Magazine of the Week

Hi, everyone!

This week’s magazine is Domus. Domus is published in Milan, Italy and it is one of the oldest shelter magazines we subscribe to. It has focused on modernism since its founding in 1928 by architect and industrial designer Gio Ponti. His goal, he wrote, was to “renew architecture, interiors and Italian decorative arts without overlooking topics of interest to women, like the art of homemaking, gardening and cooking.” It is currently published 11x/year with English and Italian printed side by side. It’s a larger format title (12.75″ x 9.5″), and is elegantly art directed.



The title, which means “home”, presents current architecture (using floor plans and design drawings), interior design and furniture, including current art and product exhibitions, new buildings, urban and sustainable space design, and art criticism. The Domus website expands this coverage to include news of the architecture and design worlds, explorations of new tech and other products, and the inevitable high-end advertising.





The title and its editors suffered as WWII politics tore Italy apart. One editor, Guiseppe Pagano, died in a concentration camp because of his anti-fascist beliefs. The title was redesigned repeatedly to bend with the volatile politics of Mussolini’s Italy, and suspended publication from 1945-early 1946.



After the war, the title became an symbol of design innovation, partaking actively in artistic debate through the 1960s and ’70s. The herald of post-modern design, Ettore Sottsass, published his “Whipped Cream Diary” essay in the magazine in the ’70s. Alessandro Mendini’s assumption of editorship in 1979 made the publication a home for the neo-avant garde of post-modernist fame. The magazine has continued to grow and change with the needs of the 21st century, and is very much apart of the current debates surrounding city living, sustainability, and interior design as a piece of human wellness.



The title expanded to publish several foreign editions: Chinese in 2006, Russia in 2008, Israel in 2009, Indian and Central American editions in 2011, and a German one in 2013.

From 1986 to 2000, Domus published guides to architectural landmarks in a variety of cities worldwide. MIT made a research guide/directory of these:

Come to the 4th floor and take a look!

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At your finger tips

Photo by Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock
Cardi B, manicure by Jenny Bui
60th Annual Grammy Awards, Jan 2018

There are a lot of aspects to fashion beyond the clothing. Accessories, grooming, skin enhancement, and gestures are all visual choices. We carry Inked magazine because tattoo art has been so important in the last 10 years. Allure covers cosmetics marketing and development. But we’ve ignored something that a lot of people have been getting super excited about in the last few years. Nail polish has experienced a renaissance in the last 5 years, and has made celebrities out of nail artists.


This is a trend that has been driven by celebrities, especially music stars. Niki Minaj and Lady Gaga have both driven nail trends with their unconventional choices. Kesha and Cardi B feature their nails regularly in their publicity. Instagram aggravated the constant hunger for new visuals and nail art has stepped up to feed it. The trend continues: celebrity manicures get more complex and elaborate and even fashion runways have begun to feature unusual nail art as important style detail.


Lady Gaga from “Judas” video, from Billboard mag





A quick internet search turned up hundreds of Pinterest pages, fan pics, and how-to pages for getting celebrity-style nail art for your very own.

Kesha, behind the scenes at the Crazy Kids video shoot



Kesha is another pop star known for her love of elaborate nail art.





Cardi B appears to be the fashion adopter who put the trend over the top. Not only is her manicurist now famous in her own right, but the blinged-up nails trend has begun to catch on in the fashion-conservative midwest U.S.

Countless blogs and Pinterest pages reflect this trend’s current hotness. Even Fashion Week Spring 2018 has its own manicure-trends reporting:

Nails by Essie at Rebecca Minkoff, Spring 2018

Have a wonderful weekend!


Nails by Marian Newman for CND at Byblos, Spring 2018
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Magazine of the Week

Hi, everyone!


We’re attempting to reclaim normalcy this week. Hopefully nothing technical will blow up, right?

This week’s magazine is CR Book. This magazine is published 2x a year in New York. It began as a personal project of fashion-industry insider, Carine Roitfeld, in late 2011.

Roitfeld grew up in Paris, and began working as a model. She was comfortable in the fashion industry, and worked her way up as a stylist and writer at Elle France for 15 years. While working there, she met Mario Testino on a photo shoot. Their creative collaborations became some of the most influential fashion art of the 1990s. The two collaborated on Tom Ford’s well known ad campaigns of the period, which instantly gave Gucci a new sexy edge.

Tom Ford’s Gucci campaign, shot by Mario Testino and styled by Carine Roitfeld

From there, she was appointed to Editor in Chief of Vogue Paris in 2000. She continued to work closely with Testino while she was there, and their elegant, sexy work helped update the title. In 2001 Roitfeld left Conde Nast, (publisher of Vogue) in order to pursue her own projects. One of the first was to style the September 2011 issue of V magazine. Shortly thereafter she began working on CR Book, her own fashion press vision.



Roitfeld has also been global fashion director of Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar since 2012. In 2016 she and Hearst negotiated further support of CR Book from the Hearst Organization, which took over the online content (read “monetization”) of the project from its original publisher, Gan Fashion Media Group.





The world which Roitfeld creates in CR Book carries Diana Vreeland’s famous ideal of vulgarity a few steps further. Vreeland wrote in her autobiography that “I’m a great believer in vulgarity – if it’s got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika.” CR Book brings us a lushly photographed world where the people wear fabulous designer clothes juxtaposed with weird accessories and circus sideshow poses. It’s a colorful world,  lush with details and accessories, but completely lacking the understated aesthetic of earlier decades in fashion styling.



This world is playful, expensive, thought provoking, and hints at a tiny bit of stylized danger, if the viewer plays along. It’s more like a visit to P.S. I, MoMA’s visionary contemporary gallery, than a romp through a glossy fashion mag. Issue 12 even quotes famous people (Salvador Dali, Lewis Caroll, and eminem, to name a few) celebrating their weirdness. Another aspect is that the editorial in CR Book has consistently been some of the most inclusive in our collection. While predominantly visual, the articles attack conceptual topics like human speed, accessibility, and commoditization of information. It’s a smart ride, but not a relaxing one. Which is the point. Time and fashion wait for no one, not even us.

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