“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.”
The 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?
“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“
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.
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.
It’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 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
You’ve still got more than two months to catch the Museum of the City of New York’s “City as Canvas” exhibition of graffiti from the Martin Wong collection. For a bite-sized dose, pick up a copy of the latest issue of Time Out New York, on newsstands today, which features an original cover by George “SEN One” Morillo. The graffiti artist, a lifelong Upper West Sider, was an ideal fit for TONY‘s uptown-themed issue. “Being born and raised uptown, and seeing the gentrification process all my life and seeing everybody coming up, it fits who I am,” he tells the magazine. “That story connects to my story.”
As for how that story connects with the street art of today, Morillo points to the humble origins of slick tools with names like Krink and Grog. “We made markers by popping the balls out of roll-on deodorant, putting in the soft stuff from school erasers, and filling the containers with ink. Those techniques, as primitive as they might seem, led to the markers they sell now,” he says. “Vandals created an industry, and it all comes out of the Upper West Side.”
Sure, Kickstarter is a swell place to raise funds for your performance art institute, innovative tape dispenser, architectural flashcards-cum-wall art, and animated film starring Paul Giamatti as a museum curator slowly losing touch with reality, but how do you go about tapping into other peoples’ pockets to realize your dream typeface inspired by the elusive giant squid or a Steven Heller fanzine or that edible (and delicious!) form of paper mâché you’ve been working on? Also Kickstarter. The crowdfunding plaform recently debuted 94 new subcategories, including typography, space exploration, and vegan food, and today unveils official homes for the fields of journalism and crafts.
“We really love the journalism projects we’ve seen already—ProPublica, CIR, Planet Money, The Texas Trib, and lots of lone innovators,” a Kickstarter rep tell us, “and we wanted to give them a proper home, and send the message that we want to see and support more of these.” As for crafts—everything from knitting and glasswork to woodworking and taxidermy—the new category is a way to shed light on smaller-scale projects. “There’s a lot to love about these crafts, from the rich traditions behind them to the imagination that comes out in each work,” notes Kickstarter’s Nitsuh Abebe. “From now on, you can see all of that artistry under one banner.”