100 and in good shape! But for sure, being an inspired artist helps. It keeps you going. Being able to see and enjoy beauty and taking the time to do so will certainly help as well.

WVR, Observer, shot by Helmut Newton, 1968

LF: How fast do you live?

WVR: As relaxed as I can, and taking my time to enjoy everything around me.

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Preview: The Art of Steven Daily Presents “Melchizedek”

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“Fallen”

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Art Crush: Daido Moriyama’s Tights & Lips

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This latest group of pictures entitled “Tights” is the development of his famous earlier series “How to Create a Beautiful Picture 6: Tights in Shimotakaido” of 1987, a small selection of images depicting close-up shots of legs in fishnets; London-based Michael Hoppen Gallery currently presents his work in an exquisite showcase, with 20 pieces to total the series.

Get a juicy, up-close look at some points of reference from this master’s series:

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Phlo Finister

Photo: Hayden Shiebler for Hearty Magazine

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To discover that one does this so perfectly at first had me contemplating which series to put on this pedestal; like weak sauce, I vastly curated my own series of Bortholot’s selected works. What this really means is that I couldn’t really make up my mind so I picked my fab 5. Go on, crush with me.


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YDK Monroe

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