Love, Condé Nast's new great white hope of a recession-era fashion mag, is Big News, as is its editor, Katie Grand, who's been a major fashion insider for years. Clearly, she's got serious chops. Which the Times gets around to after discussing her "fittingly high-pitched, cartoonlike squeak," the forementioned bag fetish, the stuffed guinea pig on the couch, and her getup: "Paper Denim & Cloth jeans, a vintage Sigue Sigue Sputnik T-shirt, a Chanel blanket wrapped as a scarf and glittery Miu Miu heels."
We get it: this is fashion journalism, and obviously this is a fashion writer, and to a degree, the disconnect between the launch of a very big gamble and such cute trivia probably doesn't seem as manifest to them as to the casual reader. Yes, we get that Grand, a major stylist, has worked with Prada, collaborates with Marc, dated Giles Deacon, hangs with Agyness and has worked her share of frivolously outré projects. But opening with that bag line does quite a bit to distract from concrete statements like, "‘It's very easy to be cool and self-indulgent,'' she said. ‘‘I think as an editor you have a responsibility to do an interesting, commercial magazine that people want to look at. We need a readership as well as advertisers,'' or,
"with the economy as it is, I wanted to do something that was a reality check on many levels.''
What that constitutes to a consummate fashionista, of course, is an open question. She says at one point,
‘‘They basically said, ‘Do whatever you want.' The fact that we have Beth Ditto naked on the cover shows that.'' Beth Ditto, nude, should not in itself be regarded as a piece of outrageous high-fashion performance art; challenging convention is very different from challenging conventions of beauty. And it's hard to get a sense, from this piece, of exactly what the magazine will be: "edgy," we're told, and involving a lot of her "favorite" personalities, but between the indulgent anecdotes about hats that resemble "an evening bathing cap," it's hard to say whether the insidery nature of Grand's career makes her better or worse suited to guaging the commercial marketplace. Certainly there's a lot to admire - and we like the stories of Grand's "earning money by knitting, mostly for other students, and writing knitting patterns for British Elle" while in school - but as evinced by the very tone of this profile, the demands of a resolutely fashion-centric world can be alienating to the rest of us when the chips are down. There's escapism, and then there's tone-deafness. We'll have to wait and see which Love is, because "Love Child" certainly isn't going to tell us.
Love Child [T Style]