Though Courtney Love was neither born nor raised in New York City, she is very emblematic of the independent New York spirit, and that is in part why the unapologetic icon was invited to tell her New York story in a new short film for the luxury accessories house Delvaux.
“I saw someone from Duran Duran over there, I saw Cyndi Lauper getting into a limo over there, and then I had them drive me to the Chelsea Hotel, and I saw two drag queens coming out and it was fabulous,” the musician reminisces in the film, while getting out of her own town car on snow-covered Fifth Avenue, decked in a prim bow blouse, and carrying a Delvaux bag.
Directed by Francesco Carrozzini, the son of the late Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani, "New York Stories" follows four spirited women - Love, musician Asia Chow, model Chanel Iman, and entrepreneur Nell Diamond, as they reminisce on their first moments in the city, and how the streets make one feel alive. “There’s so much energy in this little town,” Love shares in her low, raspy voice.
Delvaux recently opened up shop at the corner of Central Park, in the renowned Sherry-Netherland. While Love’s New York may be more of a downtown divey ilk, it is all one big city. Here, Love confesses to what she loved about the city in those heady days, her upcoming fashion week plans, and why new New Yorkers should be “ready to sleep on dirt and eat gravel.”
In the Delvaux film "New York Stories," you liken the city to caramel corn, coffee, and spilled whiskey. Coffee is a given - tell us more about the caramel corn and spilled whiskey parts.
It is comforting and edgy in equal parts. It’s a dive bar in the LES, and drag queens in the ‘80s.
People tend to lament New York isn’t fun anymore, so please weigh in. Is New York still fun?
New York will always have special energy; it will always be fabulous. I don’t know how I survived the ‘80s downtown, but I lived on that energy.
What’s a night out with Courtney Love like?
Massages, jasmine tea, and Netflix, probably.
What advice do you have for young people who have just arrived on these city streets, ready to chase their dreams?
Own what you are, and I mean whether that's art, or whether that's fashion, or whether that's music, or whether that's acting, or whether that's politics, or whether that's literature; it's own what you are, and grab it, and, you know, be as prolific as possible. Work really really hard. Be ready to sleep on dirt and eat gravel. With great responsibility comes great power. With that comes sights tastes sounds unheard of. Be generous, empathic, giving. See the world for what it isn’t and refuse to waver from that vision for anyone. Fill the world with benevolence and empathy and beauty. Even in chaos, there is that.
Who is your ultimate New York icon?
What about New York makes you happy?
Being in New York with my dog Bella makes me happy.
What is the one NYC clothing shop you wish you could resurrect?
Canal Jeans, on Canal Street in Soho.
If not New York, then where?
I love Oxfordshire and I love Malibu, so that’s two bodies of water. My third is the Chateau [Marmont].
Fashion week is right around the corner. Are you attending any shows?
I’m [going to the] Christian Siriano and Sies Marjan shows.
Tell us about your first (or favorite) New York Fashion Week memory.
Batsheva Hay’s runway show in her shop. Her line was all babydoll dresses, and Esther McGregor sang "Miss World."
Favorite item/trend you are wearing right now?
Designer Edward Crutchley, and skirts.
What was so special about partnering with Delvaux and director Francesco Carrozzini?
I really love Delvaux. I adored the micro bags, the Surrealism collection. They are super witty - I love Magritte. And I thought their choice of influencers was cool and really diverse. Fran is one of the great photographers of his generation, certainly. He’s fantastic and trustworthy. The day that he shot me was a slushy New York winter day, I felt awful, but I did it because he had once shot my cover for Interview magazine, within an hour. If only ever. Experienced that with Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber- and the shot? He dumped a pitcher of water on my head and laughed, and there it was! I love him. He always smells like oranges, he looks like the sunshine, and he is Italy on two legs. So sunny in disposition, we have had some amazing adventures, and he is about the most charming boy in the world.