October 9, 2009


After a week of more sad magazine news, I've thought a lot about the extreme costs that large magazine publishers face, especially to produce lush icons like Vogue—where often sumptuous shoots do not make the cut/issue. But sophisticated art is expensive and that is just what we see in the pages of Vogue month after month. I left the movie September Issue with a renewed passion for excellence and admiration for both Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington for their brilliant {sometimes buck-heading} synergy. They are smart, sophisticated and have enduring talent. Their jobs are tough but they continue to push beyond like many artists of all genres to create excellence. In a scene from September Issue, while Grace Coddington rides in the back of a Paris limo, she quotes her old friend and mentor, photographer Norman Parkinson who told her... "Never shut your eyes or go to sleep in a car, train, anywhere. You might miss something inspiring." That scene stood-out in my mind because I'm definitely with Mr. Parkinson, and with all creatives who keep their eyes wide open. Without the people who truly see, we would not have traveled around the world of cuisine with Gourmet, have been mesmerized by the stunning photographs of Irving Penn or dreamt about the latest couture from the pages of Vogue.

Images: NPA {Norman Parkinson Archives}, Irving Penn's Salad Ingredients, Grace Coddington-style page from Vogue, Grace Coddington and Anna Wintour - www.screendaily.com

Norman Parkinson~A Very British Glamour
Release, October 2009


  1. So true, Barbara. As a veteran of many photo shoots, I can say that there is a lot more work behind a shot than most people realize. Yes, there is some waste and fluff but if you don't give people space to be great, they won't be. The creative process isn't like Lucy making chocolates -- you can't just speed up the line.

    Great line from Parks. I meant him a couple of times when I lived in NY and still have one of his shots on the wall of my office. What an eye.

  2. GREAT post on your site yesterday and I also loved the link to previous R. Reichl on David Foster Wallace by J. Waters ~ have a great weekend!!

  3. lovely blog :)
    come and check out mine sometime :)


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