Friday, June 20, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o and Her First Cover of Vogue

In little more than a year, Lupita Nyong’o has made the leap from serious student to Oscar-winning actress and head-turning fashion star. Hamish Bowles catches up with Hollywood’s newest golden girl.

Marrakech in May is unseasonably tagine-hot. Hapless tourists are being felled by sunstroke merely from sauntering across the city’s pulsing medina square, which is all but abandoned by the native food and trinket traders, snake-charmers, and storytellers who will throng it in the desert cool of evening.

But in the oasis sanctuary of the Ksar Char-Bagh, all is balmy dolce far niente. A luxe spa hostelry built in imitation of a castle-like fort in the middle of the Palmeraie, it has crenellated towers that hide a private dipping pool and afford views down to a central marbled courtyard modeled on Granada’s Moorish Alhambra, and across the palm groves to the distant Atlas Mountains. Guests are lounging poolside in the shade of an allĂ©e of date palms, seemingly oblivious of the Academy Award–winning deity in their midst, who is the focus of the Vogue cover shoot in full fluster around them.
Lupita Nyong’o is cucumber-cool, as beautiful and hieratic as an ancient Egyptian statue of a cat goddess, dressed in Prada’s magenta Deco-print dress licked with silver that is dazzling against her luminous skin. Lupita instinctively falls into graceful attitudes; she can’t help herself. “She knows the camera, she knows her angles,” notes an approving Phyllis Posnick, Vogue’s Executive Fashion Editor, who, it should be noted, does not suffer fools gladly but is in some kind of awe of this particular subject.

It is easy to see why. Lupita, 31, is as preternaturally poised as a prewar debutante, with a carefully modulated, cut-crystal accent and a quaint use of English to match. When she discusses one of the most harrowing scenes in the infinitely harrowing 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s magisterial movie in which she made her unforgettable screen debut as the tormented slave girl Patsey, she describes her character, delicately, as being “completely disrobed.”
Read the rest of the interview at: http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/lupita-nyongo-first-vogue-cover/#











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