I Want To Be An Alt

Kellina de Boer
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Paul Kolyer
MANAGING EDITOR

Heather Dunhill
FASHION EDITOR

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Kamila Brudzynska
Bernie Rothschild

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I Want To Be A Roitfeld

I Want To Be A Battaglia

I Want To Be A Coppola

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Halston: Inventing American Fashion
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Dries van Noten
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A Denim Story
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Veruschka: From Vera to Veruschka
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Draw Blood for Proof
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Diana Vreeland Memos:
The Vogue Years

By Alexander Vreeland

mercredi
août222012

Introducing... Kamila Brudzynska, Contributing Editor

I am proud to announce the newest addition to the IWTBAA team.... Kamila Brudzynska! A fashion lover and student from Poland, Kamila considers Emmanuelle Alt to be one of her greatest fashion icons. You may remember Kamila as the winner of our first IWTBAA contest; if not, here is her winning essay for your enjoyment now. I hope that you will all join me in welcoming Kamila to the team....

I bought my first issue of Vogue Paris two years ago. It was No. 911 October 2010 — the huge, birthday issue. I immediately fell in love with French style and chic. Emmanuelle Alt has become my true fashion icon.

My best friend claims that I do not love fashion like normal people. She thinks I would die for a Balmain t-shirt or jacket and for sure I will spend my last money for any old issue of Vogue Paris which is not already in my collection. Well… I think there's some truth to that.

Since September I will be a student of journalism with French culture and language. I chose this field of study because of my love for writing and fascination with Paris and Vogue Paris. I am very excited I have this amazing opportunity to share my thoughts and findings about Emmanuelle with other adorers.

Kamila Brudzynska photograph © 2012 Kamila Brudzynska. All Rights Reserved.

mercredi
août152012

IWTB Interview: Wynn Dan

It is such a thrill to introduce the latest contribution by our gifted editor Heather Dunhill in which she interviews creative force Wynn Dan, delving into his life and work and particularly his fascinating artist's book Alt/Saglio: Quotes + Citations. À votre bon cœur Wynn et Heather!

IWTB Interview: Wynn Dan
By Heather Dunhill

Throughout his career, Wynn Dan has been one of those creative minds found behind the scenes in art and design direction as well as brand marketing of the hottest names in publishing like Rolling Stone, Mademoiselle, Vanity Fair, GQ, and The New Yorker, where in 1992 he collaborated with powerhouse Tina Brown to update the look of the iconic magazine.

But, Brown is not the only impressive name to be found on Dan's résumé — in fact, he has worked with Richard Avedon, Harold Evans, Steven Meisel, Jann Wenner, Art Cooper, Anna Wintour, and even the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Now the NYC native freelances as an art director and design consultant and has published six artist’s books including Alt/Saglio: Quotes + Citations. His books are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and The Special Collections Library of The New York Public Library, among others.

Must have your own copy of Alt/Saglio? Click on the photo of the cover in the sidebar to the right…

What inspired the Alt/Saglio book?
i had been already selling books at colette in paris since 2005. colette usually bought between 30 and 50 copies. the books utilized my own photographs with quotes that i researched. the books were sort of arty and not easily comprehensible. i had the urge to do something more "commercial,” by that i mean, double or triple what i had been selling before, and i knew that was not going to work if i used my own photographs. so after reflecting on what would sell well with the clientele of colette i decided on doing the alt/saglio book. at the time emmanuelle alt was not yet the editor-in-chief of paris vogue but she was a very branché (hip, groovy) stylist. so i searched the internet for photographs of emmanuelle and géraldine which i liked and i downloaded them for use in the book. i have a very keen interest in quotations, especially by artists, photographers, architects, actors, architects, etc. so the alt/saglio content is really just a delivery system for my choice of quotations.

Did the vision translate to the final product?
yes, and the response was very good. sarah at colette liked the book very much and cathy horyn of the new york times wrote about it, so the sales took off. i am not sure how many i sold, maybe between 200 and 300.

What is it about the black and white medium that draws you to it?
mainly i chose to print in black and white for budget considerations. also, i am not crazy about the color quality of digital printing.

In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes theorizes on the essence of photography and creates, among others, the term “punctum,” in which he describes: “A photograph’s punctum is that accident which pricks me but also bruises me, is poignant to me” — what is it about these images that made you choose them?
it's hard to verbalize, since my profession is art direction i am used to editing and looking at photographs. i usually choose something which touches me, either the composition, facial expression, environment, etc. since the photographs were downloaded from the internet, i also needed to find a larger file size so the quality will be good enough to print my books.

Have you met Emmanuelle, Géraldine, or any of your subjects?
i met emmanuelle in the 90s. this past winter i was on a miami to paris flight and as i was waiting in the aisle to exit the plane, i turned around to see that géraldine was standing behind me. but unfortunately i did not talk to her because i was a bit taken aback and after an overnight flight with no sleep i did not feel i was in the best shape to chat her up. i met camille bidault waddington once in paris.

You have amassed an impressive collection of photographs from various sources. How did you manage to get permission for the chosen images?
i did not ask for permission for any of the images, they are stolen! i downloaded them from numerous blogs on the internet which document street fashion. these sites use the images without permission (for the most part), and millions of people are exposed to them. so i don't feel too bad about using them in a book which may sell a couple of hundred copies and does not make a profit. but that is why the stylist series of books is published under the name AMPG (appropriated media projects group). and as a joke i list my legal counsel as... koons, levine, duchamp, and prince.

Tell us how the books are created and produced?
the first step (after deciding the subject) is to research the images. i already have quite a collection of quotations but i may do additional quote research. next i do the layout and then i print digitally in upstate new york. i only sell them at colette. i donate copies to the artist's book collections of the centre pompidou in paris and the getty museum in los angeles. the others i give to my friends.

What type of print run?
normally i print 100 to start. because of the high demand, alt/saglio was reprinted 3 times.

What photographers are you particularly interested in right now?
the usual suspects ...mario sorrenti, inez & vinoodh, hedi slimane, steve hiett, mikael jansson, and many more.

Do you think fashion is an art or business?
definitely a business. that is why i always did my own personal work (artist's books, silkscreening, painting) besides my day job as an art director. otherwise the compromises you make will drive you crazy.

Quotations are the definitive thread in your books — is there a quote that you feel best describes you or your work?
can i give you 2 ?
"what i really like is minimum effort for maximum effect" – damien hirst
"when i start on one of these books, i get to be impresario of the thing. i get to be majordomo. i get to be creator and total proprietor of the whole works, and i like that." – ed ruscha

Fill in the blanks: When I am working, I like to...
take a lot of breaks.

If I weren't a creative, I'd be...
screwed.

When I look back on my career, one of the jobs I enjoyed most was...
no answer. although the job i detested the most was harper's bazaar.

To learn more about Wynn Dan, follow his blog or visit wd.world.

Wynn Dan and Alt/Saglio images © 2010 Wynn Dan. All Rights Reserved.

lundi
août132012

Vogue Paris September 2012: Kate Moss, Lara Stone, Daria Werbowy

Mon dieu ! Emmanuelle Alt may be responsible for this September's hottest issue with her new look for Vogue Paris. Kate Moss, Lara Stone, and Daria Werbowy model the same Dolce & Gabbana dress for three different covers all shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Inside holds a few surprises as well: a new interior design by artistic director Germain Chauveau that reflects the look of Vogue Paris in the 1960s and 70s, a new illustrated column titled “Humeur” by Garance Doré, and a new focus on profiles of folks that fit the Vogue Paris vibe. What was the impetus behind the redesign? Emmanuelle Alt explains: “All the other Vogues carry a country name. Vogue Paris is the only one to carry the name of a city. Everyone fantasizes about Paris. It’s the concept of the ‘Parisienne.’ The ‘Parisienne’ is a girl who makes people dream worldwide, rightly or wrongly, a girl who represents a particular style, a taste, an allure.... It is very important to make your mark on the layout, to have a magazine tailor-made for the content you want to have.” The theme for the September issue of Vogue Paris is "black" and it graces newsstands beginning 23 August.

Vogue Paris September 2012 issue cover images © 2012 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.

jeudi
août092012

Review: Vogue Paris August 2012 Issue

It is my honor to present the first Vogue Paris review by our fabulous contributing editor Heather Dunhill in which she looks at the August issue of VP and tells it like she sees it... Merci beaucoup, Heather!

Review: Vogue Paris August 2012 Issue
By Heather Dunhill

I’ve had seven days to pore over Emmanuelle Alt’s August issue of Vogue Paris for my first review for I Want To Be An Alt. I have opinions on some highlights and some low points; unfortunately (and much to my dismay) Emmanuelle’s styling contribution falls in the latter category.

To begin, I loved the series of interviewees toward the end of the famed French fashion journal; it shows that Emmanuelle Alt has her finger on the pulse, as a proper editrix should. She gets high marks for being a woman of our time by educating us on those in fashion’s history as well as keeping us informed about who to know and what is trending. The subjects of the interviews ranged from Saint Laurent Paris creative director Hedi Slimane to Balmain wunderkind designer Olivier Rousteing to fashion icon Pierre Cardin to the visually creative Jean-Paul Goude to French rapper Joey Starr, among others. The most interesting standout of the group was Marion Cotillard. Not for the obvious reasons of her beauty, talent, and success, but because the fair and lovely Dior fashion muse landed both the cover of Vogue Paris and Vogue US for the month of August. I can’t imagine Anna Wintour was pleased to learn of this significant snafu. I am actually curious how many times this has happened since Wintour has been in power in charge of the fashion tome.

All right, so this is the part I have been dreading... I want to wax poetic about everything Emmanuelle Alt does. I really do. But, I have come to be incredibly underwhelmed with her styling. She seems to be one note with the story she tells. The photos are not all lacking, in fact, most are visually fabulous like the Alexander McQueen dress opening "Paris mon Amour," but often her styling is... is... predictable. In a layout, it’s a sure bet that she will throw in a cross or two, a wide belt, pointed pumps, hoop earrings, and a nod to either rock 'n' roll or the 80s. It just makes me want to hit the snooze button.

Emmanuelle certainly lands the prime real estate on the pages of Vogue Paris. In fact, her collaboration with Mario Sorrenti "Paris mon Amour" ran from pages 134–199. As the editor-in-chief, however, shouldn’t she be focusing her efforts on steering the fashionable yacht rather than fluffing the Missoni pillows down on the sundeck? I really want her to delegate the styling to Géraldine Saglio and allow her to be Alt’s Grace Coddington.

Just a quick comparison of two August editorials in closing: "Chic Ultime" by Saglio and "Paris mon Amour" by Alt. Notice how Géraldine has realized a look that could be styled by Coco Chanel herself for today’s modern woman. And, even though I love the clothing along with the hair and makeup that Emmanuelle puts together — I just want something more. Again, the photos are art but is that the work of Alt or Sorrenti?

Vogue Paris editorial images © 2012 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.

samedi
juil.282012

Franck Durand For Aurelie Bidermann

Franck Durand, also known as Mr. Emmanuelle Alt, has created one of the most compelling short films I have seen in recent memory, an advertisement for the Aurélie Bidermann Fall/Winter 2012-13 collection. The light... the color... the sound of the engine revving as the model speeds through the countryside… the elements combine to create a sense of story in which the jewelry shines on center stage. The split screen treatment works beautifully here, using the motion of the car and driver to display the designs of Aurélie Bidermann to perfection. The model is Sonia Sieff, the daughter of Jeanloup Sieff, driving a vintage Porsche. Naturally Monsieur Durand and his atelier have been influenced by La Nouvelle Vague… je l'adore…

Aurélie Bidermann film stills © 2012 Aurélie Bidermann. All Rights Reserved.