W*127: the guest editors
Now onto its third edition, Wallpaper’s whopping Guest Editor issues are an established publishing event. After last year's roster of female powerhouses – the architect Zaha Hadid, the artist Louise Bourgeois and the fashion designer Rei Kawakubo – this October we hand the editorial reins to two titans of design who need little introduction. Welcome Karl Lagerfeld and Philippe Starck.
Karl Lagerfeld is not only one of the world’s most respected fashion designers, drafting the various Karl Lagerfeld collections as well as Chanel, but a man of huge cultural curiosity and appetites and one of the sharpest observers and shapers of contemporary tastes.
A Renaissance man of huge energy and appetites, Lagerfeld is as passionate about architecture and design as he is about fashion. He also has considerable skills as a lensman. Over 27 pages, we feel the full force of Lagerfeld’s ardours as he shoots his way from ancient Rome to mid-century Paris, via the Palace of Versailles, with his perfectly formed new muse for company and human interest. He also tells us about his remarkable collection of houses and the remarkable collections of things he has filled them with.
As you can’t talk seriously about contemporary fashion without lingering at length on Karl Lagerfeld, so it is impossible to talk about design without talking about Phillipe Starck, our second guest editor. Indeed, contemporary design is very definitely Phillipe Starck-shaped, it is what it is because of his influence.
Over the past four decades Philippe Starck has literally done it all in product and interior design. And done it on a wider, larger, broader and more talked about scale. But design is not what Starck wants to talk about in his prime piece of Wallpaper real estate. He has a new passion and purpose. "It is my mission to make intelligence sexy," he insists.
Approaching scientists, physicists, cosmologists, the sort of men whose lives are spent in search of extra-terrestial life forms, and the odd artist and activist rock star, Starck has asked us all to think about time, space, matter and the never ending quest for the meaning of life. Where are we going? And are we going to like it when we get there?
As well as their visually tantalizing portfolios within the magazine, both guest editors have also designed a cover each which push the boundaries of magazine design and production to its very limits. And it doesn't stop there. Lagerfeld has given us two of his celebrated show soundtracks
and Starck has put together his very own virtual mixtape, 24 hours' worth of music
just for us.