first looks

Murakami Fur Ball Cavorts With Angela Lindvall

Angela Lindvall with Murakami's creature.
Angela Lindvall with Murakami’s creature. Photo: Jason Schmidt for Harper’s BAZAAR

Harper’s Bazaar has a long tradition of incorporating characters from pop culture into their fashion spreads — the Simpsons, the Smurfs, and Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie, to name a few — and their latest issue brings one of their most memorable collaborations yet. Japanese artist Takashi Murakami lent the cast of his new film, Jellyfish Eyes, to an L.A.-based editorial with model Angela Lindvall, shot by Jason Schmidt. The “monsters,” whose voluminous eyelashes would make even a Furby jealous, enjoy a leisurely afternoon of dog-walking, In-N-Out, and ice cream. Lindvall even helps one creature hold his cone so he won’t dribble on his furry paw.

Murakami creatures and Lindvall eat ice cream. Photo: Jason Schmidt for Harper’s BAZAAR

The shoot was conceived by executive editor (and newly minted Upper East Sider) Laura Brown, who asked Murakami if he’d do a collaboration with Marc Jacobs, as he did with Louis Vuitton in 2008. The answer was a resounding — and very humble — yes! “A single lifetime is not enough to express the gratitude I have to him for making it into a collaboration with such impact,” says the artist. “If Marc were to ever call on me again, I would rally to the task in an instant.” WELL. Furry creature–shaped MJ handbags for 2014, then?

Adorable. Photo: Jason Schmidt for Harper’s BAZAAR

UPDATE: Laura Brown kindly answered a few of our questions about the spread.

How was this project conceived?
I’ve always really loved Murakami’s optimism. He recently directed a new film called Jellyfish Eyes, which features a bunch of magical monsters — some big, some small. So we thought, What if we took the monsters on a day trip to L.A. (which also happens to be between Tokyo and New York)? The contrast of the creatures with the “L.A. every day” — In-N-Out Burger, The Ivy, The Standard, Rodeo Drive — is what gave it such a kick.

What was the shoot like, and who got to wear the furry outfits?
SO MUCH FUN (caps-lock required). I couldn’t believe we were doing it. Tourists on celebrity tour buses passing by were very confused. We had a photo assistant in Luxor (the large furry one), and a tiny dancer in Kurage-bo (the wee pink one). We had to keep them hydrated! We are doing a dinner with Murakami and his friends at Art Basel, so I may get in a costume yet.

Murakami Fur Ball Cavorts With Angela Lindvall