Archive for July, 2016

Focus is “magic.” –Fashion Reverie

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“Great content,” writes William S. Gooch on fashionreverie.com, “can illuminate, educate, and charm the reader. Michael Gross, in his new book ‘Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers,’ has done both. The Golden Age of Fashion Photography is an era that wistful fashion pundits pine, reminisce, celebrate, and mourn for. In ‘Focus’ Michael Gross does all that—well maybe, not mourn—and so much more. ‘Focus’ artfully details how it all came to be, with images and content that stimulate the imagination, and tantalize the appetite for that rare synthesis of craft-meets-passion-meets-creativity, the true birthplace of all great art.” … Continue reading

“A scintillating snapshot of the world of fashion photography” –Daily News

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The Daily News featured Focus again today in a Confidential item that only appears in the printed paper. In case you didn’t see it, click the image to read it.

SpareMin finds Focus

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The SpareMin podcast spares a minute for Focus in its latest episode. You can hear my interview with Matthew Demello here. Just drag the slider on the podcast player to the 29:00 minute mark.

Focus on American Fashion

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American Fashion Podcast, “for the true fashion nerd,” focuses on Focus in its latest edition. Listen to it here.

Focus on The Today Show

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The Today Show focused on Focus yesterday. Or rather, The Today Show in Australia. An author “exposing” fashion’s excesses is not entirely without honor on morning television!

Donald, Melania and The Art of Model Humping: A sex-and-money story

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The Daily Beast just published my meditation on Melania Trump, alleged former supermodel, and Donald J. Trump, her model-agency-owning presidential-wannabe squeeze.

“Dirty secrets, harassment, perversion and manipulation”: This is not Republican convention coverage

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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.”

Focus on Bryant Park: See You Wednesday

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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 is not about what’s been but what’s next.”

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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.”

Pat and Mike Live at B&N

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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 … Continue reading

“Photography is dead,” says (former?) fashion photographer Nick Knight, declaring “truth” collateral damage

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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 can take in sound and movement and 3D, which I think are really part of this new art form. So … Continue reading

Focus is “important…clear and thorough.” –The National Post

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“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 the most prominent women in the book are the muses….To his credit, [Gross] does make a concerted effort to include the … Continue reading

“The epitome of fashion is some second rate celebrity showing her ass on the red carpet? Really depressing. But once something becomes fashion, it looks for the next fashion.”

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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.

Headbutler on Focus: “Fashion, photography, dish, drugs, sleaze, money, fame — click! Michael Gross takes on the Swells where they live.”

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“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 embarrassment — or would, if they could assess their behavior in a context that resembles life as you and I experience it….Focus is … Continue reading

Pat and Mike at B&N: The long and short of it

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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 crm19792@bn.com or ask a bookseller for more information. #focusyourselfie #focusthebook @BNBuzz … Continue reading

Focus is “illuminating” –Beach magazine

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In the latest issue of Beach, Daniel Hirsch of Southampton Books names Focus a “best beach read” of the summer, calling it “an illuminating history of the men and women behind some of fashion’s most iconic images.”

A distraction from Clinton vs. Trump

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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.  

Focus is the book. “Wow is the word,” says New York Social Diary. “Couldn’t-put-it-down.”

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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.”

“Fascinating insight,” says Musée Magazine. Focus is “a must.”

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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 dreams…An exciting read, full of anecdotes and whispers of a fashion era long gone, a must for photography enthusiasts, magazine historians, fashionistas, … Continue reading

Focus is “staggeringly impressive,” says Project Runway’s Tim Gunn on thethick.com

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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.

Focus: “astonishing and unprecedented” –Dailymail.com

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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!!

Focus is (finally) on sale

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Focus “uncovers a world of drama” and “the dirty secrets of fashion photographers,” says New York Mag

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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.”