We set out to create an album of inspiration, a limited-edition art and fashion publication no one had ever done before.
SPRING was our first issue. It also provided us with the theme-innocence, a fresh beginning. We were inspired, in part, by Irving Penn's book of flowers, but convincing an artist like Penn to let a fledgling publication like ours print even one of his images proved impossible. So the cover image was photographed by Stephen Gan, in natural daylight, with Cecilia Dean holding up the rose in front of a yellow background. (The beige blur towards the lower-right-hand corner of the frame is actually her out-of-focus hand.) Most of the contributing artists were friends, who lent their time, their work, and their unlimited support. No two pages were printed on the same paper stock because we were using all the printer's remnants. There are images on vellum (printed under stealth of night on a regular copy machine at the office of Stephen's sister Elaine), and artwork, like Ruben Toledo's insect story, done on plain old brown kraft paper. We couldn't afford the luxury of binding, so the issue is unbound, the loose pages forming a sort of folio of tear sheets of favorite images. Bill Cunningham (who contributed to our first fashion report), Annie Flanders (Stephen's former boss at Details magazine), and many others came over to Stephen's two-room apartment to help hand assemble a thousand copies, which we sold for ten dollars a piece. It was Bill who later showed us some of the very first illustrated fashion magazines, like Gazette du Bon Ton, as well as the albums of Paul Poiret, by Paul Iribe and Georges Lepape, which had also been printed portfolio-style on loose pages. When the issue came out, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi sent us a note saying, ''Congratulations, you're doing a Flair for the '90s!'' We had no idea what he was talking about until Richard Martin and Harold Koda, then curators at the Fashion Institute of Technology, showed us editions of that legendary magazine several months later.
Limited Edition of 1000 numbered copies.
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