Hidden away in Belleville, behind gently frosted windows, there is the murmur of a crowd. We enter the building, which feels like something in between a warehouse and artists atelier, to be greeted with the most welcoming of pink neon bulbs, casting puddles of magenta across the flat concrete floor. L’Appart PR has just launched their second edition of A PART, and the guests are cupping rose infused sangria cocktails in one hand and eagerly flipping through the magazine with the other. This is a magazine which can only fairly be described as a yearly encyclopedia of fashion. It is definitely not a mere mag that you throw on the coffee table, but a luxurious and perfectly crafted book, that took a year in its making. Each new limited edition issue is promised to present a new layout, entirely unique to the preceding or succeeding book, proffering an exceptional collection of works from international artists, photographers, stylists and journalists.
Inside the lofty building, enormous photographs are suspended from the ceiling. Works of of Sophie Delaporte, Boris Ovini and Nicolas Valois pirouette among the crowd, while other collaborators such as Corentin Thevenet and Kristin Vicari are displayed stylishly with crates, two by fours and plastic wrap. Among the admirers is actress Stéfi Celma, who weaves between oscillating prints and guests. The space is split across two levels, and it is on the raised floor that we find a mural sized print of the cover, Rossy De Palma by Pierre & Gilles, with the photographers side-by-side. Titled Black Tears, the stunning hand-painted photograph resembles something of a gothic Virgin Mary, with vampy lips and trails of black rolling away from perfectly lined eyes.
From the styling, to the confident branding, to the hum of an impressed clientele, the launch of this eagerly anticipated second edition certainly fulfilled expectations. A carefully put together, though effortless looking, event with pops of colour from the fairy lights, neons and fluorescents and, among it all, the enthralled invitees, clutching their new Fashion Bible of the year underarm.