My 5 Favorite Things: Christian Wagstaff
Christian Wagstaff is what we like to call a creative genius. After 24 years in the business, Christian heads up the most sought after event production and design agencies in Australia; sourcing and creating the décor for a range of high end large-scale multi-million-dollar public attractions as well as international artist and photographic exhibitions and commissioned interior installations. As a Melbourne fashion icon and culture aficionado, Christian shares with us his five favorite things.
1. Alfred Hitchcock. Any of Hitchcock’s movies just astound me. He was a perfectionist in his craft. He was known as one of the most organised directors in Hollywood. He storyboarded his scripts to the frame. His pre-production was unparalleled. So once he got on set, he knew exactly what he was doing. Hitchcock also had great taste in art direction. He worked very closely on all visual aspects of the craft of making films. From hair and make-up, costumes, sets and cinematography. He had quite a fetishistic approach to every aspect of his pictures. Hitch loved an ice queen!
2. Hedi Slimane designing for iconic French label, Saint Laurent Paris from Los Angeles. Slimane is getting quite a bit of flack for his naughty rebranding of the House and relocation to L.A. as a base. I don’t question it at all. He is quite the master of his craft. A natural. He knows what he is doing and the fashion house certainly wouldn’t put him there if they weren’t confident in his ideas. I adore his entire aesthetic in absolutely everything he does. He is old school creative in that he designs fashion, art directs, photographs, designs objects and lives a certain lifestyle that is true to his passion. Every molecule of his body is immersed in what he loves doing. He also is quite broodingly sexy.
3. Cecil Beaton’s original 1937 Scrapbook publication. His tour de force. I would love to get my hands on a first edition. But alas it is now worth around $2,000. I should bite the bullet and get one, but for now I have settled for the Assouline Publication The Art of The Scapbook by James Danzinger. It is beautifully presented and a most respectful reissue of Beaton’s scrapbooks. Nothing like a bit of découpage.
4. Salvador Dali’s surrealist funhouse Dream of Venus (or as he madly called it, 20,000 Legs Under The See) Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. I am a bit of a collector of World’s Fair paraphernalia. Dali’s very amusing architectural statement amongst so many other wonderful pavilions was certainly an eccentric and hysterical standout. And somewhat controversial. He really knew how to take the piss (so to speak) of everything and anyone around him.
5. Daniel Crooks. A New Zealand born artist, living and working in Australia. His 2012 work Pan No. 9 (dopplegänger) is my favorite. I am a huge fan of panoramic video projection installations. They are like films, but most often have a more powerful and considered approach to getting you to have some sort of emotional reaction to what is happening on screen. They blur the lines between still and moving image. I am also a fan of American artist Bill Viola. I love to disappear from life and sit in a video art installation in a dark, hidden room and completely immerse myself into their creation. Anything to escape from reality gets a tick from me.