Milla Jovovich has always been one of my favorite figures in contemporary pop culture. An anomaly within the fashion world, Jovovich has managed to escape the snooty, agenda-ized, better-than-you demeanor most of her supermodel compatriots fell victim to (I’m looking at you, Tyra) shortly after their careers took off. But after being discovered by the legendary Richard Avedon when she was barely even a teenager, Jovovich took the artistic high road and took advantage of the opportunities superstardom had afforded her; free-reign over fine arts. She’s been singing (and writing) fantastic folk-rock music for years on top of her modeling, yet Jovovich also has an impressive track record in something else; design.
The ill-fated “Jovovich-Hawk”, a collaborative effort by Milla and fellow model Carmen Hawk, debuted its first collection in 2003 to extremely positive reviews from contemporary fashion critics. The sleek yet altogether rustic folk designs, at least in their presentation, evoked the truly layered, complex (yet still grounded) quality Jovovich has retained through years of modeling with the pretentiously uptight fashion elite.
As with many up-and-coming fashion lines, Jovovich-Hawk eventually folded; after what seemed to be a promising first five years (designs were worn in public by the likes of Mary-Kate Olsen, as well as a commercial-consumer line produced for Target) the pair produced their final pieces for the Spring/Summer 2008 season and subsequently ceased operations. I can’t say I’m surprised, seeing as the whole “rustic chic” look can be very easily (and for much less money) recreated with a quick trip to urban outfitters (or even a local vintage store), but Jovovich-Hawk’s designs evoked a much classier, sophisticated hidden elegance within the seams that set them apart from fellow lines. Their work took time to appreciate; they weren’t immediately striking or enticing; they were true pieces of surprising work that were as layered and complex as the past of the woman who helped design them. A true mashing of contemporary rustic chic with classic 20’s and folk infusion combined to make Jovovich-Hawk one of the most refreshing lines in recent memory.
It’s always truly uplifting to see someone remain so encompassed and rooted within the arts as Jovovich is, considering her career would wholly suggest otherwise (she’s a cult action film icon and has appeared in Men’s spreads for Maxim), so it’s truly inspiring to see her designing (and modeling) skills still utilized after the discontinuation of her own line. Her first campaign for Japanese-based line iCB debuted earlier this year, designs that were completely polariazed from the likes of Milla’s Jovovich-Hawk days. Slim, almost mod-inspired pieces were showcased alongside more masculine, streamlined offerings combined together to create sophisticatedly-chic designs that are yet still easily pairable with other off-the-rack products.
Jovovich released this teaser (as well as the first photo in this article) for her upcoming designs for iCB today:
I can’t say I’m either impressed or unimpressed as of yet (the shot looks like a direct cellphone-to-computer capture) but Milla does look extremely fierce and as beautiful as ever. The top half of that design reminds me a bit of a cosmopolitan schoolgirl take on some previous Jovovich-Hawk pieces, but I’m sure (as always) Milla’s end product will be a true work of art.