Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Weird and Wonderful 'World of Interiors'

What's in, what's out
Today I will continue with the deconstruction, or detailed examination, of the colossal 437-page Oct 2016 issue of 'World of Interiors'. The first thing to note is that the editor's partner is Alan Bennett.  This means that some of the captions and turns of phrase in the text are suspiciously playful, in the manner of Bennett. There are puns and mischievous allusions, literary devices not found in - for example - House and Garden.

The October 2016 issue opens with a double-page spread advertising Ralph Lauren's home fabrics and wallcoverings, all shades of grey in a grey stone building with a 'distressed' wooden floor. So  far, so conventional. The reader gets a real shock on the next two pages, where a dishevelled androgynous figure  dressed in baggy clothes like a clown, stares out vacantly opposite a page featuring a block of rushes topped with what looks a bit like a black bin bag with handles.  The advertiser is Celine.

The next few pages are similarly portentous, evoking in the sceptical reader a bark of disbelieving laughter. Another purveyor of handbags, for example, chooses a closeup black and white photograph of an open mouth, dispaying a few uneven teeth, tongue  and lip curled back in a snarl.

The first sly Bennettism we encounter is in the caption on the Contents page : 'To witness her (an interior decorator) palette's impact, head gingerly to page 378'.  Further, we find 'Tables to dine for' 'Lights fantastic' 'It's a stick up job' (about wall paper); 'he's reinvented the wheel (of a potter) - and so on.

No comments:

Post a Comment