Reading W magazine feels like such a relief from the commercial assault that are other magazine’s offering up goods that scream “buy me”. Instead of an indiscriminate catalog presentation W attempts to separate the cream from whatever cream is separated from in analogies of this sort.
The issue is way too short offering neither artist profile or interior design article or even a presentation of an interesting art collection, articles the magazine excel at and that readers have come to love and expect. It’s not like the magazine is innovating and introducing any new type of article, it’s just abbreviated.
The “Art Walk” article photographed by Willy Vanderperre, styled by Edward Enninful is a tour de force of subtle mastery on the part of model Raquel Zimmermann. Instead of standing beside art to sell clothes, Zimmermann positions herself to enhance or complement the art. Certain pictures bring the art into the narrative of the photograph while others create an updated context by which the audience can view the work. Still in other photographs Zimmermann uses her posing to underline the movement in the works. While the styling is amazing, and the art as backdrop cannot be anything but impressive, it is Zimmermann’s presence in the editorial that make the images feel current and enduring.
The “Seen and Heard” article isn’t a profound and revealing profile but it’s cute and presents how Heard sees herself which is a little at odds with the image she projects. I suppose there’s value in that alone. The editorial is made riveting by the layering of the subject multiple times within a same image. The photographs are made banal by the irony of Heard’s affirmation of trying to avoid being typecast as the pretty/sexy girl and the editorials presentation of Heard as a lingerie clad cliché of exactly that. I would be more inclined to deem the editorial a success if the clothing or the narrative played a more powerful role in the editorial but Heard’s body is clearly the object of the editorial. I can’t pan the editorial completely, it’s value is in advertising lingerie and the layering of images. It’s okay.
The W Mood Board is fascinating addition to the magazine and gives readers a look at a designer’s inspiration. Cool.
So what did I think of the issue? Too short but I respect that W offers a different view of fashion and the commitment to bringing art into the conversation is always appreciated though this issue doesn’t do enough of exactly that. The best reason to buy the issue is the “Art Walk” editorial and the front of book regular columns. 3.49/5 stars.