Stay­ing in Vogue for years

The iconic mag­a­zine cel­e­brates a mile­stone birth­day, writes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - GARDENING -

Por­ing over old is­sues in prepa­ra­tion for Vogue Liv­ing mag­a­zine’s 50th birth­day this year, edi­tor-in-chief Neale Whi­taker is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a little deja vu.

“In the late ’60s and ’70s when the mag­a­zine was re­ally young, there were more in­te­ri­ors rel­e­vant to the way we live now than in the decades that fol­lowed,” he says.

“Our read­ers then were very much in love with the Scan­di­na­vian look and brands like Marimekko.”

Those early years, punc­tu­ated by the bold use of colour and pat­tern, set the bar high.

“The thing that jumps out is the confidence as we de­vel­oped our own style,” Neale says. “In the early days it was Euro­pean style, mostly from the UK, that we turned to.”

Pre­par­ing the birth­day is­sue has been both a plea­sure and a pain for Neale and his team, be­cause it in­cluded look­ing through ev­ery sin­gle is­sue pub­lished.

“And I am the worst per­son to do that be­cause I get so ab­sorbed in them,” he says.

The mag­a­zine, which has nur­tured the ca­reers of peo­ple such as Louise Olsen and Stephen Or­mandy from Di­nosaur De­signs, in­te­rior de­sign­ers Greg Natale, and Juli­ette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke from Arent & Pyke, quickly gained an in­ter­na­tional fol­low­ing in the years af­ter its launch, by show­cas­ing Aus­tralian dec­o­rat­ing and de­sign.

Neale re­calls how sig­nif­i­cant the ti­tle was as a style­maker, es­pe­cially in the ’80s and ’90s.

“I was work­ing as an edi­tor in Lon­don in the ’90s and Vogue Liv­ing Aus­tralia was fa­mous,” he says.

“Vogue Liv­ing and Vogue En­ter­tain­ing were the two mag­a­zines we as­pired to be.”

Not that he loved ev­ery­thing about ’90s in­te­rior de­sign.

“You started to see the English and Euro­pean coun­try look creep in, like Tus­can style in shades of ter­ra­cotta and peach — and lots of swags and bows. They are the styles I wouldn’t want to see again,” he says.

“But I would de­fend the ’70s and a lot of ’80s style. It was an in­cred­i­bly di­verse time and now we are com­ing back to that.”

He says ar­chi­tect Wil­liam Smart summed up the role of the mag­a­zine best when he re­ferred to it as a con­duit be­tween the de­sign in­dus­try and the pub­lic. And that’s even as the pub­lish­ing land­scape shifts gear into the dig­i­tal age, rein­vent­ing it­self for a new gen­er­a­tion of in­te­rior de­sign lovers.

The 50th an­niver­sary edi­tion of Vogue Liv­ing is on sale now.

This daz­zling room shot in Mar­rakech for Vogue Liv­ing last year won’t leave you feel­ing blue with its art­ful mix of framed pieces and found ob­jects. Pic­ture: Richard Pow­ers UK de­signer Stu­dio Ilse turned the din­ing room on its head in 2011. Pic­ture:...

Vogue Liv­ing’s edi­tor-in-chief, Neale Whi­taker

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