Dear readers,

Welcome to our Style issue!

September marks la rentrée in more ways than one and, as our attentions turn to fantasy, we invited photographer Till Janz – alongside his fashion- provocateur alter ego Hugo, a 3D avatar – to present us with the ultimate Wallpaper* wardrobe for our newsstand cover and main menswear story. ‘He’s my second half, but he’s the half that I can’t live out in reality,’ Janz tells us. ‘I’ve always been really interested in the intersection of storytelling and technology. It’s not about perfectionism. It’s like creating an alter ego in the digital space. Which feels quite natural nowadays, because the way we present ourselves to the outside world through social media is a new reality. All of us have a second persona.’

Our Newspaper section embodies the same heady decadence. From a Prada dress formed of shimmering sequins to a pair of Bottega Veneta roller skates, from diamond drop earrings to mark the centenary of Chanel No.5 to polychromatic pastries and a Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame champagne that celebrate the art of Yayoi Kusama, this is our edit of the ‘extra’. The exuberance continues through Romain Duquesne’s womenswear shoot, as well as our deep dive into Kim Jones and Peter Doig’s collaboration for Dior’s A/W21 menswear collection, which gives compelling form to the painter’s rich hues and otherworldly compositions.

Amid this extravagant excess, we have a trio of stories that explore the virtues of paring back. Our contributing editor Deyan Sudjic chronicles the making of the ‘Mini Strip’, Paul Smith’s interpretation of the new electric Mini that goes far beyond a colour scheme to consider what makes a more emotionally satisfying car. We head to Rotterdam for a first look at MVRDV’s Depot Boijmans van Beuningen, an art storage facility with a radical approach to transparency and public access. Then to Paris for an architectural tour of La Samaritaine, the legendary department store relaunched by LVMH after a sensitive restoration by a quartet of leading design studios.

Our limited-edition cover artist and feature is photographer Paul Mpagi Sepuya, who presents a portfolio of intimate portraits that elevates studio staples – tripods and backdrops – into objects of intrigue, and speaks to writer Aindrea Emelife about the mechanics of photography, Blackness, and the processes of representation; while ceramic artist King Houndekpinkou muses on Japanese craft traditions, African Voodoo and pop culture, all of which have informed his wild and wonderful creations. And finally, we have the legendary Marina Abramović sharing her diet soup, made with flax seeds, oats and oat bran, and scantily seasoned. The artist explains, ‘it keeps your mind peaceful and clear’, which is exactly what we need as we embrace the new Roaring Twenties.

Enjoy the issue!

Sarah Douglas