To celebrate Tommy Ton and Anna Dello Russo’s photo exhibition “When Tommy Met Anna” at The Room in Toronto, Style.com asked the dynamic duo a few questions about their fashionable relationship and offered a few sneak peek photos to preview.
The exhibition is called When Tommy Met Anna. Tommy, do you remember when you first spotted her?
Tommy Ton: I do remember the first time I photographed her. It was March 2007, outside Galliano. She was wearing a gold D&G chain mesh top. She was very hesitant about being photographed.
And what about the first official meeting?
TT: For the longest time, she was wondering who Tommy Ton was. She kept trying to figure it out. I’m very quiet, I’m very passive. One of her assistants found out who I was.
Anna Dello Russo: I met Tommy at the shows, of course. I remember, this phenomenon [of] blogs taking pictures of us. … I was always looking at the JakAndJil blog. But nobody knew Tommy, because he’s in a kind of hiding. … During a show, somebody said, oh, this is it—and points [out] Tommy. I say, oh, that’s Tommy! Looks so cute! Looks so lovely! I came to him and said, are you Tommy Ton? He said, yes, pleased to meet you. I said, finally!
Did you purposefully avoid identifying yourself, Tommy?
TT: I always resist identifying myself to anyone. The moment you tell someone, the photo doesn’t seem the same. They’re aware that their photo is being taken—they might be a little more pose-y, not as natural. But Anna knows not to pose for me. But it’s gotten to a level now where she dances for me. … when you see Anna in this cherry hat jumping up and dancing, there’s just something really funny about that. It goes to show you how much fun she’s having with fashion—and the fact that she calls herself a fashion victim, or a tranny.
Do you have favorite outfits of hers?
TT: … [Or] last season, at Dior…she was wearing this Roksanda Ilincic big-shouldered feather jacket. When she wore it, it was really windy. The wind was blowing up the feathers and she said, “Tommy, Tommy, I’m flying!”
What’s special about Tommy’s pictures?
ADR: …He keeps shooting, shooting, shooting. That’s a fashion photographer. It’s completely the right attitude to fashion photography. Never enough. … Second, he has incredible eyes for details. That’s a talent as a fashion photographer. To emphasize what you see. … The best-dressed of the day, he catches. He is phenomenal in that.
And Tommy, what’s unique about Anna?
TT: What’s interesting about our relationship is people are seeing how accessible she is. The difference between her and Carine and Anna Wintour is that Anna [Dello Russo] is just so gracious, and so easy to approach.
Anna, how do you prepare your looks?
ADR: … Never-ending research is a part of my job. For me, I have to please Tommy, he is my guru. This is my new blog guru. I need to surprise him! I need to seduce him! He represents the eyes of fashion.
TT: She always says that she has to please the bloggers now. She says she feels it’s her job now to dress up, whereas before she was dressing for herself. The fact that she plans months in advance, outfits for fashion month, and changes strategically two or three times a day based on the event, that represents ADR this woman, this fashion icon. Whereas Anna, if you’re speaking of Anna, she’s the woman that wears Abercrombie at home or at yoga.
Read the full interview and see all the sneak peek pictures on Style.com
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