GIFTING: Who is Vince Aletti giving his book to this Christmas?
The author of Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines tells us who is on his Christmas list
You might be forgiven for thinking that the librarian at New York’s newly reopened Museum of Modern Art has enough reading material for the holiday season. However, Vince Aletti’s proposed Christmas gift isn’t intended to serve as simple winter entertainment.
For years, Aletti, a New York-based writer and critic, has worked to rescue fashion photography – especially fashion photography published in magazines – from the recycling pile, and elevate it to a higher cultural plane.
The high point of Aletti’s year came back in the spring, when Phaidon published his book, Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines. In the book, he selected 100 significant magazine issues from his expansive personal archive, revealing images by photographers rarely seen outside their original context, throwing light on a fresh, idiosyncratic, and previously unexplored angle on the history of photography. It really is a wonderfully curated collection of the images that helped shape fashion. Read on to find out his take on 2019, why MoMA might be getting a copy of Issues and what he'll be up to in 2020.
What inspired you most this year? The many activist and resistance movements in the US and abroad, standing up for immigrants, refugees, climate control, and gun control, demonstrating against corrupt systems, repressive laws, and authoritarian politicians.
What annoyed you most? The current, dangerous, and clearly unbalanced President of the United States. But annoyance is too mild a word in this case.
What was your personal highlight? The publication of Issues: A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines, a book I've been imagining for years, and the enthusiastic reception it received in the international press.
What can we expect from you in 2020? I'm hoping to turn 'This Is Not a Fashion Photograph', my monthly column for Vogue Italia, into a book this coming year.
Who will you give your Phaidon book to for Christmas? The librarian at New York's remodeled and newly energized Museum of Modern Art, because I'd love to see MoMA pay more attention to the history of photography in printed matter, especially fashion magazines.
Know someone who'd love this season's most fashionable gift? Then buy them a copy of Issues here. This luxury, oversized edition, richly illustrated with brilliant reproductions, and enclosed in an elegant archival-style magazine-file box, is the essential addition to any book collection on photography, fashion, and graphic design. Get their gift here.