Pin It
Photography by Julia Hetta, Styling by Agata Belcen

Anna Cleveland on Creative Collaboration and Visual Culture

In the calm following her A/W16 storm, the otherworldly model sits down with AnOther to talk early memories of her supermodel mother and the women who continue to inspire her

Lead ImagePhotography by Julia Hetta, Styling by Agata Belcen

Anna Cleveland has had a busy couple of months. Since moving into modelling full-time last year (her first catwalk appearances were for Moschino and Karl Lagerfeld at ages five and 13 respectively), the aesthetically gifted progeny of seminal 1970s supermodel and Dalí muse Pat Cleveland has taken to fashion like a duck to water. Over the A/W16 season, scarcely a show took place that she didn’t walk in, while houses from Bottega Veneta and Fendi to Lanvin and Vionnet have all cast the otherworldly figure in their campaigns. In the S/S16 issue of AnOther Magazine she plays a series of surreal characters in Of Fish and Flowers (photographed by Julia Hetta and styled by Agata Belcen) – from an ethereal, high-fashion Big Bird in Moschino’s yellow-plumed ostrich feather dress to a sequinned coffee table stand-in, performing an effortless bridge in a vintage gold jumpsuit. Her willowy long limbs and Modigliani-esque features prove as malleable as they are magnetic.

Now, in the calm which follows the seasonal storm, Cleveland is taking a moment to reflect on the irresistible draw of modelling and the creative collaboration it allows, alongside the early experiences which ignited her love for visual culture.

On her fascination with visual culture…
“Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated with images and the way things look. I remember my father taking me to the photographic darkroom in our home to develop the pictures he took. It was such an interesting process, dipping the images in different liquids, waiting patiently for them to magically appear. What a surprise, seeing a moment you lived that was so beautiful it could be transcribed to paper. To me, making images is about taking the time to capture a moment forever.

I also remember watching videos of my mother in shows, and that memory is still so clear in my mind. Modelling has, in a way, shifted how I see, because each photographer or stylist that I collaborate with has a different way of working. I love the challenge of adapting and moulding the way I work with different subjects and clients. Making images is about storytelling and I feel blessed to be a part of that creation.”

On her favourite photographers and designers…
“My favourite photographers to work with (so far!) are Steven Meisel, Dylan Don, Sølve Sundsbø and Steven Klein. My favourite designers include Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, GILES, and Jean Paul Gaultier.”

On her influences and inspirations…
I’m inspired by women who have overcome struggles in their life, and have managed to subvert the status quo by creating their own individual world that people love to dive into – Duchessa Casati, Catherine Baba, Pat Cleveland, Katie Grand, Yaz Bukey and Coco Chanel are women that inspire me.”

On her favourite pastimes away from modelling…
“I read psychology and philosophy books, study fashion, take long walks in nature, do yoga, meditate. I love to go out and dance, to do something adventurous with my friends, and I love exploring museums, going to look at vintage clothing shops and hunting in antique markets.”

On what she keeps in her handbag during fashion week…
“Vitamins, vitamins, vitamins! I also love lavender hand sanitizer, a two-in-one deal soothing and therapeutic face cream to quench my thirsty face, a great all-natural lip balm to keep my lips moist, and ginger candies to soothe my throat.”

All images originally published in AnOther Magazine S/S16. 

Hair Tomi Kono at Julian Watson using Bumble and Bumble; Make-up Topolino at Calliste; Set design:Shona Heath at CLM; Manicure Adam Slee at Streeters using Rimmel London; Photographic assistants Björn Weidinger, Nicholas RileyBentham; Styling assistants Chloe Grace Press, Rebecca Perlmutar, Veronique et Charlotte; Hair assistants Junko Hirose, Rimi Ura, Toshinari Kokubun, Yamamoto; Post production Björn Weidinger; Set design assistants Fran O’Brien, Liz Bradley; Set build Lily Alek, Phil Haxell; Production Rosco Production.

With thanks to Next Management.