MEDIA: Wallpaper: an expert’s view

Jay Pond-Jones finds little that is news to him in the glossy for design trendies

Jay Pond-Jones finds little that is news to him in the glossy for design


When someone dreamed up Wallpaper as a title for this ‘magazine for

urban modernists’, covering interiors, entertaining and travel, I

imagine that the intent was irony.

Unfortunately, the title has been taken literally. Now I know this is an

easy tack to take, but I’ve seen it all before. I know that Patrick Cox

has customised a scooter. I know that plywood is cool and I know that

Sweden is where it’s at.

The guide to Los Angeles? Who doesn’t know or hasn’t read about Chateau

Marmont, the Mondrian and Sunset Marquis? Or is that the point?

Wallpaper gathers together subjects from around the world that are so

familiar that you feel part of this club of like-minded citizens.

I found the layouts really unchallenging when placed alongside the

advertising. This may be a deliberate attempt to be cool, rather than

join in with the impenetrable ‘Mac frenzy’ that’s taken over the art

direction of most new titles, but it came over as just plain flat. I can

predict that corduroy will make an appearance in the interiors section

within the next couple of issues. Having said all that, first editions

are usually pretty dire as the articles have been hanging around in

dummy form for months.

For me the result of reading Wallpaper was discovering that New York’s

Nobu (if you’re part of the wallpaper, this shouldn’t need explaining)

is producing a range of dressings/marinades/salsas that is available via

the Net.

Overall it feels like a hangover of the 80s excesses combined with new

‘one world’ media and it doesn’t fit very comfortably with me. I’m not

ordering food over the Net. I’m going shopping at Planet Organic -

that’s quite pretentious enough for me, thank you.

Jay Pond-Jones is the supercool joint creative director of GGT


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