September 9, 2012
SUNDAY FROM MY DESK
It is collection time again, this week in New York. More and more I wonder if it is right that collections go on line globally at the same time they are shown to the press and the buyers. People no longer have to wait to see the new fashion in the magazines, they are available as fast as bloggers and photographers
can use their cameras or phones.
Photos and layouts and type and copy and attitude and all the millions of details that make a magazine layout beautiful and special are falling away. Is it time for a new formula? Or can only a few great fashion magazines keep the challenge, like it used to be until the early 70’s and before the global media expansion?
A celebration of the 22 years of my Gallery with Peter Lindbergh and his great work. Photographer and filmmaker but maybe filmmaker even in his photography, as his narrative pictures always tell stories. The exhibition “The Unknown” tells the fascinating story of aliens and ufos, starring supernatural beauties as extraterrestials. As a counter position, the next room is dedicated to the “Known” photos of the supermodels of a generation, Naomi, Linda, Kate, Tatjana, Nadja, and Milla… portrayed in the most striking natural black and white iconic Lindbergh shots.
Another great Lindbergh picture, this time taken for Elle, when he shot wonderful stories with Nicoletta Santoro for the few issues I directed.My vision was to make Italian Elle the most beautiful magazine ever – with works from Peter and artists like Roversi, Weber, Meisel, Knight, Teller and Mondino. The dream only lasted three issues, all are now collectables. And when I referenced Diana Vreeland to the editorial directors and they said “Who’s she?” I knew being fired would also work out for me as well.
Diane Vreeland had the drive to dare, but she could never have done what she did without Alexey Brodovitch. Together with Carmel Snow they changed the look of magazines in America. Brodovitch brought the photograph forward as the message. His font choices and spare copy gave each image a clean direction that still sharpens the eye. His first assistant was a young Irving Penn who had not even thought of becoming a photographer before working with Alexey and Avedon and Hiro were among the many photographers whose work Brodovitch nurtured during his career.
At the premiere of the movie “The eye has to travel” on Saturday night in New York, in the presence of a glamorous fashion and social crowd she would have loved, including Valentino Garavani, Bruce Weber, Brooks Shields, Lisa Immordino Vreeland showed the movie she has directed about her husband’s grandmother, Diana Vreeland (here portrayed by Horst).
The story is about her life, her humor and her strength. Diana Vreeland knew the strength of personality and once said, “to-day only personality counts… ravishing personalities are the most riveting things in the world – conversation, people’s interests, the atmosphere that they create round them – these are the things that I feel are worth putting in any issue.” This was Harper’s Bazaar and her work has become legend.
Lisa Vreeland has used the visual images of William Klein’s 1966 black and white satire, “Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?”, as a recurring theme in her new movie about Diana Vreeland and her life. Diana Vreeland once said that the first thing you must do is to be born in Paris and everything flows from that. She then moved to the US and spent the rest of her life in America. William Klein was born in New York and moved to Paris, where he made this satire about the rise of supermodels and the fashion industry and where the character “Miss Maxwell”, a tyrannic fashion magazine editor, is modeled after Diane Vreeland. A film everybody in the fashion world knows by heart and always enjoys.
“The Eye has to travel”, the movie about Diana Vreeland, brings forward her presence and her complexities. It reminds of Diana Vreeland’s great line,“Why don’t you?” And after all, why shouldn’t we?
Director Elio Petri chose a black and white pop art background for the sets for his 1965 feature “The 10th Victim” – the sets were much like this wonderful reception area by Panton with his strong signature style on every surface. Panton is one of my favorite designers and I had the pleasure of hosting an exhibition of his work at the Gallery. He has gathered a whole new audience among fans of mid Century modern and many of his pieces, including the cone chair, have been brought back into production.
Aesthetically one of the great visual movies of the Italian cinema of the 1960’s with Panton furniture and the optical black and white background, this movie about a future where hunter and victim are part of the social entertainment has a very blond Marcello Mastroianni being hunted by Ursula Andress with a super elegant Elsa Martinelli in between.