David LaChapelle: For Then It Was Vital, For Then It Was Graceful

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Art

Left to right: Kevin wears talent’s own headband and necklace. Noah wears talent’s own earrings. Zaye wears DIESEL pants, necklace, bracelet, and watch and stylist’s own gloves. Gabriel wears DIESEL bottoms, shoes, necklace, and watch. Bear wears DIESEL top, bottoms, shoes, and necklace. Adelaide wears stylist’s own dress. Axel wears talent’s own hat, scarf, and gloves.


David LaChapelle is an artist whose journey is irrefutably unparalleled. But what is irrefutable artistry? For many, it is instant recognition of an unmatched aesthetic. For others, the notion anchors in a continual evolution of craft and practice, innovation. For all, though, it’s about ceaselessness—a dogged continuation of self-expression, however heroized, humbled, or hurt by the lived experience one might become.

In the years I’ve known LaChapelle, I’ve witnessed all of these attributes at once coalesce and conflict like the sort of super spring coils you see on certain carnival rides—unfathomably taught then stretched by glee and erraticism and childlike joy. It’s a trip. And the DLC trip of late has landed the artist yet again in the pages of FLAUNT, this time with a reinterpretation of Sandro Botticelli’s “The Three Graces.”

Left to right: Ava wears stylist’s own dress. Annika wears stylist’s own dress.

When asked about the attributes of the original “graces” in the Botticelli—agreed by scholars to be those of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, goodwill, and fertility—LaChapelle counters, “I was exploring the masculine version of this idea. I’ve always admired Botticelli’s ability to go from the mythological to the secular to the religious—his Graces are calm and serene as are all of his figures within his paintings. There is an energy coming out of my figure’s poses that are at once strong, vital, tough yet also graceful and sensitive. There is this feeling of reconciliation and love after a war or fight I was trying to illustrate.”

Left to right: Axel wears talent’s own hat and scarf. Kevin wears talent’s own necklace. Carolina wears stylist’s own dress. Yura wears stylist’s own necklace.

What is your favorite memory of the late 1990s?

I have no memory of that decade. I wish I could remember that decade but I don’t! I’ve read about it though.

Left to right: Adelaide wears stylist’s own dress. Joseph wears DIESEL top, pants, shoes, and underwear
Left to right: Zay wears DIESEL top, skirt, pants, shoes, and necklace. Bear wears DIESEL top, shorts, pants, shoes, and bracelet.
DIESEL coat, pants, shoes, underwear, socks, and necklace.
DIESEL pants, shoes, and necklaces and talent’s own gloves. HARLEY-DAVIDSON motorcycle.

Photographed by David La Chapelle. 

Styled by Luca Falcioni at Opus Beauty.

Executive Producer: Bryn Owen.

Co-Producers: Ron Rock and Jesse Murphy.

Studio Producer: Ghretta Hynd.

Production Manager: Ethan Haug.

Stills: John Schoenfeld. 

Stills Assist: David Winthrop Hanson and Dante Guerra.

Retoucher: Glen Vergara.

Set Decorator: Justin Powell.

Scenic Painter: Thomas Hall.

Greens: Andrew Russell.

Greens Assist: Juan Morales.

Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood.

Assist Costume Designer: Bryan Kopp.

Tailor: Christine Vlasak.

Assist Stylist: Vance Medeiros.

Assist Stylist for Graces: Frankie Benkovic.

Key Hair Stylist for Wind, Nymph, and Background: Larry McDaniel.

Assist Hair Stylist (Wind, Nymph, Background): Bonnie Subnick and Brent Raisor.

Hair Stylist for Graces: Elsa Canedo at Opus Beauty.

Makeup for Graces: David Hernandez.

Makeup Assist: Sharon GaultLeah Carmichael, and Karsen Rich.

Key Makeup for Nymph: Anthony Nguyen at The Wall Group.

Special FX Makeup for Wind and Background: Tyson Fountaine.

Spray Tan: Jimmy Coco.

Nails: Tracey Sutter.

PA: Joel Trevino and Diana Diaz.

Flower Designer: Oscar de La Cruz.

Models: Zaye Wiggins at DT ModelsGabriel Jayne and Carolina Marie at Wilhelmina ModelsBear and Polo Chevalier at Storm ModelsAdelaide Gault, Cole Benedetti at Lemon Lime Models, Yura Puscasu and Noah Syrigos at Pretty Model MgmtAxel Jared at Envy Model Mgmt, Annika DallandAva Pearlman at Supreme ManagementKevin Buschan at Professionally Pretty, and Bummy Boy.



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