Love magazine is stateside at long last but was it worth the wait? Can anything live up to the hype, the hate, the rumored record sell out in London? The answer is yes and no.
Let’s be honest. Nothing short of a hundred page, all supermodel couture spectacular shot by the ghost of Helmut Newton was ever going to match the kind of epic hype that preceded this issue. From its inception Love was destined to be talked about. Katie Grand heading to Conde Nast! Mert & Marcus’ reunion with Katie!! Beth Ditto on the cover!! Every new bit of information leaked about the issue resulted in the kinds of gossipy clamor usually reserved for high school lunchrooms. This wasn’t a magazine launch – this was the magazine launch and as the interest level increased so did the stakes.
Fashion builds them up to knock em down but it would seem that Love is ready to roll with the punches. It reads like a who’s who of personal fashion favorites. It’s not particularly about who is “so hot right now” or who will sell the most copies, it’s about the people and things the editors / stylists and photographers working on the project actually like. From the tongue in cheek story titles to the madcap editorials Love is a heady dose of fashion optimism.
Terry Richardson & Angelica Huston
There is also that uniquely British sense of eclecticism that drives the issue forward – high street fashion chain COS is given just as much editorial space as Armani or Prada, pin up model Kelly Brook’s shapely charms are literally a page away from Kate Moss’ editorial panache. We’re treated to a crazy, kitschy assortment of characters each of whom brings something different to the table. This presents a wonderful opportunity for each model featured to present a fresh side of their persona. Heidi Mount takes her mellow rock chic vibe a step further. Natalia Vodianova invites us into her home life and Jamie Bochart shares her favorite Simpsons quote – here’s a hint, it’s from Mr. Burns.
While this focus on individual enjoyments may be a throwback to the format of Pop it’s still a welcome viewpoint in an age where jaded indifference has replaced genuine enjoyment as the default reaction to fashion imagery. There are a million magazines, an endless array of models and photographers, it is harder than ever to step outside the echo chamber and assert an opinion that is atypical. With Love, Grand manages just that – the quirky, happy-go-lucky vibe that runs through the entire magazine is infectious.
Nothing is perfect of course. While the content is fresh for the most part there are moments when the issue falls into the same traps that have blighted other publications in recent months. The London cool kids set is officially played out and seeing yet another article devoted to their existence borders on nauseating. Fashion is cyclical though – by this time next year we might be missing their insouciance.
Some of the ideas poses don’t quite gel. Raquel Zimmerman as Britney Spears is nice in theory but the difference between Raquel’s elegant composure and Britney’s southern fried shtick are too great. There is also the issue of just how much bang one gets for their buck – at a streamlined 331 pages (about a hundred or so devoted to ads) there are many instances where you’re left wanting more.
Will you love Love? Head over to a newsstand to judge for yourself but in the interim here is just a taste.
Kelly Brook by Alasdair McLellan
Iggy Pop by Bruce Weber
Natalia Vodianova by Chris Brookes
Angela Lindvall by Josh Olins
Beth Ditto by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott