Twenty years later, model Leilani Bishop recreates her iconic Hole “Live Through This” cover, originally shot by the very talented Ellen von Unwerth in 1993.
Courtney Love stated of the original cover that she “wanted to capture the look on a woman’s face as she’s being crowned… this sort of ecstatic, blue eyeliner running, kind of ‘I am, I am—I won! I have hemorrhoid cream under my eyes and adhesive tape on my butt, and I had to scratch and claw and fuck my way up, but I won Miss Congeniality!’”
Scheduling a photo shoot around Courtney Love’s schedule is no easy feat. The music and fashion icon was in the thick of writing her upcoming autobiography, recording her next album and sketching a spring collection for her clothing line, Never The Bride, when FASHION asked her to pose for the Winter 2014 issue. Love’s flurry of activity is all part of an ongoing comeback plan—one that is clearly winning over a number of fashion houses who have named her a major inspiration.
After wrapping up her cover shoot at Canoe Studios, FASHION’s features editor Elio Iannacci was invited to Love’s home in the New York’s West village to talk about her 30-year-plus career and her next batch of projects. Chatting in front of the same fireplace Hedi Slimane photographed Love in front of for Saint Laurent’s current ad campaign, the pair were surrounded by neat piles of books ranging from classic literature, philosophy and chick lit—titles including The Devil Wears Prada and Valley of The Dolls. Here is a sneak peek of our cover story, which hits newsstands nationwide on November 11, 2013.
On her bumpy road to being a style icon:
“I got really ostracized by [fashion] after I went to rehab in 2006. After I got out, no one would dress me and I sucked it up. I went to Paris, got on a plane and I was only invited to two shows. Two shows! YSL and Stella. Then I met my stylist Panos [Yiapanis], who got me to sit down with Riccardo Tisci and he was more than happy to dress me during the biggest weight gain of my life. He renewed my faith in fashion… it’s really about who you surround yourself with in your career. The next time I went back to Paris was in 2008 and I got invited to a hundred shows and the minute [Givenchy creative director] Riccardo [Tisci] said ‘she is my muse,’ everyone threw clothes at me. That’s just fashion—it’s such a reactive community.”
On renaming lovers for her upcoming autobiography:
“I keep wanting to write this one chapter about a man that I was very much in love with but I just don’t want to name him. I used pseudonyms like Mr. Cat—this guy who was a billionaire and our relationship ended weird.”
On her tenuous relationship with hero Patti Smith:
“I grew up on Patti Smith, worshipping Patti Smith and she always gives me this hairy eyeball. I’m seriously going to sit down and write her ass a letter if [she] keeps doing ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and keeps evoking Kurt. Now she becomes the guardian of the dead people. That’s her trope. My friend planned Allen Ginsberg’s funeral with her and they got into a huge fight because she has like no sense of humour.”
On taking sex advice from Karl Lagerfeld:
“In 2010, I was in the lobby of the Mercer and Karl said ‘What are you doing in a tutu?’ and I said ‘I have a new record out, this is my Gaga look—this is my meat dress’ and he goes ‘You’re never getting laid in a tutu.’ That was when I stopped wearing my kooky clothes.”
On the sea change in rock stars:
“Being a rock star today is almost like being a politician. You have a platform where you can say things and the good ones like [Bruce] Springsteen, [Michael] Stipe and Bono use it for good politics.”