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21 posts tagged "LOVE"

A Grand Strategy For The iPad; Waste Not, Want Not; Another Vera Bride; And More…


LOVE is the latest mag to come to the iPad, with a dedicated app that will launch with the new “Gorgeous” issue on August 23. It’ll feature specially made short films to accompany the issue, inspired, says editor Katie Grand, by her love of Guy Bourdin’s seventies shorts. Adorably pixelated bunnies (above) not necessarily included. [LOVE]

Green-minded designers are experimenting with zero-waste fashion, using every scrap of material to create their garments. Parsons is even offering a new class in the subject—co-taught by Loomstate’s Scott Mackinlay Hahn. [NYT]

If you’re keeping the celebs-in-Vera count, we’re at three this summer: first Chelsea and Alicia Keys, now Hilary Duff. The pop star tied the knot in Santa Barbara this weekend in a Vera Wang gown. [Catwalk Queen]

And DKNY nets a new campaign star: Leigh Lezark, the New York DJ-turned-model, who stars in the Fall ’10 ads. [Vogue U.K.]

Photo: Courtesy of LOVE

Behind-The-Scenesters: Lee Swillingham


Designers design. Photographers photograph. Models model. That much—in broad strokes, at least—is clear. But what about the artists, technicians, and industry insiders, often unpublicized and underappreciated, who help to get clothes and accessories made and shown? Call them Behind-the-Scenesters: people who shape our experience of fashion but never take a bow on the catwalk or strike a pose for the camera. Without them—from pattern-makers to production designers—the show wouldn’t go on. And in a new series, sits down with a few of these pros to find out, basically, what they do.

If God is in the details, as the saying goes, then art directors are the gods of fashion. The job is hard to summarize—LOVE magazine creative director Lee Swillingham (pictured), for example, has a hand in everything from conceptualizing multi-page fashion spreads to setting the type in the credits. For him, as for his hero Alexey Brodovitch, the legendary former art director of Harper’s Bazaar, success comes of making a series of micro decisions add up to one iconic image. Even before LOVE came along, Swillingham and partner-in-design Stuart Spalding had already entered the art director pantheon—they were the founding creative directors of POP, and their firm Suburbia has created campaigns for the likes of Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Alexander McQueen. Here, Swillingham talks to about the gestalt of logos and layouts.

So, Lee: In one sentence, what do you do?
Really, what I do is I make things look beautiful. That’s my mission, as I see it. The way that relates to reality is, I’m a graphic designer, a typographer, and an art director of photography.

Elaborate, please—what does it mean to be an art director of photography?
It depends on what you’re doing and who you’re working with. Here’s a good example: Prior to POP, I was the art director at The Face. And we did this issue with four different covers, each one with another nineties supermodel; I literally planned out, on the computer, the different shapes of each cover, because we needed them to look coordinated, and yet totally distinct. Or, another good example from The Face is the portrait of Kurt Cobain; it’s very famous. Nirvana had gotten a lot of press in the U.K. at that point, primarily music magazines like NME, and we were trying to figure out how to make a picture of Kurt feel new. We asked David Sims to shoot it—he was a massive Nirvana fan—and it was around the time that Kurt was wearing dresses. We were tossing around ideas, and the whole dress thing gave David the idea of dress up. And that’s how we wound up with Kurt Cobain on a white background, in a Tigger costume. There’s not one element in the photo I could point to and say, that’s mine, right there, but I was involved in every decision and the development of every idea that went into the image.

How did you get into art directing?
Well, I always knew I wanted to do it, from when I was a kid. Then, when I was still in school at [Central] Saint Martins, I began assisting at Arena magazine. Back then, they only did six issues a year, so I could work on a whole issue at a time and only miss a few classes now and then. There was one issue I was working on, when the art director and the editor had a huge fight, and the art director walked out, and I wound up designing that issue of Arena all by myself, essentially. When I graduated, I took a job at The Face. In a similar way, life just sorted itself out in such a way that, within a year, I was made the art director of the magazine. Which is insane, a year out of school. Continue Reading “Behind-The-Scenesters: Lee Swillingham” » Feels The Love


How’s this for a Love letter? To coincide with its already much discussed third issue—yes, that would be the one with the naked supermodel covers—the U.K.-based glossy has filmed a video valentine featuring a few good (half-naked) women. Created by visual effects artist James Lima (who also worked on a little movie called Avatar) and the mag’s own Katie Grand, this project aims to redefine the fashion film as we know it. is thrilled to be premiering the full video this Valentine’s Day, February 14. In the meantime, here’s a brief trailer to whet your appetite (fashion fans will be pleased to note that the few clothes that do appear on screen are all by Prada).

Beth Ditto: “Helped, but Not Redrawn”


Katie Grand threw a Valentine’s Day Love shopping party at London’s Dover Street Market on Saturday, but only an hour into the event was forced to admit, “There’s not much left, we sold most of it this morning.” To soft-launch her new biannual title for Condé Nast (officially out Thursday), Grand asked her posse of designer mates to concoct one-offs: a miniature chest of drawers of days of the week panties from Stella McCartney, heart hair bobbles and a canvas shopper by Katie Hillier, Luella T-shirts, printed bed linen from Giles for Swarovski, and a napa leather pillow by Stuart Vevers printed “I Loewe You.” Still, if the product was thin on the ground, there were advance copies of Grand’s new opus—with a naked Beth Ditto on the cover—for the London fashion crowd to devour along with the cupcakes and pink Champagne. Issues were inspected by Giles Deacon, Roland Mouret, Henry Holland, Bella Freud, and an assorted contingent of fellow escapees sprung from pre-London fashion week preparations for a couple of hours. So, what’s the difference between Love and Grand’s former mag, Pop? “Well when I started thinking about this issue, I wanted to do something that wasn’t so retouched,” she said. “That’s gotten so out of control recently, and I was very bored of seeing images that are not photographs of people anymore but kind of sketches of them. Pop was very glossy and did represent that, but Beth agreed when I asked Mert and Marcus to shoot her without so much retouching.” But how much? “Well, she’s only retouched in the Avedon way—helped, but not redrawn.”

Photo: Mandi Lennard

Good News From Across The Pond: Topshop and Love from London


In anticipation of London fashion week (it does start in one week, people), a few hotly anticipated happenings are, well, actually happening. The first? Topshop Soho has an opening date: April 2, 2009. “This has been a logistical nightmare,” Sir Philip Green declared. “America is a new territory for us and we have to get it exactly right. This store can’t be a nine out of ten when it opens; it has to be a ten out of ten.” We guess that almost makes up for the speculation, multiple delays, false start dates, and fits of hysteria (oh, was that just us?) that has been part of Topshop’s coming-to-America process. Almost. [WWD]

The second British export we’re eager to get our hands on is Love. Katie Grand’s newest title launches on the 19th, with a flower-and-not-much-else festooned Beth Ditto working her curves on the cover. We’ll cough up the $7 it costs for an issue, but the opening party at Dover Street Market on the 14th—with limited-edition knickers from Prada and Stella McCartney and (sure to be a cult favorite) Gap T-shirts printed with Love‘s naughty cover—we’ll have to miss. We think there is something going on in New York that day. [WWD]

Photo: Courtesy of Love