Madonna news - Nov. 2011


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New Zealand tour stop under negotiation?

Source: Stuff.co.nz - 30 Nov. 2011

The Queen of Pop's world tour may yet kick off in Auckland.

New ZealandIn October a leaked document suggesting Madonna was to play here was rubbished by her management, but negotiations with the prospective venue suggest the deal may still be done.

An alleged leaked itinerary of the iconic music star's next world tour was sent by an anonymous music industry insider to a Madonna fan site in the US on October 13.

The email contained a photo of the 2012 tour schedule printed on an official letterhead from promoter Live Nation and indicated that Madonna would perform at Mt Smart Stadium on March 31, 2012.

The document was quickly denied as a fake by Madonna's management, and group manager of Mt Smart Paul Nisbet said they had not been approached with any bookings for that date.

But in a council meeting just days later, Regional Facilities Auckland discussed negotiations that were underway to secure a large concert for the venue.

In the Operations Performance Report from the board of directors dated October 19, the board discussed the concert that was "initially scheduled for March 2012 but has now been moved to October 2012 due to changes to the touring schedule".

Regional Facilities Auckland's Paul Brewer said he can't say who or what the show is until the deal is signed, sealed and delivered but confirmed talks for a show were ongoing.

"Negotiations are underway. I wish I could say [more] but I would be shot,'' he said.

"We are always trying to negotiate concerts and obviously they have to be strictly confidential until things are signed on the dotted line.  But rest assured, we are always doing our best to bring in acts from overseas and in New Zealand."

Madonna has been preparing her 2012 return to music since announcing in July that she had begun work on her [new] album.

In August, alcohol brand Smirnoff released details on its website regarding an international dance contest indicating that successful finalists would be dancing with Madonna.

Terms and conditions outlined that participants must have 12 month validity on their passport from March 2012 and make themselves available to travel all over the USA, South America, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

And at the start of November, the official Madonna.com website updated its tour information with some dates for the upcoming 2012 tour including European shows in June. However, these were quickly removed and have not been re-posted.

Madonna has not released an album since 2009, instead channelling her creative energy into her film career and fashion line, Material Girl, a collaborative project with her 15-year-old daughter Lourdes Leon.

The superstar was scheduled to bring her Sticky & Sweet show to New Zealand sometime during 2008 or 2009 but reportedly cancelled due to the global financial crisis.



Solveig talks about leak and working with Madonna

Source: Boston Herald - 29 Nov. 2011

Martin SolveigWhen Madonna took to social media earlier this month to beg fans to stop posting a leaked track from her upcoming album, no one was more troubled than French producer Martin Solveig.

"We had a terrible leak ... and everyone is very upset about what happened," said Solveig, who is one of an elite few producers working on the massive Madonna 2012 release.

The flap unfolded two weeks ago when a demo version of the Solveig-Madonna track Give Me All Your Love hit the blogosphere, much to Madge's chagrin.

The Material Girl tweeted that "real fans" wouldn't have leaked her music before it was finished. The dance-pop track allegedly also will feature M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, but Solveig, who plays Royale on Friday in his first-ever Boston show, said he can't talk about the track.

But he did say working with Madonna is a dream come true.

"I would have considered this as impossible," he told the Herald from a tour stop in Miami. "People ask who you would dream to work with. To me working with Madonna was not really something I could do. When I got the call, first I thought it was a joke. And then when I realized it wasn't, I was real-ly overwhelmed. The collaboration has been an enormous joy and an enormous surprise."

Solveig, 35, is the latest Euro-pean DJ to cross over into the U.S. pop world, joining the likes of David Guetta, Afrojack, Avicii and other top dance-music artists. In addition to his work with Madonna, Solveig (born Martin Picandet) had a hit last year with "Hello," one of three tracks with indie darlings Dragonette on his latest full-length release "Smash." The disc first dropped this summer in Europe.

"The album 'Smash' is finished and ready to be released in the U.S. I'm also working on some different versions, some remixes," he said. "I'm touring the whole U.S. ... which is overwhelming and great. There is a whole expectation (here) of electronic music and myself. The U.S. crowds appear to be a very, very good crowd. It's great fun."

While Solveig has benefited handsomely from the blogosphere and the press over the Madonna leak, at the end of the day, he says dance music is all about the live performance.

"The interesting part is, always to come to the show because there's surprises," he said. "And there's dancing, which is something you don't have on the Internet."



Guy Ritchie doesn't regret his marriage to Madonna

Source: Daily Telegraph - 29 Nov. 2011

Madonna & Guy Ritchie Guy Ritchie has opened up about his eight-year marriage to Madonna, saying that he felt like he'd "stepped into a soap opera".

"You're right, I stepped into a soap opera," the British film director told Details magazine about his relationship with Madonna . "I lived in it for quite a long period of my life."

But while living with one of the most famous women in the world may have been dramatic, Ritchie says he wouldn't rewrite his personal history.

"I enjoyed my first marriage," he said. "It's definitely not something I regret. The experience was ultimately very positive. I love the kids that came out of it, and I could see no other route to take."

Madonna and Ritchie were introduced by Trudie Styler , Sting's wife, and married in 2000 at Skibo Castle in Scotland. They had two children together - biological son Rocco and adopted son David Banda.

But the couple split in 2008, amid rumors that Madonna wanted to adopt another baby and that the two resented each other's career commitments.

In 2009, Ritchie met model Jacqui Ainsley at a dinner party and they began dating. In September, Ainsley gave birth to the couple's first baby, a boy.

But while he's moved on, Ritchie said he still thinks often of his marriage to Madonna.

"When you end up with a lot of the things you set out to chase and find that you've stumbled into all sorts of hollow victories, then you become deeply philosophical," he said.

"I'm quite happy that that experience was accelerated for me. I'm glad I made money, in other words. And I'm glad I got married."

He recognises that his thoughts on his relationship are a little all over the place. He adds, "I'll probably be more eloquent on it 10 years from now."



Kylie admits to being a "massive Madonna fan", looks forward to the new album

27 Nov. 2011

M.I.A. confirms collaboration with Madonna and Nicki Minaj

Source: TheRoundTable - 27 Nov. 2011

M.I.A. Reports have been circling for weeks regarding Madonna's forthcoming album — including speculation that she would be working with both M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj. Well, it's now confirmed that the Sri Lankan rapper is New York City bound thanks to her recent tweet, which stated:

"Summond to NYC by bitchesses > MADONNA and @NICKIMINAJ > cofffffiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee it iz a good day to get me tho trustttt bitches Ahhhh!" Let's just say I'm way beyond intrigued to hear what a Madonna/Nicki Minaj/M.I.A. collaboration would sound like — 2012 can't come soon enough.


Andrea: Madonna is a passionate director

Source: BigPondNews - 27 Nov. 2011

Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar Madonna was 'a joy' to work with on the set of W.E.

Actress Andrea Riseborough - who plays lead Wallis Simpson in the movie, which was written and co-produced by the signer - found the star's 'passion and strength' in telling the tale of the American socialite 'infectious'.

Asked what Madonna was like to work alongside, she said: 'A joy. Her passion was infectious, her strength was admirable and we were complicit from the outset about how and why we wanted to tell this woman's story.'

The 30-year-old star has since been shooting new film 'Resistance' in Abergavenny, Wales, and admits after the landscape of her surroundings 'rubbed' off on her to the extent that she has now started speaking to her pet dog in Welsh.

Andrea explained to Total Film magazine: 'The DNA of the landscape rubs off on you. Every morning I'd be taken aback by how the light fell on the land. I didn't learn Welsh though, besides some words I say to my dog.



Madonna to perform at Stade de France, Paris on July 14th?

*rumour* 22 Nov. 2011

The web is abuzz with possible dates and locations for Madonna's next tour. One of the strongest is a possible stop at Stade de France in Paris on the French national holiday, July 14th, 2012. While there's no official confirmation of any kind at this moment, some believe that an announcement from manager Guy Oseary could happen very soon now.



Madonna's choreographers dish on her upcoming "best" album yet

Source: OK! - 16 Nov. 2011

Rich and Tone While fans eagerly await icon Madonna's next album, her choreographers Rich and Tone Talauega dished to OK! about what to expect from what they call her "best" record yet, after getting a sneak peek from the singer herself.

"She kind of went back to her roots of electronic music in a way. It's definitely got a different twist to it. It's very good."

While Madonna hasn't released an album since 2008's Hard Candy, Tone insists that her upcoming tracks are better than ever.

"This is a couple levels up from her last album. This definitely has to be her best album. She knows how to bring the energy together!"

Fortunate enough to have Madonna give the dancing duo, "little listening parties", Rich and Tone both agree that the "Like a Virgin" singer, "knows how to bring the energy together!"

Asides from working on her record, Madonna just finished up working behind the camera directing the film W.E.



Madonna selects winner of Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project global dance search

Source: Smirnoff press release @ Marketwire - 13 Nov. 2011

At the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project's Global Dance Search which took place at Roseland in New York on Saturday night (Nov. 12), Madonna chose the winner of a global dance contest awarding one lucky dancer the opportunity to join her official dance crew. With art direction and choreography by Shay Normann, the 11 finalists battled it out in front of over one thousand guests. Beating hundreds of online hopefuls and then competing against finalists live at the event, Lil' Buck from Memphis, TN was the announced winner of the coveted, life-changing prize.

Madonna at the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project Madonna and winner Lil' Buck at the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project Madonna and her choreographers at the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project Madonna and winner Lil' Buck at the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project Dancers at the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project

"This has been an incredible journey and a dream come true," said Lil' Buck.

"The Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project has uncovered amazing dance talent from all over the world, but Lil' Buck was the best of all," added Madonna.
Madonna, who watched the performances with choreographers Rich & Tone Talauega, handpicked DJ and Producer Martin Solveig to headline the event. Solveig has been collaborating with Madonna on her upcoming album. Hardy "Indigo" Muanza and Vikter Duplaix were also at the event spinning custom mixes.

The Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project, including the exclusive dance competition to join Madonna's dance crew, is the first component of a multi-faceted agreement between Madonna and her partner Live Nation and Diageo, the parent company of The Smirnoff Co.



Something to remember: "A lot of my old songs make me sick."

13 Nov. 2011

GHV2Arguably the black sheep in Madonna's enormous discography, GHV2 hit the shelves 10 years ago on November 13th, 2001. As the successor to The Immaculate Collection, expectations were really high for Madonna's second greatest hits compilation that covered 1992-2001. Probably even too high, because many would point out the shortcomings up to today. Madonna herself infamously played "chicken and the egg" with the album title and the lack of new songs in the tracklist that immediately killed the project for a lot of fans.

As for the selection of the old songs, she told BBC's Jo Whiley about the process: "Listening to stuff over and over again. A lot of my old songs make me sick.", in that interview she clearly dismissed #1 hit This Used To Be My Playground and said "Oh, I like Fever alright. But the thing is they had to have listening power for me. I had to be able to listen to them five times in a row and think this is really good, this is a well written song, it's really well produced. I can honestly say not all my songs have been, some are better than others, that's all there is to it. So the ones that I thought really stood the test of time, in terms of well written, well produced, well sung, those are the ones that made it."

While that would make sense from a certain point of view, why name the album "greatest hits" when the artist omits bigger selling singles and top 20 hits such as Rain, I'll Remember, You'll See or You Must Love Me in favor of the Bedtime Story, Human Nature, Drowned World/Substitute For Love & What It Feels Like For A Girl quartet, since it's quite a stretch to call them "hits". Drowned World wasn't even a worldwide release that obviously made the cut due to being the opening song of the Drowned World Tour, which was released on DVD on the same day as GHV2 (interestingly that tour setlist also includes Human Nature & What It Feels Like For A Girl but none of the ballads that were bigger hits and were already bundled together on Something To Remember).

The tracklist itself ended up being semi-chronological but still incongruous with mostly dominated by songs from 4 albums, the only non-album tracks added were Don't Cry For Me Argentina from Evita (but not the Miami Mix that got the most airplay in the US) and Beautiful Stranger from Austin Powers. Many would also remark the back cover where the font didn't give any help to the casual buyer who would glance through searching for Madonna's most popular hits. Reportedly the tracklist had an earlier version where the dance tracks would be coupled together in the front and the ballads in the second half, with the aforementioned Drowned World/Substitute For Love being absent in favor of 1995's You'll See.

Of course the edited versions of most of the tracks were also a crucial issue for many. Unlike on its predecessor, the edits weren't new, just the single editions released at the time, including the censored radio version of Human Nature.

Possibly because of all this, combined with the lack of notable promotion, GHV2 did not become a blockbuster, failed to hit #1 in major markets (famously blocked from the top spot by boyband Westlife in the UK), reached Platinum in the US but couldn't crack a million in the UK. Of course basically every pop singer would have killed for a second greatest hits album to sell as much as GHV2, it's just that a decade ago fans and critics had not yet realized that Madonna was soon to be the victim of ageism and their expectations had not yet come down to Earth.

In spite of all that, GHV2 still remains an important album for us. Not only because Mad-Eyes was the first to share the gorgeous artwork online, but it's among our most played albums, simply because it contains some of our most favourite songs ever recorded! It's easy to nitpick all the details but in the end these songs are true gems and they are the backbone of many fans' appreciation towards Madonna. It's also important to note that only half of GHV2's tracklist was carried over to 2009's Celebration, thus not making the 15-track playlist redundant and it would always remain a rewarding listen.



W.E. release pushed back to Feb. 3

Source: Hollywood Reporter - 10 Nov. 2011

Scene from W.E.Madonna 's W.E. has joined a bevy of upcoming films that are opting for a one-week awards qualifying run before Dec. 31 but delaying their official release in theaters until after the new year in order to avoid the crowded year-end corridor.

W.E. launches its qualifying run Dec. 9, when the film was previously scheduled to debut in theaters. But the fim's release date has been moved to Feb. 3, the Weinstein Co. confirmed Wednesday.

The switch in plans also is designed to take advantage of Madonna's widely rumored performance at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

W.E. , charting the love affair between Wallis Simpson and Britain's Prince Edward , who abdicated the throne in order to marry Simpson, is hardly alone in opting for an awards-qualifying run versus a full-blown release. Other titles doing the same include Albert Knobbs , Rampart , We Need to Talk About Kevin and Coriolanus, also from the Weinstein Co.



Harper's Bazaar interview and photoshoot

Source: Harper's Bazaar - 9 Nov. 2011

On the release of her film, W.E., the superstar talks women, power and sexuality. Read the interview below, plus see her fashion shoot with actress Andrea Riseborough.

Madonna lives behind high, spike-topped, black metal walls in three townhouses joined into one on New York's Upper East Side. I had to manage my covetous feelings as I was ushered through the gate and then walked through pristine living rooms, dining rooms, and sitting areas, all decorated like the highest end of British hotels, in a mélange of blacks and grays. There were glossy black floors and doors, original Tamara de Lempicka paintings on the walls, and, I would swear, a wall covering made of teal duck feathers in at least one bathroom. But I was open to forgiving Madonna all of these signs of her success because the fact is, I think the woman is gutsy, and the risks she has taken in her career have made the world a bit freer and more interesting for women of my generation.

Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar Madonna and Andrea Riseborough in a photoshoot for Harper's Bazaar

In person, Madonna is tiny and alarmingly fit, and she has the posture of a seasoned dancer. Her face is more delicate than in photos; one gets the sense that she is aware of her every gesture. She is wearing beige slacks with boots and a belted beige sweater over a white shirt; her hair is simply styled in blonde waves. She greets me warily and welcomes me into a quiet study.

Then the surprises begin. Throughout my formative years, when she was so iconic, I had always assumed that Madonna had been brave in her choices because of some innate egotism or some aberrant strength of will. In person, I discover that she has been brave in her life in spite of lacking certain kinds of protection, privilege, and confidence. What I hadn't expected to feel was moved. At 53 years old, I find, Madonna is scrappy, really smart, and young in the way that people who have had a childhood trauma — she lost her mother when she was five years old — often seem to be. She is very guarded at times and then, as we speak, more open, even vulnerable.

Continue the interview at Harper's Bazaar.



Madonna on leak: "My true fans wouldn't do this"

Source: Billboard - 9 Nov. 2011

In response to the leak of a demo of Madonna's new single, Give Me All Your Love, the diva says, "My true fans wouldn't do this." She said that to her manager, Guy Oseary, who took to his Twitter account ( @guyoseary) today (Nov. 9) to address the leak.

Yesterday morning, two short snippets of Give Me All Your Love, the alleged first single from Madonna's upcoming album, leaked to the web. A few hours later, the entire song materialized.

Oseary says "the plan was for new music to come out in the new year, and yet someone leaked a demo version of a song yesterday. I'm very happy with the positive reaction to the demo, but we are very upset with whoever leaked the song!!!"

He went on to respond to questions from fans, saying that the album doesn't have a title, nor is it finished yet. "It should be done in the next month or so," he said. The set will be Madonna's first studio album since 2008's Hard Candy, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 280,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Oseary also confirmed that Madonna has written a ballad for the film W.E., which she directed and co-wrote. It is due for release in theaters on Dec. 9 in the United States. He didn't indicate that Madonna herself would be singing the tune, but it's presumed she will.

Madonna and Oseary will be on hand at at the Roseland Ballroom on Saturday, Nov. 12, where Madonna will select the winner of a Smirnoff-sponsored dance contest. The victor will be named a member of her "dance crew" -- though what that prize entails hasn't been explicitly described.



Give Me All Your Love leaks

Source: Hollywood Reporter - 9 Nov. 2011

A demo version of the purported first single off of Madonna's next album has been leaked online.

The retro-sounding Give Me All Your Love would be included on the singer's 12th studio album, which will be released in spring 2012.

Madonna began work on the album in July, according to a tweet by her manager Guy Oseary . She said during press rounds promoting her film W.E. at the Venice Film Festival that the first single was due out in Feb. or March of next year.

The song begins with cheerleaders/singers chanting to a snare drum: "L-U-V Madonna. Y-O-U you wanna?"

Madonna then sings, "I see you coming and I don't want to know your name/ I see you coming and you're gonna have to change your game."

The chorus is pretty straight forward: "Gimme all your love and gimme your love, give me all your love today/Gimme all your love and gimmie your love, let's forget about time and dance our lives away."

The single definitely sports an '80s sound with synthesizers, drum machines and "Hey Mickey" -like back-up vocals.

The album will be Madonna's first CD since leaving Warner Bros. for a 360 deal with Live Nation, reports Billboard.

~ Some sources say that this is only a demo version. The final version is supposed to sound differently and would be longer. To be continued...



New fragrance inspired by Madonna's mum

Source: MySinchew - 9 Nov. 2011

Truth or Dare eau de parfum Madonna's debut fragrance, Truth or Dare, will hit US stores next March, and has been inspired by the singer's mother.

It was revealed Thursday, November 3 that a signature scent would be the first feature of the pop star's new lifestyle brand, thanks to a licensing deal between Coty Inc. and MG Icon.

Americans will be able to get their hands on the perfume exclusively at department store Macy's on March 26, 2012. Consumers in locations including the UK, France, Asia and the Middle East will be able to buy Truth or Dare a couple of months later.

Speaking to Women's Wear Daily, the singer explained how important accessibility was when creating the perfume.

"I have always been obsessed by fragrance and for years wanted to create something personal that was an expression of me, but that other people could relate to as well," said the star. "Something classical and timeless and yet modern. My oldest memory of my mother is her perfume. I carry it with me everywhere.

"She always smelled like gardenias and tuberose, an intoxicating mixture [that was] feminine and mysterious. I wanted to re-create this scent, but with something fresh and new about it as well. Something honest and yet daring -- hence the name Truth or Dare."

2012 is shaping up to be a big year for pop star fragrances, with Madonna's musical protégé Lady Gaga also scheduled to release her scent in spring next year. However, with reports back in January suggesting the songstress wanted her signature scent to smell like "semen and blood," it could be rather different to Truth or Dare's floral notes.

Meanwhile, singer Katy Perry's second fragrance Meow! is due to hit shelves in American department store Nordstrom in mid-November and can be pre ordered online now with international shipping available.

As the followup to her debut scent Purr, the star explained the influence her sweet tooth has had on the perfume.

"Purr to me was a little bit more floral, and Meow is a little bit more sweet. It was probably because of the California Dreams tour that it was more of the confectionary world, because everything I've seen for the last year has been like cotton-candy scented or huge peppermints or massive gummy bears," she explained.



Round-up of facts & rumours

6 Nov. 2011

After 2 calm years, 2012 promises to be a very exciting year for Madonna fans. While only few facts have been confirmed, there are ever more rumours circulating online. Here's a little summary.

The album
Confirmed collaborators are William Orbit and Martin Solveig. It's been said that the album has been finished and is being mixed by Orbit & co. in Las Vegas. There's no release date set yet. Live Nation has struck a deal with Universal Music/Interscope Records for the distribution of the album.
Benni Benassi is rumoured to be a third producer, who supposedly cowrote and coproduced a track titled "Girls Gone Wild".

The new single
The first single, produced by Solveig, is an upbeat dance track, titled "Give Me All Your Love". The rumoured lyrics can be read here. While there has always been hinted at a February release, some claim the single could drop earlier.
The song is rumoured to be performed during the Super Bowl in February 2012, featuring Nicki Minaj. The set is supposedly containing another 5 'old' songs.

The tour
Madonna will be touring in 2012, that's for sure. There've been plenty of rumours of cities she's supposedly visiting. It will probably be a large tour, spanning over Europe, North America, Australia and possibly also South-East Asia and South America. Some say a tour announcement and ticket sales could happen within a few weeks, others say it'll happen early next year. The start of the tour should be expected between April and June 2012.
On November 12, the finalists of the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project will perform at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC. Madonna and Martin Solveig will pick a winner, who will join Madonna's dancing crew on tour.



Madonna to launch new brand for fashion and fragrance

Source: Big Pond News - 4 Nov. 2011

Truth or Dare eau de parfum Madonna is launching her second clothing label.

The singer - who created teen label Material Girl last year with 15-year-old daughter Lourdes - will aim her new collection, Truth Or Dare By Madonna, at an older audience and will start with a fragrance. She will then launch footwear, handbags and under, which will all come out next year.

Madonna - who has signed a deal with brand management company, Iconix Brand Group - said: 'Over the past several years, I have been approached countless times to create my own brand. The timing is right and I have found great partners in Iconix, who can help translate my vision to reality.'

The label will illustrate Madonna's look as a powerful, female icon and will be targeted at women aged between 27 to 50.

Iconix's CEO Neil Cole told WWD: 'The interest and excitement globally for brands developed by Madonna are significant. After the highly successful launch of the junior brand Material Girl, we knew there would be a tremendous demand for a brand that Madonna herself is the face of and that truly captures her essence.'



Madonna to add fan to dance crew

Source: ContactMusic - 3 Nov. 2011

Madonna will pick one lucky fan to join her dance troupe later this month (Nov '11).
The entertainer will end her talent search competition at New York City's Roseland Ballroom on 12 November ('11) and there she'll select the number one dancer to add to her crew.

Eleven contestants have been narrowed down from hundreds of hopefuls around the world who competed for the chance to join Madonna onstage, and together they'll have one last chance to wow the Material Girl hitmaker before she makes her final choice.

And Madonna is eager to check out the talent, stating, "Even with my crazy schedule, any chance I get to be on a dance floor in New York with fabulous music and incredible dancers is still my idea of a perfect evening. I can't wait for November 12th."



Arianne Phillips talks about W.E. in W Mag

Source: W Magazine - 1 Nov. 2011

The November 2011 issue of W Magazine has a full spread on Madonna's movie W.E.. Costume designer Arianne Phillips annotates images from the new Wallis Simpson biopic.

In W.E., a cinematic study in style, Madonna, who cowrote and directed the movie, animates the hidden life of Wallis Simpson, the scandalous, twice-divorced American expatriate who ­married—and dethroned—Edward Windsor, the King of ­England, in 1937. The movie, which uses fashion to inform the characters, splits its time between the past and present day: Wally, an unhappily married wealthy woman (sleepily played by Abbie Cornish), becomes obsessed with the duchess (portrayed with elegance and wit by Andrea ­Riseborough). When Simpson's clothes and jewelry are on display at a Sotheby's auction in Manhattan, Wally's fascination with these stunning artifacts—among other beauties, a charm bracelet of gem-encrusted crosses, by Cartier; a gossamer silver chiffon gown by Vionnet; a gray wool flannel Schiaparelli day suit that Simpson idiosyncratically accessorized with medals on the peplum—offers her a window into the duchess's private world. Interestingly, Madonna views the magnificent clothes and jewels with a conflicted eye: Simpson's possessions may have been lovely, but they did not guarantee happiness. Or even admiration: While always well dressed, the duchess was ostracized and a rather tragic figure.

"I started doing research in 2009, a year before we began filming," explained Arianne Phillips, who's been collaborating with Madonna for 15 years. "To me, Wallis Simpson was a style icon, but I didn't know she was a couture client well before she met Edward. She was also a hungry whore for jewelry. Edward gave Wallis jewelry to make her feel royal. My first task was figuring out how to re-create those famous gifts."

Phillips forged relationships with Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels to replicate the cross bracelet and 10 other iconic pieces. For the gowns, undergarments, and dresses needed for the 60 costume changes in the film, Phillips scoured the Vionnet and Schiaparelli archives and then, with the cooperation of both houses, redesigned and (often reimagined) Simpson's clothing. "Some of the pieces that the duchess actually ordered I thought were hideous," Phillips said. "Those wouldn't work for the movie, so we modified and invented. Wallis wasn't pretty; she was handsome, at best. In England, it was noted over and over how unattractive she was. But Wallis was a lot of fun—very entertaining. She had a freedom to her that was definitely reflected in her clothes; the duchess was all about presentation. And that became her refuge, and her prison."

On the set of W.E."Andrea Riseborough (as Wallis Simpson) is wearing a Schiaparelli "minute" suit with Cariter Pearls and medals. One medal was given to Wallis (by Edward) when her beloved terrior Slipper died—Price Edward liked to give her "memento" jewelry—and the other a is carved Ganesh. Cartier re-created the medals and pearls for us. Once the film comes out, Cartier will destroy all the copies it re-created for the production, so the originals will not be devalued."

On the set of W.E. "The man in the background with the red tray is Cartier security. Madonna and I had a ritual: We would place the jewelry on Andrea together. Some of the jewelry in the film belonged to Madonna. Madonna said to me from day one: 'Use me in whatever way I can help you.'"

On the set of W.E."This shot is from a hunting trip the duke and duchess took in the forties. She's wearing a Schiaparelli hat (re-created by Stephen Jones) and Roger Vivier boots. Designers were a big part of Wallis's story. She loved fashion and was famously quoted as saying, 'You can never be too rich or too thin,' and she definitely lived by those words!"

On the set of W.E."Edward was a man of incredible style. He liked to bend and even break the rules; he was very punk rock about how he dressed. Edward was 5' 6", and our actor, James D'Arcy [shown practicing between takes], is 6' 3". In terms of pattern and texture, you have to be careful with a tall man. For this scene, with Dunhill's help, we re-created the duke's jacket and waistcoat, as well as the kilt."

On the set of W.E."Mainbocher was an American designer Wallis favored. This shot is of her looking out her bedroom window at the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris. Since we only had black and white images of Wallis in this dress, I chose to make it in Duchess Blue, a color she made iconic."

On the set of W.E."This scene is the first time Wallis meets Edward—at a party he was throwing. She is wearing a dress made by Vionnet, bracelets from Anna Hu, hair jewels from Stephen Jones, and Madonna's personal necklace. He is wearing a navy tuxedo with tails—his signature."

On the set of W.E."This scene is in the South of France, so I wanted a really striking day dress. This one was inspired by a lot of the photographs we had of her. It had this beautiful organza petticoat that just made it waft and float when she walked. We had more than 15 fittings because Andrea had so many costume changes. We were fitting clothes until the very end."

On the set of W.E."Wallis wore clothes beautifully and she understood them. This look is part of a montage of a holiday with Edward before they were married. I worked a lot with a company in London called Cosprop, which has provided costumes for everything from Merchant Ivory productions to The King's Speech. They were kind enough to let me dig through their stock."

On the set of W.E."Wallis looks so glum because this is when she listens to Edward's abdication on the radio while she's lying low in the South of France. Everything is vintage—the handpainted kimono-style jacket, the linen trousers—though the black bracelet was custom made for us by Alexis Bittar. On her left hand is her engagement ring—a large square-cut emerald, re-created by Cartier."


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