The Genteel
February 28, 2021


Looks from the Chanel show at Linlithgow Palace.

The Genteel editors on what we're seeing, doing, reading and anticipating for the week ahead.


Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop (Metropolitan Museum of Art). By tracing the history of manipulated photography from the earliest days of the medium to the release of Photoshop 1.0 in 1990, Mia Fineman offers a corrective to the dominant narrative of photography's development, in which champions of photographic "purity," such as Paul Strand, Edward Weston and Henri Cartier-Bresson, get all the glory, while devotees of manipulation, including Henry Peach Robinson, Edward Steichen and John Heartfield, are treated as conspicuous anomalies. Among the techniques discussed in the book - illustrated with works from an international array of public and private collections - are multiple exposure, combination printing, photomontage, composite portraiture, over-painting, hand colouring and retouching. The resulting images are as diverse in style and motivation as they are in technique. Taking her argument beyond fine art into the realms of politics, journalism, fashion, entertainment and advertising, Fineman demonstrates that the old adage "the camera does not lie" is one of photography's great fictions.

How The French Invented Love (Harper Collins). Oh, how the French love love! For hundreds of years, they have championed themselves as guides to the art de l'amour through their literature, paintings, songs and cinema. A French man or woman without amorous desire is considered defective, like someone missing the sense of smell or taste. Scholar Marilyn Yalom intimately examines the tenets of this culture's enduring gospel of romance. Basing her delightfully erudite findings on her extensive readings of French literature, as well as memories of her personal experiences in la belle France, Yalom explores the many nuances of love as it has evolved over the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the present. Following along, step-by-step, on her romance-tinged literary detective hunt, the reader discovers how the French invented love, how they have kept it vibrant for more than nine centuries, what is unique in the French love experience, and what is universal.

How The French Invented Love.


New York Times - "Who but Mr. Lagerfeld could have imagined Chanel as a Scottish superstar." 

Andrew Adebowale examines fashion's enduring love affair with tartan, arguably the most rebellious of textile designs. 

New York Times - "But it is for the same reasons that [Wang's] appointment at Balenciaga - nearly a century-old fashion house that was thoroughly modernized over the last 15 years under the considered eye of Nicolas Ghesquière - bothers so many people, or at least the fashion purists."

Alexander Wang wasn't the only new high-profile appointment this year. As Dior, Saint Laurent Paris and Balenciaga enter a new phase of creative direction, Olivia Wilbury considers the role and expectations of the contemporary creative director.

Cool Hunting - At this year's Art Basel Miami Beach, CH editors found a number of artists that draw in the eye with playful manipulations of perspective and visual shenanigans.

Alina Kulesh highlights the most notable artists and artworks at this year's biggest art party, ABMB, where no art is too naughty and no bar runs dry. 

WWD - WWD's survey of the most recognised brands of 2012 - with some familiar names and a few surprises.



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