Ryan McGinley is captured here, back at work after spending four days in Tennessee at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. “I was admiring so many musician’s outfits,” he says before listing a lineup of photographic memories, so to speak, of the festival’s best looks:
“Karen Elson came out strumming an acoustic guitar, wearing a beautiful long white dress and did an amazing cover of ‘Season of the Witch.’ Lil’ Wayne danced across the stage wearing a cool Keith Haring backpack. Neil Young played with Buffalo Springfield and had his signature white Stetson hat pulled low over his eyes. Jim James of My Morning Jacket was wearing gigantic bigfoot white furry boots that made me smile. John Waters did stand up comedy in a skull patterned Commes des Garcon jacket. Julian Cassablancas publicly admired it later in the day on stage during The Strokes set. Nick Valensi had some very cute tight jail bird striped pants while shredding on his guitar. Singer Cullen Omori of The Smith Westerns bopped around in a flowing way with a silk black and white Japanese print woman’s blouse. Bradford Cox from Deerhunter must have been watching a french new wave film before he walked on stage. A little red flower in his pocket was the icing on the cake. The Drums’ Jacob Graham’s blue eyes against his long sleeve blue polo shirt was working magic. Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello was my favorite set -gypsy punk insanity. He was owning the stage wearing a pair of red and black satin boxing shorts with no shirt covered in sweat.”
The inspiration flows both ways. Consider Icelandic band Sigur Ros was inspired by McGinley’s signature style for their album cover and video a few years back. As for his own taste in clothes, McGinley admits to having a few different looks. “I love wearing Italo Zucchelli’s suits for Calvin Klein,” he says. “The other night I was trying to channel River Phoenix from the movie ‘I Love You to Death.’” His day-to-day uniform, however, is black Levi 501s and high top Chuck Taylors paired with Persol sunglasses.
This summer marks the debut of the ad campaign McGinley shot for L’Air de Nina Ricci fragrance starring Noreen Carmody.
- Stephanie LaCava