Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Magazine That Won't Smudge

EVEN as the publishing rivals Condé Nast and Hearst Magazines race to one-up each other with plans to translate their old-fashioned fashion magazines for the new generation of tablets — adding features like a talking editor’s letter (Elle) or an i Pad

- only reality series (Glamour) — there is still the sense in some quarters that those companies haven’t yet fully embraced the digital medium.

THE LAYOUT Post, a new fashion magazine, is available only on the iPad.

“What I find terrible is that these companies have actually curbed progress by not allowing their digital teams to grow,” said Remi Paringaux, 27, an art director who last year started a London-based company that creates iPad applications for clients like Gucci Group and its Stella McCartney label.

Mr. Paringaux, who had previously worked for traditional magazines (as in on paper) like Dazed & Confused and Vogue Japan, said he found himself wanting more from print than print was able to offer. So his company, Meri Media, introduced the magazine Post, developed to be viewed solely on an iPad.

The first issue, released in January for $2.99 to mostly positive reviews, included a video of a burning man created by the photographer Solve Sundsbo, a periodic table of accessories where jewelry revolved at the touch of a finger and an interpretation of what the particles moving about the Large Hadron Collider might sound like.

The second issue, with the theme of gravity, is expected to be released next week, along with a separate app promoting a series of artist created videos that will be broadcast on a floating barge during the Venice Biennale. The issue includes videos of skydivers dressed in designer suits and an interactive fashion shoot where the user can manipulate the dimensions of the model Iselin Steiro, though presumably not in a way that would offend Apple’s moral standards for content.

While Mr. Paringaux said he was interested in showing the potential of the iPad for magazines, its limitations are also visible. The first issue took nearly 20 minutes to download, even with a strong wireless connection, and the credits included links to retailers that didn’t actually carry the products shown in the magazine. A video interview between Olivier Zahm and the artist Miltos Manetas, while visually interesting, was fairly incomprehensible.

Still, in terms of an engaging experience, Post offers a map for others to follow.

“I would be more than happy if they ripped off the concept and applied it to their titles,” Mr. Paringaux said. “It would be a lot richer for everyone.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

'Sleep No More' Is a Feast for Style Fanatics

- On the Runaway, all things fashion -

Audience members are equally at liberty to pop open a trunk at the foot of that bed - lots of do - to select through its contents or, in idle moments, to slide open drawers where they might unearth, say, a stray swatch of silk or striped afternoon frock.

Talk about cravings. At point in the eerily staged production of "Sleep No More" at a mock hotel in Chelsea, a showily pregnant Lady Macduff hikes up her blue velvet evening dress, hops on to a bar and laps milk from a saucer. At another moment in this crazily meandering interpretation of "Macbeth" by Punch drunk, the British experimental theater company, her dress is laid out on a bed, leaving masked spectators free to pore over its capacious folds and seams.
A costume sketch for David Israel ReynosoA costume sketch for "Sleep No More".

For style fanatics, the show is a banquet, a delectable feast of loosely Deco-inspired period paraphernalia, an "adventure in decor," as Ben Brantley wrote in his review in The Times. It was honored with Obie Awards last week for design and choreography. And it captivated the editors of Women's Wear Every day, who were prompted to used the space as a backdrop for a fashion shoot. Not that you can blame them. The shabbily evocative setting and gruesome mood beg for plunder.

They can at various intervals alter coursework to follow the progress of Lady Macbeth as they flits through a warren of rooms, clambering batlike up the walls in a voluminous bathrobe.