In Feb. 2004 I was hired by photographers Drew and Derek Riker as Art Director/ Fashion Stylist for the Carlson Twins 2005 Calendar. Drew and Derek Riker were top male models in the nineties. We began modeling together about 10 years ago in Chicago. The Riker's, who worked closely with photographers Herb Ritts and Tony Duran, started seriously pursuing photography 4 years ago. They have a very close relationship with Lane and Kyle since they all hail from the Midwest.
As art director I was responsible for the "look" and "feel" of the calendar. Very early on we decided each photo or month would have a different theme. I was also responsible for every aspect of the shoot from locations to scheduling.
As fashion stylist I was responsible for all the clothing and props used in the calendar. It meant lots of meetings with the photographers and Lane and Kyle, who work a lot all over the world. Being a fashion stylist takes tons of research, shopping, phone calls and faxes to designers and publicists to "borrow" clothes.
From sourcing costume stores to find vintage baseball uniforms and the right baseball mitt to contacting the press offices of Armani and John Varvatos for tuxedos (which, unbelievably, didn't make the calendar!). One of the biggest debates was real leis or plastic for the beach shot in Miami. The hardest part of being a stylist (for me) isn't coming up with ideas, it's getting the clothing, accessories or props I want. You literally are competing with every magazine in the world to get the shoe or suit of the moment. It takes good people skills and a lot of begging! It takes trust. The stylist is responsible for the clothes. If anything is damaged or stolen the stylist is on the hook for the cost of the item! And yes, you must return the clothes (in most cases) though some designers will give you things! Perks!
The calendar shoot took 2 months to complete. It took us from the snow-capped mountains of Big Bear to beaches in Malibu and Miami. To the Florida Everglades, looking for crocodiles and back to the most beautiful home in the hills above L.A. It was fun, cold, wet, hilarious, drunken, exhausting, hot and beautiful. I loved working with Drew and Derek as well as Lane and Kyle who are as nice and they are beautiful.
The results? SUBLIME.