317 & Counting ...

Monday, June 22, 2009

For fans of fashion photography in general and Steven Meisel in particular, "Three Hundred And Seventeen And Counting" - a complete collection of all the covers Meisel has shot to date for Italian VOGUE - should be something to swoon over. The brainchild of Michel Mallard, former art director of VOGUE HOMME, and the organizer of the Hyeres Photo Festival, the book illustrates the extraordinary collaboration between the magazine and Meisel - who has shot every single cover since July 1988!

Launched in conjunction with a display of the covers at this year's Hyeres Festival, that's Mallard in the middle of the exhibition, above, and the book cover, below.

What's particularly interesting is the freedom given to Meisel to explore his own interests. Unlike American fashion magazines where the cover is an essential sales tool and the bigger and more timely the celebrity the better - Meisel's Italian covers play with all kinds of narrative references, are a place for him to promote his latest unknown discovery, are often obsessed with "twinning", and are frequently the opposite of what would be considered a good cover at American VOGUE. So there's much to analyze and enjoy. It's the visual beach read of the summer!

The book has a very limited run, but if you're interested, you can browse a little further and buy the book here.


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