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Alison Bechdel, Rick Lowe Among 2014 MacArthur Fellows

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(Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Cartoonist and graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Are You My Mother?) and artist Rick Lowe (Project Row Houses) are among this year’s MacArthur fellows, the annual mix of thinkers, writers, artists, mathematicians, and materials scientists awarded $500,000 in no-strings-attached “genius grants” over five years. “Those who think creativity is dying should examine the life’s work of these extraordinary innovators who work in diverse fields and in different ways to improve our lives and better our world,” said MacArthur Fellows Program vice president Cecilia Conrad, in a statement issued today. “Together, they expand our view of what is possible, and they inspire us to apply our own talents and imagination.” Other 2014 fellows include documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, translator and poet Khaled Mattawa, playwright Samuel D. Hunter, and computer scientist Craig Gentry. Meet all 21 MacArthur fellows here.
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Mediabistro Course

Fashion Writing

Fashion WritingStarting September 23, work with the contributing editor at ELLE.com to get your writing published in fashion magazines and websites! In this course, you'll learn how write fashion headlines, runway reviews, and fashion features, write compelling pitch letters, and gain insight into the fashion industry. Register now!

Quote of Note | Karl Lagerfeld on Large-Format Fashion Books

karl-sketch2“I must say, some are not very beautifully made. They’re coffee-table books for people who drink alcohol. I have nothing against coffee-table books as long as they are well done. They must not look like gravestones on a table. Sometimes they are too big, they come in boxes and things like this. No, a book has to be easy to open and you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to lift it. I like books I can read in bed. Those big tombstones would kill me.”

-Karl Lagerfeld in an interview with Miles Socha that appears in today’s issue of WWD. At his own bookshop, 7L, Lagerfeld gets 5% off retail prices. Notes the designer, “I am very much against the idea that you get it for free because it’s your bookshop.”

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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Eileen Gray Documentary to Debut at Architecture & Design Film Festival

eileen grayThe Architecture & Design Film Festival returns to New York next month with a slate of more than 25 designtastic films that will screen at Tribeca Cinemas. Kicking off the five days of cinematic pleasures on October 15 will be the world premiere of Marco Orsini’s Gray Matters, a documentary about designer and architect Eileen Gray.

Pay no heed to the clunky title; the film is a historical, scholarly, and cinematic investigation of Gray’s life and career—well beyond the headline-making $28 million auction sale of her Dragons chair. Orsini and his crew followed Gray’s own travels, from the Irish countryside to London, from Paris to the Riviera, and drew upon never-before-seen footage and candid interviews with scholars, curators, auctioneers and collectors, including four living peers and collaborators of the artist. Here’s the trailer, best enjoyed while relaxing in a concrete modernist villa:

Marc Newson to Join Apple’s Design Team

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The word on the street (and by street we mean the vast array of tech blogs) is that Apple will use tomorrow’s highly anticipated media blitz for which it has commandeered Cupertino’s Flint Center to launch its iWatch and a couple of new iPhones. Also expected are mumblings about increased security amidst the iCloud breach and a cameo by Dr. Dre, who will probably be fully clothed. But we think news of novel devices, even one that marks the company’s foray into wearables, is no match for the bomb that Apple dropped on Friday, via Vanity Fair‘s VF Daily blog: Marc Newson is joining his buddy Jony Ive‘s design team. The Australian-born designer, who when we last we checked in with him was showcasing a feast of Newsonian domestic delights in an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is set to become Apple’s senior vice president of design, although he will continue to be based in the United Kingdom and work on projects outside of Apple.

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?

Seven Questions for Karim Rashid

Karim RashidIt’s been a busy, brightly colored, organic-shaped summer for Karim Rashid. The designer has given lectures, made appearances, and occasionally DJ’ed in cities from Miami and Toronto to Hamburg and Ekaterinburg (Russia’s fourth-largest city). On Friday he could be found in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he keynoted the Construye & Remodela confab. Not that there’s any shortage of stateside projects: Rashid was recently commissioned to design three Manhattan residential buildings, including a mixed-use project (20 apartments, with office and commercial space at the street level) located at 1633-1655 Madison Avenue. The concept is a continuation of Rashid’s signature boundary-pushing, rooted in a desire to “bring a fulgent vibrancy to the environment and move away the trends away from tired archetypes and cold minimalism.” He made time between groundbreakings, prototyping sessions, and DJ sets to answer our seven questions.

You recently lectured—and DJed—in Ekaterinburg, Russia. What is your impression of the state of design in Russia?
I have been to Russia 25 times and always love the country, the energy, the people, the intellectual spirit, the food, the sensibilities. In regards the state of design I have seen things change drastically since 14 years ago, but the problem is that Russia has not embraced the design phenomena enough, yet it is getting better and better. The condition is changing. In order to know Russian designers internationally they either work and develop brands in Russia—that become globally established—or work for foreign companies. And in all those trips very few Russian companies approach me to design for them.

Russia with all its diversified money, increasing incomes, intelligence, education, and manufacturing capability, lacks globally recognized brands. I always thought how fascinating it is that a country like Sweden has international brands like IKEA, H&M, Absolut, Volvo, and Voss with only a population of 7 million. Because of the size of Russia, companies were producing goods exclusively for their huge market and taking no impetus to export. Russia has the manpower and money to create major global brands. But times have changed and the doors to the West are open. I would love to see Russia build some very contemporary brands that contribute to our beautiful global consumer landscape.

I just completed the new OK.RU website [a popular Russian social media platform], and I am working on a shopping mall in St. Petersburg, an orange juice bottle, a cognac bottle, a tractor, and other projects in Russia, but I would love to design some hotels in every major city. There is a lack of design-driven boutique hotels in Russia.
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Now Read This: Rube Goldberg Redux

rube coverRube Goldberg (1883-1970) is synonymous with his elaborate chain-reaction approach to completing simple tasks, but he was also an established cartoonist, humorist, sculptor, and engineer. The master of contraptions and comics gets his due in the sumptuously illustrated pages of The Art of Rube Goldberg: (A) Inventive (B) Cartoon (C) Genius, published by Abrams ComicArts. Authored by Goldberg’s granddaughter, Jennifer George, the book delves into his long off-limits archives to reveal and celebrate the many (moving) parts of Goldberg’s astonishing career.

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Oh, Canada! Edward Burtynsky, Fred Herzog Among Photographers Honored with Stamps

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stampsCanada knows how to have fun with stamps, eh? Current postage options in the Great White North include a set of spooky stamps devoted to “haunted Canada” (featuring beloved phantoms such as Alberta’s Ghost Bride and the burning ship that is often spotted in Prince Edward Island’s Northumberland Strait), pop-country songstress Shania Twain, and Superman, but our favorites are the new set celebrating Canadian photography.

Designed by Stéphane Huot, the stamps—five domestic-rate stamps, one U.S. denomination, and one international stamp—feature Fred Herzog’s Bogner’s Grocery (1960, pictured above), Lynne Cohen’s Untitled (1970), Michel Lambeth’s St. Joseph’s Convent School (1960), C.D. Hoy’s Unidentified Chinese man (circa 1912) and Louis-Prudent Vallée’s Quebec City in Winter (1894). William Notman’s Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill (1885) graces the U.S. denomination while Edward Burtynsky’s Railcuts #1, shot at Skihist Provincial Park in British Columbia in 1985, appears on the international stamp. And for philatelists, the Canadian photographic fun doesn’t end there: the Canadian photography series is set to continue for three more years. Sorry, Superman!

Mark Your Calendar: Bill Cunningham at 92Y

The METROPOLITAN OPERA Season Opening Night GALA

The indefatigable Bill Cunningham has been prowling the streets for stylish types since World War II, child, when his camera of choice was a Brownie. Come September 3, the 85-year-old aesthete will pedal up to the 92nd Street Y—not to snap photos but to join Fern Mallis on stage for a rare interview. The event, announced today, will kick off the fourth year of Mallis’s “Fashion Icons” series, during which she has interviewed everyone from André Leon Talley and Bruce Weber to Tom Ford and Vera Wang with a surgical, this-is-your-life approach that inevitably reveals all manner of fun facts (did you know that Penelope Tree was a college classmate of Wang’s? Or that she herself had seven wedding dresses, in a nod to Chinese tradition?). Those interested in getting a peek at the man behind the blue French work jacket should grab tickets here, and fast. They’re likely to be gone in a flash.

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