Let­ter from the edi­tor

Fashion (Canada) - - Contents - NOREEN FLANA­GAN, EDI­TOR-IN-CHIEF FOL­LOW ME ON TWIT­TER AND IN­STA­GRAM @NOREEN_FLANAGAN.

The story be­hind this month’s gor­geous peel-away cover has its own te­len­ov­ela-wor­thy lay­ers. We shot it at Cuadra San Cristóbal, a three-hectare eques­trian es­tate that Pritzker Prize-win­ning ar­chi­tect Luis Bar­ragán built in 1968. It’s lo­cated 45 min­utes from the cen­tre of Mex­ico City in a dis­creetly gated com­mu­nity. I first learned of Bar­ragán’s work in an ar­ti­cle I read last sum­mer in The New Yorker en­ti­tled “The Ar­chi­tect Who Be­came a Di­a­mond.” Lit­er­ally. It’s a rather com­pli­cated tale, as you might ex­pect. Briefly, con­cep­tual artist Jill Magid had some of Bar­ragán’s cre­mated re­mains turned into a 2.02-carat rough-cut di­a­mond. She wanted to ex­change the di­a­mond with the owner of Bar­ragán’s ar­chives, a wealthy Swiss woman. (Stay with me….) Since Bar­ragán’s death in 1988, his ar­chives have been sealed from re­searchers and stu­dents in a vault in Switzerland. The un­con­firmed tale is that the owner re­ceived the ar­chives as a gift from her wealthy hus­band in lieu of an en­gage­ment ring. On May 31, 2016, Magid “pro­posed” to the owner. She of­fered Bar­ragán’s “body” in ex­change for his body of work, which could then be opened to re­searchers and pos­si­bly re­turned to Mex­ico. The of­fer wasn’t ac­cepted, and the ring was dis­played last fall at the San Fran­cisco Art In­sti­tute in an ex­hibit aptly en­ti­tled The Pro­posal.

Last Novem­ber, I vis­ited Mex­ico City with a mis­sion to visit Bar­ragán’s home, which is now a UNESCO World Her­itage site. Bar­ragán once wrote that the ideal space “must con­tain el­e­ments of magic, seren­ity, sor­cery and mys­tery.” I sensed those in­flu­ences as I toured this exquisitely min­i­mal­ist mod­ernist home, which he built in 1948. To reach the rooftop—where Bar­ragán went to pray—you climb a nar­row stair­way that has bold yel­low walls. “He was a de­vout man who wanted to cre­ate the sense that you were climb­ing to heaven,” ex­plained our guide. “The walls sur­round­ing the deck are high enough to block out the city be­cause Bar­ragán only wanted to see the heav­ens.” The walls—which do in­deed shield you from the sprawl­ing city of 21 mil­lion—are painted bright pink and orange. “What a great set­ting for a shoot with Joe Fresh,” I said to my hus­band. “That’s their orange!” A few months later, we “pro­posed” to Joe Fresh to join us—and Cana­dian model Heather Marks—for a travel-in­spired shoot in Mex­ico City. They ac­cepted! (See “New Love” on page 133.) It wasn’t pos­si­ble to do the shoot at Bar­ragán’s home in Mex­ico City, but the own­ers of Cuadra San Cristóbal gra­ciously al­lowed us to spend the day on their es­tate. It’s also a mecca for ar­chi­tects and stu­dents of Bar­ragán’s work and a tes­ta­ment to the im­mense power of sim­plic­ity. On the cover, Heather is pho­tographed in one of the site’s two pools. (One is for hu­mans, and the other— where we shot Heather—is for horses.) There is a foun­tain just to the left of her, which was the #in­spo sound­track of the day. Bar­ragán of­ten in­cor­po­rated wa­ter fea­tures in his work be­cause he thought that the sound of cas­cad­ing wa­ter evokes “peace, joy and rest­ful sen­su­al­ity.” Those were the ad­jec­tives that in­spired our shoot—and we hope it in­spires the same ex­traor­di­nary emo­tions in you this sum­mer.

“IT TAKES COURAGE TO BE A PAINTER. I AL­WAYS FELT I WALKED ON THE EDGE OF A KNIFE.”

MEET CARBONERO, THE LOVELY FEL­LOW WHO CO-STARRED IN OUR COVER SHOOT.

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