If it isn’t an inherited trait, I would be surprised. The affinity I
have for catalogs is so earnest and so natural—it is an atavistic
tendency that would make me feel as though I am cheating on
this magazine (my first love), if only I had an ounce of remorse.
Such a cold-hearted girl. Fiction is spread so generously
throughout a catalog, speckled in nonchalant layers, it almost
has one believing that people live like this, in these pretty,
incorruptible scenes—with a pair of scissors and freshly cut
flowers just resting on the Arts section; studious at a desk with five
sharpened bloodorange pencils, no surface area and a MOMA-esque calendar; striking an ambivalent pose in the Sahara. It’s
such a fantastical almost-reality with authentic aspirations. How
could someone not want to obsess over every single page? The
same a we is to be had over a really stunning drag queen.
A few years ago, a good friend called me to gush: our magazine
was spotted in the lookbook of a well-known furnishings retailer. It
was a living room vignette, very Casual Lifestyle. This was thrilling;
a bit like throwing oneself a surprise party, where there is infallible
joy because both the guest list and the main attraction will not
be disappointing. Of course, this was before Twitter, when self-promotion had to wait at least an hour to gain traction (and an
additional hour before going swimming).
The cool part about working in editorial is that the full-color
actuality interiors offers is not here to whisper sweet nothings and
then change the subject when it comes to long-term commitment.
Everything captured here is the real thing: the designers and their
gorgeous visions, the chef’s sublime dishes and food philosophy,
the raw grain of a cedar cutting board, the amazing patina of
an curvaceous French-made doorknocker. If we had a team of
stylists rushing in to dress the room, we would tell you. Meanwhile,
every shot is au natural; every product feature masterminded in
this office. When we receive a piece for a photoshoot, it is ritual
(if not instinct) to gather round to effuse and coo at the beautiful
baby on loan for a short time. This is another habit I find hard to
break, but then again, I hear we’re living in a material world.