At the Mall of America, bigger is better. In addition to 520 stores and 50 restaurants, the 4.2-million-square-foot complex is home to a towering LEGO robot, a giant green sea turtle (among the 10,000 creatures at the Sea Life Aquarium), and a roller coaster known as the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge. The holiday season inevitably brings a new crop of outsized attractions and this year, design is in the mix as HGTV readies its Holiday House, a life-size gingerbread manse that will debut in the mall’s rotunda (hang a right at the 44-foot-tall Christmas tree) on the day after Thanksgiving. No word as to whether actual gingerbread is involved, but the house will host a steady stream of demonstrations, meet and greets, and other events with the likes of Genevieve Gorder, Vern Yip, Carter Oosterhouse, and Sara Peterson, editor-in-chief of HGTV Magazine. Even Scrooges with no interest in the house’s thrice-daily “spectacular holiday light show” can stop by on the way home to have purchases gift-wrapped by HGTV elves.
At a time when “creative director” can mean everything from head designer to heavily remunerated brand ambassador, Joe Zee is the real deal. In this second installment of our three-part interview, he peers out from his perch near the tippy-top of the Elle masthead to describe his typical day (or lack thereof). “I work with all the visuals from cover to cover, so when you read the magazine, whether it’s the model, the celebrity, the styling, the fashion, the photography, all those things come into my play,” Zee explains. “It’s really sort of helping to define a visual signature for the magazine.”
When not masterminding the look and feel of Elle, Joe Zee keeps busy coming to the rescue of floundering fashion designers. With his irresistible combination of no-nonsense advice and Gucci suits, the indefatigable creative director is currently starring in the third season of All on the Line with Joe Zee, which airs Monday nights on the Sundance Channel. In this first segment of our three-part interview with Zee, he discusses his experience on the small screen, things to watch for in the new season of All on the Line, and the importance of keeping it real on reality TV.
“It’s kind of Byzantine, halfway between Western and Eastern. It looks like a picture of a broken world.
I think everything in the bookstore tends to scream, and it’s nice to be the one not screaming.”
-Salman Rushdie, discussing with Andrew Wylie the cover design—by Alan Hebel and Ian Shimkoviak of theBookDesigners—for the U.S. edition of his new book, Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Random House), in The Fatwa: Salman’s Story, a documentary by Alan Yentob now airing on BBC World News
Whether at the slap-happy climax of a local news broadcast, amidst a sea of chuckles on a morning show, or via the unceasing stream of “Oddly Enough” clickbait, it has been all but impossible to escape the story (and the cringeworthy evidence, pictured above) of the botched restoration of a 19th century fresco that was once the pride of the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza, Spain. The world pounced on the freshly disfigured Jesus Christ in “Ecce Homo,” once so skillfully rendered by Elias Garcia Martinez, after its fumbled “restoration” at the hands of a well-meaning parishioner. BBC Europe correspondent Christian Fraser compared the ruined portrait to “a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic,” and it wasn’t long before the swollen Christ emerged on Twitter (“Washed my head! Big mistake!” tweeted @FrescoJesus) and spawned a Tumblr: the Beast-Jesus Restoration Society. But leave it to Stephen Colbert to offer a fresh take on the story. In a recent segment, he turned the focus on the 80-year-old restorer, one Cecilia Gimenez, naming her his “Alpha Dog of the Week” (past honorees include JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, Silvio Berlusconi, and Domino’s Pizza) in spectacular narrative fashion:
Joe Zee is back to reprise his rescuing of fashion designers who are struggling to make it work (oh wait, that catchphrase is taken). With his irresistible combination of no-nonsense advice and Gucci suits, the zippy Elle creative director stars in the third season of All on the Line with Joe Zee, which premieres tonight on the Sundance Channel. The show’s third season opener finds Zee trying to talk some sense into the creative odd couple behind New York-based Unruly Heir, maker of “outlaw prep” menswear (including a rather ingenious seersucker hoodie). Deeply in debt and lacking in diligence to move forward with their mission to bridge conservative and fashion-victim menswear, partners Joey and Jon are facing make-or-break time. Can Zee shake them out of their preppy-hipster comfort zone before it’s too late? Will Scoop buyers be impressed by Nantucket-flavored streetwear? And what does Mario Lopez have to do with all of this? Find out tonight.
Last night on The Colbert Report, our intrepid host welcomed “renowned American sculptor” Jeff Koons. “His work sells for millions, but I’m willing to sell his half-eaten cheese tray for twenty grand!” said Stephen Colbert at the top of the show. Click to watch the artist explain his “Balloon Dog (Blue),” the museumgoer’s experience, and the importance of arts education.
In New York, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out. Then, many days later, you’re rediscovered by preservation-minded neighbors, photographed by Joel Sternfeld, saved from demolition, and reimagined by James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. And, just like that, you’re back in again! The abandoned railway-turned-public park that is New York’s High Line becomes even more fashionable this week, thanks to a collaboration with Project Runway. With nine seasons, two networks, and one legal brouhaha under its shiny neon belt, the reality TV competition show returns on Thursday with 90-minute episodes filmed on location in New York (the opening challenge takes place in Times Square). Get a headstart on season ten by heading to the High Line, which is being temporarily transformed into a virtual runway: jumbo digital screens installed along a portion of the Chelsea Market passage will feature interactive digital images of Runway staples Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Michael Kors, and Nina Garcia, and fashion photographers, who according to Erika Harvey at Friends of the High Line, “will react in real time as park visitors strut their stuff while walking along the elevated park.” The “Make it Work Moments” installation opens this afternoon and runs through Thursday.
“Why do we need three shawl cardigans?” J. Crew president Mickey Drexler asks a stylish gaggle of his buyers. He doesn’t pause for a response. “We don’t!” Put on your colorblock stripe scoopneck tee and old faithful-wash jeans, UnBeige readers, because America’s favorite hands-on merchant and his latest success story are the subject of a documentary that premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on CNBC. Reported by David Faber (get that man a Ludlow suit!), J.Crew and the Man Who Dressed America unbuttons the piped wool hacking jacket to peek inside the retailer, which has seen revenues rocket by 170%—to $1.9 billion last year—since Drexler took the helm in 2003. Even longtime Drexler followers and die-hard J. Crew fans are likely to learn something in segments that follow the months-long process of conceiving, creating, and marketing a new line of clothing. Did you know, for example, that the production of the J. Crew catalog requires 120 shooting days a year? Or that the Garden City, New York store is something of a laboratory, where window displays and merchandising are perfected—and where new stuff hits racks first? And we like any CNBC program in which a Gerhard Richter book makes a cameo among the cashmere (look sharp toward the end of the first clip below). Meanwhile, we’d love to see Drexler’s motivational mantra on a tissue tee: “Cut back, sell out, and be very happy!”
With its Nick at Nite orgins, TV Land has long been associated with classic sitcoms such as Bewitched, Mister Ed, and the infectious, toe-tapping opening credits of My Three Sons. The network’s stylized logo (at left), evoking the technicolor geo-whimsy of the zippy 1950s, was a perfect fit for that programming, but when the TV Land line-up evolved to include more modern syndicated shows (Everybody Loves Raymond, Boston Legal) and orginal programming devoid of nuclear families and happy homemaker-witches in prim dresses (Hot in Cleveland, The Exes), its branding remained tied to the atomic age. Enter Trollbäck + Company, which in its latest branding project for the network has undertaken the first logo reinvention in the 16-year history of TV Land.
“Given our familiarity with the brand, we knew that the logo was due for an overhaul to shake off some old perceptions,” says executive creative director Jacob Trollbäck, whose New York-based firm has tweaked the network’s branding in three previous projects. The new look is rolling out this month, with a modern edge, bold colors, and a fresh tagline (“Laugh More”). “The new horizontal logo locks up with type neatly,” notes T+Co creative director Anna Minkkinen, “allowing us to constantly reinforce the brand connection between the network and the shows.” Check out a montage that features the new branding here.