|What's in, what's out|
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.