Live The Life: Robert Mapplethorpe

7.23.2012

By Out.com Editors

How to get the signature look of the iconic photographer.

More than 20 years after his death, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s work still smolders with a pensive eroticism. From the posed formality of his nudes to the tender curves of his floral still lifes, a candid, sometimes confrontational sensuality underscores much of his imagery. Patti Smith’s 2010 memoir, Just Kids, reignited interest in the singer’s singular and complex relationship with Mapplethorpe -- and the casual, yet subtly perverse, style he fostered from behind the lens. “I learned from him,” Smith wrote of her lover, friend, and muse, “that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth.”

Photography by Koji Yano

1. Denim shirt by Pierre Balmain, $325

2. Vintage neckerchief available at Wasteland, San Francisco, price available upon request

3. Rosary cross necklace by David Yurman, $1,200

4. mesh tank top by Yves Saint Laurent, $625

5. Clovis bracelet by Hermès, $970

6. Pacha bracelet by Hermès, $1,150

7. Rivet belt by Y-3, $150
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