While visiting my family at Christmas I glanced at the opening page of a book my dad was reading. It was an auto biography of a friend of his, and the story began in 1929.
Suddenly everything connected: Cycles, life cycles, generations succeeding one another and history repeating itself. 1929 was the birth year of my dad, while his own father sadly, tragically, passed away within the same month. It was also the year of the great depression. While 2009 was promising to become the year of the next year of recession, it was also the year my son was due to be born.
The next find of this fruitful Christmas holiday was a copy of the April 1929 edition of Städtebau, an architecture review my grandfather had been subscribing to… with an account of an architect's voyage to the United States from a Weimarer Republic Germany, pre-TV, when radio still was a novelty, ad "Nordamerika" still the other side of the world (I translated some extracts for you in this issue). Now what will the world be like when Lukas Pohl Blondez may, will, be turning 80? Spring 2089??
This leads us to a particular highlight in this issue, the interview with Jay Elsbeth Juda on the wake of her 98th birthday. Featured here are images from her career as photographer and associate editor of the pioneering publication The Ambassador which functioned as trade magazine promoting British Export, but was so much more. Juda and her husband Hans Juda created fashion from what was staple garments (or fabrics) to start with; created and featured artist collaborations to spur British trade, industry and creativity and in the course of it, worked with the absolute stars of their times. They promoted the then unusual idea that design was integral to a product rather than a packaging afterthought, held international exhibitions abroad, and introduced design to the ICA in London through their connection to Roland Penrose and Lee Miller. In this issue I could only highlight some details of this incredible story, so do watch out for the sequel.
Fascinated by social history developing and unraveling before our own eyes, we look at the rather recent phenomenon of 'vintage' in fashion. A term on everyone's lips - and backs, these days, but how do you actually define vintage? It remains a personal decision by each of us, we have asked experts their views.
Contemporary Art projects include artists Soandso and Gianpaolo Pagni from Paris, Andrea Splisgar / Der Mondäne Tiger from Berlin. Exciting progressive examples of what happens today are Eco Architecture at the Citta dell'Arte in Biella, Florent Demarchez photographs "Novo Mundo(s)" and the school of Bassiata in Niger, created by Marie-France Leroy and her two partners in exemplary international teamwork. A New world? A novo mundo? Yes please, and let's start now.
Features in order of appearance:
STAEDTEBAU - A VOYAGE TO NORTH AMERICA Ernst Gerson
VINTAGE Uscha Pohl, photography Tomek Sierek. Interviews with Lydia Kamitsis, Judith Watt, Jane Mulvagh
BEATRIX PASZTOR OR HOW TO STYLE FILMS Cedric Plumb
THE SWAN KILLER Andrea Splisgar
LES N’IMPORTEQUOI soandsau
JOB LOT - PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE AMBASSADOR YEARS Interview with Elsbeth Juda by Uscha Pohl
40 WINKS A LA CARTER Cedric Plumb, art direction Uscha Pohl, photography Tomek Sierek starring Elisalex Grunfeld de Castro
ECO-ARCHITECTURE AT CITTADELLARTE Cristiana Bottigella
NOVO MUNDO(S) Florent Demarchez
FRIENDS OF BASSIATA Uscha Pohl
VERY SERIES Gianpaolo Pagni
Front Cover: Elisalex Grunfeld de Castro wearing Lanvin, photo: Tomek Sierek, hair: Pshemko Sierek,
make-up Tania Courtney using MAC, skincare RODIAL
Back cover: Coronation on Ice: Barbara Goalen makes her Exit, St Moritz 1953. Photo Elsbeth Juda, © Elsbeth Juda, courtesy l’Equipement des Arts.
All VERY Publications are edited and published by founder/owner Uscha Pohl.
VERY UP & CO
Elisalex Grunfeld de Castro, photo Tomek Sierek.
On roll-over; Barbara Goalen, photo Elsbeth Juda.
Click here to go to the online version of the magazine.
Click here to purchase your print copy of the magazine.