Oh no, not again. Yes, I’m afraid so. I know I said in my previous post that I would not return to subjects already introduced on the blog but Mat Maitland’s 10 page story for l’Officiel Paris December/January issue persuaded me to ignore my own restrictions. If someone had asked me last month what I thought of l’Officiel, I’d have said that it’s aesthetic did not manage to steer away from the predictable and merely repeated well-established fashion ideas. But this issue, with the support of a new Art Director, did not make me yawn, sigh or even drift into thinking about how much more enjoyable other fashion publications are. It is clear that it marks a turning point in the history of the magazine and it is being shaped, shifted and moulded into a startlingly good addition to the fashion world with the capacity to express the spirit of an age. L’Officiel now seems to embrace novelty and quality control. The outcome of this self-revision is stunning and will certainly surprise its loyal readers with its subtle game of unexpected twists and challenges to its previous more traditional ideas. This is highlighted by the breathtaking collaboration between the magazine and Mat Maitland, an outstanding collage artist. His contemporary surrealist derived images combined with carefully selected shoes and bags from the 2010 collections are instantly recognisable and memorable. His interpretative individuality is full of enthralling pop complexities referring to fashion, old 80s and 90s magazines, music, paintings and films. The rich textures of the multi-layered compositions consisting of disembodied body parts or animals, pianos, clouds, brightly coloured elements, Chanel, Dior, and Miu Miu among other luxury brands form a series of enchanting and magnetic images. In recognition of his keen interest and exploitation of popular culture, I’d call him a Pop artist (although there is something that distances him from the classical meaning of the term). Regardless of the label, his images are simply beautiful and dreamlike collages dominated by his passion for commercial, popular and fine arts.
Scans from l’Officiel Paris December/January issue