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Alister Mackie and Alasdair McLellan: AnOther Magazine

Work / Behind The Scenes

An interview with Alister Mackie about his latest AnOther Magazine cover

Some may think it’s easy to shoot Kate Moss. People have been doing it for years, but to my knowledge no one has ever done it poorly. Today we can say for sure that a major element of shooting Kate with real oomph is having a sheer passion for the model – as Alister Mackie explains in this interview. The creative director describes her energy as “buzzing” and speaks warmly of their time spent in her back garden as she lay in the grass for this AnOther Magazine cover shoot with the tone of someone who’s just coming down from a transcendental experience. What’s really great here is how someone like Alister, whose career is already packed full of things we proles can only dream of, can speak of a fashion shoot with such pure, palpable excitement.

Alister kindly told us all about working with Kate and one of our favourite photographers Alasdair McLellan to contribute to one of four different covers of AnOther Magazine’s tenth issue. Here he is…

This was a very special shoot as it’s the tenth anniversary of Kate’s debut cover for AnOther Magazine – what did you want to convey to the audience via the cover? And why do you think this is so special?

All I was simply trying to say was that we love Kate, and I did that quite literally by having the Margiela Couture Atelier create the custom beaded tattoo top by replacing one the tattoos with another one saying “Love Kate Forever." It was a reference to covers she has done in the past and I wanted to do something almost as a Kate Moss fan.

Can you tell us about working with Alasdair McLellan on the cover shot in the field?

The whole feeling of this shoot was as though we were shooting a test. We shot at Kate’s house in the country so there was a very relaxed atmosphere. She and I chose the clothes together and at the bottom of her garden was a beautiful field of long grass. We marched into it with the sun shining listening to the Stone Roses as Kate was dancing in the Valentino dress. We then brought her back in the Margiela look and she lay down and looked so beautiful, while we were playing Roxy Music.

The issue tagline “Never Enough” is so great – how did you interpret that?

It is a brilliant tagline as it seems that Kate is an addiction. It is never enough. I simply can not get enough of her. 

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Alister Mackie and Alasdair McLellan: AnOther Magazine

Can you tell us a little about working with and styling Kate, on this shoot and in the past?

Kate is unlike any other model in the way that she prepares for the camera. Just as she’s about to be shot she goes into the zone. Everything starts buzzing and moving as she starts to transform into whichever character she’s channelling whilst telling everyone she’s forgotten how to do it. It’s an amazing thing to watch and no matter how many times I’ve seen her do it it’s still exciting. 

In terms of styling, what mood did you want to put across in this shoot? 

I really wanted this shoot to feel personal and I was of course inspired by 1990s pictures of Kate. I liked the idea of a tattooed top which felt very 1990’s as did the heart on the Valentino dress. The Dior Couture jewellery was something that she has worn in the past and I thought it would be interesting to revisit that as with the Martine Sitbon piece. The blue suit was vintage but it was essentially something that either of us would have worn when we first met.

“Kate is unlike any other model in the way that she prepares for the camera. Just as she’s about to be shot she goes in to the zone. Everything starts buzzing and moving as she starts to transform into whichever character she’s channeling whilst telling everyone she’s forgotten how to do it.”

Alister Mackie

Can you tell us a little about the task of choosing the images taken by Alasdair, and what you were looking for in terms of a cover image?

Alasdair is really great at choosing and editing and it was clear on the day that the Margiela piece was going to be the stronger cover. We shot several set ups with this top lying down in a studio, but the one in the grass just felt the most free.

What do you think makes an absolutely brilliant magazine cover?

That is for sure capturing a moment with the artist. Cover shoots can be the easiest and the most difficult. It can happen in a flash or can take all day.

If you could throw AnOther Magazine a party – who would you invite (dead or alive?)

Joe Orton, James Dean, River Phoenix.

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Alister Mackie and Alasdair McLellan: AnOther Magazine

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Alister Mackie and Alasdair McLellan: AnOther Magazine

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Alister Mackie and Alasdair McLellan: AnOther Magazine

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Alister Mackie and Alasdair McLellan: AnOther Magazine

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Alister Mackie and Alasdair McLellan: AnOther Magazine