It’s been less of a month since Prince passed away. He was one of the most iconic artists of our lifetimes and a person whose idea of fashion touched everything in the decades that followed his celebrity. Explicitly sexual, but with nods to a buttoned-up Victorian rigidity. Overtly masculine, but subversively feminine. Splashes of funk and fanciful frivolity. Prince’s fashion influence was full of contradictions. Even the Love Symbol which he was known by was a combination of the female and male gender symbols. Today, we received a first look at one of the first love notes to Prince’s legacy, which play on many of the themes that he navigated throughout his career.
Shot by Joshua Jordan and with art direction by Christopher Sollinger, the Harper's Bazaar Serbia shoot features Chanel Iman dressed to embody some of Prince’s most iconic looks, ranging from Purple Rain and Dirty Mind to Plectrumelectrum. Everyone will recognise Prince's iconic lace gloves and curling locks (courtesy of stylist Kisha C. Jones), but there are a few Easter eggs for hardcore fans of The Purple One, including the set itself, clearly visible in the video teaser. The photos were shot at Electric Lady Studios. (Says Jordan, “Jimi Hendrix owned and designed the studios — it hasn’t changed since the ‘70s, and Prince loved it there.”)
When it came to her hair, done by Nicolas Eldin using Oribe, Iman came equipped with her own personal inspiration: her mother. Jordan adds, "She showed us pictures of her mum in the Afro, and when she put it on, it was as if we moved into the future and flashed back to the past."
Makeup artist Yacine Diallo was not only inspired by Prince, but also the strong women in his life: "The story was also a tribute to all the talented, beautiful, and sexy women like Vanity 6, Sheila E., Wendy, and Lisa he had on stage with him throughout his career. Chanel Iman was perfect to interpret this sensuality and freedom that always inspired me while growing up watching Prince videos and listening to his music."
For Sollinger, Prince was a personal hero: “I grew up listening to Prince. His overt, in-your-face sexuality sustained me in my conservative Connecticut town. I felt if Prince could be the man he was, perhaps I, too, could live my own truth.”
All the images will be released when the issue hits newsstands on May 21.