Tuesday, January 19, 2016
SuperModel 90s: Mum's the Word!
Most little girls—and a few little boys—grow up playing with Barbie dolls. New York's youngest and most enthusiastic new bon vivants, Peter Brant Jr. and his younger brother, Harry Brant, were two of those boys. With one caveat: Who needs a Barbie doll when Mom is the legendary pinup Stephanie Seymour!!
"When they were little, they would lay out outfits for me," recalls Seymour, 47. Their favorite thing to do was dress her up for parent-teacher conferences. "I'd wake up at 7:30 A.M. and they would have laid out a 1955 vintage Dior couture gown and all the accessories too. They liked things to be monochromatic: The dress would be blue and the bag would be blue, and blue Manolo Blahnik shoes. Always a Manolo, and never a flat." But would she wear it? "Are you crazy?" Turns out the supermodel mama got enough attention as it was at PTA meetings and has a special conservative wardrobe just for school trips.
"It makes me happy when my sons come home and tell me, 'We bumped into Donatella and she says hi." —Stephanie Seymour
Though the boys are no longer small, they haven't stopped trying to dress up Mom. And posing for a family portrait—an event met with a groan among most children—is nothing short of a hoot with Peter, 20, and Harry, 17. The photo shoot for Harper's Bazaar—which marks the first time all three have been photographed together for a publication—was cluttered with eyelash curlers, hair extensions, and high-fashion designer duds. "Any more hair and you'll look like a Bratz doll," Harry teases his mother, giggling. Peter flips through the rack and swoons over a Gucci kimono. When Seymour needs help lacing up her over-the-knee Tom Ford boots, each son takes a leg.
The Brant brothers are hardly what you'd call typical American youths. Their father is Peter Brant, the Greenwich, Connecticut–based publishing magnate and renowned art collector. He and Seymour met in 1993, when she was a single mother living in L.A. with her first son, Dylan, whom she had during a brief marriage to Tommy Andrews, a guitarist. By then Seymour was a major celebrity, modeling for the covers of both fashion and men's magazines, walking the runways in Paris and Milan, and dating Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose.
In the middle of the Bazaar shoot, "November Rain"—the 1992 song whose video famously stars Seymour as Rose's rebel bride—comes on the radio, and she rolls her eyes. "Is this a practical joke?" she asks, recalling that she styled herself in those videos and wouldn't mind getting that dress back. "Getting involved with Axl Rose? Clearly a mistake," she says. "It taught me a lot, though. He was a violent person, and I realized I never wanted to be around that again. The thrill of the whole rock 'n' roll thing wore off. I saw the worst of that world and it soured me."
Brant was her Prince Charming. "I was swept off my feet," says Seymour, who soon transformed from a rocker groupie into a couture version of a suburban housewife. After she and Brant were married, in 1995, he adopted Dylan, who now attends Bard College and keeps a lower profile than his younger brothers. Nine-year-old Lily is the youngest of the clan and attends school in Greenwich. Although the couple separated in 2009 (which gave gossip columns a few fun months), they reconciled the following year and resumed their place as the glamorous first couple of the contemporary art world.
Harry and Peter grew up out of the spotlight in a sprawling Connecticut mansion but have been exposed to the fashion and art worlds since they were in diapers. Brant's tailor in London measured them for matching suits before they were old enough to walk. As toddlers, they were dragged to art fairs, museums, and gallery openings around the globe. Their parents' 300-acre estate is home to 50 ponies, a polo field, and Puppy, Jeff Koons's 41-foot terrier composed of marigolds, begonias, petunias, and other colorful flowers that sits on the front lawn. (Brant sold the artist's Balloon Dog (Orange) at Christie's last November; it went for $58.4 million.)
Posted by at 8:42 PM