A roaring success: LOVE for a true fashion bible

Five years on from its launch with Beth Ditto as curvaceous cover girl, Katie Grand’s biannual LOVE continues to challenge. Alexander Fury lionises a true fashion bible

There’s an animal in just about every issue of LOVE magazine, the Condé Nast bi-annual with super-stylist Katie Grand as editor-in-chief.

I was editor alongside her for the last two issues, during which time I saw horses, rabbits and huskies grace the pages. Nothing, however, compares with the latest – Atlas the lion,  drafted in for a Tim Walker extravaganza to mark the 10th issue and fifth anniversary. Just like the tome itself, the animals seems to be getting bigger and bolder.

So, how does one decide to shoot a lion? It’s quite straightforward, according to Grand.

“I had said to Tim we were celebrating our fifth anniversary and I wanted a cinematic quality to the images. He came in to the office and said: ‘I’d love to shoot a lion,’ and I said ‘Great’.” Fast forward a few weeks, add a few hundred thousand pounds’ worth of Dolce & Gabbana and you have a set of those extraordinary images Grand is known for creating. “It all seemed to work, the lion, Edie, Karen and the grandeur of the clothes,” she says.

Although lion-taming is obviously not without it’s scarier moments. “Much, much more terrifying than you can imagine,” is Grand’s direct description. “On the last day we were all sitting on the stairs and Atlas was in the hall, we were behind this huge scaffolding and he charged at where we were sitting. Me and Karen (Elson) ended up hiding in the airing cupboard!”

“There was a moment when he tried to escape and everyone locked themselves in the bathroom out of fear,” recalls Edie Campbell. “And then had to have a calming moment with Nelson, the one-eyed giant rabbit!”

Wildlife aside, it’s difficult to imagine any other publication taking quite so irreverent and imaginative an approach to its pages as LOVE. That is one of the hallmarks of Grand, who launched the magazine back in 2009 with an award-winning cover featuring Gossip lead singer Beth Ditto naked bar a strategic ruffle of organza.

“It all just seemed so right,” is Grand’s take on that seminal Ditto debut – although it’s by no means an isolated incident. LOVE’s covers have continued to garner headlines, even in the attention deficient fashion industry: Kate Moss and transsexual model Lea T in a clinch; a gatefold of Miss Moss, Cara Delevingne and actress Chloë Moretz, writhing in soapy bathtubs; and the three lead actresses of ITV costume drama Downton Abbey in frills and furbelows at the height of the programme’s popularity.

That’s what Grand is great at: nailing the zeitgeist. She also helps to create it, styling the Marc Jacobs show in New York, and Louis Vuitton in Paris, effectively book-ending the  season with her creative stamp. In London, she’s the hand behind the shows of Sister by Sibling, Jonathan Saunders and Giles Deacon.

Speaking from my experience, there’s something almost alchemic about Grand’s ability to decipher what everyone will be thinking before they actually start thinking it. It’s one of the things that make her invaluable to brands, such as Hogan, who enlisted her to design Poppy, a range of shoes and accessories that’s fun and light-hearted. It’s doing swift business.

The same three epithets could be  ascribed to the latest LOVE covers, continuing in a ten-issue tradition of arresting developments. This time they’re inspired by Minnie Mouse, the LOVE masthead chicken-pocked with polka-dots and Minnie’s trademark ears recreated by Prada, Loewe, Louis Vuitton and Gucci and photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

It’s a light-hearted way to celebrate a magazine that’s bucking declining print-sales and advertising revenues: at a hefty 475 pages, it’s the biggest edition of LOVE to date, and the largest issue Grand has ever edited.

Despite that weight, and heavyweight talent, when I ask Katie Grand what she wants LOVE to represent, the answer is simple: “Good fun!”

Once again, she’s nailed it.

LOVE 10, The Sweetie Issue, is  available from next Monday

Suggested Topics
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

    C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

    C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

    £55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

    AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

    £450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

    Day In a Page

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law