The ability to create art for the masses is a task so few have the privilege of doing. Often our creative ingeniousness is kept to the confines of our intellectual banks and social networks. Print magazines have long been a format where artistic flourish meets contemporary ideas – and the magazine editor sets the tone. So, whenever I hear of magazines taking on new editors-in-chief, I am always intrigued.
Here are producers of content for the masses, but can influence what gets sold in stores and online. From concepts to photography to copy to every last detail in between, their job is the ultimate designer. After hearing about Emanuele Farneti becoming editor-in-chief, I picked up my copy of the September Vogue Italia with eager eyes.
This issue was one that I thought to be not only stunning in its design, but striking in all its combination choices. Farneti’s previous work at GQ Italia could be seen throughout the photographs, but not in the way I anticipated. Page after page of photograph and storytelling, I could see a new age of the magazine. His concept for the edition was simply, “Italy.” And this theme was expressed in several breathtaking layouts (and corresponding covers).
In both the Ad Arte and Roma photographic series, I noted a distinct and refreshing combination: the juxtaposition of the intensely contemporary colors, styling and accessories with classical and vintage ambience. The recreation of Caravaggio paintings with their inky backgrounds and bright, contrasting skin and clothing colors was especially riveting for me. Silk pink dresses, deep reds and gold, a pop of bright pink fur photographed in the chiarascuro style on the Baroque master’s inky backgrounds. Drapery and at-times humorous still life elements completed the effect.
I felt suspense as I turned the glossy pages of the Roma fashion spread, anticipating each sumptuous shot. Glamour and Rome are an easy mix, but the photographer’s use of street photography elements to capture the sweltering intensity of the City as well as its distinct glowing light was pure genius. This was not reductive, but something inspiringly beautiful.
This issue was carefully crafted in every single detail to insure all those who picked it up were taken on a journey with every flip of the page. Bravo to the new editor-in-chief. I cannot wait to see what the next edition holds.