Tommy Ton and Anna Dello Russo have collaborated on a retrospective exhibit, titled "When Tommy Met Anna," that opens tomorrow at Toronto department store the Bay. The show features dozens of photos that Ton has taken over the years, starting with his very first shot in Paris in 2007 (she was wearing, of all things, gold mesh D&G). Tommy and Anna's friendship was slow to develop at first (she was rude to him before she knew who he was, he claims), but now she says she dresses "to please Tommy." Except when she's in the privacy of her own home, where she once wore sweatpants in front of him.
Tommy recalled his first time shooting Anna:
I do remember the first time I photographed her. It was March 2007, outside Galliano...She was very hesitant about being photographed. And then the next morning at Nina Ricci, which was Olivier Theyskens’ first show for Nina Ricci, she was wearing a silver sequined dress and a fox-fur collar and I was like, what is this woman on? I couldn’t believe she was wearing this at 10 in the morning."
While Tommy figured out who Anna was pretty quickly, it took her a little longer to identify him. When one of her assistants finally pegged him as the man behind JakAndJil, Anna approached him and introduced herself. "He told me when we met that he used to photograph me and I used to be rude to him because I didn’t recognize him at the beginning," she said. Now she calls him her "guru":
I put my life in the preparations. I prepare my outfits in any case. 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. To find something new, it takes a long preparation. For me, Tommy now is my fashion eyes. When it’s Tommy, I should be perfect—everything has to look perfect.
Tommy has witnessed only one exception to this perfection, he says, and even then she was still in high heels:
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... On the last day of Paris fashion week, when I went to see her to have a last chat, she answered the door in sweatpants and a sweater, but she was still wearing heels. I was like, Anna, were you sleeping in heels? She said, “Only for you, Tommy.”
“I Have To Please Tommy; He Is My Guru”: Anna On Tommy, Tommy On Anna [Style]