Larry Clark x J.W. Anderson: The Smell Of Us
Adolescence isn’t done right unless you’ve seen a Larry Clark film. J.W. Anderson agrees. Back in the day he felt like a total rebel as he fled to the cinema to go see Kids, despite his parents lack of approval. Now, nearly 20 years later, the designer has teamed up with with the youth-obsessed filmmaker to create yet another document that is indiscernibly raw and focused on the fresh of age. Released yesterday as a zine included in Document Journal’s SS15 issue, The Smell Of Us is an angsty little booklet, featuring the stars of Larry Clark’s 2014 film of the same name. The film reinvents Clark’s 1995 urban skater cult-masterpiece following the same variety of destructive lives, this time found in the European metropolis-Paris.
What gives the shoot it’s refreshing and genuine appeal is the allowance of the stars to self-style in J.W. Anderson’s Pre-AW menswear collection. In an interview with Style.com Anderson talks about the kids choosing their own looks, “My idea was that we had them just rack the clothing. You know, I’m not a stylist, so I would rather them choose what they felt comfortable with. It was kind of like everyone in a room racking though lots of racks, deciding what they would wear and what they wouldn’t wear.” The result of this freedom produced expressions that are vulnerable, wild, and reeking of the inner-city youth subculture that very much belongs to Larry Clark—awkward sexuality and all. Bare chested and wearing nothing but Anderson’s spoon jewelry, or totally leather jacket clad with tight half-zipped denim shorts, the images take fashion down to the nitty-gritty world of Parisian skaters.
At first, the pairing of J.W. Anderson’s retro-futurist vibes with Clark’s clear-cut and vivid documentary style might seem like a total clash of the opposites, but coincidentally their new book thrives on their shared interests and influences—disparate teenagers. Anderson describes the similarities between his own work and Clark’s, “I think he’s a pioneer of youth culture, in a way, and he really does show the world how it is, without any filter. I think within J.W. Anderson, it is about youth culture; it is about a younger demographic; it is about people trying to express themselves in different ways, no matter if you’re male or female or—you know, in all different aspects—gay or straight….”
Take a look at these shots from the zine, and pick up your own copy of The Smell Of Us inside Document Journal’s SS15 edition [here]( http://www.speedimpex.com/store/products/820-document.aspx) or via Collete.
Photography by Larry Clark