This will be my last posting as Editor in Chief of SHOWstudio. After seven glorious years working on probably the most innovative and certainly most challenging project in international fashion media, I am leaving to take up a professorship in fashion imagery at The London College of Fashion.
The decision to go has been excruciating: I am immensely fond of the small, fiercely intelligent and brilliantly creative team who run SHOWstudio and proud of the extraordinary archive of work and roster of contributors we have built up in that time.
There are many, many highlights from what has been a dream job: amazing live shoots like Transformer, Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down, Bring & Buy; working closely on ambitious projects with visionary, courageous people like Nick Knight, Simon Foxton, Julie Verhoeven, Jason Evans and Gareth Pugh; attending the shows; interviewing a preposterously A-list selection of 'In Camera' sitters such at Björk, Kate Moss, Vivienne Westwood, David Bailey, McQueen, Galliano, Peter Saville... But, in truth, most of the best times have been in the studio with the designers and the tech team, getting down to the brutal business of solving how to communicate all this via a website in an informative and hopefully entertaining manner.
If you think back to the week I joined SHOWstudio -when the twin towers went down- there was practically no interesting fashion on the Internet, save for a few news sites. Now, every magazine has an online concept and there are fashion film sites and social networking platforms mushrooming up across the globe to exploit the online luxury advertising that is only just around the corner. I am thrilled that SHOWstudio's early mission to explore the possibilities of motion image, interactivity, sound and live broadcast in fashion imaging has contributed to this incontrovertible shift to online fashion.
LCF's recognition of the need to harness these innovations in interesting research is impressive. I am excited at the prospect of reflecting upon the incredible experience I have obtained at SHOWstudio and using the huge amount I have learnt to act as a 'crossover figure', continuing to work with the industry. SHOWstudio is staging an exciting exhibition at Somerset House, London in February 2009 and I will continue to act as a co-curator on that, for example. Meanwhile, Nick will take over the reigns as Editor of SHOWstudio and Alex Fury becomes its new Fashion Director.
A brief paragraph is inadequate space and perhaps the inappropriate place for the heartfelt thanks I would like to say to Nick, Charlotte and the SHOWstudio team who in 2001 took a chance on a young, relatively inexperienced curator who had a few big ideas, and supported me throughout developing them (and of course, to Christabel Stewart, for her inspired recommendation!). I am immensely grateful to Paul Hetherington for his unwavering loyalty and for teaching me how to do my job, and to Bruty, Ross, Adam, Dorian, Danny, Harry and all the gifted techs for quietly, faithfully, 'managing up'. We have been very lucky with interns -many of whom have graduated to paid work at SHOWstudio and impressive jobs elsewhere in fashion- and I'd like to say a big thanks to them for all their commitment and graft that let me get on with the fun stuff.
And finally, my greatest respects to our generous contributors and the faithful and spirited SHOWstudio viewers who have kept us on the right track over the years and let us know that all that hard work was all worth it.