We don’t need to tell you that Gisele Bündchen looks stunning even without an ounce of makeup. But at last night’s private viewing of her series of photographs with BLK DNM founder Johan Lindeberg, she told us why that’s not the only part of going au naturel that she finds refreshing. We also asked her opinion on the epic internet debate of the week over the pronunciation of the word GIF: soft “g” like Gisele, or hard “g” like her sister Gabi (who was also there to fête the project)?
Dressed in head-to-toe BLK DNM, the supermodel glowed as she talked about shooting with Lindeberg, who clearly hasn’t slowed down since we interviewed him last week. On top of taking on the creative director role at Absolut Elyx and photographing Chloë Sevigny for the ads, he and Bündchen just wrapped the sixth wild poster campaign for BLK DNM.
The brand’s guerilla advertising style entails plastering images around the streets and scaffolding of downtown Manhattan and this season’s installment features the Brazilian model shot from behind in a pair of their skinny jeans, bent over the hood of a vintage Mercedes. The angle didn’t necessitate much in the way of hair and makeup, but neither did the darker, more intimate series of portraits the pair shot, which are are display now at the Lafayette Street store.
“I really had so much fun,” Bündchen said of the shoot, “because I feel like it’s so rare that you get to really express yourself the way you want to express yourself. Because you know, I’m a model, so you do whatever the designer wants. There’s a whole idea behind it. And here it was just about not looking perfect, but about looking real and authentic — no hair, no retouching — just going through what you feel.”
What resulted are dynamic, grey-scale photos of the model flexing and contorting her body in various positions and states of undress. And, like the advertisement, few actually display her iconic face. “It doesn’t have to be a picture of your face,” she explained. “It could be a picture of your hair, of your eye, of your hands, of your back, of your movement. It’s not about anything but a feeling. So it’s different and you can really play and it’s really fun to do that because in my job you don’t really get that opportunity.”
Part of the reason she feels so connected to Lindeberg, she continued, is in their shared attitude toward women. “He sees women — all of us — as strong and real and authentic and kind of raw and just beautiful. “And how beautiful are all the imperfections? He sees women that way and I love that. So when he said, ‘Let’s do some pictures’ and I was like, ‘I love your stuff’ — you know, sometimes you want to just do things that inspire you.
One of her favorite parts of the exhibition — and, clearly, ours as well — was the animated series of slides projected high on the wall. This got us thinking: will Gisele know what a GIF is? Will she be able to settle the matter of whether it’s pronounced with a soft “G” or hard “G” once and for all? It was a long shot. But we took it.
Alas: “I don’t even know!” she laughed. “I wish I had an answer, but I don’t even go on the internet too much. I kind of just go check my emails.” We settled tentatively on a soft “g” (like Gisele, of course) and she assured us that she’s getting more web-savvy by the day. “I just finally got an Instagram six weeks ago,” she told us. “I love taking pictures, I’ve got to tell you. I’m a very visual person so I’m really loving it. I just have my iPhone and I just enjoy experiencing the world by really taking the time to stop and go, ‘Oh, that’s a nice moment.’ So for me it’s just for fun. I only started six weeks ago and besides that I don’t know anything about the internet.”
So there you have it. Maybe, in the vein of Beyoncé, she’ll make the jump to Tumblr next? We know we’d follow her in a heartbeat.