It's bleak in the print publishing world. Condé Nast shuttered four titles last month including Gourmet, which left me rattled. What I loved more than the recipes was the sumptuousness and the quality of the photography, which unabashedly embraced elegance and design as a whole.
Color-wise, the people at Gourmet could almost be taking their cues from the ColorTherapy Playbook, so to speak, by which I mean this — deep, saturated Old-World colors used to contemporary advantage, underwater blues, black, brown and undiluted crimson. I love the Chinoiserie and the texture of fabrics that support the textures of the feast.
To glance even casually at the final issue for November, you'd see what I mean: shots show a Thanksgiving turkey in front of a brocade wall covering, food before rare fabrics and in well-appointed rooms that make you want to throw a party and pull out all your fancy china. The photography suggests a world of real class artistically at least and for once I'm a fan of the trickle-down theory. Because that "class" and true beauty are presented in their fullest spectrum, we can take what we want or can from it and use that as our own sources of inspiration.
Though print may seem dead (not for me, yet), I loved Gourmet.
Long live its name.
- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter