TELLER’S TALE: A portrait of Vivienne Westwood at her London home, shot by Juergen Teller, will grace the cover of the designer’s upcoming book. Penned with the writer and actor Ian Kelly, “Vivienne Westwood” is part biography, part memoir and will be published on Oct. 9.
Teller, who is close friends with Westwood and her husband Andreas Kronthaler, shot her sitting on a straight-backed chair with her hands in her lap, on a digital camera. “We met a long time ago, and he’s been photographing Andreas and me for our advertising campaigns for many years now,” said Westwood.
“Juergen somehow manages to control the medium. Photography isn’t like painting, where you can decide how you want someone to look, but Juergen manages it. It must be something to do with where he places you in the picture, and the space he leaves around you,” said Westwood, adding that Teller’s photos “look like me, they actually reflect what I think I look like, and yet they also show me myself in a new way.
“In this picture, I’m really drawn to these wrinkly old hands. They’re my hands, of course, and yet suddenly they look new and interesting… I don’t know how he does it, but he just seems to get to the essence of you every time,” she said.
Teller said he gets Westwood and her designs: “We felt and feel comfortable with each other. I consider Andreas and Vivienne good friends. Everything is simple between us, to talk to each other, spend time together.
“I seem to understand her creations, her clothes, the way they look, what they want to do. It falls easily into place when we work together and I think we give each other something, which is quite rare and very exciting for both of us,” he said.
The cover was designed by Clare Skeats for Picador, and the book will be published as a quarter-bound hardback, with color illustrations throughout.