Harper’s BAZAAR: How did you get involved in the project?
Jean-Paul Goude: I don’t usually work with celebrities. But when Stephen Gan and Carine Roitfeld asked me if I’d be interested in being involved with their Bazaar‘s Icons project, I jumped at the opportunity—providing each celebrity, most of them actors or entertainers of some sort, would interpret characters they had always wanted to play and so far, never had a chance to do so.
HB: How did the shoot come together with the multiple locations and personalities involved?
JPG: Everybody had to travel: Carine [Roitfeld], Stephen [Gan], Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Jessica Chastain, Willow Smith, Li Yunchun (alias Chris Lee) came all the way from China.
HB: The idea of each participant picking their own icon to dress as is so powerful—how did you feel about this theme of fantasy and revealing each person’s inner life?
JPG: I thought it would interesting to show how an established character with a strong personality might have fantasies about his image, which has nothing to do with the idea the general public has of them. For once, I didn’t feel that I was imposing anything on anybody. The subject decided; I just tried to interpret their vision of themselves, the best way I could.
HB: Do you have a personal favorite image from this portfolio?
JPG: Difficult question since I’m never completely satisfied with my work. I’d say, Oprah as Glinda the Good Witch or our homage to Fragonnard with Mariah Carey…honestly I don’t know. I think the whole story holds up pretty well.
See the full BAZAAR Icons shoot here.