Jessica Simpson: Star Power

Jessica Simpson is looking to parlay her superstar singing career into movie stardom. In the meantime, she's having fun playing with images, like she does here by taking on the essence of STAR 80.


Behind the Scenes

The story continues...

1. Jessica Simpson is all grown up now. She was just 17 when she recorded her first pop album, Sweet Kisses, and in the three years since, she's become engaged to singer Nick Lachey (of 98°), recorded a second album, Irresistible, and has started looking into an acting career. Simpson is somewhat used to a hectic life, however--she was only 12 years old when she went on her first major audition, for a role on "The Mickey Mouse Club." She didn't get the part, but she did get to meet future pop princesses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, to whom she's been compared relentlessly. But Simpson doesn't have all that much in common with them. Yes, she is blonde and she is a pop singer. But she's also a devout Christian who got her start belting out gospel tunes at her minister father's Baptist church in Dallas, Texas, where she grew up. And her public image is more toned down from that of Spears's and Aguilera's flesh-baring, seductive personas.

2. Bob Fosse made his last film, Star 80, in 1983 and it remains a cult favorite to this day. Based on the short life of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten (portrayed by Mariel Hemingway), the film chronicles her fairy-tale beginnings and tragic end. Named Playmate of the Year in 1980, just two years after landing in Los Angeles by way of Vancouver, Stratten was first discovered working behind the counter at the local Dairy Queen. Unfortunately, she was discovered by a sleazy Svengali-type, Paul Snider (played by Eric Roberts), whom she later married. Though she was most famous for posing nude, the flaxen-haired Stratten managed to build an acting career, appearing in TV hits like "Fantasy Island," the sci-fi flick Galaxina, and Peter Bogdanovich's They All Laughed. It was during the filming of the latter movie that she fell in love with Bogdanovich, but the affair sparked a jealous rage in Snider, who brutally murdered Stratten on the very same day that Galaxina hit theaters. She was 20 years old. Though only marginally inspired by Star 80, Lionel Deluy's photographs of Jessica Simpson capture some of the '80s fashion seen in the film--which is popular again today--and a sexy innocence that both Simpson and Stratten seem to share.

3. Very few jewelry houses can boast to have been around for over six centuries. The House of Torrini was trademarked in Florence, Italy, in 1369, when founder Jacopus Torrini was known primarily as a forger of suits of armor for knights. This is why the company's insignia features half of a four-leaf clover (for good luck) and a spur, a hint at Jacopus's original profession. In the decades and centuries since, the Torrini family has passed down a long history of one-of-a-kind jewelry-making techniques that remain family secrets to this day. There's even a Torrini museum in Florence, where certain pieces date back hundreds of years.

4. Originally from Aix en Provence in the south of France, photographer Lionel Deluy ( moved to Los Angeles six years ago. Mostly known for shooting fashion spreads in Flaunt and Spanish Harper's Bazaar, Deluy is now adding celebrities and musicians to the mix. "It's challenging," he says, "but I've never been afraid of celebrities. They're human, just like me." Deluy paid his dues assisting photographers like Mario Testino and Jean-Baptiste Mondino before striking out on his own 12 years ago. "It was the best way to learn," he says.


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