Check this out! I was really chuffed to be asked to be featured in the March issue of Elle Decoration (along with Shini and Fred) talking about design, blogging and homesy things. I nearly turned it down as I don’t really like having to
tidy up my crap pose for photos but … Elle Deco, people!!! And lovely Tara Darby did a great job with the pictures, while Talib Choudhry did well to to edit my ramblings into something coherent. Also, gotta love the fact that Fred, Shini and I all included Susie Bubble (AKA the patron saint of UK fashion blogging – ha!) in our top three must-read blogs.
The Twittersphere went mental last Friday, at UK Vogue’s announcement of the forthcoming launch of Miss Vogue (first issue to be sold with the June Vogue). I’m thrilled too. I love Vogue, I love Teen Vogue, I love teenagers, I think I’ll like Miss Vogue. But from a news point of view, this is why it’s interesting…
1) It’s youth-focussed
My background is in teen mags. I had the funnest time of my life working in the ‘young women’s market’ but towards the end, we found young people just weren’t buying our magazine. Or any teen mag. J17, Elle Girl, Sugar all tried to last in print but couldn’t. Partly because we found that teenagers just read their mum’s mags (Grazia, Heat, Vogue) or weren’t reading magazines at all, they got all their information online.
2) It’s a print mag
Magazines are dying! Oh no they’re not! Vogue launching a new print magazine is news indeed. I always maintain that young people don’t have the ‘nostalgia’ of print and instinctively gravitate to online, especially now with such incredible mobile platforms. If Vogue is launching a magazine for young people, I’m sure the package will include web and mobile apps. But I really hope they can prove that young people are interested enough in print too.
3) It’s a new launch
You’d think the fashion content market was saturated by now, especially with all the blurring going on between editorial publications and commercial publications. With ASOS, H&M and Topshop all regularly producing excellent, free magazines, what more can Miss Vogue possibly have to offer?
I guess the important thing here is Authority. I’ve just been watching this great 2000 documentary on Anna Wintour in which she maintains that Vogue stands for excellence. Vogue is known as the authority on fashion – even now. And as the media and fashion worlds have become democratised, suddenly everyone has a voice and a point of view. While other young women’s magazines like Look and Company have embraced bloggers and readers’ input, Vogue is still very much about the editors’ view. And I think there is still a place for that. Maybe more so than ever before.
What a great find these photos are! They’re by Ellen von Unwerth from Interview magazine 1993, unearthed from a ring binder of goodies that I’m glad I never threw away. The photo of Anna with a (pre-Starbucks?) paper coffee cup surely epitomises the ambition of every long suffering intern that ever slaved over ‘returns’, dreaming of her Devil Wears Prada moment and the one below of Anna sharing a joke with Hamish and Camilla proves that – yes! – the Chanel sunnies stay on at all times… Continue reading
Dear Vogue, please can you publish an updated version of More Dash Than Cash for millennial recessionistas? These two ancient copies have been well-thumbed over the years because their advice and pictures still ring true. But how good would it be to have some updated images from David Sims, Daniel Jackson and Alasdair McLellan in amongst the Bruce Weber and Arthur Elgort goodies…?
Groups of girls are quite the thing for SS13 editorials and ad campaigns. Chanel has Stella Tennant, Ondria Hardin and Yumi Lambert; Balenciaga has Kremi Otashliyska, Sam Rollinson and Kirstin Liljegren, and did anyone else choke on their morning muffin at the sight of not two or three, but four girls in Chloe’s latest campaign? Continue reading
Years and years ago I bought a photo book by Alexander Liberman called The Artist In His Studio (it’s out of print but you can still find it on Amazon and eBay). I was (and still am) a bit obsessed with artists and their paraphernalia.
In this month’s US Vogue, Annie Liebovitz has produced her mini-version, featuring the studios of Jeff Koons, John Currin and Jasper Johns. I loved the accompanying interviews and the close-up of Jasper Johns’ charcoals and pastels. I definitely think she should do a follow up to the Liberman book.
On a side note, another publication that offers regular peeps into artists’ studios, and writers’ abodes, is Apartamento. I’ve just finished reading the last issue which featured the bookseller Conor Donlon and the writer Duncan Fallowell (below) who has every nook of his atelier stuffed with books. I can’t decide if this is heaven or hell…
It’s going to be hard to avoid Grace Coddington over the next few weeks – girl’s got a memoir to promote! But why would you want to avoid the flame-tressed one? So far, I’m loving this i-D cover with its barely-there coverlines, Celine cobalt coat and cheeky wink. On the stands next week, there’s also an interview with i-D’s Terry Jones to look forward to…
Like the music industry, the publishing industry has become about selling product as well as content. So brand extensions are flourishing like nothing before. But what Vogue has is quite unique – its content is its brand extensions. It uses its incredible archive of photography, illustration and editorials to produce all manner of products, from books to beach towels. Continue reading
When in Sweden, one should buy Acne, or that’s the mantra I like to live by. So that’s exactly what I did on my mini-break to Stockholm last month. As guests of Visit Sweden, D (Mr DRG) and I stayed at the one-year-old Hotel Scandic Grand Central availing ourselves of its rather unique Blogger’s Inn room. Continue reading
Five months ago, BON magazine commissioned me to write about 3D printing and its potential impact on the fashion industry. The best bit was researching it (with some great help from Jen Eleto). I got some incredibly generous insights from the likes of Dutch product designer Sjors Bergmans who made the first wearable 3D printed shoes, Chris Norman, CEO of 3D printing company Kraftwurx, and Peter Hill who runs the fashion digital studio at London College of Fashion. During my interview with Ron Arad, he disappeared to unearth some 3D printed earrings from the back office of his studio. They were made nine years ago – “the first 3D printed consumer accessories”, according to him.
I also spoke to legal expert Kenneth Mullen and commercial strategy consultant Ceci Guicciardi to get their views on how the ease of 3D printing in future will affect copyright laws, while LCF’s Peter Hill even let us use the LCF 3D printers to make some possible designer ‘fakes’ – with interesting results. (Conclusion: it’s early days for this technology but it’s developing fast.) The article has just been published and has had a good response. Some people are calling 3D printing the third industrial revolution, but if you still think 3D printing in fashion means creating 3D textures on a T-shirt, then maybe you need to go to 3D Printshow at The Brewery in Clerkenwell this weekend. (Admission is £19.95 and boooking is advisable. Info here.)
UPDATE: You can read an edited version of the article on Business of Fashion