I got FASHION’s 40th birthday more than I marked the milestone. How can you respect all the good people who have worked in this magazine for the past four decades? Another difficult task is deciding who will be on the cover. For the magazine’s 35th anniversary, the former EIC Bernadette Morra has landed the iconic supermodel Linda Evangelista. I tried Shalom Harlow, who had his first fashion cover in November 1990 – but it was a no-no.
On January 26, I saw the Instagram posts of John Galliano and Maison Margiela’s 2017 spring couture collection, inspired/obsessed. Galliano designed a white windbreaker, and what is interesting is the three-dimensional tulle sculpture of a woman’s face. “Why wasn’t it in my closet this morning?” I wrote in my room.
I want to know who is behind the art of the fabric, and more importantly, can this person be seduced into creating a tulle cover for the 40th of FASHION? A quick search for GuGe shows this is British artist Benjamin Shine. My next assignment is to send email to Shine’s agent, Katherine Maginnis. She kindly arranged a phone chat and, miraculously, Shine agreed to accept the commission.
Even more miraculously, he was on the cover of model Amber Witcomb on the day in New York. Shine worked with the photographer Owen Bruce on his inspirational image. In the context of “I walk in the beauty”, our upcoming November issue of an editorial shooting (read below), Bruce captured beautiful images of the nostalgic and modern, the appearance of the season the strongest. The title, this is from Lord byron’s famous line, became the subject of the shoot, and the fashion film produced by alex wen.
The idea for the poem came from my 93-year-old father, Francis. Swain advises Witcomb to read a poem without a single introduction. I sent my father an email, a good poet’s view of the world – a suggestion. His answer was: “there are many poems that capture the beauty and grace of women, but Lord byron’s poem is one of the best poems I have ever read or studied.
Six weeks after our July 20 shooting, my husband, David, and I picked up the portrait in New York, and then transported it back to Toronto by train. The specially commissioned work will be sold by auction on October 3. The proceeds will be used to support Ryerson’s nascent fashion design talent.
When he saw the portrait, one colleague said it reminded him of Evangelista, while another thought it looked like Harlow. It’s part of Witcomb’s charm. Her career has mushroomed, but she tells me she will always remember it. From tulle cover to retro and futuristic style, our goal is to commemorate the occasion with a nostalgic and forward-looking gesture that looks optimistic and curious.