This morning I joined Elle Decor staffers and devotees alike to hear Vice President and Editor in Chief Margaret Russell give the book’s keynote address. A book signing reception followed. Russell has been a part of Elle Decor since its inception in 1989 and in celebration of the over 156 issues that have been published, she led editors in an exhaustive effort to rediscover their favorite moments and compile them into Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Decor. Russell addressed us, reading from the forward of the 240 page book published by Filipacchi Publishing. “It was twenty years ago that a small team of writers, editors and art directors- a quirky melange of experts and novices, both American and French – banded together to create a new magazine called Elle Decor… it’s funny that so much – yet so little – has changed. Clearly, my role is different now, but our editorial mission remains every bit as relevant today as in 1989: Elle Decor celebrates where style lives.”
A tribute to Elle Decor outside the D&D Building
She continued talking about the everyday, lived-in-elegance Elle Decor strives to convey to its readers and as she spoke, I thought who better to be the final word in what goes into these legendary pages than a woman who embodies Elle’s raison d’etre; Margaret Russell is where
style lives. Switching seamlessly between French and English she never betrayed her “girl next door” demeanor, well, best dressed girl next door demeanor. She said:
The magazine’s interiors share a distinct point of view, but we are open-minded in our outlook, embracing sensibilities that range from classic to cutting-edge. Our most beloved design
characteristics? Personality, passion, joie de vivre and flair. It’s true, our most dazziling stories feature people with fearless style who don’t care what others think- and those who are curious, confident and cosmopolitan will always find a place in our pages…worldly rooms never fail to seduce us; they show who you are, where you’ve traveled and what you love- the perfect formula for Elle Decor.”
Russell addresses the audience, which convened at the Astra Cafe on the 14th Floor of the D&D building
And the perfect formula for any well appointed home. The title Style and Substance is fitting both to this book and Elle Decor as a magazine. Sure, many of us are attracted to the pretty picturesand romance, but it is the text- the useful tips, product information and story behind the pictures that has sustained the magazine through tough economic times when other publications are failing. It took a reminder from Russell that some of these pictures are from the early nineties; every design looks fresh off the October issue.
Above: People in line to buy Style and Substance The Best of Elle Decor. Below, the scene of the reception which took place at an obliging showroom in the D&D building.
A feature you will enjoy and a key component that makes this Well Appointed House recommended reading is to each picture there is a detailed and conscience description of the room including designer,fabric and furniture information. Sprinkled throughout are little “style guides” which gives a “punch list” of things to remember when creating your personal space. All and all, Style and Substance was not made to sit neatly on your coffee table, but rather to be enjoyed, littered with sticky notes and used, much like the homes Elle Decor looks for. If I had to sum up today’s key-note it would be to remember that while you are decorating your house don’t forget to decorate your home.
Russell busy signing books. See our autographed copies below.
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