Michael Gross, one of America's most provocative non-fiction writers, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers House of Outrageous Fortune, 740 Park and Model, as well as Rogues' Gallery and My Generation. His next book, Focus, The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers, will be published July 5th. He is a Contributing Editor of Departures and his journalism has appeared in The New York Times, New York, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and many other publications.
Calling Melania Trump! The Slovenian former model (pictured on an old GQ cover) could be the key to unlocking what’s said in this story about Focus from Slovene Novice. Referring to a Helmut Newton photo session starring former model (and current Mrs. Rupert Murdoch) Jerry Hall, the headline reads, “He ordered her to lick his boots.” Continue reading
On Wednesday July 20th, I’ll be speaking al fresco about Focus and the fabulous characters in it at The Bryant Park Reading Room in the heart of Manhattan from 12:30pm-1:30pm, in conversation with Alina Cho, the noted broadcast journalist, fashion commentator, and Editor-at-Large of Ballantine Bantam Dell. I’ll be signing books, too, after our talk. In case of rain, events are held under a tent at the Reading Room. In case of severe weather, please check bryantpark.org for the indoor location.
Fashion photography web site Thebreed.com looks at the “provocative” Focus today. “It covers the lives of fashion photography’s masters,” Elyssa Goodman writes, “detailing their creative spirit and technical skill alongside their egos and vices. It shares the stories of the men and women behind the legends, what made them, what broke them, and why we must remember them today.” Continue reading
Last night, a standing-room-only crowd filled Barnes & Noble’s Upper West Side store at 82nd Street and Broadway for a talk and book signing with (from left), supermodel-turned-memoirist Pat Cleveland, me, and photographer-turned Musee magazine editor Andrea Blanch. Thanks B&N and all who attended, including fans, friends, designer Stephen Burrows, models Alva Chinn, Bonnie Pfeifer and Nancy Donahue, and photographer-and-hair God Harry King. For those who missed it, more signed copies of Pat’s Walking with the Muses and Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers are available in the store. #BNUpperWestSide @BNUpperWS #focuysyourselfie (The photo is by Asli Pelit.) Continue reading
Echoing one of the themes of Focus–that an era has ended–photo editor and photographer Nick Knight has given an interview in which he goes a step further and declares photography dead. Then Knight, whose web site describes him as “among the world’s most influential and visionary photographers,” goes on, positing that photography has been usurped by what he calls “image-making — please could someone get a better description of it — because that’s what I do,” he says. “Because that… Continue reading
“Focus is a cultural history of how photography shaped the rest of the fashion industry,” writes Anna Fitzpatrick in her review of Focus in today’s National Post of Canada. “It is also a salacious collection of stories, a fact it never tries to hide. Above all, Focus is a survey of men behaving badly…Gross captures so well the century-long rivalry between Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, chronicling the musical chairs of editorial staff and their shifting allegiances with photographers. But… Continue reading
Former Richard Avedon assistant and Vogue photographer Andrea Blanch interviewed me last week for her Musee Magazine. We spoke about the rise and fall of fashion photography, the chance it will rise again, the reign of Anna Wintour, the wonder that’s Franca Sozzani, our transgender moment, and lots lots more in a wide-ranging conversation. Continue reading
“Almost alone among writers who chronicle the rich and glittering in New York,[Michael Gross] doesn’t write books that endear him to his subjects,” writes Jesse Kornbluth on Headbutler today. “Does he get asked to chic dinners at the homes of the 1%? I’m thinking it rarely happens. I’m thinking he doesn’t care….Now, we have Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers…Many of the photographers he profiles are dead. If not, they might die of… Continue reading
A reminder that I’ll be signing copies of Focus and dissecting the fashion circus with my longtime friend supermodel Pat Cleveland this coming Wednesday July 13th at a talk moderated by former Vogue photographer Andrea Blanch, the founder and editor-in-chief of Musée Magazine. Please join us at 7PM that night at the Barnes & Noble at Broadway and West 82nd Street. Special Instructions: Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Books can be picked up after signing. If you have questions or concerns, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ask a bookseller for more information. #focusyourselfie #focusthebook @BNBuzz #BNAuthorEvent @BNUpperWestSide @bnupperws Continue reading
When it comes to votes, this one is pretty wild. The commentors vie to name the supermodel at the Bill King-directed orgy on blindgossip.com. Continue reading
On today’s New York Social Diary, David Patrick Columbia covers the launch party for Focus (scroll down to the last long item here), the book itself, and the world it reveals. “Wine, women and song,” Columbia writes. “Boys too, if required. Not to mention drugs. Cool dudes, flashy cars, psycho-tempers, and sex everywhere to choose from. Work junkets all over the world and surrounded by beautiful people looking up at them rather than vice versa. The photographers were the real story.” Continue reading
In Musée Magazine, Tal Yaron reviews Focus as “a behind-the-scenes view of fashion photography’s apex. Gross shows us the humanity or lack there-of in all these real life figures that he chooses to represent as the epitome of the art at its peak. Focus provides fascinating insight into the lives of these fashion icons [and] shows us the freedom, individuality, self-expression and experimentation in an industry that has long since lost those values, chasing money now instead of… Continue reading
In the latest episode of the “Possible Conversation” series on thethick.com, Project Runway’s fashion eminence Tim Gunn and I dish on Focus, the fashion industry, and its fear of truth. Focus, says Gunn, is “captivating…electrifying…just riveting….a staggeringly impressive job.” A thousand thanks to Tim and all at thethick. Continue reading
The Daily Mail has just published a lavishly illustrated look into the pages of the just-published Focus. “In an astonishing and unprecedented look at the top-tier of photographers, Gross exposes the egos and private passions of these manipulative artists.” Focus is “compelling and often shocking,” says the Mail’s Caroline Howe. Thank you!! Continue reading
New York Magazine’s The Cut considers Focus today. Danielle Cohen writes, “Laying bare friendships, breakups, rivalries, and liaisons among fashion photographers over the past six decades, Focus delves into the stories behind their cameras, exposing both their unparalleled talents and private affairs.” Continue reading