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Seven Questions for Lisa Martin, InStyle’s Director of Photography

LisaMartin_StBartsLisa Martin started at InStyle in 1999 as a freelance photo editor. Fifteen years and several promotions later she is director of photography at the Time Inc. magazine-cum-media brand, which prides itself on “delivering the knowledge and confidence to make the everyday fabulous.” On the occasion of InStyle‘s 20th anniversary mega-issue, Martin (pictured at right, sailing in St Barts while on a shoot with cover girl Cameron Diaz) took a break from overseeing the photo department, hiring photographers and stylists, and conceptualizing photo shoots to tell us about some of her favorite images, how she views the magazine’s signature aesthetic, and more.

What are a few of your favorite images from the September fall fashion/20th anniversary issue?
There are so many outstanding pictures in our September issue that I love, but the beauty story we did with Haley Bennett (below), shot by Jan Welters, was extraordinary. It was one of those shoots when all the pieces come together—the makeup artist, Wendy Rowe, achieved beautiful, clean skin texture with subtle neutral tones on Haley’s eyes and lips; the lighting was beautiful; and the styling, perfect. I don’t wear makeup, but if I did, I would try those makeup looks.

instyle sept haley bennett

How do you describe the aesthetic or visual signature of InStyle?
Our visual aesthetic is sophisticated but accessible—the photos are rich in texture and color, so readers want to linger and look at them, especially because they’re inspired by what they see. Our fashion looks luxurious—and in many cases, it is—but it also looks like clothing you would want to wear. We want to make images that are modern and iconic while celebrating the recent fashion trends and celebrities.

How have you seen that aesthetic change over the 15 years you’ve been at the magazine?
InStyle was the first magazine to give readers access to the stars’ everyday lives, seen through a lens of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Now, we’ve evolved into a luxury fashion brand—we went from shooting lifestyle and home stories to creating beautiful fashion and beauty stories in the well. We’ve also broadened our photography roster to include more fashion photographers. In addition, there’s a huge front-of-book section and in the back of the book there’s the “Life Etc.” section, with incredible food and lifestyle photography. We give the InStyle reader 360-degree celebrity access.
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Develop a Freelance Career

Develop a Freelance CareerStarting September 29, work with a New York freelancer to build your own thriving career! Lauren Waterman will teach you how to develop salable freelance ideas, find the best publication to target your pitch, maintain relationships with editors to secure long-term work, and master the financial logistics of a freelancing career. Register now!

Seven Questions for Elle Decor Editor-in-Chief Michael Boodro

Michael Boodro 2014_lo.resThe September issue of Elle Decor arrived in a flourish of silvery hues and starchitect selfies, looking ahead to the future of design with no fear of the past (or of a bold red armchair). At the editorial helm of the Hearst shelter magazine is Michael Boodro, who predicts that over the next quarter century, “the print version of the magazine will become more of a luxury object and we’ll see increases in e-edition sales. I think people will continue to turn to Elle Decor for inspiration and resources. We’re always going to have a passion for finding new talent and peoples’ homes will continue to be a refuge that reflects their tastes.” We managed to catch Boodro between the September issue unveiling and the launch of the magazine’s new book to chat about the big 2-5, what he read this summer, and the best advice Anna Wintour ever gave him.

Elle Decor turns 25 this year. How are you celebrating?
We have celebrated throughout the year with special stories looking back, but it all culminates with our big 25th anniversary issue, out now. It is full of projects by quintessential Elle Decor designers, including Steven Gambrel and Darryl Carter, as well as a celebration of silver—the traditional 25th anniversary gift—and a special section on the future of design, because Elle Decor has always looked ahead and sought out new talents. We also have our third book, The Height of Style: Inspiring Ideas from the World’s Chicest Rooms, coming out later this month [September 16] from Abrams.

How do you describe the editorial mission/philosophy of the magazine?
I actually think our most important mission is to inspire. Sure, we want to keep our readers informed as to the latest projects and trends, but our readers are passionate about design, and they want to know the stories behind the room, behind the product. They are just as interested in design history as in what is new. They are open to new ideas and want to see all kinds of interiors from around the world—even if it’s not the way they want to live themselves. We try to keep them engaged and surprised, on everything from interiors to art to food to travel.
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Quote of Note | Bruce Sterling

OMNI_CVRS.indd“Genuine science-fiction art performs a social function for a tight-knit, ninety-year-old community. It exists to enable its viewers to achieve and maintain their highly valued otherworldly state of let’s pretend. Sci-fi art is a form of realist genre painting, like aviation art, like natural-history painting. Its cousins are comics and game design and set design, disciplines that prefer certain conventions to be respected: Comics fans require the canon, gamers like to enter the game world and play, theatergoers need set design as the backdrop of performance. Art that is too heavily freighted breaks the suspension of disbelief and leaves the sci-fi fan with the awkward realization that Martians have better taste than he does. [Omni publisher Bob] Guccione‘s effort to class-up sci-fi art was like trying to break-dance in a Vegas tuxedo, but he never saw the solecism there. Although he had a few veteran sci-fi illustrators within his mag—Michael Whelan, Frank Fazetta, Tim White, and glitzy-robot maestro Hajime Sorayama—it’s clear that these accomplished sci-fi professionals caught Guccione’s roving eye almost by accident.”

-Bruce Sterling on The Mind’s Eye: The Art of Omni (powerHouse Books) in the September issue of Artforum

InStyle’s Rina Stone on Brand Evolution, Collaborations, and the September Mega-Issue

rina stoneThe latest Julia Roberts-fronted issue of InStyle is more than a fall fashion blockbuster—it’s also a celebration of the Time Inc. magazine-cum-brand’s twentieth anniversary. The 700+ page-September book is brimming with retrospective morsels along with expanded takes on signature features that strike the signature InStyle balance of inspirational and attainable. We recently sat down with creative director Rina Stone to discuss her (extensive) responsibilities, the evolving InStyle brand, and the making of the mega-issue. Snagging Roberts for the cover was “a real coup,” Stone told us. “Ariel [Foxman, InStyle editor-in-chief] felt there was no one better to celebrate our 20th anniversary. She’s such an InStyle girl. Putting that shoot together, we wanted to do a fashion story—obviously, because it’s the September issue—but we also wanted to make sure that we left with something that was iconic and memorable—some pictures that would last forever. She loved the concept, and she has such personality. I think some of these portraits, you can put them in a time capsule, take them out in 20 years, and they’ll still be relevant.”

Read the full interview on FishbowlNY: So What Do You Do, Rina Stone, Creative Director at InStyle?

First Look: Top Architects Share Selfies with Elle Decor

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From left, selfies from Lise Anne Couture and Hani Rashid; Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Christoffersen; and Sou Fojimoto.

elle_decor coverThe ides of August are nearly upon us and with them the September issues. Among the first to hit newsstands is Elle Decor, which is seizing its twenty-fifth anniversary moment not to look back in reverie (the magazine did that earlier this year in charming video form) but to focus on the future. The just-published anniversary issue, fronted by a creamy Upper East Side living room designed by Steven Gambrel, features a look at the next twenty-five years of design and catches up with a range of leading architects via their selfies and Instagram posts. Japan’s Sou Fojimoto poses before a mound of cardboard boxes and architectural models, Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture grin under a sculptural light fixture, while Bjarke Ingels and BIG partner Thomas Christoffersen appear to have snapped their selfie in the midst of a rainforest excursion.
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Quote of Note | David Carr

stack-of-magazines“For the last six months, my magazines, once a beloved and essential part of my media diet, have been piling up, patiently waiting for some mindshare, only to be replaced by yet another pile that will go unread. I used to think that people who could not keep up with The New Yorker were shallow individuals with suspect priorities. Now I think of them as just another desperate fellow traveler, bobbing in a sea of information none of us will see to the bottom of. We remain adrift.”

-David Carr of The New York Times in his most recent “Media Equation” column, “Riding the Juggernaut That Left Print Behind

Wes Gordon, Tanya Taylor Among New Crop of CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists

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From left, looks from the fall 2014 collections of Wes Gordon and Tanya Taylor.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue have announced the new crop of finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative. Now in its eleventh year, the program provides financial support and business mentorship for emerging designers. Among the past winners are Joseph Altuzarra, Alexander Wang,and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. The 2014 finalists are:
• Edie Parker – Brett Heyman
• Eva Fehren – Eva Zuckerman
• Gigi Burris Millinery – Gigi Burris
• Grey Ant – Natalie Levy and Grant Krajecki
• Orley – Matt Orley, Alex Orley, and Samantha Florence
• Paul Andrew – Paul Andrew
• Ryan Roche – Ryan Roche
• Simon Miller – Daniel Corrigan and Jake Sargent
• Tanya Taylor – Tanya Taylor
• Wes Gordon – Wes Gordon

The finalists were selected by a committee of fashion power players that includes Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, whose tireless championing of the initiative has resulted in similar prizes across the globe, and CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg. Over the next few weeks, the group will meet with each of the finalists to review their current collections and conduct in-depth interviews (with $300,000 up for grabs, there’s no pressure) before embarking on site visits to their design studios (again, no pressure). A design project with Maybelline New York. is in the works, and a Fashion Fund Finalists’ fashion show is planned for October is Los Angeles. The winner(s) will be announced in New York City on November 3.

Quote of Note | Tomas Koolhaas

(Tomas Koolhaas)
Rem Koolhaas in Venice at sunset. (Photo: Tomas Koolhaas)

“Usually architecture documentaries really only appeal to viewers with a deep understanding of architectural concepts and jargon. I think by taking a more humanistic approach my film will appeal to anyone who can relate to other people….I don’t think it’s as black and white as either ‘architecture people’ or ‘general public.’ I think there are a lot of gradations in between. For example, creative people who can appreciate architecture but maybe are not interested enough to be very well versed in technical jargon or abreast of every element of architectural discourse. I think those people make up quite a large group and most architecture documentaries fail to engage them. It’s those kinds of people that my film could manage to reach. I don’t presume to think that a large portion of my audience is going to be people who don’t care about architecture at all, but I want there to be elements of the film that anyone can enjoy.”

-Tomas Koolhaas on the anticipated audience for the documentary (view trailer below) he is making about his father, architect Rem Koolhaas. Read the full interview in the new Rem-themed issue of CLOG.
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Elle Decor Celebrates 25 Years, 1 Red Chair

issue 1It’s not easy to wish yourself happy birthday in an engaging video, but Elle Decor pulls it off with the help of a cherry red armchair. Paradoxically named for another magazine, Poltrona Frau’s “Vanity Fair” chair graced the cover of the very first stateside issue of Elle Decor (pictured) alongside coverlines including “The Simplicity of American Wood” and “America’s Love Affair with Wildflowers.” That was nearly twenty-five years ago, and the magazine rounded up some of its favorite people—from interiors all-stars such as Bunny Williams and Robert Couturier to fashion designer Carolina Herrera and longtime contributor Daniel Boulud—to celebrate the impending quarter-century milestone.

A special anniversary issue is planned for the September edition. As for that red armchair, it’s safely ensconced in the Elle Decor offices, where it will be forever be compared to its younger self. “It has more alizarin in it,” says interior designer Alessandra Branca in the video, pointing to the actual chair before turning back to one depicted in the vintage magazine in her lap. “That has more cadmium.”

Surface Brings Back Avant Guardian Photo Contest

(mario testino)Surface magazine’s Avant Guardian contest is back—and better than ever. Among the tantalizing opportunities up for grabs in the competition (returning after a few years’ hiatus) is the chance to share an issue with the man, the myth, the Mario Testino, who is fronting the October Surface in honor of his upcoming “Alta Moda” exhibition at Dallas Contemporary.

“The contest is all about nurturing rising talent—from getting entrants’ work in front of an exceptional jury, awarding free studio time to produce an original spread in the magazine, and exhibiting their work to a crowd of influencers in New York and Miami during Art Basel,” associate editor Aileen Kwun tells us. Among those who have signed on to judge the submissions are architectural photographer Iwan Baan and Johan Lindeberg of BLk DNM. Entrants may submit a portfolio of up to ten images in one of five categories (fashion, architecture, portraiture, fine art, and technical/still life) before the July 24 deadline.

Photo: Mario Testino

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