Home > Interviste di Marius Creati > Tanel Bedrossiantz in dialogue with Marius Creati

Tanel Bedrossiantz in dialogue with Marius Creati

Tanel Bedrossiantz is a charismatic personage in the fashion world, emerged as a supermodel in very young age thanks to the photographer Tony Viramontes, who has sensed in his figure a magical change of style, an admirable split that in a short time made possible the conquest of the highest peaks of the notoriety, as he was acclaimed and sought by the leading fashion houses and maisons de couture. Thanks to his peerless charm, become the inspirer muse of the Gaultier’s maison for his unmistakable distinction, he is one of the most interesting fashion figures of the male landscape, often in total harmony with the same female entourage as regarded an emblem of a contemporary lifestyle and in his turn extemporary.

Famous testimonial, actually he has become an emblematic figure of one of the largest modeling agencies in Paris, the New Madison, for which he enjoys a collaborative work in art direction, very important for the image, because he puts himself as a symbol and coadjutor of young promises that continually come into the wonderful world of Models.

Exclusive interview by Marius Creati

M.C.: For many years the name of Tanel is related to the fashion shows. How does it feel to be present inner the style of a very important maison?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: Yes, since the early 80’, my first JPG’s show dated September 1985, just a season after the skirt for men… I had just turned 18 years old and I was a great fan of Jean Paul Gaultier, I did not know anything about clothes, but I have collected his advertising campaigns on my school notebooks (black and white advertising campaigns with Leslie Winer and a bit later with Laurence Treil as models), I love both them… Is Elisabeth Dijan, chief editor of the JILL magazine at that time (whose I was assistant for more than a year), who had sent me several times to the JPG press office, hoping to meet Jean Paul, convinced that I would work for him with my poupom look with a bowl haircut.

M.C.: What do you feel when you wear a Gaultier Paris suit, the most luxurious line of Jean Paul Gaultier’s maison, loved and desired so much by all those who follow the style?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: A huge honor as Jean Paul has always undertaken the time to prepare me to Tanel’s Special required for his haute couture or prét-à-porter… When there are few different things, he always said: “That thing, there is Tanel can wear”. I have to do the bridegroom a good dozen times and sometimes I start and finish the parades… A true inspirational Muse, I was very, very proud to wear his clothes, every season is so different…

M.C.: Do you still remember the first experience as a model? What emotions, what moods did you feel in that occasion?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: My first shot I made with Tony Viramontes for the JILL magazine, I was an assistant at the time, so I was very impressed, then, after few days, I realized hastily my differences with the male models of the moment. At that time models were very “Marlboro COWBOYS”, fine gules, beautiful bodies, beautiful white teeth. I had just turned 18 years old, I had a big mouth, big ears, a silhouette of disjointed puppet, at last I was very different at that time. I had many Vogue at home, devouring the images with all the great female models and those ones inspired me a lot; I told myself that I was like more the body of girls than boys of the period, so I concluded it was necessary that I posed as women and also for the fashion shows.

M.C.: How does your way of life has changed, whether that change has really occurred?   Surely you have been the object of admiration… perhaps even envy?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: This has changed a lot of my influences, of fashion and of lifetime course certainly. I started to realize a dream, when I was 8-10 years old I wore my Big Jim (Barbie’s husband) with wedding dresses and there was me to put clothes or makeup, I waved my body expressing greetings on photo shoots or fashion shows, I could accept my differences very soon and without taboos next to my family, my friends, who knew me well. With people this runs very quickly, I was estimated by the fashion people, editors, stylists, photographers… This is a pure moment of happiness I have tasted at 100%… The others I fucked royally, I lived a great life, spent much money, shopping, the most beautiful apartments in the capital, first class ticket, elegant hotels, travel, gifts for my family and above all I made parties every night, indeed a point, or professional people knew that if they wanted to work with me, it was after one o’clock in the afternoon, I meant not before my awakening.

M.C.: Your name is a legend in the fashion world. How do you see yourself and what is, in your opinion, your image in the eyes of the world?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: I know that people appreciate me for what I was, after all, just someone. A naughty boy of 17-18 years old who enjoyed himself in the court of the Great, is also true that I was surrounded by true professionals, Stephane Marais first with whom I shared 7 years of my life from 17 to 24 years, then with Elisabeth Djian which I worked for a year and a half as an assistant and when I started to be a model, I have been taken under the protection of Fabienne Martin (family agency, where we were only three boys). I took a place in fashion very quickly and with the name I had, on reminded me quickly, or people who I do not know, they wanted to meet me… I also have two children, a boy and girl of 18 years old who called Tanel et Tanella… A true legend, lol.

M.C.: What is the funniest episode that you remember with much pleasure?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: I have gain lot of giggles with J.P.G. during the preparation of man shows, or even Mondino, or just E. Dijan… people used me regularly for my good mood, but the funner anecdote is my debut as a model, I worked as an assistant with Babeth Dijan and one day where we had two advertisements on the same day, Babeth sent me on one of the two photo shoots with Tony Viramontes, whom I did not know. Babeth promised to find me at the end of the first service at the study… When Viramontes arrived in the study (two hours late) the whole team went out to drink a coffee outside, I was left there, from my seventeen years, looking after the clothes. I did not speak English, very badly. It was an advertisement for L’Oreal, the model had beautiful blonde hair of medium length. When Tony arrived, everything changed, when he saw the boy he did not want to take pictures with him but with me, me, I did not understand anything, I just saw that everybody looked at me and pronounced my name in all currently directions. Then I realized soon that Tony wanted to replace the boy with me… Unfortunately that does not convince the client’s, the ad agency, and so forth, but at the end of the day when Babeth arrived, she explained me everything and there I understood what happened. Tony made at least twenty rolls of photographs and from the day after I became a member of the Viramontes’s team model, tied to L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Italy, Per Lui, Jill, and so on… I also had an article inside the International Herald Tribute magazine on my haircut with Joe Dietrich…

M.C.: Which event marked your life by opening all the doors of paradise inside the fashion world?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: Without hesitating, the Viramontes’s picture appeared in the JILL magazine. At that moment I was still assistant of Babeth, Tony warned me (L’Oreal advertising), he wanted to use three guys on a photo shoot with Estelle Lefebure and Violetta Sanchez, Joe Dietrich, Christophe and me… The photos issued at the end of August, I was still on holiday in Lisbon with Stephane Marais and Donald Parfait (hairdresser and creator of my hair bow). When we returned home with Stephane, the answering machine was filled with messages of fashion people that came to see my pictures in the magazine and wanted me to pay them a visit absolutely… Comme des Garçons, the Girbaut, Gaultier, and so on, there were a good dozen… and from there everything starts quickly.

M.C.: However, is there instead an episode that you remember with regret in your long working path?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: You have the regrets, I tell myself that if it is now or do it again, I should change things certainly, as being much more serious at work, take things less light, I concede me more than twice…

M.C.: What do you think now looking at the future and what do you think instead looking at the past? What, in your opinion, the evolution of the image onto your experience?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: I should have preferred that you asked me the question in the opposite way. What do you think of the Past and what do you think instead of the Future? I’ll answer simply: When you deny the past, you deny the future… And in relation to the image I would say simply: not enough…

M.C.: What, in your opinion, the differences between the past and the present?

Tanel Bedrossiantz: Yes, there was a big change and I know something because today I work for a men and women model agency in Paris (New Madison) as artistic director. I particularly take care about new faces, but above all the image. In the 80′ fashion shows were much more festive, much more fun, much more friendly… fashion show rooms were huge, many people came without invitation, you knew someone to let you go in. They were big parades with sometimes fifty models. There was often hysteria in the room, people whistled and shouted for joy… Now it is much more traditional, models on hardly know, fashion shows last 15 minutes, people in the room has the air of boredom, sends messages with their mobile phones and the whole world is gone in 10 minutes… The Magic, the Madness of the major fashion shows is lost… But I feel that you are more creative in the Photography (because in the 80′ the men poses were very classical, hands into the pockets or behind the back), more you have the chance to go away… During the 80′ in the man there was some exception, then I meant, which was more the personality than the commercial beauty. When you had the fortune to work with people like Mondino, or just Gaultier, Mugler, and so forth, (the creatives) you could express yourself a bit more freely, including in Photography or advertising film… and certainly the catwalks… The Fashion Shows have always been a springboard to distinguish oneselves from the others… This was my chance… And Tanel became TANEL.

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